Distance. Love. Online.: Chapter 0.2

Me: “Story exchange?”

Reimi nods.

Me: “Eh, no.”

Reimi: “Huh?”

Me: “I don’t trust you, in fact I don’t trust anyone.”

Reimi: “Then how do you even have friends? What were the two guys that were with you the other day?”

Me: “Acquaintances?”

Reimi: “Wow… That’s hurting…”

Me: “Real life taught me not to trust people too much.”

Reimi: “But…”

Me: “If you are just here to rub it in, I will unfriend you.”

Reimi: “I…” and she looked down.

Me: “Goodbye.” and I left the bowling alley.

We didn’t talk for weeks, until one day…

Back for my daily dose of the game after school. I entered a random lobby, its an amusement park.

Me: “Oh great…” as I looked at my friends list, everyone is offline except for Reimi, who is online.

I then walked around the server, looking at the rides, seeing people grouped together chatting. While walking around, I bumped into the girl I wanted to avoid, with a bunch of other people.

Reimi: “Ah, it’s you.”

Me: “I’m sorry.” and I walked away.

Guy 1: “You know him?”

Reimi: “No… I don’t know him.”

I heard that sentence as I was walking. I deleted her name off the friends list immediately after. I settled down at a cafe, sitting alone with a virtual drink on my table. I sat there alone, looking at the other players playing at the various rides.

“This is a rather sophisticated lobby… The attention to detail… Everything.” I thought to myself

“What are you doing here, sitting alone?”

I turned my head, it’s Reimi, standing next to my table.

Reimi: “I saw you deleted my name off the friends list.”

Me: “Ah. Because you said that you don’t know me, so might as well just delete.”

Reimi: “I felt extremely sad when I saw that.”

Me: “You started it.”

Reimi: “The reason why I said I don’t know you is because I know you probably don’t like large groups, and besides, you probably cannot stand them with their questions when they want to know you.”

Me: “I think you know me too well at this point. It’s kind of freaking me out.”

Reimi: “It’s called being concerned for you. You had an emotional trauma in the past, and I want to walk you out of it.”

Me: “I don’t need anything from you.”

Reimi: “I want do everything for you.”

Me: “Stop trying to break the wall between us. You are just making me want to distance you even more.”

Reimi: “Why are you so isolated? Why do you even play this game if you don’t even socialize?”

Me: “I just want a game where I can escape reality.”

Reimi: “Then date me, I want to help you.”

Me: “Huh? No, I’m not going to date anyone. I’m not that easy to get, like you.”

Reimi: “Are you saying that I’m easy to get?”

Me: “You are not? Otherwise you wouldn’t be spouting that sentence easily.”

Reimi: “I’m not easy to get. I’m just willing to change you. The way you think, the way you perceive your own life, and also, to be your first official friend and girlfriend.”

Me: “Stop trying to fix me, I don’t need your help. Just leave me alone.”

Reimi: “No, I won’t.”

Me: “Weirdo.” and I stood up and walked away.

 

I spent that night thinking about her and the way she behaves. Ended up losing sleep. I didn’t meet her for another few weeks.

One of my friends in-game were throwing a birthday party in game. We sang the birthday song and everything. After the party calmed down and everyone is in their groups, people also started to dance in pairs, I stood up from my chair and intends to leave the lobby.

Birthday boy: “Eh? Where are you going?”

Me: “Sorry, I have to go somewhere.”

Reimi: “Don’t leave. I will be your partner for the dance.”

I turned around.

Me: “Oh it’s you…”

Reimi: “Join me, I don’t have a partner.”

Me: “You are cute, you will find someone else to dance eventually.”

Birthday Boy: “Stop with the sappy talk and dance already.” and he pushed the both of us onto the dance floor.

Me: “I can’t dance.”

Reimi: “It’s okay, it’s freestyle.”

Me: “No, I still don’t know how to dance.”

Reimi: “Just go with the flow, look at me dance and try to follow.” and she started dancing to some club music.

I tried to follow and dance, eventually I fallen into a trance and my body starts to move on its own.

Reimi: “You do know how to dance… Why do you keep underestimating yourself?”

After she said that sentence, I broke free from the trance and stopped dancing.

Reimi: “Eh? What’s wrong?”

Me: “Sorry, I have to go.” and I walked away.

Reimi: “Eh?”

I teleported into another random lobby. It’s a bar.

Me: “Oh great, the perfect place to be right now.”

I asked the bartender for a drink, then back to me sitting alone with a virtual drink.

“I want what he’s having!”

I turned around, I thought it was Reimi again, but it’s another female player. She wears cat ears with cat tails, a rather cute-looking blouse and a mini skirt. I looked above the avatar for her name. “Haruno…”

Haruno: “That’s my name! Why are you here sitting alone?”

Me: “Just being myself, what are you doing here…”

Haruno: “I just joined a random lobby and it just put me here.”

Me: “Oh a coincidence, I also randomly joined a lobby too.”

Haruno: “I’m new around here, I picked up the game a few hours ago and I need a friend, will you be my friend?”

Me: “Me?”

Haruno: “Yeah.”

Me: “Are you sure you should be so close to a stranger right off the bat?”

Haruno: “But this is a social game, people make friends using this game.”

Me: “That’s true…”

Haruno: “Since I have no friends playing this game, so I have to be more open about myself to make friends.”

Me: “There are many people out there, why me?”

Haruno: “Because I see you sitting here alone, so I thought we should be friends, I feel like we were the same boat.”

Me: “Okay then…” and I sent a friend request in-game.

Haruno: “Yay, my first friend!”

As I look up, I saw Reimi standing at the lobby portal, looking at me with Haruno. She didn’t say anything, turned around and exited the lobby…

At that moment, I feel a weird sensation… It feels sad for some reason, because I didn’t know that I already liked her…

 

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