It was a regular Thursday for me. I woke up at 9, crawled through the living room, and settled in the leather swivel chair in front of the family computer. My arms were still not long enough for me to reach the mouse in front of me so I scooched forwards with my legs. Success.
Just one of many more to come today! I was optimistic, way more than what was expected.
This is what haunts me even now as a 17-year old. This is what pops up in the back of my mind where I keep all of my other childhood memories even when I never asked for it to come. This is the first time I let people down.
I loaded my avatar on MapleStory and sank into the leather. It absorbed me into its mass. My cup of water was off to the side of the desk, bite marks surrounding the rim. This was back when I was sticker crazy, and slapped all my Captain Underwear stickers onto the sticky surface of the desk.
Seeing my character jump up and down on the screen gave me motivation. A promise to be better than him. I only ever heard of this game through my cousin, who was light years ahead of me. He had the social skills while I didn’t.
With nothing else to do that day, I took it upon myself to do a party event. It was going to be this amazing adventure through this clock tower with 6 other people. An afternoon watching him press buttons effortlessly. All I have to do is just stay calm. Just fight when needed and it won’t be Disastrous
Easy. Just like him. Peasy.
Then I had to go and screw everything up. I watched my guy fall off the stage onc-make that twice. Wait nope, three times. And… it’s still going.
The group chat came to life like Frankenstein’s Creature. All with complaints about me. I just needed to press the space bar at the right times. I only had to press it at the right times. My fingers twitched again, and I see the all too familiar falling animation.
One breath escaped me. He did how many? In an hour?! The chair seemed to spit me back out into reality.
Finally one of the other group members came to my rescue, telling me all the right sequences of jumps. I had reclaimed my calm.
Up to the top I go. I’m almost to the last platform. And then I fell down. Down what seemed to be an infinite amount of short platforms, filled with numbered boxes, and through the holes where we found regrouped before moving on. He would never do this.
A few keystrokes occurred. I saw the group pop up in the waiting zone, briefly.
I quit the game, teary eyed.