The days following the first forbidden night were bliss and blues. Bliss, because the cupcakes had created the sweetest of nights, and blues, because Jolie knew that her love was one-sided.
One day, after classes, Dreamy wrote a poem:
Chilly January, skies cry ice
Your words, a sentence that is me
Softer February, melting walls
My words, a frequency increased
Warmer march, season of love
Our words, a symphony of this
She didn’t often write poems, but the emerging spring inspired her to do so. It was the season of love. Fun love and serious love alike. All kinds of love, including Dreamy’s. That is, the characters’ — Dreamy & GodsWatch, a love story within Legend of Stars. An innocent fantasy.
In real life, she started skipping classes. It wasn’t because they didn’t interest her — quite the opposite, the lectures she found very interesting, but the game, and the group chat, ‘Dreamy’s LoS Chat’, just happened to be way more entertaining.
Until late at night, she would chat in there, about all kinds of stupid things. Indeed, the topics were often quite dumb, and Dreamy and John got into the habit of playing with the kids who joined the chat:
JerryMay, DidiKills and Crystal — all under 15, but they were John’s and Dreamy’s chat companions.
GodsWatch joined every now and then, but only when asked. Even so, the chat was entertaining enough, but she would prefer having GodsWatch there all the time, instead of John, who she could tell was developing even more real feelings for her.
“You know,” he said one night at 4 am, “I haven’t stayed up this late because of someone in who knows how long.”
Jolie could tell that it was getting severe, but she didn’t feel the same thing, even lightly.
“I tend to have that effect on people,” she said, even though she didn’t, really.
“No mystery why,” he said, “you are special.”
That was the word that Jolie had used about GodsWatch, and it made her hyperaware of the fact that, what John felt for her, she felt for GodsWatch, and the chance of it being unreciprocated was equally big.
Indeed, didn’t John fall for her because she was a writer — because they were similar? That was the exact reason why she started to notice GodsWatch.
On March 23, Dreamy was met with a pleasant surprise in the guild chat.
“Yo,” said a player with a familiar name — Mina.
It was her old friend, from before the merger. 21 year old Mina, who had regarded her as a rival, only to change her mind and ask to be her bestie. She was possessed by the spirit of random.
“Mina!” said Jolie, “you’re back?”
“Sure, idk,” she said, “Just checking in.”
“But why did you leave?” said Jolie, typing quickly, in case her unpredictable friend would disappear again.
She continued, “And why right after I paid 100 diamonds to marry you to Psychie?”
Psychie was one of Jolie’s alternate characters, and the very same night that Mina had married her, she disappeared, until now.
“Just random,” said Mina, “felt like it.”
Jolie expected no other answer.
“So, have I missed anything?” Mina asked, after which Jolie told her all about the merger and the new people.
“Yikes,” said Mina, “seems like I’ve missed a lot.”
“And wtf,” she continued, “8 million?”
She was referring to the battle power of RapidJudge. Mina herself had 300k in battle power.
“And you’re over a million?” she commented on Dreamy’s growth, “and VIP?”
“Yeah,” said Jolie, “and I got the fashion I wanted. Remember?”
The two of them had talked about wanting the fashions.
Jolie invited Mina to the group chat, in which they continued the discussion, ranging in subjects from music to other players. Of course, Jolie didn’t tell her about her feelings for GodsWatch.
Jolie had already hatched a plan of pairing Mina up with John, but kept that hidden, as well.
When the daily events began, Jolie met GodsWatch, whom she greeted,
“hi God <3”
And he responded,
“hi Dreamy <3”
They were on heart base, and everyone knew it.
Of course, just because they knew, it didn’t meant that they were happy about it, or that they had given up on their own pursuit; Dreamy still received PMs from Duskerbeat.
The bosses in Heavenly Boss took less than 30 minutes to kill now, in total, and GodsWatch could now enter the level 120 boss, unlike Dreamy, whose level was only 116.
“God,” she said, “How is it at the 120 boss?”
“Idk,” he said, “normal.”
Normal? Well, what else could he say.
Jolie thought about what else to say to him, but her mind was blank.
“Come to the group chat,” she suggested after a while, but there was no response, and he didn’t come. He had already gone afk.
To him, Jolie was just another player in the game. He didn’t need to tell her if he went afk, because it wasn’t important. And why would it be? She wasn’t part of his life. All she was, was a part of the browser game that he was playing, and even the browser game was a small part of his life. A small part within which Jolie’s existence was an even smaller factor. If he sat in an airplane, she was a building, indistinguishable from other buildings. Just one of the many. Not special, not unique, just one of the other players.
It was a hit to her soul, and a burn on her heart, but she could overcome it. All she needed to do, was pretend that she wasn’t serious. Indeed, she only needed to avoid the thorns by pretending that she wasn’t walking right through them. Pretend only to see the roses, and that their sweet petals alone were real.
In the group chat, John talked to the kids.
“If you don’t behave, I have to tell your mom on you.” he said, referring to Dreamy.
John had gotten into this strange habit of thinking that he was the father of LoS, and she was the mother.
“I’m not a mother.” she said.
“Ah, there she is,” said John.
Where else would she be? This was her life, all she had.
Suddenly, she got an idea.
In chatcord, there was an option to create different channels, and even hidden ones, that only people with a certain attribute could access.
She clicked on the plus icon under the already existing channels, and the create-a-new-channel interface popper up on the screen, in which she typed in the name ‘Dreamy’s Room’, and clicked the ‘secret’ box.
She then went to the settings of the group chat, in which she created a new attribute: ‘Dreamy’s Baby’, and after assigning it to GodsWatch, she granted it access to ‘Dreamy’s Room’.
They now had a hidden place to talk inside, away from all other people.
All that was needed now, was to get GodsWatch to the app. He wasn’t always the keenest to participate in the group chat, as he wasn’t very sociable, but perhaps this would change things.
During the second daily round of Heavenly Boss, Jolie invited GodsWatch to come to the group chat, and this time, he responded,
“Ok, after 110 boss.”
The reason why he wanted to wait until after the level 105 boss, was that the prior ones died too quickly, and spending too much time away from the browser could then mean missing a boss, which resulted in a loss of potentially valuable rewards. The most sought after reward at Heavenly Boss was high level gear. It could also be acquired in dungeons, but the chances doubled with participation in Heavenly Boss. Dreamy had yet to perfect her gear, as she only recently had learn the importance of that, thanks to her 15 year old crush.
After the level 105 boss, GodsWatch did as promised, and came to the group chat, where he immediately noticed the new channel.
“….. wtf xD is this?” he said.
Why such harsh wording? Did he not like it?
“It’s my secret room,” she said, with anticipation.
Her heart was fluttering.
“Very secret if everyone can join,” he commented.
She explained, “Only the ones I invite can join.”
“So our own private room?”, he winked.
“My room, you’re the guest.”
They went on to exchange smilies, baby bottles and eggplants, after which GodsWatch sent a link to a song, and Jolie returned it with another song.
“OMG,” said GodsWatch, “I listened to this song last night and couldn’t remember what it was called.”
Jolie smiled, “it’s one of my favourites.”
She was happy that they enjoyed the same song, and listened to it.
“How tall are you?” asked GodsWatch after another round of meaningless emojis.
“148.5 cm,” she said.
“Damn, that’s really small,” he said, “So you have a loli body?”
Jolie had noticed that all guys who were into anime liked loli bodies, and all other guys saw her as a child. No attraction towards her, other than her cute face, but that was a different type of attraction, and fact was that the only guys who had ever liked her — and come forward with it — were either into loli bodies, or had a short woman fetish, without necessarily knowing what a loli was. Harsh life, when she was just as much a woman as those who came in bigger containers, and even compared to some of those, she had superior curves.
“Not a loli body, I have curves.” She clarified.
“Well,” he said, “basically it means looking like a teen or younger.”
So she could have curves and still be a loli? She sighed, not wanting to be reduced to an anime fetish.
“Oh, then yeah, maybe, people think I look like a teen…”
Even though she was 22, the usual assumption that people made was that she was 18, but that was within the context of her being a university student. Without that to lean on, it had gotten as bad as 12, but that was, thankfully, an exception.
“I could pick you up and kidnap you like a kid,” he said.
Kidnap her? Why go there, of all places?
She laughed, “no you couldn’t. I have tricks.”
Well, only one trick.
“Oh, what kind?”
If she told him, she couldn’t use it against him.
“Come on, tell me,” he urged.
After a few more attempts of trying to coax her into telling him, Jolie said,
“Are you not coming to the 120 boss?”
Jolie was already there, but had given him five minutes to remember on his own.
“Oh, damn, forgot,” he said, and Jolie was glad that she was the reason, even if lusty teen guy was an equal amount of it.
After moving his character to the level 120 boss, GodsWatch returned to the chat,
“Truth or Dare?”
In chat? Jolie was shy; the notion of playing truth or dare alone with her crush felt scary to her.
“I don’t want to play, feels weird in chat.”
She omitted the fact that she was intimidated of the intimacy it meant.
“So if we ever meet in real life, will you play dirty t or d with me?”
“Maybe. Depends on attraction.”
Indeed, without attraction, what did they have? Jolie had learned the hard way that online wasn’t the same as real life. Alhough, Dante and GodsWatch weren’t the same. What she felt for them wasn’t the same, nor was the way she felt around them. One had been half hearted and fake; one genuine and exciting.
“So what kind of guys are you attracted to?”
Jolie thought, then answered,
“Damn, I’ve been called hot, but never cute.”
So he wasn’t the cute type. She could live with that.
“I’m called cute all the time,” she said, and it was true — after all, everything the size of a doll was automatically cute, in the same way as a puppy.
“So we’re a perfect match.”
Indeed, they were. But he wasn’t serious. He was a clueless teenager with lusty motives.
“I hope I can reach the seventh branch today,” said Jolie, who has recently been able to climb as far as the sixth branch.
“I was there… yesterday,” teased GodsWatch, “but brb to get a snack, before Celestial Tree.”
While waiting for GodsWatch to return, Jolie checked the main channel.
There, she saw John ask Mina about her age.
“15,” said Mina.
15? But what about 21?
“You told me you’re 21,” said Jolie, “and now you’re 15?”
“That was my cousin,” she said.
Sure it was. However, Jolie wasn’t upset. Instead she was amused, as well as wondering why there was a need to lie about her age, in the first place. Mina might not even be 15. She might be 30, or 12. Online, people could lie about all sorts of things and get away with it. But so was the case in real life. However, things like age were definitely easier to lie about online.
She wondered if there were things about GodsWatch that weren’t true.
What if his age was a lie? In a way, that would be good, but what if his actual age turned out to be even lower on the teenage scale? While she didn’t believe that, and definitely didn’t think that he was older than his claimed age, there was no way to know for sure. Everything she thought she knew about him might as well be a lie, a facade created to play around with people — that’s what Mina did, wasn’t it? There was no other motive behind her lies, Jolie was certain, it was just for fun, or maybe not even that, maybe it was compulsive lying, a pathological trait.
Or things could be exaggerations. Even Jolie pretended that things were different than reality dictated. She talked about pole dancing poses as if she could actually do them gracefully, while reality was that she struggled to get into the poses at all, and hadn’t she just half lied about her reason for not wanting to play truth or dare? While those were quite harmless, the case could be different with GodsWatch.
Of course, she believed everything about him to be true, but could she trust her own judgement, when it wasn’t based on black and white facts?
When GodsWatch got back, Jolie got her chance to test him,
“Truth or Dare?” he said, trying for a second time.
“Ok, fine then.” Jolie pretended to surrender, “but just a bit.”
She felt like an adult giving candy to a kid, but also a detective on an undercover mission. However, what was it exactly that she was going to find out? And although the game was called ‘truth or dare’, it didn’t mean that everything said in the duration of playing would necessarily be the truth.
Jolie hadn’t thought it through, but she was yet to know what exactly she had gotten herself into. If she had known, she would have opted out.
“So, which one?” he asked.
“How many times have you masturbated this month?”
Really? That was his first question? She was taken aback. It was bad enough that the question existed, at all.
“I don’t count.”
He said, “So, many?”
Lusty teenager. She wasn’t obliged to answer that, but said,
“Ok, truth or dare?” she continued,
Of course, because why would he pick truth? Jolie thought for a second, then,
“Do ten push-ups.”
“k. done. t or d?”
“Do a sexy dance on your pole.”
The pole that she had bought with the intention of becoming a top pole dancer had arrived, and she had told GodsWatch, but,
“It’s currently in a box,” she confessed.
“Ok, then jiggle your boobs.”
Teen guys… why was she even doing this? Like she had suspected, it was nothing but weird, and she had yet to learn anything about him, other than the fact that he probably was only interested in her ‘loli milf’ body.
She moved her upper body a bit, “Ok, done. Truth or dare?”
Dare again. She thought hard to come up with something.
“Go and greet the sun,” she said after a while, figuring he needed it after playing games all day.
After less than a minute, he said, “k, done. t or d?”
“That was fast.”
“Yeah, I only needed to put on a shirt and go down the stairs,” he said, “but t or d?”
“What’s your boob size?”
Of course. But she had to persevere. She needed answers, too.
After telling him the size, she asked him, “t or d?”
Finally. She started with a basic question,
“What is your favourite food?”
Default favourite of all teen guys, or maybe just guys in general? Although, pizza was one of her favourites, as well.
“t or d?” he asked.
In spite of having just revealed an intimate size, she was daring enough to go with truth.
“What kind of job do you do irl?”
Hm? A non-sexual question? That was surprising. Did it mean that he had more interest in her, after all? Not just a lusty fantasy of a teen guy? No, it probably was.
“I’m a student,” she said.
“Oh, yeah,” he said, “I forgot.”
Forgot? Well, then, he definitely wasn’t into her — if any of the online guides on how to tell if a guy likes you were right.
“t or d?” she asked.
Good. Another basic question,
“How tall are you?”
“Hmm, idk, last time I measured was in grade 7, and was around 165, I think.”
Would a person living a lie, say something like this? It was too random, so it had to be true. But then again, hadn’t she seen a certain character in a sitcom tell his friends that lying had to be as detailed as possible, to be believable? But not everyone were sociopaths, so they didn’t follow those rules. However, what if GodsWatch was?
“t or d?” he asked.
“I dare you to add me on facecat,” he said, referring to a popular social networking site, and proceeded to tell her his, clearly fake, username.
“We’ll see,” she said, not ready to show him her real appearance — especially not since he wasn’t serious about her, and probably asked many girls to add him. In fact, he was probably one of those guys who had 4000 friends on facecat, and all of them were girls he had met online, and lured in with various methods.
CreeperPeter wasn’t wrong to be cautious about people online, when he accused her of being a man. He was absolutely right, because you never know who people are. But, she thought, isn’t it the same irl?
“t or d.” she asked.
Good. Last question?
“How many girls have you met online like this?”
“2-3,” he said,
That wasn’t too bad, and 2-3 didn’t seem like a made up answer. It definitely wasn’t specific, but Jolie wondered what exactly happened between the 2 and the 3.
“You’re not sure?”
Well, he was clueless, after all. That wasn’t news.
Shortly after finishing the game, Jolie went to bed, at which point the two of them exchanged another set of hearts, this time with ‘good night’s.
The game of truth and dare didn’t teach Jolie a lot, but upon exiting it she had mixed feelings. There were certain signs pointing to GodsWatch possibly liking her back, and some signs pointing the other direction, but the overwhelming majority of the signs pointed towards him being a lusty teenager who craved her tiny body, and didn’t hide it.
While she admired the fact that he was completely honest about it, and not tried to go other, fake routes, like John and Dusker, she also made sure to remind herself that he was probably equally honest about similar things to a heap of other girls, in spite of the 2-3 that he had just mentioned. No, that probably wasn’t the case. Or was it?
Torn, Jolie found herself incapable of making a decision as to what she ought to do with all this information. Were she to ignore his lustfulness, or embrace it? Ought she to severe all ties and find another crush, that wasn’t solely after her body? Or was she to trust her intuition, that little voice inside her, that told her to move forward with GodsWatch?