Life Isn't a Video Game.
I don't own Mario Kart, the Wii, pillow pets or the gigantic ball that drops on New Year's.
You don't have three hearts representing the lives you have left.
You only have one.
And sometimes, it's just one broken heart.
by that one girl that wrote this cheesy crap.
The first time we met, you gave me a video game... in the middle of the subway.
I told you that you were strange and gave it back.
But you said, "You look like you haven't had much fun in a while. Why don't you just keep it?"
And then you left, leaving me with an odd game called Mario Kart for a game system called the Wii.
I sighed. I didn't have such a thing. So how could I play it?
But, I didn't realize that until I finished replaying what you had said in my mind. I was shocked. Could you honestly tell that I haven't had fun in quite some time?
I smiled to myself, looking down at the game.
People like you are the reason why we have fun.
You made my Monday.
The next time I ran into you, we were at the movie theaters. You were there with your friends, waiting to watch a horror movie and I was there with my niece, waiting to watch a movie about ponies.
I love ponies.
You noticed me glancing your way so you waved me over, where you were waiting in line to buy popcorn. You grinned that grin I remember from the subway, lopsided and gorgeous.
You asked me my name.
I told you my sister's name, after all you are a stranger. I asked for yours and you said John.
I chuckled, saying that that was the most generic white boy name.
You smiled, nodding your head proudly. Then, you asked which high school I went to. And coincidentally, we went to the same school. Ackerman High. You were in 12th grade, I was in 11th.
You asked if it was fate and I laughed so hard that tears began to form at the edge of my eyes. My niece looked at me worriedly. You told her that I was strange and I stopped laughing, giving you a slight shove. I smiled as I introduced you to my niece and you asked if I had taught her how to play Mario Kart yet.
My smile disappeared as I looked down at my purse with guilt. I still had the game in my purse. So, I gave it back telling you why I couldn't play it. But, I made sure to say thank you anyway.
As I made my way to leave, you pulled me back with that confidently bright grin of yours. I nearly died.
You said, "You can come to my house to my house and play it then."
I tucked a piece of my hair behind my ear as I gave you a weird look. I called you strange again only because you're a stranger. And I didn't know you at all. So why would I go to your house? For all I knew, you could be some kind of rapist. Or a murderer. Or video gamer. Or worse... A Mario Kart junkie.
You laughed at me and I thought it was the most beautiful thing in the world. My lips twitched into a grin.
"Well, we should meet up again," you told me, handing me a piece of paper with your number on it. "That way I won't be a stranger. But, I promise I'm not a rapist or a murderer. A slight gamer, but it's all for fun, I promise."
You gave me a grin that caught me off guard.
But, I only eyed you suspiciously. Were you asking me out on a date?
You laughed again at my question. "No, I have a girlfriend."
As I exhaled in relief, I knew that the other half of me was a little disappointed. Your girlfriend is okay with me meeting up with you again?
"Of course she is," you told me. "She always wanted me to find more friends anyways."
Your eyes glowed radiantly and I knew that you were in love.
A little piece of my heart died right there.
So, I told you my real name. Amelia, I said.
"See you later, Mia," you said before you left, giving me a nickname no one has called me since I was four.
I called you one day asking if you wanted to help my niece and me to make a cake for her mom, my sister. By now, we hung out regularly at school or at your house, playing Mario Kart. I never quite understood what the deal was with you and Mario Kart. I just assumed you were a typical gamer. But, honestly, a high school start football player with a slight obsession with Mario Kart can't be healthy. But, I found it strangely cute.
You said that you'd love to and before we knew it, the whole kitchen was covered in flour, batter and frosting.
You started a food fight with my niece and somehow dragged me into it. I don't ever remember laughing so hard in my life.
Then, I stared at myself in the mirror with a sigh as I fiddled with my messy red hair, covered in pink frosting.
"Your hair almost matches the frosting," I heard you say from the other room, still in the kitchen with my niece. Even if I couldn't see you, I knew you were smiling. "You're such a ginger."
I scrunched my nose, still looking in the mirror as I inspected my oddly colored hair. I told you I preferred the term strawberry blonde.
You came up from behind me, carrying my now sleeping niece on your back, piggyback style. And you smiled, your charming blue eyes lighting up.
(I knew it then. Right then, I knew that I love you.)
I smiled too, giggling at your messy appearance. I told you that you looked silly.
Then you said, "You look beautiful."
December came rolling in, and I wondered if I should get you a Christmas present. We were close, always hanging out and when we did, we managed to have the best times of our lives. We laughed so much my ribs began to hurt. We smiled so much, my cheeks were sore. Hell, we even looked up Mario Kart cheat codes together. We were sort of best friends at this point.
So, I decided to get you a Christmas present.
I remember your face when you unwrapped it on the night of Christmas Eve as we sat in your car, listening to Christmas music.
You were on the verge of laughing your heart out. I smiled smugly as you pulled out two steering wheels for the Wii, so you could play Mario Kart with ease.
Was I the best or what?
You said thank you, chuckling at my clever gift. I gave you a wink before unwrapping my own present.
You got me a pony pillow pet. A freaking pony.
I love ponies.
You laughed at my expression. I gave you a shove, grinning a full out toothy grin. And I thanked you.
Not just for the pony pillow pet, but for being there for me. You helped me have fun. Hell, in my dictionary, you were the defintion of fun. You were my cliche escape from this frustrating world, away from our prestigiously rich high school where I struggled to keep my scholarship, away from my messed up family that didn't love me except for my sister and niece, and away from my work where my boss hated me and made sure to over work me until I cried.
You were there for me.
And you were just what I needed in my life.
You watched me as I spoke, telling you all of this. Your eyes were intense, but bright. You moved towards me, putting an arm around me as you brought me close to you. You pressed your lips to my forehead, brushing my bangs away.
And I cried.
Tears of happiness or tears of frustration, I couldn't tell.
Years of emotion built up in me were let go as you let me cry against your chest, while you muttered into my hair.
"You deserve so much more," you told me as you rubbed small circles on my back. It gave me goosebumps. "You deserve to be happy, Mia."
I looked up at you with a small smile and continued to hug you, resting my forehead in the crook of your neck. I wished you a merry Christmas.
You hugged me back, kissing my head once again.
"Merry Christmas, Mia." I heard the smile in your voice.
We were at the park with your friends, Justin, Aidan and Alex.
They ran off towards the playground, acting like immature teenage boys, leaving us behind with your arm draped across my shoulders, just like any friend would have.
But, even a simple gesture like that made my heart go wild. I honestly thought I would suffer from a heart attack.
"Hey, Mia. Do you want to spend New Year's Eve with me?" You asked me, completely out of the blue. I mean, we were talking about Zac Efron (one of the hottest, prettiest men ever) and you bring up New Year's?
You still smiled, winking as if you purposely changed the subject.
Before I could respond, I started to grow worried.
I told you about how we've spent the holidays with eachother and as much as I enjoyed it, I truly did, what about your girlfriend?
You flinched. You wouldn't look at me. You looked anywhere, but towards me.
I figured you and your girlfriend had an argument, or a fight. So, I told you I was sorry. God, how I hoped it wasn't about me. I told you that if I was the reason why you were fighting then you shouldn't be hanging out with me. And even though it hurt to say that, it had to be said. I couldn't be the reason why you broke up with the girl you love. I told you about the look in your eyes whenever you talked about her, like how we met the second time.
You loved her.
And it hurt me, it really did. I couldn't tell you that though. I couldn't tell you how it shattered me everytime your eyes would light up so breathtakingly whenever you spoke a single word about her. I couldn't tell you how even on the sunniest of days, it would seem as if the clouds had come in and rained, just poured, whenever you talked about her.
Even though you've been my best friend for almost five months now, I still had yet to meet your girlfriend. And as unkind as this might sound, I didn't want to. I always thought that if I did meet her, I'd see how beautiful she is and how in love you and her are.
As selfish as this may sound, I wanted you to love me instead.
But, I couldn't tell you that.
When you finally turned towards me, you gave me a small smile, a smile that wasn't even close to reaching your eyes. Oh, but your eyes still glowed with love.
I felt a big pang in my chest.
Heart attack? No.
Heart burn? No.
Heart break? Chyeeah.
"Valencia," you whispered suddenly, looking up into the sky with your amazing blue eyes. "She wouldn't mind."
I looked down, trying to hide my eyes scared that you might realize what I felt.
"Besides, she always wanted me to have more friends anyways."
When I arrived at your house for your New Year's Eve party, I felt slightly uncomfortable.
What if I met your girlfriend there? What if I suddenly became the third wheel?
I remember grimacing thinking how bad that would be and then you came out of nowhere asking, "What? Do I look that bad?"
Bad? Ha! How could you ever look bad? I gave you a look over taking in your perfect black hair messy as always, your blue eyes shining brightly, and your dazzling smile as wide as an elephant's arse. You sort of dressed for the occasion with your dark jeans and your dark button up shirt, with the top buttons left unbuttoned. You posed, flexing your arms as you noticed that I was checking you out.
I grinned and told you that you looked sexy.
You laughed so hard people were beginning to give us looks. I continued to grin triumphantly and you wrapped your arm around my shoulders again. I looked up at you, poking your cheek as I told you to stop laughing so loud in my ear.
You purposely laughed louder in my ear.
Oh, God, how I love you.
After your guffaw died down, you introduced me to more of your friends. But, I was so nervous. I mean, what if they didn't like me?
"Who wouldn't love you?" You asked me as you pushed my bangs out of my face with your thumb. "Mia, you're the kind of person everyone loves. Trust me on that."
I couldn't help a red tinge coloring my cheeks. And you chuckled.
At nine o' clock exactly, if I remember correctly, you said that you had to go meet someone and that you would find me later.
And I instantly thought: Valencia.
How did I know? I heard Aidan trying to tell you something over the loud music. I didn't hear much except for the words: Valencia and you.
I gave you a small smile and nodded. You gave me a skeptical glance and asked if I was okay. I nodded dumbly and shooed you away with a faux smile.
So, I was left to roam the house and talk to a few people here and there. But, once I reached the kitchen, I found her.
I found a picture of you and Valencia, laughing happily with your arms around her waist as you kissed her temple. You were so in love.
I felt sick.
"So, you've heard about Valencia, huh?"
I remember jumping, clutching my chest as I nearly screamed bloody murder.
It was just Alex, one of your best friends. He too, was looking at the picture on your fridgerator sadly.
I looked back at your picture and gave a tortured sigh. You were so in love, no matter what I could do. And I was hurting because of it. What I did next shocked me completely.
I told Alex I wanted to meet her.
He dropped the plate of pizza he was holding as he looked at me with wide eyes. A silent minute passed and Alex shook his head at me.
"Amelia, Valencia has been dead for almost seven months now."
No one knew exactly how Valencia died except her family, your family and your closest friends.
Alex told me everything he could about you and Valencia.
And I felt horrible.
She was beautiful, kind and a ray of sunshine. She was a role model to every little girl and a kind friend to everyone. Everything any guy could have wanted. You're absolutely gorgeous, funny, kind, brave and also pocketful of sunshine. You're the kind of person everyone loves. You and her were perfect. After dating for two years, everyone knew you guys would get married and have beautiful babies. Like I said, perfect.
Alex said that it happened on your second year anniversary. On the way to her house, the two of you have gotten into a fight, an argument about college. She was going to Julliard. You were going to Stanford. You were trying to convince her to come to Stanford with you and she was doing the same, but with Julliard. You both knew that neither of you could go through a long distance relationship. You guys started screaming and yelling, both silently hoping that the two of you will work, that you will somehow be together for four more years.
And then there was a truck, a drunk driver suddenly running a red light.
And then there were screams.
And then there was a crash.
And then there were cries.
And then there was the ambulance.
And two weeks later at the hospital... There was only you.
Alex told me how you beat yourself up for the accident. You wouldn't get out of the house. You wouldn't attend football practice. You wouldn't talk to anyone. You wouldn't smile. You didn't even go to her funeral.
You only blamed yourself.
And here, as I write this, I can only think: How on earth could you blame yourself?
Oh, John, it wasn't your fault. It never was.
I confronted you at 11:30PM and people were already gathering in the living room. I found you talking with Justin in the hallway, and Justin being the hyperactive boy he is, noticed me and screamed my name.
"Oh, there you are!" You exclaimed, a smile brightening up your face. "Come on, we've got thirty minutes until the ball drops."
But, I asked if I could speak to you. I added the word alone into the picture as Justin coincidentally scooted closer towards us.
You looked at me with a questionable stare but said, "Sure. We'll go this way."
You brought me outside to your greenhouse and I was momentarily stunned by the display.
"You like?" You asked smugly with a smirk.
I bit down my smile but nodded anyway. I mean, seriously. This place was beyond beautiful.
"So, what's up?" You asked me, raising an eyebrow.
I instantly blurted it out, not thinking one bit. I told you that it wasn't your fault that Valencia died.
You froze stiff, your eyes locked on mine, wide yet narrowed.
Minutes, perhaps, had passed and you were still completely silent.
But, then you talked, your voice raspy and low.
"Yes it was, Mia. I was the one driving. It was all me."
I grew angry at this. It wasn't your fault! How could it be? It was the drunk driver's fault! Things just happen, John!
"Amelia," your voice grew deathly low. "I killed my girlfriend."
My eyes were stinging with tears now, frustrated that I couldn't get you to understand. How could I get you to understand that this wasn't your fault?
So, I punched you. I punched your chest, a weak girl punch. And I looked up at you, seeing your eyes clouded with remorse, hurt and anguish. So, I punched again. And again. And again.
I was crying now. I looked up again and now, you weren't even looking at me. You were looking at a pot of flowers. I grabbed your hand and laced my fingers through yours and gently brushed my lips over your cheek, whispering to you how much it hurt me seeing you hurt like this. It was something I never ever wanted to see. It pained me so much, John. You had nothing to do with Valencia dying.
I almost told you how much I love you. But, I decided against it.
("Fifteen seconds until the ball drops!")
With one last glance, you finally looked at me. And finally saw me. I tried to smile for you, I honestly did. But, you were hurt. You were in pain. How could I smile at that?
And I walked away.
My heart was completely destroyed by the time we started school.
I called you, I texted you. I even went to your house a couple times.
But, you never answered. You never texted. You ignored your mothers' calls, saying that I was at the door. We hadn't talked in a week. And even though it was just a mere seven days, it was hell for me.
And just when I thought my heart couldn't break anymore, John, you sabotaged it.
"What the hell is this?" You yelled, stomping towards me in the middle of the hallway. Your eyes were round, wide with anger. Nothing was bright about them. "Amelia, what is this?"
But, I couldn't even tell you if I could. I stared, my mouth open and eyes wide, as you shoved your phone in my face.
It was a forward text, forwarded to the whole student body.
The forward text read: After seven months of wondering about last year's golden couple, the sad truth is revealed. John Reynolds killed his girlfriend of two years, Valencia Carmichael in a car crash. Apparently, the bastard wasn't watching the road while he got into a heated discussion with Valencia.
And below was the very same picture of you and her I found on your fridgerator.
There was a large blow to my chest.
I looked back up at you, hurt you would think I would do such a thing. I would have never told anyone. You're my best friend. How could I? I told you I had nothing to do with it.
I was trembling, the pain in my chest increasing as you continued to yell a string of curses at me. I kept saying, my voice low as a hurt whisper, that it wasn't me. Why would I do that to you, John? I was practically begging you to believe me.
"I don't give a damn anymore, Amelia."
You gave me one last resentful glance, your cold blue eyes darkened with hate and turned your heel.
You left me.
You left me there in the middle of the hallway, people staring as I cried, calling you back.
And I wasn't even the one who sent that text. I wasn't the one who hurt you.
But, you left me.
I went home fifteen minutes after my breakdown in the hallway.
"Auntie Amelia?" My niece, looked up at me as I collapsed on the couch. She poked my cheek with her chubby baby finger. "Don't cry. Momma always says that when you cry, you're making someone else cry. Maybe not on their outsides, but in their insides."
I smiled a small smile, gathering my little six year old niece into my arms. I told her I was hurting and sometimes, people just need to cry.
"Amelia?" My sister's voice echoed against the walls as she hurried towards me, her arms around me and her daughter faster than Santa Claus on Christmas morning. "Oh, sweetie, what happened?"
I told her everything, of course. I told her about you, how I fell in love with you because of a stupid video game and then, how we disastrously fell apart.
She hugged me close to her for a minute or two before giving me the option to run.
The option to run away from you.
"Move in with us," my sister said to me, looking at me with worried eyes. "We have a roomy apartment right next to central park. You may not be attending your school now, but remember that other high school that gave you that other scholarship and was so stubborn to convince you to attend there? Smithson High, I think it's called. You can go there and live with us."
I looked at her, actually considering her idea.
She kissed my head. "Amelia, you're my sister. And I love you. But, you deserve so much more than this. You need to live with people that love you, Amelia. You need a school that won't destroy you. You need a new start."
I thought about our time together. And I couldn't help but think that the reason why you were such a different person was because of me. So, I agreed.
It was official. I was running away, running away like a coward.
I was running away from you.
My niece nodded in agreement and gave me a hug. "I love you, Auntie."
I kissed her head and told her that I loved her too. But, when I said the L word, your face popped into my mind.
You were smiling at me like that day when we had gotten into a food fight in the kitchen, covered in flour and frosting.
I couldn't get you out of my head and it made me so frustrated. It hurt me knowing how much you hated me. And even though I didn't do anything, I felt guilty. Obviously, someone from the party had heard us in the greenhouse. And it was my fault because I was the one who brought up the topic, which resulted in punching, tears and... whatnot.
I couldn't live with knowing you hated me.
I had to do something.
So, John, I wrote this specifically for you, a letter or an account of all our times together. From beginning to end, from when I first fell in love with you to when I love you still. I wrote this to show you how much everything meant to me, how much you meant to me.
You're my best friend. You've been there for me, making every day we spent together the best. You taught me how to have fun, how to play video games, how to not bake cakes and how to laugh so hard my sides start to ache. Now, I hate to sound like a gamer and stuff, but in a sense, you're my Mario. And I'm that one (strawberry) blonde damsel in a dress. And as cheesy as this may sound, you kind of saved me, John. You destroyed all the evil turtle shells, odd looking brown things and even Bowser, by just letting me be with you.
I'm leaving Ackerman today.
And my home.
I don't want to leave you, I really don't. But, I'm a coward, John. I couldn't bear to live with you hating me. Oh, God if only I could explain to you how much it hurt when you yelled at me, cursed at me and... and looked at me like that. Besides, if you do hate me, wouldn't you be happy if I left?
I wish you could understand how much I love you, I truly do.
I'm such a coward that I had to tell you through a stupid letter. I couldn't even tell you that I love you to your face.
Well, maybe that's because I couldn't endure another yelling from you. Honestly, I think I'd drown in my stupid sensitive girl tears.
But just like you once told me, "You deserve so much more. You deserve to be happy."
Amelia Shea arrived at Ackerman an hour before school started, with a stack of papers in hand.
Her sister and even her niece had arrived with her, smiling confidently as they too, carried a stack of papers.
"Let's do this," Amelia's niece said courageously before stuffing the papers in each locker.
Amelia smiled, watching her. "Yes, let's," she whispered.
They filled each locker with the same paper. A flier of some sorts, clearing everything up before she would leave the school.
As Amelia approached John's locker, her heart clenched. She looked down at her stack of letters. It wasn't just a stack of letters though. It was their story. It was John's and Amelia's story.
Their messed up love story.
With a trembling sigh, she pushed each of the letters inside his locker, along with one of her fliers.
She took a step back and wiped at her eyes.
"Amelia!" Her sister called from down the hall. "Are you done? Students are coming!"
She took one last glance at his locker and smiled lightly. Maybe he'd understand one day.
Amelia looked down at the remainder of the fliers. Still smiling that weak smile, she dropped the few fliers in front of his locker.
There's no way John could ignore them.
With one last sad glance at the locker, she sped off, following her family out to the car.
"Do you think he'll read it?" Her niece asked with hopeful eyes.
Amelia kissed the top of her niece's head. "I hope so."
She looked back at the high school entrance, covered in red fliers.
Her smile reached her eyes as John's Lexus pulled into view.
Each flier said the same thing:
It was never John Reynolds' fault.
It wasn't his fault that he and his girlfriend got into an accident. It was a drunk driver.
And for you to believe such bull from a text is unbelievable.
He loved Valencia so much and you all know it.
So, why would you believe that he would endanger his girlfriend by not keeping an eye on a road?
Don't drink and drive, kids.
And beneath was the very same picture on his fridgerator.
Two Months Later
Amelia always hated the subway. She never quite liked how unsanitary it was or how crowded it got or how mean some people were.
All she wanted was to go to work, go home and sleep. Is that too much to ask for? Apparently, yes. Too many people were pushing and shoving her to the end of the damn subway.
"This isn't my day," she muttered to herself, crossing her arms as her brown eyes narrowed together. She vigorously took her long red hair and put it into a bun at the top of her head as she felt the need to grab at something to release her anger.
"Here," a monotone voiced man beside Amelia said to her as he handed her a wrapped package.
She looked at the package and back to the sketchy man in a brown Sherlock Holmes kind of type coat. He looked back at her, expecting her to open it.
Can we say creepy?
She raised her eyebrow. "Is there a bomb inside or something?"
There was a sound of laughter somewhere, probably a few people in front of her. Her nose scrunched together. It sounded so familiar.
The sketchy man just sighed and said, "Look, miss, just open it. I was only instructed to give it to you. There isn't a need for your attitude."
Oh, please. Attitude? Amelia wasn't aware of such thing. She rolled her eyes and ripped open the brown package. Tch. She was already having a bad day. Now what was going to happen? Was she going to blow up from the bomb this creepy old man had given her? Sounds absolutely lovely, insert sarcastic snort here.
But it wasn't a bomb.
It was Mario Kart.
And the Wii game system.
"Miss, you dropped the note," quipped the man beside her, holding his hand out to reveal a small note.
She nearly cried.
Apparently, I'm a coward too.
A stupid coward, if I might add.
Why am I stupid? I left you believing a bunch of, "bull." Leaving you was stupid enough. Believing bullshit? Beyond idiocy.
Why am I a coward?
I made the creepiest dude on the subway give you this gift while I sit only a few seats away,
waiting to tell you-
"I love you," a pair of lips met her forehead, the masculine melodious voice audible only to her.
Amelia smiled weakly, looking up into those bright hopeful eyes staring back at hers just like they had when he was covered in flour and pink frosting.
It was John.
*For those of you who don't know what a freaking pillow pet is, you are deprived of this amazingness. It's a pillow... It's a pet. IT'S A PILLOW PET. :)
Okay, so was that cheesy or what? I have this guilty pleasure for cheesy stories like this. But, I'm a little bit ashamed of myself for writing this much cheese. Some people just can't handle too much cheese before going, "Ew." So, I'm apologizing for practically showering you all with cheese and drama and more cheese.
After all, this is a cheesy romance story/one shot.
(Heheh. I feel bad for those of you who are lactose intolerant. My bad.)
SO, MY FIRST STORY. You like? You like? I wrote this kinda quick. I hope you didn't notice... Eep. It seems that caffeine and Bon Jovi don't only spark my imagination, (By the way, please don't take that out of context like my friends did. You all have dirty minds. :D) but it also sparks my WPM. (Words per minute.) So, uhh. I'm a wee bit scared about your reactions towards this. So, umm... Please don't be totally mean? But, please do feel free review. :)
Maybe my story will end up on that For the Love of One Shots community. I freaking love that community.
That would be schweet.
a LITTLE bit extraordinary.
ps. FRESHMEN ARE FRIENDS, NOT FOOD. :)