SIX MONTHS AGO.
I couldn't believe where I was. This strange new world where people would glitch and scenery change with just one eye blink. I mean, crazy right?
The world that I was in was the digital world. It was banned around most of the universe, but people who were permanently brain dead were allowed to use the service. And I? Lol, I was, you see.
My brother had just left after a short visit and I began to explore my new home, a home some would even consider perfect, with no real barriers in getting what one desired instantly.
The only thing I didn't like about this world was that I... WELL, I was the youngest person here. BY YEARS.
At least, that's what I thought.
The first few days of settling in were hard. I was given a house with just three rooms when I knew that they could've obviously given me a mansion if they so wished – and not cost a penny extra.
But no, I had this tiny house, if you could even call it that.
The first night I lay on my virtual bed was the hardest. I was crying and laughing at the same time. A part of me felt off, a part I no longer knew as my real self.
But I felt him... this 'other' Cameron deep in my depths.
It was also that first night that I learned that I could travel anywhere in the digital world... I asked the invisible server that tried to please all our needs.
"Can..." My words were faint and afraid, but I bit the bullet and asked, "Can you take me to the beach?"
Within moments I saw my world move around me. Water gushed through the bedroom door, and the walls collapsed, revealing a beautiful sparkling ocean right before my eyes.
"Wow," I whispered... and then suddenly, this world didn't seem like such a tragic fate as I had imagined.
I quickly got used to the virtual world after that instance.
I'd walk around the plains that would stretch on forever, I'd visit shops that towered to the sky. There was something for everyone. But I still lacked one thing.
I had no friends... I really had no one.
That was going to change though.
After my first week was coming to a close, the digital sun being timed to rise and set like the real world outside a computer, I saw him, or more he introduced himself to me...
I bumped into a red-headed young man who was crossing my path.
Normally the both of us would have passed one another without a second thought. The only reason I looked back at him was that he was of my age. The youngest person I had seen before him was thirty-five.
"You're new?" He asked, or more pointed out and I nodded my head nervously, "Where you from?"
"It doesn't matter now, mate." He responded with a brief laugh, "You're stuck here for good."
"Good." I said, as if in defense at his words, "Better than being dead." I added on with a hmph to myself.
His clear light blue eyes just stared at me warily, before he broke into a big smile and reached out his hand to me.
"Er...?" I replied, and took hold of his firm hand, shaking it with my own, "Cameron." I said again with one hard shake, "Cameron O' Sullivan."
Ben released my hand and cocked his head, asking with a cheeky smile, "Have you been unplugged yet?"
"Unplugged-wha?" I answered and Ben just shook his head, muttering the words.
"Your brain." Ben continued, and placed his hands on his hips as if in solid judgment, "I'm guessing your conscience hasn't been transferred over completely yet."
"Do you wanna get something to eat?" He asked me then, seeming impatient with how long I was at answering questions, "I'm starved."
"You can get hungry here?"
"And also full almost instantly if that's your thing?" Ben smirked as he rubbed his belly lightly and continued, "But I like the feeling of eating, even if it's all just binary in the end."
A couple of thoughts passed through my mind like, what if this guy is a serial killer looking for his next kill – Or the even stranger thought, what if he's a cannibal? Looking for his next meal!?
"I would say I don't have all day." Ben continued on, examining me as I was deep in my troubling thoughts, "But, mate." He said leaning towards me with a dangerous spark in his eyes, "I've got all of time."
"S-sure!" I finally blubbered out, taking the nosedive, "I could go for some binary food."
"Good." Ben said and nudged his head in the direction we should take, "Now, we could either travel instantaneously or, and I like this other option. We can WALK and TALK."
"Jeeze," I said, rubbing the back of my head in the thought of the decision I should take, "I suppose, walk and talk?"
"Good option," Ben said with a smile and walk on ahead of me with a skip in his step, "The people here are just so boring."
"I wouldn't know." I remarked and was being as honest as I could, "You're the first one to introduce yourself properly to me."
"Well, I'm glad to be your acquaintance. How old are you, by the way?"
"Me?" I mumbled out, and suddenly burst into a fit of laughter at that moment, "I- hee hee, I'm just eighteen."
"Do you have a special lady-?" He asked, making small talk but digging for information.
"I did..." I uttered barely as a reply. It was then that her face came to my inner mind. A part of me, the old me seemed to call out in pain at Amy's image and I quickly stopped the flow of my thoughts.
"I did..." I whispered again, and a sparkling virtual tear slid down my digital cheek.
"So you have someone you're holding out for, then?" Ben asked, and I closed my eyes, nodded my head as we walked.
A part of me still loved her so much... a part I couldn't seem to grasp in its entirety.
"I had a girl..." Ben continued, peering out to the distance as the memory probably played in his virtual mind, "I miss her every day... it's because of her that I'm here now."
I widened my eyes when he said that and Ben held out his arm, stopping me from going any further forward.
"We're here." He said, pointing at the entrance of the digital cafe, and we were lucky there wasn't any queue.
"How did you end up here...?" I asked in an afraid whisper.
"Something I did went wrong, you see..." Ben uttered and shook his head weakly, laughing.
"Let's just eat, okay." He continued and pointed to the entrance of the shop.
My mind was suddenly full of so many questions... questions about this young man, Ben.
And I wasn't sure if I wanted to know them yet.
But they would be revealed, in time.
And as Ben had said, we had all the time in this virtual world.
All of time...