Gaming Blend takes some time out to offer a slightly different take on the gaming industry. No controversial policies to discuss, no lawsuit to recount and no flames to ignite. Instead, this little article break gives you a short story to consider before getting back into the grind. The following short story, "Final StreetPass" comes courtesy of Gaming Blend's own Ryan Winslett. Enjoy.
“Rematch,” I demanded, picking up her controller and trying to force it back into her hands.
“After class,” she said, giving me a quick kiss and heading for the door, gently tapping my 3DS as she walked past. “And don’t forget to check this. I left you a secret message.” She said that last bit in a sing-song voice, sparing one final grin before heading out the door and out of my life forever.
Kelly never made it to class on account of a waste of space named Stephen Miles. He wasn’t drinking or texting or anything like that. He just chose to ignore a stop sign one February afternoon and Kelly was left to pay the price, not 20 feet from the front door of the Language Arts building and the English class she was going to arrive to five minutes late. That was four weeks ago.
I’ve thought about that last round of Street Fighter we had been playing at least a dozen times a day this past month. She was Blanka, like always, I was Ryu, like always, and she had kicked my butt soundly; also like always.
We’d been dating for a year and, though we never talked about it much, I think we both knew we were in it for the long haul. Kelly and I met junior year thanks to the never-ending pressure of a couple of mutual friends. We hit it off instantly; just like in all of those sappy love stories we both liked to make fun of but didn’t seem to mind watching whenever one popped up on TV. Video games were just one of our shared hobbies, but it was definitely the one we shared the most. Whether we were playing together or just planted next to each other on the couch, our faces buried in our own 3DS’ as she adventured with Link in Hyrul and I continued a never-ending quest to catch ‘em all, games just had a way of weaving into our lives together.
The day Kelly died, on her way out the door; she had been referencing the glowing green light on my 3DS that let me know I had received a new StreetPass; a StreetPass from her, to be specific. Along with using other peoples’ Miis to play mini-games, you can also leave behind little messages the other player will get the next time they check their system.
I’m sitting on the couch today, where Kelly used to sit, with my 3DS held in my hands and my body sore from fighting back the sobs that are pushing against my chest. Everyone says it’ll get easier with time, but that doesn’t make the pain I’m feeling right now hurt any less.
I haven’t checked in on my StreetPasses in the past four weeks for two reasons. One, rather than make her Mii look like Bowser or Zelda, Kelly decided to make her little cartoon character look like herself. It looks too much like her, if I’m being honest. From the way it glares when I challenge it to a battle in one game to the way it pouts when I send it to the back of the line in another, Kelly’s Mii is basically a tiny version of the woman who made her. I know that if I see her little character jumping around, cheering and waving, unaware that its creator is no longer with us, I won’t be able to handle it.
Mostly, though, I haven’t checked in on StreetPass because Kelly said she had left me a note. Given the other “secret messages” she’s left me this past year, I know this can range from something sweet like, “I kiss your face!” to something sweet in its own weird sort of way like, “Ur face=Butt”
Whatever the message, I know that it’s the last thing Kelly will ever say to me. One day I’ll be ready to read it. All I know for certain is that today is not the day.
Note: I realize I could have written this about a text message or an email and widened the universal appeal by a sound margin, but I like the idea of telling stories that are so specific to video games and the people who play them. Also, the idea popped into my head while checking my own StreetPasses today and I became momentarily paralyzed by the idea that something like this could happen to me. Whether it was my girlfriend or one of the other folks I StreetPass with on a regular basis, the idea that I could lose one of them and still have their Mii sitting on my 3DS, just waiting to deliver a final message, kind of broke my heart.