Life After Purpose
Part IV: Annabelle
My mind was still heavy as I stared at the screen. I was still a little upset from what happened with Mace, but I’d had some time to think it over and I felt worse because what’d happened was probably my fault. My temper often got the best of me.
“Since we have more time than I thought, want to go to my room? We’ll have some privacy there.” Annabelle said, pulling my attention away from my own misery.
“Sure.” I took the computer with me and followed her. I was nervous over the proposition and tried my best not to show it.
Her room looked a little plain. I’d done the liberty of decorating my, erm, half to my own liking despite my roommate’s dismay. Maybe Annabelle would like one of the posters I’d managed to stash somewhere…There was still a lot I wanted to do with the room, but it probably wasn’t going to happen.
Annabelle then mentioned why there wasn’t much to begin and then continued with a story I struggled to follow. Something about yakuza and running away which involved demons, which I guess were a thing?
“That’s a long and weird story.” I said as I tried to make sense of it.
“Eh, my parents just signed me up.” I shrugged. It hadn’t really been my decision, had just managed to get to school to accept me so I’d continue the family business…
“I guess not everyone has got to have one hell of a weird story.”
“Yeah…” A brief sense of anguish entered my mind from the memories.
I looked around the room for something else to talk about. I wasn’t in the mood for getting into something too heavy or depressing. One would think I’d already had enough of that crap, already. I noticed a sport bag leaning against the desk that clashed a little with the rest of her things.
“Is that your bag?” I asked.
“No, that’s my sister Emma’s I just borrowed it.”
“Oh. What does she play?” It was hard not to think about June at this point, she had had a bag almost identical she used for her fencing lessons…
“Lacrosse. She’s a midfielder.” She answered, not that I had any idea what Lacrosse was.
“So is she older or younger than you?”
“We’re twins, the identical kind. Well, not so identical… She’s smart, athletic and beautiful. And I’m just…” Her voice trailed off and she looked at the floor.
“Just beautiful and amazing in your own way?” My hand went over hers in an attempt to have her feel even just a little better.
But it had an opposite effect as she abruptly changed the topic which had me thinking what I’d done wasn’t welcome. And even worse, she asked if I had any siblings. I got really freaking tense and tried not to panic.
“I did, yeah.” I avoided her eyes.
“You did?” She responded, putting emphasis on my use of past tense.
“It’s a long story… One I’d rather not talk about right now…” I glanced at her and my eyes probably revealed more that I would have wanted.
I didn’t reply. I saw her move a little closer in an attempt at a hug.
The whole idea would’ve been exciting if it hadn’t followed something so emotional. I didn’t really like people touching me, either. However, I couldn’t find it within myself to reject her, especially with her having that look in her eyes. The second there was contact, I inhaled sharply and almost pulled away. My mind was just hell right now.
“Not a hug-loving person, are you?”
“Not in the least bit.” I mumbled.
“Alright then. Do you still want to play HotM?”
“Uh, sure.” I sighed a little in relief.
I watched as she stood up and went over to the desk to set everything up. She spent some time on the computer and I started to wonder if I’d handled it improperly. I wasn’t known to be very careful, after all. I saw the familiar screen of the game and went over to her.
“You sure you don’t mind me hogging your laptop?”
“It’s okay, I spend so much time on it that a break is welcome really. And hey, I can just get my sketchbook out. I haven’t worked on my art in ages.”
“Yeah, just pencil sketches, nothing big really…”
“I do too.” I replied, feeling a little down because I wasn’t really good with my art, either.
“Yeah, I’ve always liked drawing stuff. Mostly creatures though.”
“Oh, that’s nice. Say, do you want to see my art?”
“If you’re okay with it.”
She got out a sketchbook from a nearby drawer. She held a few of them out to me and I took them in my hands. I felt like I was intruding whenever I looked through someone else’s drawings and when I set my eyes on a few her works, it was clear I might be looking at more than I could understand. I struggled to think of what they could mean. Annabelle was looking over at me expectantly.
“It’s interesting. Kind of surreal and weird. But it’s really cool.”
“Yeah, I tend to draw the things I see or hear.” She sounded slightly reluctant.
“The things you see or hear?”
“I’m schizophrenic…” Her voice went really quiet. “I learned to draw to illustrate my warped thoughts.”
“Ah, I see.” I wasn’t sure what to say as I had little to no knowledge of the whole thing.
I probably should’ve said something else as I could see a hint of frustration in her eyes. I started to feel guilty because she might’ve thought that I was going to reject her or something.
“Here’s your sketchbook. It’s really nice.” I held it out to her and kind of hoped that she’d forgive my ignorance.
“Thanks.” Was all she said.
I watched her as she went to a fresh page and got out some pencils. She glanced at me and I gave her a reassuring smile. She tore her gaze away and her attention went back to the papers.
“So, you talked about the prison break thing?”
“Oh Right. We still have plenty of time, BVPB only takes about twenty minutes with a half-decent group.” She said as she set up several things on the screen and then proceeded to try and explain it all to me.
“Just remember, when the chief starts casting ‘call backup’ use your interrupt. You don’t want to mess with the adds he summons.” She warned me yet again.
“That’s the fourth time you’ve reminded me.” I laughed a little even though I didn’t really know what she was talking about. She’d tried to explain dozens of gaming terms but I didn’t have the memory for them.
“Ah, it’s okay. I think I’ve got this in the bag, if I don’t I’ll just ask you.”
“Alright, I’ll leave you to it.” She walked over to the bed and sat down. My eyes followed her for some time until I heard my character being hit.
I swore under my breath and got into the game. I wasn’t really doing too well with it, but the team had some good enough players so we didn’t fail the instance. The controls were still awkward and difficult to use. I didn’t want to express I was having difficulty. This last bit of my pride was all I had left from what’d happened today.