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18+ Language Violence Mature Content

Nostalgia Trip

by PhoenixEmberly


Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language, violence, and mature content.

(Though I added a warning in the description, I feel the need to add it here as well. This is a fictional story written in the style of a blog, which mentions incredibly dark topics such as s**cide, child abuse, s**ual violence, and uses strong language. If you are under 18, do not read this story. This is also an incredibly long story, coming out at about 12,200 words. It may be best to read this in short chunks.)

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Hey all! I hope you guys are having a good day so far. You don't know me, and that's okay. My name's Jeremy, and I've decided to start a blog of sorts. What better place to upload my chronicles of life than here, right? Well, I hope I've made the right decision. I suppose I should get introductions out of the way then? I'm your typical college student hoping to get a degree in a field I'll likely never approach in my career. You know, the usual. I figured I'd save a bit of cash and register for courses at my local community college, and that seems to have been the right move. Now I'm riding my way through school on grant money and loads of coffee. Sounds fun, right?

I used to romanticize college life back in the day. I'd picture myself as a kid living on campus, attending parties, and finding the love of my life. Fueled by ramen and espresso, I would stay up late at night studying, followed by a session of gaming with my pals. Needless to say, this idealized version of higher education is far removed from my current reality. Shit, I hardly even know what my campus looks like. I take all of my classes virtually, which entails that I sit behind a computer screen for hours, listening to the droning voice of my instructors as they give their lectures. If you ask me, it's a total drag. I knew I should have taken a gap year.

I find it ironic how as children, we can't wait to grow up. When we look up at adults, we see these big, strong people who can do as they please. They can eat what they want, sleep when they want, and seem to have many privileges in comparison to their adolescent counterparts. This naivety dissipates, however, as the burden of responsibility sets upon us all with the passage of time. I've come to miss the freedom I once had as a kid. Luckily, I've kept a few of my treasured items from the past. Earlier today, I looked through my attic until I found them. Tucked in the corner of the room sat a few cardboard boxes. I took them downstairs and traced my hand along the dusty surface before opening the flaps and peeking inside.

I sifted through a pile of clothes I used to wear. Pressing an old shirt against my chest, I chuckled at how small I used to be. Tossing it aside, I continued rummaging through the various items in the box. Near the bottom sat a black digital camera. Lifting it up, I inspected its surface. It, just like everything else in the box, hadn't been touched in years. My curiosity had been sparked, and I looked through the images it held.

A photograph is like putting time inside of a bottle. We capture a moment and store it, and can view that moment years down the road. As humans, our memory can fail us, but a photograph will always present things as they were. Isn't it such a cool concept? I grinned ear to ear as I saw the small child I used to be.

There must have been dozens of photos of me in that little device. A flood of memories came back whilst I viewed the images. One photo depicted me swimming in a lake located just a few miles away from my childhood home. Another showed me grinning with glee as I swung on a tire bound to a tree by a rope. Right, that tire swing was on the playground at my former elementary school. I must have spent quite some time reminiscing until I stumbled upon an odd photo. There I was, standing there. I looked as disinterested as could be. Rather than carrying my typical smile, I held a frown on my face.

I wouldn't have thought much of it, had the next few photos not been equally as strange. Between them all, the expression on my face remained consistent. Finally, as I neared the end of the camera roll, I stumbled upon a photo of another child. Although I couldn't recognize him, a sense of familiarity washed over me when I viewed the image. I knew I'd seen his face somewhere before. His bright blond hair and pearly white smile stood in stark contrast with my brooding appearance just a few photos back. There weren't many notable photos following that one, so I put the camera away and continued my nostalgia trip.

I remember my heart skipping a beat as I found the white pouch slouched against the edge of the box. I hastily picked it up and unzipped it. Slipping my hand inside, I pulled out the blue Nintendo DS and stared at it in awe. Grabbing the power chord and plugging it into the wall, I connected it to my DS and pressed the power button. My eyes sparkled with glee as the screen lit up and displayed the signature Nintendo DS logo, before promptly taking me to the home screen. If you're a 2000's kid, you know how fun these things were. Hell, I bet we all share memories of staying up late, watching the faint glow of the screen as we played our favorite games.

I fiddled around with the keypad a bit, scrolling through the page and observing the applications. Noticing there were no games displayed on the home screen, I turned the device around and glanced at the back. There was no game cartridge plugged in. Frustrated, I sighed and set the DS down, ready to explore through the box further. That is until I got the idea to look deeper into the white bag. Upon further inspection, I realized it held a single game within it. The chip lacked any art or title, so I couldn't tell what exactly the game was. Shrugging, I pushed it into the cartridge holder of the DS until I heard a click.

Finally, I was presented with the game on the home screen. The title read "Township: Village!".

Holy. Shit.

My jaw dropped as soon as I read the title. It had been YEARS since I even thought about that game, let alone played it. I clicked on the application instantly, waiting as the game loaded. Finally, I was presented with the title screen, as well as the old save files contained within the game. For those who don't know, this game closely resembles the Animal Crossing franchise. You get to build and maintain towns in a fantasy world. Once the game loaded, I was spawned inside of a house. A header at the top of the screen swung down, the words "DarkMagicXX\_X's House" inscribed into it. I hung my head down, cringing. The glory of a child's imagination, am I right?

I looked around the room I was in. I seriously lacked any sense of home d├ęcor as a child. Paintings were framed all across the walls of the room, giving it the appearance of a cluttered mess. I made my way over to the dresser near my bed. I clicked on it, causing the drawer to open, revealing a stash of items inside. An apple, a magnet, 50 gold, and a journal all lied within the drawer. I selected them all and put them in the character's pouch. Opening my inventory, I scrolled down and selected the journal.

Right! So, one of the primary mechanics of the game is the ability to jot down notes in in-game journals. I'd totally forgotten about that. I was giddy to read through the ramblings of a kid without a care in the world.

"i played with mister O today. i showed him my drawings from school and he really liked them. he said i did a good job and even gave me a cookie. he told me he would love to see my drawings i do next."

Mr. O? I don't remember a Mr. O. Maybe he was an old teacher of mine? I couldn't exactly remember, so I shrugged and exited the journal. Leaving my room and making my way downstairs, I traversed the rest of the house, inspecting each room I came across. Eventually, I found the second bedroom of the house. As I entered, another header dropped down from the top of the screen, displaying the words "Mr. O's room." I paused. Inside of the room stood another character. He towered over me, and he turned to face me as I entered the room. His head lacked hair, and he was dressed in a plain white tee and blue jeans. Resuming, I approached him. A large grin adorned his unmoving face. Deciding to chat with him, I clicked on his character, but he said nothing.

The rest of his area was barren, save for a single door at the opposite end of the room. I entered it, revealing a bathroom. A silhouette stood in the tub, behind the shower curtain. Approaching it, I pulled back the curtain to reveal a second Mr. O. He simply stood there, sporting his same smile. Once more, I clicked on his character to open his dialogue. He merely said "Don't forget to scrub your back," and nothing more. His eyes watched me closely, seemingly following me no matter where I was. I opted to close the shower curtain and exit the room. I admit, it was weird as shit for him to be in there. Then again, it wouldn't be implausible for me to have placed him there as some kind of gag as a kid. You know how stupid and random a child's humor can be. Still, I couldn't remember for the life of me who he was.

It took me a bit more searching to figure out why that character was in my house. An in-game computer sat at the dining room table and inspecting it revealed a character creation option. I was able to create and insert characters into my world as I pleased. Selecting the character creation option revealed that I had only created Mister. O. It was just him and I in this world, alone. Exiting the computer and turning around, I was shocked to see Mr. O standing behind me, mere pixels away from my character. As I backed away, his body stayed perfectly still, only moving his head to keep his watchful gaze fixated upon me.

I stepped out of my house and roamed around the town. Not a single soul was in sight. I followed the dirt trail through the town until I reached a house on the edge of the woods. Every house up to that point had been empty, but I figured it wouldn't be too much trouble to search through one more. As I entered, I was surprised to discover that it was filled with furniture and appliances. Even more shocking, however, was that I found the home to be fully occupied. A familiar man stood in every corner of the house, watching me.

What the actual fuck? Who was this guy? I couldn't remember for the life of me. I made my way around the house anyway, exploring the various drawers and cupboards sitting around. In one such cupboard sat a journal. I placed it in my inventory once more and opened it.

"Remember Jeremy, it's just you and me here.

Love,

-Mister. O"

That didn't seem consistent with my writing style as a child... I'm still not sure what to make of that. I set my DS aside and got up, unsure of what to think. I'd expected to find the incoherent ramblings of a kid in those journals. Instead, I was greeted with rather ominous notes left about in a desolate world. Well, an almost desolate world.

I decided to simply shove my confusion to the back of my mind and continue going through the box. I was ecstatic to find a bunch of my old drawings. My artistic ability hadn't developed past making stick figures, but hey, I was just a kid. Every crude drawing I found elicited a smirk from me, though I did find one in particular that stood out from the rest. I had drawn myself holding hands with a man. He was tall, and I had scribbled a pair of blue jeans and a white tee over his figure. A large smile adorned his face. It was him alright.

Maybe Mr. O was an imaginary friend of mine? I really don't have another explanation for it. Though it is strange I can't seem to recall him, nor can I remember writing those notes down in my game. I'll have to ask my mother about him when she gets home from work this evening. Maybe she'll know what this is all about. Oh right... and that kid in the photograph. I'll have to ask her about him too. I'll be sure to write to you all again after I chat with her about it. Until then, you guys take care.



(This page is awaiting further updates. Check back in once in a while to catch the next one!)



Hey guys, thanks for checking back in with the blog. I'm glad to have received a few upvotes here and there. It's nice having my humble little corner on the internet. As I promised in my last post, I was able to ask my mom a few questions regarding the photographs. For starters, she was able to identify the blond kid I couldn't recognize. His name was Sam, and I used to be friends with him in elementary school. Unfortunately, this information didn't clarify much for me. I can't recall having been friends with a kid named Sam in school. I chalked it up to my memory failing me.

I asked her about Mr. O, and upon doing so I could have sworn I saw her smile fade a bit. She relaxed back into her seat and looked up towards the ceiling, pondering for a while. Before I could ask her what she was thinking, she abruptly looked me eye to eye and told me he was an imaginary friend of mine, confirming my suspicions. She offered me a grin and explained how she would often catch me in my room, murmuring to myself about the numerous adventures Mr. O and I had gone on. Curious, I asked her whether she could recall what adventures, in particular, I claimed to go on with Mr. O, but all she could offer me was a shrug.

I nudged her a bit as to why I appeared unhappy in the last couple of photos. She told me that sometimes as a child, there were days where I didn't seem to have my "spark," as she put it. It was never of much concern to her; Kids can be quite moody. Once more, this left me slightly confused, because, for the most part, I recall having been a pretty happy kid. Still, it isn't abnormal for us to forget certain things, especially when they happened years ago.

At that point, she yawned and headed to bed. She's got quite a busy work week, so I didn't prod any further. I can't imagine the stress she must endure as a single mother. Following in her footsteps, I made my way to my bedroom and laid down on the bed. Extending my hand out to the right, I snatched up the DS sitting on my nightstand. After a long day of work and school, I figured I would treat myself to some more nostalgia.

In truth, I wanted to explore my world in "Township: Village!" a bit more. So, as I witnessed the faint glow of the DS screen, I spam clicked my way through the main menu and hastily opened the application. The typical intro played, and I selected my last save file, where I resumed my journey. Traveling down the dirt road to the edge of town, I decided to exit the area and explore the rest of the world. My character made his way past the perimeter of the town, following the path which continuously stretched across the screen.

Deciding to turn the volume up a bit, I took in the various sounds in the game. The birds chirped softly in the background, and the wind blew quietly throughout the area. I nodded my head to the tune of a gentle melody provided by the game's soundtrack. That's when I noticed it. Not only could I hear my footsteps, but footsteps that marched in a pattern that was incongruent with my own. I stopped walking, and the second pair of footsteps ceased shortly after. Turning around and approaching the origin of the strange noise, I was met with the image of Mr. O, standing perfectly still. He didn't speak a word to me. He simply gazed upon my character, never blinking, not once glancing away.

Mr. O would continue following me down the trail. Upon reaching a clearing, I noticed a tree standing in the distance, a tire bound to one of its branches with a rope. Beyond that was the school I remembered attending. The yard and blacktop in front of it were empty. I discovered that the same could be said of the corridors as I entered the school, traversing through its hallways. Most of the classrooms were non-descript. A few that I entered had been titled with the names of teachers I remember having. "Ms. Martin's Room" contained a row of seats in front of a big whiteboard. "Mr. Adam's Room" had a large, multi-colored rug in the center, where backpacks and notebooks were lazily strewn about.

I really did spend an inordinate amount of time on this game. Not only had I built a town with several houses, but a replica of my school too. Well, as close to a replica as my young mind could create. I was no architect, so the school was depicted inaccurately. As I left the classroom, I heard the second pair of footsteps trailing me once more. I suppose this Mr. O model was a companion character of sorts? I'll have to find a way to make him stop following me, it's beginning to become bothersome.

I explored the gymnasium, where two basketball hoops stood opposite each other. Memories of me dashing around on the court, trying to score against my classmates came flooding back. Then, I explored the cafeteria, where not-so-grand memories of my tray being filled with slop put a damper on my mood. Towards the end of the hall stood an unmarked classroom. Entering it, I found that it contained a single desk in the middle of the room. There was a piece of paper sitting on the desk, serving as a name tag.

"Jeremy L."

Why exactly was my desk here? There was nothing else in the room, and the room itself wasn't named after a former teacher of mine. I walked back to the door, ready to leave. Only, I couldn't. The door was locked from the outside. I tried opening it multiple times but to no avail. The only other exit appeared to be another door on the opposite end of where I stood.

When I walked through it, I found myself standing in one of those in-classroom restrooms. I wasn't alone. He stood there, towering over my character as always. That same grin was still plastered on his face, and his eyes never stopped tracking my movements. I wasn't sure how I was going to leave the classroom. When I tried exiting the bathroom, I found that the door wouldn't budge. It had been locked shut from the outside as well. I turned, facing the tall man standing before me. Approaching him, I clicked on his character, causing the screen to fade to black.

When the screen regained its color and I was re-introduced to my surroundings, Mr. O was gone and the bathroom door was left wide open. All that remained was a bag sitting on the bathroom sink. Opening it, I found a note inside, accompanied by a cookie. "Thank you, Jeremy. Remember, Mister. O loves you."

Exiting the restroom, I made my way to the other door. It was left wide open as well. As I made my way down the halls, I didn't hear any second pair of footsteps. I didn't hear anything at all. No birds, no music, just the sound of my character marching down the marble floor. There was only one room I hadn't yet explored. Attempting to open the door revealed it to be locked. There was, however, a sign posted next to it. Reading the sign revealed a name written in bold black ink.

"Mr. O."

At this point, I'm left scratching my head more than anything. Sure, every child loves their imaginary friend. However, this all seemed a bit... much. Also, I can't explain a few aspects of the gameplay, and it's been bothering me. Mister. O is a customizable character that was created for my world. This means that my interactions with him are not pre-programmed into the game. They were programmed after Mr. O was created and inserted into the world. Now, I don't know about you, but I can't imagine myself coding such complex interactions into this game as a small child. I know damn well it wasn't my mother, either. Bless her heart, but she's about as proficient with technology as a snake is with flying. Trust me, I've spent hours trying to teach her how to send an email.

I chose to put the game down and hop on my computer. At that point, the blue light was all that kept me from passing out. Despite my drowsiness, I was able to google "Township: Village!" for the Nintendo DS. I found nothing. Not a single seller of the game on eBay and Amazon. Not even an obscure forum post about the game on Reddit or Quora. Either this was a highly unknown game, or it was a completely original copy altogether. Now that I think about it... I don't remember how I got my hands on this game in the first place.

Not wanting to get up and knock on her bedroom door, I texted my mom, asking her whether she knew how I got the game. She told me she had no idea where I got it, and always assumed that one of my childhood friends gifted it to me. I simply started playing it one day. Remembering that Sam fellow she had mentioned earlier, I asked her if she had his contact information. Sadly, she didn't. He hadn't been in contact with our family for ages. I guess it was a long shot, but it was still worth the attempt. After all, you miss one hundred percent of the shots you don't take.

I plugged my charger cable into the DS and set it back on the nightstand. I'll play with it some more tomorrow after I finish with my school work.



(This page is awaiting further updates. Check back in once in a while to catch the next one!)



That was meant to be the end of my latest entry, but I honestly can't fall asleep. I'm just laying here, staring up at the ceiling. I've been unable to push my concerns to the back of my mind. If I didn't program those interactions into the game, and my mother didn't, then who did? My eyes keep darting towards the DS. I couldn't have been the only one that's played that game.

Re-opening my laptop, I typed out a forum post, asking if anyone else has ever heard of "Township: Village," let alone played it. If any of you reading this have any information on this game, please let me know. I'm trying not to lose that much sleep over all of this, so it would bring me great comfort to know that others know about this. Hell, for all I know, I've stumbled upon a forgotten piece of video game media. Talk about buried treasure.

I think I'm finally feeling tired enough to fall asleep, so I'll probably end this here. Thanks to everyone who's been reading up to this point, I greatly appreciate it. Tomorrow I'll explore other parts of the world to see what other towns I may have built. Maybe I'll also find some answers regarding the origins of the game, as well as who may have tampered with its programming. I'm almost certain that I'm not the only person to have laid hands on it. I just wish I could remember who else may have handled my DS all those years ago.



(This page is awaiting further updates. Check back in once in a while to catch the next one!)



Alright, first things first. My mother confronted me earlier. She had some questions regarding what reminded me of Mr. O.

She found it peculiar I had remembered a person I hadn't spoken of for years, but she initially forgot to ask me about it due to her fatigue after a long day at work. I told her about the drawing I found in the cardboard box. I neglected to mention that he was omnipresent within the game, however.

I'm not exactly sure why I omitted that information. It was as if the mere thought of doing so cultivated a strong reaction deep inside my gut. The best way I can describe it is the sensation that washes over us when we do something we aren't supposed to as a kid, such as sticking our fingers into the cookie jar.

She accepted my explanation, yet she seemed wary about the whole thing. She continually asked me what I remembered about Mr. O, but I repeatedly told her I remembered nothing about him. Reminding her that I was the one who asked her about Mr. O first, signifying my lack of knowledge on the subject, she nodded her head in agreement.

She's been acting very strangely in regards to this entire situation. I inquired about her odd reaction to Mr. O, and she simply shook her head and chuckled to herself. Her laugh wasn't very convincing. The usual energy in her eyes appeared drained, and subtle rings circled them. It was clear to me that she hadn't been sleeping well.

According to her, it had been deflating listening to me constantly ramble about my imaginary friend. She smirked slightly and expressed disapproval of me mentioning him at all, remarking that it might be best to forget him altogether. Ironic, considering she was the one who brought him up this time. Her smile was, once again, not convincing in the slightest.

To the commenter on my last post, I'm greatly sorry that you also live in a single-parent household. I understand all too well how difficult that can be. On the flip side, I'm glad my posts can connect with people in a way that they can relate to. It invokes a kind of communal feeling, don't you think? No worries about asking what happened to my father, by the way. I'm more than comfortable divulging that information.

My father passed away when I was very young. I had no concept of death or loss at that time, so from my perspective, he was just... There one day and gone the next. He had taken his own life, but I couldn't quite grasp the gravity of the situation back then. I recall seeing my mother look utterly devastated each day. Sometimes, I could even hear her weeping at night, alone in her bedroom. Even if I couldn't fully understand what was happening, I knew something was wrong. I would try and comfort my mother, embracing her every time she appeared to be upset. She appreciated my efforts, I'm sure of it. Even today, the feeling of her returning my hug and fruitlessly trying to suppress her tears is one I can recollect vividly.

There are some other things I would like to cover in this entry. I know I said I would explore the game further today, but I've decided against it. I apologize, but you see, I dreamt of him last night. Mr. O appeared in my dream, his formidable stature casting a dark shadow over my petite frame. I looked up at him, arching my neck to view his face. His grin was as wide as could be as he stared down at me. His eyes seemingly bulged out from his sockets, the veins surrounding them protruding through his skin. He methodically set one foot in front of the other, approaching me.

Instead of backing away, I inexplicably reciprocated his advancement. When I was close enough for him to reach out and grab me, he did just that. He firmly gripped my arm, pulling me closer to him. At that moment, I realized a strong sense of raw terror was brewing within me. I finally snapped out of my daze and began to struggle.

As I squirmed and attempted to wriggle free of his grasp, he only clenched my arm tighter. I began grunting as panic set in. I could feel the adrenaline coursing through my veins as I struggled to free myself from his grip, all the while he kept his eyes on me, his glare seemingly burning into my soul.

I only paused when I felt his palm violently strike my cheek. I stood motionless as he bent down and positioned his face directly in front of me. He maintained that signature shit-eating grin, even while his tongue slid out from his parted lips. I helplessly observed as he licked his lips, and at that very moment, my eyes met with his. In them, I saw pure, unadulterated hunger... He then proceeded to speak to me. He didn't say much, only uttering a single sentence while keeping his sights directly on me.

"Jeremy... I love you, Jeremy. I will always love you, Jeremy."

He stopped, and his grin grew impossibly wide. As his lips curled past his ears, the skin around his mouth tore open, and a sickening crack could be heard whilst his jaw adjusted to his new, deformed smile. He repeated those words to me again. "Jeremy... I love you, Jeremy. I will always love you, Jeremy."

And again. "Jeremy... I love you, Jeremy. I will always love you, Jeremy."

And again.

"Jeremy... I love you, Jeremy. I will always love you, Jeremy."

As he repeated those words, no longer did they only originate from him. They echoed throughout the room, surrounding us. He began slowly pulling me towards his gaping maw. I wanted to scream, but I couldn't. I could only watch in horror as this man lifted my tiny body off the ground, bringing me closer and closer to his mouth. I caught a final glimpse of his eyes. The hunger they contained had grown exponentially. Those wide eyes full of child-like, giddy excitement were the last things I saw before I was enveloped by complete darkness. No longer did I try to free myself from my predicament. I just sat there, waiting for it to all be over as Mr. O consumed me whole.

"Jeremy... I love you, Jeremy. I will always love you, Jeremy."

The words no longer echoed throughout the room. Instead, they bounced around inside my mind. The darkness was so complete that I couldn't even see my hands, but I could feel them. I felt them tugging at my hair and digging into my scalp. I was doing all that I could to distract myself from the repetitive, monotonous voice within my head. It only grew louder. As I rejected it, the voice grew more frustrated. The words that it spoke sounded like they were said through the gritted teeth of an angry, impatient man. I begged for it to stop. I cried out into the darkness, my voice quivering. I told it that I would do anything it wanted, if only it would stop.

Then it ceased altogether.

I sat there in silence, alone in whatever dark pit contained me. The sound of footsteps gradually approached. There was a presence behind me, but I didn't dare turn my head around. Someone placed their large hand on my shoulder, gently caressing it. The owner of that hand spoke.

"If you ever want something, all you have to do is ask," said the voice. He leaned forward and positioned his lips near my ear.

"Remember Jeremy, I love you."

It was then that I launched upright in bed, my forehead drenched in sweat. My breathing had taken the form of short gasps for air. Looking down, I even noticed that my palms tightly gripped the sheets. I didn't sleep a wink after that. Rather, I paced the perimeter of my room, thinking about what the hell just happened.

Needless to say, if the game is causing me to have graphic nightmares, It's probably best I take a break from it. This is especially true if it interrupts my sleep schedule. I don't have time to take naps during the daytime. So, yeah, sorry about this. There won't be any game updates today.

However, that isn't to say I didn't explore the rest of the DS. There's still a plethora of other applications to go through, and I'm intrigued by quite a few of them. I essentially held a time capsule in my fingertips, and I was not going to waste that opportunity.

The application that sparked my interest the most was the camera. I wondered what kind of photos I took back then. I clicked on the camera icon, and I was brought to a gallery of images. A lot of the photos were a blurry, unfocused jumble of pixels. I suppose my photography skills as a kid weren't quite as developed as they could have been.

Other pictures contained various items like my backpack or my hot wheels racecar track. I scrolled through more of the images. Photos of trees, schoolyard equipment, and awkward selfies littered the camera roll. Of course, most of these photos were nonsensical, but that was a part of the magic of it all. It was relieving to take a break from my organized world and revisit one where nothing really mattered.

There were a few photos that sparked my interest more than the rest. They were photos of me. I didn't recognize the background of the images; the walls behind me were blank coated with white paint. I wasn't smiling in any of the photos. I stood against the wall, looking... I was looking upward. The camera had been angled downward to take my picture. The position the photographer assumed was several feet above my head, meaning no child could have taken those images.

As I scrolled further through the camera roll, I realized my face had begun to warp into that of an unsettled child. In some of the photos, I even noticed that my cheeks had been faintly colored red. It was as if I was crying before the photo was taken. There were no photos in the camera roll following that.

I'm at a loss for words at this point. I don't know where those photos were taken, nor do I know who took them in the first place. How is it that I could exactly pinpoint the locations of the images on the black camera, yet not recall the context of the pictures I just viewed? It just doesn't make sense to me. There has to be a reasonable explanation for it. Maybe I was at an aunt or uncle's house, and they took those photos? Then, why did I appear to be as upset as I was?

Do you remember the feeling I described to you all earlier? The one I experienced at the thought of telling my mother about Mr. O being inside of my game? The same feeling arose when I thought about asking her about those photos.

That same sinking feeling in my gut.

That same sense of guilt arose within me.

I need an explanation, but it's as if I can't bring myself to seek one from her. Still, it isn't like there are many other sources to find one. There haven't been any responses to my forum thread. I know it hasn't been that long since I uploaded it, but I'm growing impatient nonetheless. This Mr. O guy is invading my dreams, he's invading my memorabilia... Why is he everywhere?

I'm not a particularly superstitious person. Sure, I believe there may be something out there that can't be explained by our natural world, but at this point... I don't know how to explain all of this. This "imaginary friend" of mine doesn't seem quite as imaginary as I first understood him to be. I know that sounds crazy, but I can't think of many alternative explanations.

I'll keep you guys updated. Thank you for your time.



(This page is awaiting further updates. Check back in once in a while to catch the next one!)



I'd like to clarify something I said in my last blog entry. To be honest with you all, I've been operating off of very little sleep, and my workload has been stacking up. That, happening in conjunction with the recent occurrences I've described, has been weighing down on my mental state.

With this in mind, please take my claims regarding paranormal activity with a grain of salt. A mix of stress and confusion left me grasping for any possible explanation for what I've gone through. It's entirely irrational to fill in the gaps of my knowledge with random conclusions. I hope you all understand my thought process concerning the theory I typed down earlier. For now, I should remain agnostic until I find more evidence to support a logically sound conclusion.

That being said, it seems like the only way to gather more evidence is to continue playing the game. My forum post has still not garnered any responses. The web results for the keywords "Township: Village!" still produces zero relevant results. It looks like I'm the only person who's even aware of this game, and exploring the rest of the DS (aside from the camera roll, of course) yielded no useful information.

I know I said I would take a break from the game for a while. While I predicted putting my gameplay on hiatus for a bit longer, I can't just push it off anymore. It's becoming increasingly difficult not to think about Mr. O. His image has been branded into my mind ever since he entered my dreams.

I can only hope that exploring the rest of the game world will bring me some form of closure. Maybe then I'll be able to repress my ever-growing anxiety. My schoolwork can wait. For now, I need to allocate as much time and energy towards playing the game as possible. I'll return to this entry later today after I finish with my game session.



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I'm back, and I've got a lot to say. I don't know what the hell I just went through. My mind is a cluster fuck of disorganized thoughts right now, but I need to type them out as soon as I can while my memory is still fresh. I'm sorry if I come across as incoherent in this; I'll try to be as clear as possible.

When I booted up the game and entered the world, my character spawned in front of the school, right where I left off. Up to that point, I had been blindly traveling, but this time was different. This was no longer just a nostalgia trip. I fully intended to search for more information about the true nature of the game. The only lead I had was the house I stumbled into from entry one of my blog. It had been the only occupied home in the town, and that couldn't have been a coincidence. As I made my way back towards town, I heard the familiar sound of footsteps trailing behind me. How typical. No matter where I went, he followed.

Their vision fell upon my character as I entered the house. None of the character models had moved since I last visited the place. They all stood still, like statues. Only their eyes shifted while I traversed each room. If I'm honest, I paid them very little attention. My mind defaulted to blurring out their presence. I wasn't exactly sure what I was looking for. I hoped the house contained a clue for me. I needed a sense of direction as I progressed through the game. Using the keypad to highlight every object in sight, I attempted to interact with everything I could. I clicked on every bookshelf, every desk, and every drawer.

Nothing I found was of use to me. I felt utterly defeated and pessimistically suspected that searching the house was a fruitless endeavor. As I approached the door to leave, I had an idea. I turned and approached the model of Mister. O that had been following me. When I interacted with him, a text box popped up above his head.

"Since we're here, do you want to go downstairs, Jeremy?"

This... confused me. I had searched the entire house at that point, and I knew there was no basement. I selected the "yes" option, and Mr. O spun around and promptly walked forward. My character automatically followed him. We had entered a cinematic cutscene within the game. I followed Mr. O into his bedroom, and he approached his bed. I watched as he slid the bed to the side, revealing a hole in the floor, where a ladder stood. Mr. O stepped onto the ladder and descended.

I knew for a fact that I had tried interacting with that bed before. Nothing happened when I attempted to shift it. As my character climbed down the rungs of the ladder, I remembered my previous play session. When I had been trapped inside of the locked room, I was only able to exit after approaching Mr. O. I had found myself in a similar situation. There were certain locations in the game that were impossible to access or exit without the help of Mr. O. The first time I encountered that situation, I dismissed it as unimportant. As it happened a second time, I began to suspect that it was an intentional game mechanic.

When I finally found myself at the bottom of the ladder, I was alone in a large room. A header dropped down from the top of the screen, and it read "Mr. O's Basement." Something about the place struck me as familiar, but I couldn't place it at first. I simply felt a sense of Deja vu wash over me. It was a feeling which grew in intensity the longer I stayed inside of Mr. O's basement. Mr. O was waiting for me at the opposite end of the room. As I walked towards him, my character entered another cutscene. He stood against the wall, with Mr. O standing directly in front of him. Mr. O withdrew a camera from his inventory and began snapping photos of my character. After a few moments, Mr. O set his camera down and approached me.

"You did such a great job, Jeremy! I'm so proud of you!"

He turned towards the camera, facing me directly. He tilted his head and grinned. He was trying to directly communicate his glee. Not to my character, but to me, the player. This continued for a couple of seconds before he faced my character once more. He proceeded to hand them something before leaving the area. As I opened my inventory, I realized he had given me a cookie, as well as twenty-five gold coins. By that point, I was already weirded out by what had taken place. Why the fuck... had Mr. O taken photos of me? Why did he reward me as well? I hardly had time to think about that, however, because that's when I noticed it. I had taken in the environment and realized that my character was surrounded by blank, white walls, which were similar in appearance to the ones I found in my DS camera roll.

What the fuck.

I felt sick to my stomach as a sense of pure dread set within me. I didn't want to continue, it all felt so incredibly wrong. I forced myself to carry onward, knowing in the back of my mind that stopping would do me no good. I wanted the satisfaction of knowing what was going on, regardless of what that knowledge entailed. I made my way across the room and towards the ladder. I ascended it and stepped out of the basement. Mr. O stood next to the hole in the floor, waiting for me. He quickly stepped towards me, and a dialogue bubble popped up above his head once again.

"Jeremy, I need you to listen to me," he began. He turned to face me directly once again.

"When you love someone, Jeremy, you do anything for them, right? You take care of them. You make them happy, Jeremy. Remember, there's nothing wrong with making someone you love happy."

I just stared at the screen. Mr. O returned my gaze. His smile had vanished at that point. His typical jovial expression had been replaced with a stern look.

"And it's okay to keep secrets to protect the ones you love, isn't it Jeremy? You can keep everything between us, right?"

I was given the option to respond to him. A text bubble appeared next to my character. An arrow pointed to the "Yes" option. There was no other choice presented to me. I was not allowed to dissent, only to agree. I tried to move away from Mr. O, only to find that I couldn't. I was stuck. There was only one way forward, and it made my skin crawl. He wasn't asking me a question. He was giving me a command. I selected the "Yes" option. Doing so caused Mr. O's smile to return, and I was finally able to move freely again. I didn't stick around, I forced my character to leave the house as quickly as possible. I snapped the DS shut and sat it down beside me.

When Mr. O told me not to tell anyone about him... it invoked something deep within my gut. It was the exact same feeling that overcame me whenever I thought of telling my mother about Mr. O's presence in the game.

The exact.

Same.

Fucking.

Feeling.

I know what I said earlier, about not jumping to hasty conclusions. I know I said that and I know that maybe I'm contradicting myself here, but I don't care. I need to type my intuitive reaction to all this here if only to reflect on it later. Although the overall vibe of the game had felt off to me since I began playing it, I couldn't have foreseen this.

As I've replayed the game, the only purpose it's served so far is to remind me of him.

The only characters in this game are him and I. It's as if the game is trying to tell me that I'm alone in this world... alone aside from being with him. Whenever I go anywhere, he follows. Whenever I go anywhere, he watches. He always watches. The game wants me to know that. It wants me to accept it. Hell, it's working, isn't it? As I go on, I pay less attention to his model following me. As I play, I take it for granted that he's staring at me constantly. It wants me to think that this is normal. Fuck man, there's even an entire room in my character's house where he lives. He wants to get close to me.

Whenever I need something, whenever I'm stuck and can't progress, I'm meant to go to him. I'm meant to be dependent on him. To view him as the solution to my problems. I know this all sounds insane, but it's honestly how I feel. It's as if... it's as if the game is training me, for lack of a better term. It's controlling how I think, it's controlling how I feel, it's controlling how I behave. It's making me act the way he wants me to act.

I don't fucking know. I'm kind of spit-balling here, but is it really that much of a stretch? I don't feel like I'm speaking gibberish here. Please tell me I'm making sense. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe there's a perfectly innocent, reasonable explanation for all of this. If that's the case, it sure isn't fucking appearing that way.

Or maybe... I just need sleep. I've been up for far too long. Perhaps I don't want to rest because I'm afraid I'll face his torment in my dreams again. I'm sorry I've subjected you all to my ramblings. All I wanted was to take a break from my stressful life and travel back to simpler times. I never expected I would unleash this all upon myself.

I'm not sure if I'll touch the game again. While I'd hate to have unanswered questions about the game and Mr. O, I'm not sure if continuing is worth it. This thing is really starting to fuck with my head. I understand my previous remarks about wanting to know more about the game, no matter what that entailed. I'm not sure how much conviction I hold regarding that attitude anymore.



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I hadn't planned on continuing this blog. Believe me, I will not be picking up that DS again. It's been thrown back into that cardboard box where it belongs, and where it will stay. Still, I was browsing through my email the other night and received a notification in my inbox. Someone had finally replied to my forum post. I hesitated to open the email. Even if somebody had reached out to me with information about the game, I wasn't sure that I wanted it.

In the end, I did open that email, and I returned to my forum post. I convinced myself that so long as I didn't have to play that game again, I would be okay. Opening the page, my eyes scanned the single response to my question.

"Hey. I know about this game, and I know who created it. Email me so we can talk."

Below his reply was an email address. I won't include it here for the sake of preserving the responder's privacy. As I plugged the address into the email search bar, I paused. I sat motionlessly and gawked at the name associated with the account I was about the reach out to.

"Sammy. O"

I wasn't sure what exactly to make of it. It couldn't have been a coincidence that the one person who reached out to me about "Township: Village!" just so happened to have a name reminiscent of my childhood friend, right? What about the initial of his last name matching the name of the man who had been tormenting me? Someone had to have been fucking with me. At that point, I assumed that someone had stumbled upon my blog, searched for my forum post, and tried trolling me upon finding it. I hastily typed out an email and sent it his way.

"Who the fuck is this?"

He replied within minutes.

"Who are you," it read. I grew flustered as I realized I hadn't introduced myself.

"I'm the guy who posted the forum thread you replied to. Who the fuck are you?"

After I sent that, my google hangouts tab popped up. It contained a message from the address I had been emailing.

"Are you Jeremy from ******** Elementary?" I was taken aback. I knew for a fact that I had never shared my school name on this blog.

"Who the fuck are you? How do you know what school I went to?"

"Jesus dude, relax, it's Sam. Do you remember me from school?"

"Are you fucking serious?"

"Deadly serious."

"You're Sam?"

"Yep. Long time no see buddy."

"And you know about the game?"

"Do you really not?"

"Do I really not what?"

"Do you really not know about the game?"

"I swear to God I've forgotten where I got it from and who made it. Please tell me you can fill me in on this shit?"

"Yeah, I can, but there's a lot to explain. Is it possible we can meet somewhere?"

"Maybe, do you live near me? I'm located at (omitted for privacy reasons)."

"That's not far from where we used to live as kids. Guess you haven't traveled too far away, huh?"

"Do you live nearby or not?"

"I can drive there if you give me a few hours. Do you want to meet over coffee?"

"A few hours? You can't just tell me here?"

"I told you, it's a lot. Please?"

"Fine. We'll meet up... One more thing."

"Yeah?"

"I've been searching for information on this game for a while. Whenever I google it, nothing shows up. If you knew about it, and you've been interested in it enough to find my forum post, why hadn't you made a post about it yourself?"

"Because I couldn't bring myself to reach out. I just kept putting it off for years. But man... some things you just can't forget. Every now and then I would check online to see if others had posted about it. Well... not others. You, specifically. I promise it'll make more sense when we meet. Trust me."

I'm not sure what it is he can't just tell me over the computer. I don't know what to expect. I've been bothered by his last name. Maybe it's a coincidence... it's something I'll have to ask him. He seemed pretty urgent to meet me. I can't say I blame him, I feel just as eager to talk with him. If what he's saying is true, he could potentially be the key to answering my questions. We're seeing each other at a local Starbucks later today. I'll be back soon.



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When he stepped out of the car, the first thing I saw was his bright blond hair. He had a baby face; it still very much resembled the image of him in the black digital camera. He ran up to me and gave me a hug. I returned his embrace. There's a saying that although we can't always remember what people say to us, we'll always remember how they made us feel. Even if I couldn't remember our childhood friendship, I very much felt the sense of joy caused by reconnecting with someone I used to be close with.

We entered the Starbucks. He asked me if I wanted a drink and even offered to cover the cost. I declined, insisting that we chat. He obliged my request, and we chose a booth to sit down in. He smiled, but I found it difficult to reciprocate his joyful appearance. I was unresponsive to his attempts at small talk. It wasn't that I didn't wish to make up for lost time, it's just that there were more pressing matters to be discussed. Taking the hint, he assumed a straight face and cut the bullshit. He apologized, admitting that he was unsure of how to broach the elephant in the room.

I asked him to start from the beginning and tell me how he knew about the game, and how he knew about who made it. He looked at me with great remorse and softly muttered that he knew these things because he knew the creator of the game on a personal level.



(This user has not expressed certainty in adding further updates.)



I've been debating even uploading this next section to the blog. I figured that if I was going to do it, I'd need to be as coherent as possible. Typing this part out the other day would not be conducive to meeting that end, so I took a break to calm my nerves. I'm still shaken up, but if I don't type this out now, then when?

Sam told me that Mr. O was his father. All of my prior theories had been wrong. He was no ghost, and he wasn't my imaginary friend. As is often the case, the truth is far simpler than we take it to be. He was a real fucking person. He was someone that I knew, and he was someone who knew me.

Sam said that when we were kids, I would frequently come to his house for our little playdates. Sometimes, I would even spend the night for a sleepover. He told me that his father always took a special interest in me. Oftentimes, he would be the one to ask Sam whether he wanted me to come over for a visit.

Sam's father had a history in software development and engineering. When he saw how much I loved my Nintendo DS, he wanted to connect with me through that medium. He'd been pondering over how he would accomplish this for weeks on end. Sam told me that at times, it was all his father could think about.

"My memory is a little fuzzy here," Sam began, "But I think one night after you left my house, you accidentally left your DS behind. When he found out about that, he went out to the store. Told me he was going out to get a game. He came back with a copy of an Animal Crossing game cartridge, and he went down to the basement with both the game and your DS." '

"And what did he do with them," I asked.

"He told me he was going to make a modified version of the game. One that he'd use to build a world for you specifically, where you could spend time with him even when you weren't visiting us. He often rambled about how much you would love it. Even went on and on about a special room he would make for the game, that you could enter if you did a "good job", as he put it."

My thoughts shifted to the locked door in the school. I vividly remembered the sign next to it, labeled "Mr. O". I refused to even imagine what awaited me in that room.

I didn't remember any of this. No matter how hard I tried, everything Sam told me felt like brand new information. At that moment I wanted to meet Sam's father. I wanted to ask him why the fuck he would ever make such a sick game for a kid like me. I looked Sam dead in his eyes, and asked,

"Sam, where's your father? How can I reach him?"

"You can't contact him," he told me. His voice had begun to tremble. He was starting to choke up. "He's in prison. He's been in prison for years now... Only family is allowed to see him, and I never want to see that piece of shit again."

I didn't respond. Thousands of thoughts raced through my head, but I didn't speak a single one of them into existence. Instead, I allowed Sam to proceed with what he had to say.

"When my mother found out... She couldn't take it. She just couldn't fucking take it, man. She's gone because of him. It's his fault. I'm so sorry man. I'm sorry for what he did." I noticed his body visibly shaking. I placed my hand on his shoulder and rubbed it gently, attempting to calm him down.

"It's alright, Sam. Just take a deep breath. What did he do?" Sam looked up at me. He wiped his eyes with his arm and sighed.

"He... he molested children. They locked him up for molesting God damn children." My heart fucking sank beneath my chest. I leaned back in my seat, looking towards the ceiling. There was no way for me to process what I had heard.

That fucking monster made that game for me. A game that he filled with replicas of himself, for the express purpose of surrounding my character with. He made it to condition me to grow closer to him, and as I learned who he was, I felt as if I were going to be sick. Even though I had forgotten much of the contents of the game before revisiting it, it still had control over at least some of my behavior. My unwillingness to even mention what the game contained to my mom immediately came to mind.

I recalled the images I found in my DS Camera roll. Sam had told me earlier that I spent a lot of time at his home. I had been alone with Sam's father before. In fact, it was likely that we had been alone together multiple times. Not only had I been in the presence of a monster during my childhood... I couldn't remember any of it. I don't know what the fuck happened between us. I don't know what happened to me.

Maybe it's for the best that I don't remember. Perhaps if I could recollect the events that happened years ago, I would succumb to a depression far deeper than the one I'm currently finding myself in. The photos of myself that I found in that black digital camera... several of them portrayed me as having a deeply disturbed, anxious look about me. Even as a child, I must have known that something was wrong. I've come to reason that I had suppressed my memory of Sam's father, not wanting to deal with whatever it was I had experienced.

Despite these recent revelations having left me horrified, I still feel awful for Sam. It must have been terribly difficult for him to have lost his mother, and to have learned what he did about his father. I can't imagine having to live with all of that, but it was something I could at least minimally relate with, having lost my dad to suicide years ago.

There's one thought in particular that I've been wondering about most of all. Why hadn't I heard of this sooner? Even if I couldn't remember what happened to me, why... why did my mother never tell me about it? She told me that Mr. O was my imaginary friend. Why did she fucking lie to me? How could she do that? I deserved to know the truth. I just don't understand...

I need to take a break. This is becoming too much to handle for me. I just need some time to think. I've decided to keep in contact with Sam. Even if he serves as a reminder of that monster, I feel as if we should stick together. For years, he's been affected by what his father has done. I think I should be there for him like I was when we were kids.



(This user has not expressed certainty in adding further updates.)



After much internal deliberation, I decided to talk with my mother about, well, everything. She played dumb at first, feigning ignorance. It was only when I told her that I had met up with Sam that she quit her act. I sat her down. I wanted to believe that somehow, someway, she had a justified reason for having lied to me. So, I asked her. I asked her why she lied to me about Mr. O. I asked her why she never once spoke about the situation that happened all those years ago.

She started by apologizing for misleading me, but I quickly cut her off. I wasn't interested in her apologies. Rather, I was interested in the truth. I made her face me and look directly into my eyes. She was no longer going to hide behind her lies and her apologies. With that, I sat and waited for her to deliver her response.

According to her, Sam's father had been among the most unremarkable men she had ever met. She never formed a personal relationship with him. She only ever spoke to him because I had been best friends with his son. There was a night where the sound of sirens entered the neighborhood, and several police cars pulled up near Sam's house. A few officers entered the home and soon exited with Mr. O in their custody. He had been charged with the possession of child pornography, as well as the molestation of several minors. He was later convicted of both charges.

Upon hearing the news, both she and my father struggled to grasp the possibility that this man had done something to me. Something wrong... something awful. It wasn't long after Mr. O's arrest that the authorities showed up on our doorstep. My parents had called them to voice their concerns regarding my involvement with Mr. O.

My mother refused to divulge any specific information regarding what happened afterward with the police. She simply stated that they incorporated my case into the investigation, but came up empty-handed. Though no evidence was found to suggest that man had victimized me, there was no evidence he hadn't, either...

This uncertainty weighed down on my father. He had grown restless and highly irritable as the days went on, and no matter what my mother did, he wouldn't calm down. His fear was understandable, and the lack of knowledge about whether his child was harmed eventually drove him over the edge. When my mom found his note, it was already too late. He had left this world, unable to bear his burden any longer.

My mother confessed that she wanted to tell me the truth many times over the years, but couldn't bring herself to do so. While I grew up, I eventually came to forget Mr. O even existed at all. As she witnessed me repress my memory of the events that had transpired, she told herself that it was best if I had completely forgotten what happened. She told me she did it to protect me. To keep me safe from the same paranoia that ended up taking her husband away from her.

Although I extended my arms and embraced her following our conversation, I knew I held conflicting thoughts and emotions. On one hand, I understood why she acted the way she did. I sympathized with her dilemma. I was under the impression that by understanding her, I would come to forgive her. Instead, I found that my feelings were far more complex than that.

Understanding why she did it didn't make it hurt any less. Knowing what it is she went through, while enlightening, didn't take away the pain of realizing that someone I trusted kept me in the dark for so long. If I hadn't met with Sam, how long would it have taken for her to tell me? Would I ever have found out about what happened? The crime that occurred had victimized kids. Our legal identities wouldn't have been publicly disclosed. There would have been no way for me to know that I, or anyone else, had been involved in an investigation. Without inside information, I could never have hoped to independently figure this all out.

Perhaps I'm being selfish. After all, I'm not the only one that's hurting. My mother must feel god-awful, and to that end, I truly feel sorry for her. I'm likely going to need time to fix my relationship with her. After all, it's not like I can just brush aside years of being lied to, no matter how much I sympathize with her.

Later that day, I briefly took the DS out from the cardboard box. There was one last thing I wanted to try. Opening the game, I spawned into the world. I willfully ignored every instance of Mr. O in the game and made my way towards my house. When I reached the computer, I interacted with it and was brought to the character creation menu. There he was, his eyes and his perverted smile as wide as always.

I scrolled over to the deletion option, hoping to wipe him away from this world he inhabited. I'm not sure why. I just felt as if getting rid of him in the DS would help me feel more distant from my history with him. Needless to say, it didn't work. His character remained, and a text box popped up from the bottom of the screen.

"You shouldn't delete me, Jeremy. I'm your friend, Mister. O, and we need to stick together. I love you, Jeremy," it read. Of course, I couldn't delete his model from the game. He had programmed himself in as a permanent feature of the world.

I attempted to create a new character. I wanted to see if I could introduce others into the world, so that it wouldn't just be him and I, alone. Once again, I was unable to do this, and another text box came into view.

"Aren't I good enough for you, Jeremy? You should be grateful for what you have. I promise I love you."

I guess in a way, it's kind of fitting that I can't just get rid of him. Just as I can't delete him from my past and pretend he was never there, I can't simply get him out of the game world. I didn't want him to be there, constantly reminding me of his presence. A part of me wished that I had stayed ignorant of his existence. Maybe things would be better had I never explored the attic and retrieved that DS from inside of the box, to begin with. Sure, I could just stuff the device back where it came from, but I couldn't forget everything all over again, could I?

Then again, maybe I didn't have to forget. Despite what happened, I've carried on living my life. I made it all the way to college. Sure, I wasn't conscious then of what I am now. Yet, if what I experienced in the past hasn't stopped me from moving forward so far... maybe it doesn't have to? I still have my mother. No matter how shaky our relationship has gotten, I still love her, and I know she still loves me. That's got to be worth something, right?

Before I put the DS back into the box and shoved it into the attic, I removed the game cartridge that contained "Township: Village!". I stared at its blank surface. I remembered what Sam had told me about the secret room Mr. O created for me. If I played through the game in a way that appeased Mr. O, he would allow me entry into the locked room, just as he did when leading me into the basement. It was just another cruel way of warping me into his pathetic plaything. Maybe a few days ago, I would have been desperate to figure out what was inside that room. However, now that I was aware of the true nature of the game, a single thought came to mind.

I didn't need it anymore.

I tossed it into the garbage can, where it belongs. There was no time to let that piece of junk cost me any more sleep.

I opened my computer and scrolled through my email. I skimmed over the lame advertisements and spam. That's when I noticed the google hangouts tab. I saw that it contained a notification, and I clicked on it. There, I found a message waiting for me.

"Hey, Jeremy."

"Hi, Sam."

"Are you doing okay?"

"Yeah, I'm doing alright, how about yourself?"

"I'm okay man. Look, I really wanted to apologize for the way things are right now. It's really fucked up, I know. I wish we didn't have to meet again under these circumstances."

"It's okay, dude. Believe me, it's okay. It's not your fault. I'm glad I at least got to reconnect with you."

"Are you sure? You can be open with me, for real dude. I'm dead serious here."

"Yeah, I know you are. Look, if I'm struggling with something, I'll let you know, alright?"

"I got it. Thank you. I really appreciate it. You know I'm here for you."

"You'll do the same, won't you?"

"Do the same? What do you mean?"

"You'll talk to me if you're not feeling okay. Right?"

"Oh, yeah of course I will."

"Hey Sam, let's meet over coffee soon. I'm kinda bummed I didn't get anything to drink last time. What do you say?"

"Dude, seriously, you're gonna make me drive all the way over there again?"

"Nah man, I'll meet you halfway."

"Fine, it sounds like a plan. But you're covering the bill since I tried paying for your drinks the last time."

"Yeah alright, dude, whatever you say. :)"



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