Life of a Mediocre Gamer
2nd day of Running
Hi. I'm Abigail. Sound familiar? Probably not.
Or you might be all, "Oh. Abigail. She's the sister of that famous games master guy? AAA or something?"
Yeah. Of course. Only known because of my oh so famous, oh so intelligent brother. So smart, in fact, that his head is so huge it looks like it's about to blow up.
Pity it doesn't.
Aristotle A. Avinroo. Yeah. That weird yellow Blumaroo with the creepy red and blue tinted glasses. He's my brother.
I know, I know. I should be grateful that I'm related to some guy that dominates Neopia during the month of Running. Who's so amazing at games that he challenges every Neopian to beat his scores at a different game every day. Who can attain never-before-seen scores at Turmac Roll and Meepit Juice Break and who-cares-what-else.
But, you know. It would be kind of nice if he weren't such a... Well. Jerk.
3rd day of Running
To all Neopian citizens: Please run for cover. The amazing Aristotle A. Avinroo beat almost 75% of the Neopian population yesterday, and I predict his already over-fat head is heading towards spontaneous combustion.
"Abigail. How pleasant to see you. I apologize for not speaking to you yesterday, as I was busy acquiring a stupendous score at Super Hasee Bounce, which, incidentally, I'm sure you could not hope to beat."
I roll my eyes. "Actually. I wonder if you would mind repeating the favor today? And tomorrow? And for the rest of the month of Running? Eternity would be nice too."
He takes off his creepy nerdy glasses to look down at me contemptuously. "My dear Abigail. I'm sure you'll regret saying that when I beat the all time record of gaming last year--which, incidentally, was won by myself--by the end of this month."
I half snort, half laugh, and attempt to cover it with a sneeze. I end up choking on it. Of course little Abigail is the one who chokes on her sneezes, too. "Um. Dear AAA. I really do not. Care. About your stupid gaming record."
"I see. You are suffering from jealousy." He places a fake sympathetic smile onto his face. "You know, Abby, you really should go to counseling about that. Suffering from a inferiority complex can affect you psychologically. I should know; actually, I have taken several courses on the subject."
I want to slap that stupid smirk off his stupid mouth. I settle for rolling my eyes again.
"If you wish for me to tutor you in gaming skills, you have only to ask. Of course, you'll never be able to match my skills."
"And," he adds as he steps through the door, "you may wish to stop rolling your eyes. They could get stuck that way, and that would be most detrimental to any occurrences in which we are seen together." With that parting comment, he leaves the room.
I'm pretty sure my ears are red. So embarrassing how they always turn crimson when I'm mad. I'm sure perfect AAA never gets embarrassed.
I wish I could beat him on a game. Just once. Just to be able to know that someone beat him. Just to be able to know I'm better than him at something. Anything.
And, I admit, for the pure pleasure of being able to go, "In your FACE."
4th day of Running
I am feeling an urge to dump all robotic petpets into a dumpster and leave them there for the rest of their puny little lives.
A very strong urge.
Bumble Beams. The most horror-filled game known to existence. Dr. Sloth must have had some hand in creating this game. Who else but the root of all evil could have come up with it?
My dear brother is next to me, chortling. "I hate to resort to the vernacular, Abigail, but I have to say this is some--how do they say it--'epic fail'."
I grit my teeth and ignore him. I'm going to beat him, ignore him, I'm going to deflate that head, ignore his stupid whiny voice, ignore...
I almost scream in frustration as I drop some stupid little wheel petpet. My last chance. The screen comes up saying, "Game Over". Fifty points. Pathetic.
AAA has to give his condolences. "I'm extremely sorry, Abigail. Perhaps you should just admit that your strength is not gaming, and that I am the undisputed games master. Ah, let me see, what was your score? Fifty? Hmm, I seem to recall beating that score by about seven hundred points. Very pitiful, very pitiful. I would recommend..."
I tune his voice out and bury my head in my hands. Can't I just beat him? Just once?
Or is he right? Am I just not good at anything?
Fifth day of Running
I'm trying again.
Yes, I'm very perseverant.
Those robotic petpets inhabiting that dumpster are soon going to be joined by one little turmac, I predict.
I'm actually doing well this time. I haven't rammed into anything yet, and while I haven't caught any rare berries yet, I do have more than fifty points.
Just got another berry... Fifty six points. My heart is pounding. And I'm sweating. All this over a stupid game.
AAA's on his first game, too. Not sure how far along he is. At least the fact that he's engrossed in his own game means he's not leaning over my shoulder. Be thankful for small mercies.
Sixty three points. My paw is shaking, trembling. I can hear the imaginary audience cheering. DON'T MESS UP DON'T MESS UP NO PRESSURE.
I see the three stumps up ahead. Time slows down. Very dramatic. I watch the little turmac go up to the first stump, I make it jump, and SLAM. It rams into the middle stump.
My head is hurting in sympathy.
Seventy five points.
My life has ended. Not to be overly dramatic. But I was actually getting into this game! My heart was beating fast and everything! That's it. I'm done.
A triumphant hoot comes from the other side of the room. "Yes! A fishberry! 750 points. Amazing score, if I do say so myself."
Sixth day of Running
Okay. I admit it. I fail at playing games. Today I played Faerie Bubbles for four hours and reached the (wait for it) extraordinary, never-before-seen high score of...
My lovely games master brother lost no time in congratulating himself loudly—in my vicinity, of course—on his own score of 900 points. Haha. I’m sure it must be nice to, you know. Know that you’re the center of the universe.
I decide to go distract myself with a nice hot dog at Huberts. Even in this depressive, I’m-a-failure mood, Hubert’s Hog Dog’s has always been known to cheer me up. And really, the nice sunshine on my blue Aisha ears does help. As does the happy chatter of Neopets as they stroll around Neopia Central. This is the life.
I come up to the hot dog stand, digging into my pocket for a few Neopoints. AAA is a neo-millionaire, of course, with all the money coming in every time he reaches one of his grand high scores. He could always lend me a few hundred Neopoints for a hot dog. But no, he needs them to build up his already large fan base.
I have enough to buy a Double Dung Hot Dog. Delicious. Simply scrumptious. I dump the dung onto the grass (it was totally some little petpet. Note to owner: potty training is good) and begin to pick at the bread bun as I continue along the path. Two little blue Chias are playing in the grass with a ball. Aww. How sweet. So unlike the family photos of AAA and me, in which he’s at his desk, head buried in a game guide, while I look on sullenly.
I’ve unconsciously wandered over to the Wishing Well. Some baby Draik is squealing joyously as she receives her life’s dream. A baby paint brush. She jumps around for a while, then drags her owner over to the Rainbow Pool to get painted.
Okay, then. I shrug and move up to the well to stare into the rippling pool of water inside. Is it true what people say? Can you wish for what you want most, and have it granted?
Okay, not going to lie. I really, really, want to do it.
I clear my throat, and toss in the last coin I have left from buying that delectable Double Dung Hot Dog earlier. “I wish...” Slowly my heartbeat begins to accelerate with hope. “I wish... that I would be better than my brother at playing games. That... I could beat him. At anything.”
I stay like that for a few moments, then, feeling stupid, step away. Of course it doesn’t work. Some idiotic little Draik can get painted a color she was in the first place, but I can’t get the one thing that’s actually important to me. I shuffle away, head down. AAA is going to find out about this, that I tried this, somehow. I know it. And he’ll never forget it.
My life will be better as Sloth’s minion from now on.
I bump into someone, since I’m not watching where I’m going in my misery. Oops. I look up. It's a small red Kiko.
"Sorry," I mumble, and attempt to edge around him.
He hops after me, squeaking with enthusiasm. "You're Abigail, aren't you?" he squeals.
That startles me. Didn't know I was known as anything but 'the sister of that AAA guy'.
"Uh, yeah?" I reply, my words trailing off so they sound like a question. "You'll find my brother over at the Games Room if you want..." I jerk my head in that general direction.
The Kiko twists his face into an amusingly cute attempt to look disgusted. "Eww. I don't like AAA. He seems really snobby. And annoying."
I almost pick the little Kiko up right then and squeeze his little guts out in a hug. Finally! Someone sees the light!
"And besides," he continues, "I can never beat his scores. They're impossible. Your scores are perfect! They take some effort, but we don't need to slave away for hours to meet them. Because of you, I got this awesome prize today! It's a Happy Cloud Poster!" He pulls the crumpled poster out of his page and, unfolding it, holds it in front of him proudly.
"Er... you're welcome?" I reply, still shocked.
The Kiko is still grinning. Someone's had a bit too much sugar. "You know, me and my friends, we call AAA the Annoyingly Abominable Abnormality. But you, we all think you're really cool!" He gives me a hug then runs off.
I continue away from the Wishing Well, back to the Games Cupboard. Hmm. Maybe being the "best" isn't the most important thing. Maybe being normal is okay, too.
I think of the Abnormality now (I'll probably always refer to him as that from now on), his geeky taped glasses perched onto his overlarge nose, sitting in the cramped, dark Games Room. I'm not sure he actually talks to anyone besides me. And, of course, his oh-so-special press conferences.
And I'm pretty sure no one's ever said he's "really cool".
You know what? Dear old AAA can get his high scores. And he can beat his own record that he made last year. And he can stay in his cramped room with his games all day (someone should tell him to wash that greasy hair once in a while).
And I'm not going to be there, next to him, spending hours into the night dropping despicable robotic petpets into buckets.
Because guess what?
I don't really care.