You know what the worst thing about being an overthinker is? When we find someone we love, the first two thoughts in our head are that they’ll leave, and their reason for it.
Hence, we’re so accustomed of the two, that when the person actually leaves, only their absence hurts. Not their reason behind it.
Because we spent all that time together convincing ourselves that the reason behind it would be all our fault, so it doesn’t come as a surprise, and hence, is somehow easier to deal with.
But their absence, despite all the warnings of an overly functional brain, hurts. Because it’s a loss we feel only after it’s done.
Nothing prepares for you for the loss, only for the why.
So many years ago, I got my first big name computer game that was all hyped up and I was super excited for, and unlike most games, I got it within the first year of launch. Normally I'd have to wait several years for it to go on sale or go clearance or be forgotten by time, because I was a teen at the time and had no allowance bc my parents controlled every. Single. Aspect. Of my life. (Including which places I could consider working, all of which were places I didn't want to work bc my coworkers were my jerkwad classmates and no ty)
So my birthday rolled around and this game had come out about six months prior and I had expressed how exciting this was to them in such a way that they listened for once. So when I opened gifts I saw the franchise name on the box, got excited, opened the wrapping the rest of the way and got confused. What is this? It's got the right franchise, it's got the game name on there, but it has other writing on it. So I read the box...
My parents actually tried. And I was honestly grateful for it, because even if they bought me the box of dlc content without the main game needed to play it, they remembered the game name, the franchise, and tried. I thanked them for trying, explained why I couldn't play this right away, and said that I know it's expensive to get the right one, but I can wait for Christmas.
Now my birthday is close to the end of the school year, and I was graduating high school. So they took me to the store that day and had me look at the games to make sure we get the right one this time and explained they'd consider it my graduation present. I told them over and over they didn't have to, but they didn't listen and got it for me anyway. So by that night I was playing TES: Oblivion and having a great time. After sinking literally hundreds of hours into Morrowind (bought from the clearance section for $10), this was amazing. The graphics were amazing, the characters spoke to you instead of you having to read it out, why did the vast number of weapons disappear, look at the ruins, the environments were stunning, and it was fun laughing and groaning at the facemaker.
Later that year, when I was still taking my time and slowly working through the game, exploring and savoring every bit, my older brother moved back into the home. Now when I say savor, I do mean it. I spent time finding areas I found beautiful and stared at them. I didn't use uesp or anything to tell me what quests were where or stats or whatever. I wanted to find it all myself and enjoy. I didn't even know they existed at the time. The moment I found the hidden passages in certain castles... Both happy and somewhat horrifying.
The computer was in what would be his room. He took to the escapism like a duck to water. A game where you can be a cat or lizard or elf, and he picked the most boring imperial character every time. Same face every time. Ran through the game at lightning fast pace and, granted maybe wanted to share in that with me, but my slow savor was gone because now he was finding things and telling me and going "what you haven't found this yet?" And that ruined it for me. I'm playing and minding my own business and then he's over my shoulder explaining the not very hidden quest I hadn't activated there and how to make it work. Suddenly I have mods downloaded to my game that I didn't want or ask for or know we're being added.
For Christmas while he was still living with us, he bought me the expansion. I felt so thrilled because yay it's more of the game for me, followed by the sinking knowledge that it was given to me but was really for him. And this the pattern continued through that.
The game was so thoroughly ruined for me, left so much of a foul taste in my mouth, that I couldn't touch this amazing gift for years. Even when Skyrim came out. Even after I moved out. When my wife got me a copy of Skyrim to play, I had to get firm with her, telling her this story and telling her that I can't have spoilers or be rushed or anything else that my brother did to ruin oblivion for me. (She was amazing about it and there's a very good reason I married her <3 ) If I ask or come to her, then fine, but let me experience it myself without interference. Even after playing through Skyrim, I couldn't... And my Skyrim playthroughs were colored by him.
It's been a decade since Skyrim came out. I'm replaying Morrowind, both on stream and for grins. I remembered on stream the awe at the beauty of that foreign land, it's strange mushroom trees and flying jellyfish entrancing me and making me want to sketch it out like I felt so long ago. I created a character and used console commands to make her super-powered just for the sake of exploring the landscapes of Vvardenfell and sketching. Her name is Bobbi Rose (bc I am not Bob Ross by any actual stretch).
But with some amazing friends in the background, I've installed oblivion again for the same reasons I found my greatest pleasure in the game all so many years ago. The scenery was beautiful. I want to sketch it. This is the first time in a long time I've felt the desire to touch the game.
Wish me luck.
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