The world of video games appears to be a place of wonder, a place where everything seems to have some convoluted nonsensical reasoning behind it. Whether it be a plumber chasing some turtle dragon hybrid thing to save a useless kidnapped princess, or a blue hedgehog with an attitude straight out of the 90's chasing an overweight old man with a jewel fetish in order to save hundreds of kidnapped small animals that have been turned into robots.
"these games need to change their formula, it's almost as if one is copying off the other." I thought to myself.
But even with all of these ridiculous premises, it must be nice for the plumber and hedgehog to have something to chase after, something that gives them meaning. It seems like the real world doesn't give you that unless you're some rich ahole who give money to charities to me themselves feel better.
These old games however do give me a sense of purpose in this pointless reality, giving me a chance to have something to do in my free time. As an unemployed guy in his 20s. There isn't much for me to do with my free time. I began to yawn realizing it was after 6pm, and it was about time for my food to be delivered.
Just as that thought crossed my mind, I heard a knock at the door to my apartment, as I prepared to ask "who is it" the sound of a key opening the door started, and the door opened, a young woman wearing a pants suit walked through the door.
"Not gonna answer the door are you?" the woman asked as she came in holding a small bag with her purse on her arm.
"what's the point, when you're just gonna come in after a single knock."
This woman is Stephanie Selina, a friend of mine from childhood, as annoying as she can be she is still the only friend I have. If not for her I would have starved to death by now. I sometimes wonder why she stays around for so long, it's honestly baffling.
"i'm a single man living alone, if you keep barging in like that you're gonna end up seeing something you regret"
"I doubt there is anything you could show me, which would shock me at this point Kane"
"you say that but….."
"What could I possibly see from you that would shock me at this point Kane, do i have to remind you of the time i caught you cho….."
"we agreed that never happened"
What a smart ass this girl is. I need to change the subject before i get caught in her pace.
"so how was work"
"It was fine as any other day"
Steph walked over to the small table in the corner of the room near the microwave, pulling out some microwavable mini pizzas, unpacking and putting them into the microwave.
"pizza this time huh?"
"I'm not complaining"
How could I possibly complain? Steph uses her hard earned money to buy me food every day.
"Oh! Could it be you want me to cook for you?"
"no thank you"
I don't want to die.
"But yeah work has been fine for the most part, the kids are pretty well behaved, the teachers may be the bigger problem this year"
"Yeah, seems older people don't like working someone much younger than them, go figure."
Well, you can't really blame them for being frustrated, Steph was a teacher for a single year before being promoted to Principal. I'd imagine any teacher that has been working at the school for years would be frustrated when a 24 year old newbie comes into the picture and gets promoted almost immediately.
"so that why you seemed so down when you came in."
Hmm, no immediate answer. I looked back to see Steph staring at me with her eyes opened wide.
"Nothing it's just nice to know that even though you've become such a huge waste of space, you still haven't changed after all these years."
"shut up, are the pizza's ready yet?"
"About a minute and a half left"
Whenever Steph comes over, we always have these random conversations, jumping from subject to subject. However something was odd today, I thought if I asked her about her day I would find something out, but it feels like she's still hiding something. Since Steph has been here I have died exactly 12 times in this game, and it's only been about 7 minutes.
"You suck at this game, you've died at least 10 times"
Shut up, you're the reason I'm losing. Slightly glancing at the corner of my eye I notice her staring at me. I think I know what's bothering her, I just hope I'm wrong.
"Kane how much money do you have left for the month?"
"Is your mother still sending you money every month?"
I paused my game and turned around completely in order to get a good look at her, her usual smiling had become a somewhat emotionless straight face, I answered quick as I started to feel uncomfortable.
"yes." I answered
The look on her face stayed and I had an idea of where this was going. I wasn't wrong.
"Kane don't you want to to be independent? "
The room is silent, I have no idea how to answer her, so I simply answer honestly.
"i am fine like this"
"Are you really, you seem beyond miserable to me. You sit in this room all day doing nothing but playing games, Kane you're a 23 year old man living on money given to you by your mother.
"money is money "
"IT'S AN ALLOWANCE!" yelled Steph.
Beep beep, the microwave went off, and Steph opened it, and pulled the mini pizza's out.
"What will happen when your mother decides to stop enabling you, are you just gonna live on the street." she said as she placed the steaming plate on the table.
"what brought this on Steph, you've been coming here damn near every day for over a year. yet now you decide to bring this."
"Fffffffffff" she blew on the hot pizza to cool it down.
"It pisses me off, seeing someone like you, someone with all your gifts, just letting his life waste away"
The look of disdain she had earlier had suddenly turned into a look of pity.
"what do you want from me?" I asked
"Kane you have a degree, you have options. I want you to get out there and do something."
"a job?" I asked.
"what job would hire someone like me with no experience?"
I'm sure that with my social skill I wouldn't even get past the interview stage at a fast food restaurant.
"You're right Kane, as awkward as you are you probably wouldn't get past the interview phase at a sandwich shop.
She's as sharp as always.
"Which is why I don't want you to get a normal job Kane, I want you to get a job that will help you improve as a person."
"back to the point, who would hire me?"
Steph's face smirked as if she had some sort of evil plan, I'm worried.
"Earlier I told you that a lot of the older teachers were somewhat frustrated with me, well to tell the truth one of them actually quit today."
"a teacher quit on the first day of school?"
"Yes, odd isn't it? Came to me at the end of the school day and just dropped that bomb on me. My frail maiden heart almost broke apart thinking I had done something wrong on the first real day of my new position."
"stop the act, get to the point"
"You're no fun, the point is I have a job for you."
"you want me to be a teacher?"
"Temporary, substitute if you will. Only until we find a replacement. Let's say a 2 week trial. Naturally you'll be paid. "
She wants me to be a teacher, is she out of her mind.
"are you out of your mind?"
Someone can't just become a teacher when they feel like it. There are tests that have to be passed in order to get the license, even substitutes need the license..
"what about a teaching license? you realize it's illegal to just have some random guy come and teach high school students."
"Don't worry about the license, I'll deal with that. You have the degree and the knowledge, as far as I see you're more than qualified for the job."
What the hell is she talking about? I'm more than qualified, I haven't taught anyone anything before in my life. As I looked at her she continued to smirk as if her maniacal plan had come to fruition.
"It's already going on 7, I need to leave so I'll be going before it gets too dark outside. Can't have a pretty young lady like myself walking alone so late at night, can we?" she said as she got up from the table
"wait we're not done tal…"
"Ah!" she blurted out as she started rummaging through her purse and heading towards me.
"wait a min..."
"Hop on the 94 bus right down the street from here and ask the bus driver how to get to McDowell High. Here is some bus fare, can't have you spending any of that precious allowance now can we?" she said while handing me some coins, then heading back to an opening the door.
" don't leave ye…" I say as the door shuts
Steph was gone, the only traces of her let in this room were the coins in my hand and pizza on the table. As I turn my console off and a get up from the floor to go take a shower' I stare at the coins in my hand and wonder to myself just what have i gotten myself into. Steph has always been selfish, and capable of others to go along with her ideas.
"and i'm the one that always ends up the donkey in her little adventures"
My night of gaming was ruined, and the blue hedgehog stood in the same spot on screen doing a little dance to keep busy as the controller had not been touched for a few minutes. I reach over to turn the system off, and walk over to the plate of pizza bites.I grab a piece the pizza and hold it in my hand as I prepare to begin the ending of my night. Just what does tomorrow hold? I've heard McDowell is pretty prestigious for a public school, so maybe this job will be a cakewalk, and an easy way to make a little cash in 2 weeks, I could finally buy a new game system and stop playing this antique. I take a bite of the pizza as I come to acceptance with my fate, and only two more words left my mouth that night.