Saving Throw Part 1
From Tar Valon Library
It all started a few months back. I had no worries about who I was or what I did for fun. Granted the games kind of started taking over my life, but it really wasn’t a big deal to me then. I was important, in my world, or rather the other worlds that I threw myself into. I had max leveled characters in WoW for whatever situation might come; I was the man the guild could turn to. I knew the core rules of all D&D, oh that’s dungeons and dragons if you don’t know, and I could be the dungeon master (DM) or be a player for whenever someone wanted to play. I had all the decks of the WoW trading card game (TCG). I even worked at the local shuffle and cut, gaming store that was just a few blocks away from my apartment.
It is funny how life can turn on a dime though; which is just what happened to me. It was at school and I was a sixth year senior. I’d like to say that it was because I was indecisive about what I wanted to do but the truth is the games ruled my life. Still, I was just about done. Well the new quarter had just started and I had just met all my new classmates. I was kind of surprised how many non-nerd looking people major in computer graphics. You know the part, average height, flat brown hair and portly; I have always preferred that word to fat.
Well, my character design class had just gotten out, and I went to the courtyard to eat. I had made some sort of comment the instructor really appreciated about different graphics resolutions and I felt pretty good about myself. I sat down on my second favorite bench two invaders from fraternities had usurped me from my favorite bench that was blissfully covered in shadow and now I had to deal with the annoyance of the sun off to my right. I went into my backpack and pulled out my lunch bag. I don’t know why but brown paper bags just seem to work really well for ham sandwiches and monster energy drinks.
I had just opened my first foil wrapped sandwich when I felt a tap at my shoulder. Who the hell was this? If it was another fraternity person wanting this bench, I was going to stand up to them and tell them to fuck off! Okay, so I probably would just move to my third favorite bench rather than get my face pummeled in by the Orc looking guys who filled the ranks of the frats. They wouldn’t think of tapping so lightly if I was my Paladin.
I turned my head slowly and nearly dropped my sandwich. I do my best to not stare at attractive women, because I believe that it just removes one more chance for people to make fun of me. But now, how was I not going to stare, she was easily on the blood elf hotness scale, which way surpassed human. She had the blond hair, blue eyes and the fit body, give her pointed ears and I probably would have had an erection on the spot. Damn! Why couldn’t I be just a little taller and have on my epic armor? Why couldn’t she be in epic armor? Cutting off at the midriff and showing ample cleavage, it just begged for any man to look. Much like I was staring at her cleavage now.
I would have continued to stare, imagining her in all the different garb of fantasy games from the unrealistic and extremely revealing plate armor, complete with a metal bikini, to the tight leather that was more like another set of skin. The cloth robes that clung to every curve that left nothing to the imagination. That is if she hadn’t cleared her throat.
“Um, hi? I’m Crystal.” she said, she had an enchanting smile, so blood elf.
“Huh…Hi” I managed to get out, voice cracking, making it seem like I was still going through puberty
“I saw you in the character design class. You seemed to know what you are talking about.”
I didn’t even notice she was in the class. I was too focused on the power point presentation wondering what program and graphic cards the professor was using to make the characters look so real.
“Oh.” I replied, “Yeah, well I guess that when you take enough classes you pick up a few things.”
She laughed, it was kind of high and squeaky, and not the sultry enticing laugh I thought she would have had. Well that was one disappointment.
“So how many classes have you taken?” she asked
I panicked, how was I supposed to answer that? Should I be honest and tell her I’ve been going to school for six years, or should I lie and just make it look like I’m really smart. I just had to lie.
“Oh, I don’t know, I’m on my fourth year about to graduate.”
“Cool, I’m on my third of college but my first here just transferred in.”
There was an extended silence, like when a group is waiting for the DM to tell them what to do. I just sat there, eyes moving back and forth, wondering if I should just turn my back and eat my lunch that she had now interrupted.
“Do you want to go get something to eat? And maybe kind of tell me what to expect out of this class, because right now I am totally confused.”
“I already have food.”
“Oh, yeah, duh, sorry I guess I’ll just let you eat. See you in class.”
She was about to turn away. How could I be just so dumb? She wanted to hang out.
“I’ll still go with you to go get something.” I said a bit rushed, “and tell you what to expect.”
“Oh really? Thanks!” She said, but to me seemed a bit too excited.
We went to the commons and she got Chinese food, was I ever glad I had my ham sandwiches, Chinese food makes me gassy.
“So what made you major in computer graphics?” I asked
“I don’t know really, I just like computers.” She replied
“Do you play computer games?” I sounded a little too excited. But I tried to have a questioning look on my face.
“No!” She laughed as if it was ridiculous to think so, “I don’t get trapped into that crap. Like that one game that has been ruining people’s lives. Do you know what it is called? I can’t think of the name.” “World of Warcraft?” I said as if it were a question. Asking if she was into gaming was definitely a critical failure on my part.
“No, this one was something about quest.” She laughed
I saw a brief moment of hope. “Everquest?”
“Oh my god yes! That’s it! Everquest a few of my guy friends dropped out of school for that dumb game.”
“Yeah that game is dumb.”
“How do you know those games? Did you used to play them?”
How was I supposed to answer that after what she just said? Well, keep lying. “Sort of, I mean, I am a computer graphics major and that stuff is going to be part of it.”
“Well I hope to get into doing stuff for Hollywood.”
“Oh cool. Yeah that could be a fun career.”
I felt the conversation slipping into a bunch of one or two word responses. So I checked my phone and saw that it was close enough to say I had to go to my next class. Maybe I could think of something else to say if we ever talked again.
“Well I have to get going to my next class. It was fun talking to you Crystal.”
“Yeah I gotta get going to my class too. It was fun talking to you too, oh my god I forgot your name.”
“Well I never told you. I’m…” Hesitating, this could ruin everything, “Milton”
To be continued…