“Hey girl, I’m about to ask you something and I don’t want you to answer it. I might sound very demanding at the moment but after I tell you to step back, I’m going to sound dominating too. It’s happening, right?,” an articulate stranger that I won’t name whispered in the microphone to me. He (or should I say his character?) wore a white shirt with sturdy boots and a navy blue trouser. He wore a gas mask which appealed to me more than it should've. This wasn’t the first time that a PUBG player matched randomly with me had reached out through the game’s coolest voice-chat feature. But this time was different; I reached him back.
Just minutes after our first match, I wasn’t sure what I was contemplating. It was something that was close but not close enough for me to actually describe it. It has been a couple of weeks since I have started playing this wildly-viral action-game and yes, it’s addictive beyond any drug. I started playing every day with my best friends from college and despite my stubborn efforts to kill and feast on the celebratory ‘winner-winner chicken dinner,’ I was constantly failing at it.
Two weeks ago, a flashing invitation to join in on a game with this ‘stranger’ popped up on my screen and I was too weak to resist it. If you ask me why the answer would be his voice. Yes, I had played a match with him before but it had two other players so I never bothered. His deep husky voice never failed to melt me away, blurring my vision and stopping me to think about anything else than his alluring tone.
To be honest, I am one of those rare believers of love at first sight and yes, I do preach the ‘head-over-heels or nothing’ concept of love. It either has to hit you like a thousand volts and if something close to that didn’t happen, it's not THE one. (Sorry not sorry!)
What started as an automated player connection soon developed into a go-to relationship which started with a simple invitation to join a clan. For someone like me who has never depended on anyone for making her life choices, I was often out of breath when he would ask me to get behind him and just do nothing but be there. And I followed through like I had no choice.
I remember it like it was yesterday when I screamed once during a match (I spilled hot coffee all over myself) and he snapped out of his focus. I noticed his character stopping abruptly on the field and the nervousness in his breath before asking me with a steady voice, “Hurt yourself?”
Might sound like one of those moments straight out of a Wattpad fanfiction but trust me, I froze up like a snow-ball for 5 literal seconds before shrugging my way out of the entire conversation. He laughed it off and taunted my clumsiness before taking off to kill some more. That first casual conversation led to a follow-up and then a few more (hours of talking, really) about how he once ruined his mother’s expensive carpet by spilling coffee on it.
It was when we realized that it is too distracting to play the game and talk at the same time, we decided to chuck out of the visual world and exchanged our contacts to finish our oddly-left comments for each other. Being a writer by profession, I live and breath by words. I could easily key the cues of his personality from the phrases he repeatedly used or the out-of-dictionary words he used. Now that it has been 7 months of anticipating the final-frontier and imagining the in-person chemistry, we’ve discovered a relationship beyond the cliches. We’re peaked at infatuation, not sensually-romantic but make that need-of-the-moment call to each other when we want to rant, scream or just share a very dirty joke we just came across. If you’re wondering why we haven’t met each other at this point, it's because he’s in a different hemisphere than I am and no I’m not shedding tears over this. Not that I don’t want to meet him, I’m still enjoying how we’re still connected with the place we first met and didn’t just grow out of it chasing the modernistic wild wishes.
We still call each other in the breaking of dawn to get down with some headshots in the War Mode or just coup up in the long duration matches to just lay back and survive. After this experience, I have officially added a ‘dependable’ as a precursor to every in-person date. Before this, I never thought of myself as a person who would voluntarily give in all her choices to a guy but hey, I might be slightly less-rigid on this from now on.
In a place that was never real, far away from sight and touch, I drifted off for a voice in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
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