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It’s Just A Game

Ferris Alizer was a closet geek. At work he seems proper and professional, just a usual adult doing his job well but whenever he went home after a long day, his only escape from the stressful society was playing games.

It’s Just A Game is a short story written and shared by Reiu Somao-I under the theme After The Storm for the month of June.

 

It’s Just A Game

 

Ferris Alizer was a closet geek. At work he seems proper and professional, just a usual adult doing his job well but whenever he went home after a long day, his only escape from the stressful society was playing games.

Lately he became addicted and engrossed in an online role playing game. He started playing it when it was first released and now, he’s one among the top players within their server. He was known to be a silent player but helpful to those players who were nice to him. Nobody knows he was a guy though, hiding inside a girl avatar. After doing his daily quests, he would only stay inside the game to just observe players talking in world chat or sometimes he would just randomly help a party.

That night was quite different though. Ferris’ in-game name (ign) was “Wheel”. He was just browsing the inventory of his avatar when he received a private chat from someone, no, it was not just someone actually, but it was from the top one player in their server.

[pm] Magnum: Wheel, you there?

Ferris’ eyebrow furrowed. He was known to be a silent player and he never interacted with Magnum before who was known to have a bubbly personality. He was humble and always trying to defend his guild members if someone dared to wronged them. Ferris’ guild was the top three guild, Carnival. On the other hand, Magnum owns the top guild, Rifles.

[pm] Wheel: Yes. How may I help you, King?

Ferris addressed Magnum as politely as he could because even though he’s also a top player, he respects the powerful ones. Magnum could even kill him in an instant if they engaged in pvp fight.

[pm] Magnum: Oh, am I your King? How did you know I would like to ask you to be my Queen?

His eyes widened when he read Magnum’s reply. He blinked for some time before he moved his fingers to type.

[pm] Wheel: What do you mean?

[pm] Magnum: Exactly how I said. I want to make you my spouse.

The game allows players to marry another player even if the avatar has the same gender. They just need to have enough affinity points by doing daily quests together for them to marry.

Ferris knew this but he never once thought to try that feature even though it has its own perks because he was a silent player. However, he never expected to get a proposal, moreover from the top player. Magnum.

[pm] Wheel: Why me?

[pm] Magnum: 😄

“Why the hell would you use a blushing emoticon? Damn this guy.” Ferris mumbled in front of his computer screen but a smirk formed in his lips.

[pm] Magnum: I like you. I’ve seen you here ever since the game was launched. You were playing hard and slowly rose to the top without bragging.

[pm] Wheel: Many players are the same. Besides, this is the first time we talked, right?

[pm] Magnum: They’re not you so it’s not the same. And yes, this is the first time we talked because I was shy to approach you.

“Hahaha. Is this flirting? Interesting.” Ferris was practically smiling like a fool while his eyes were focused at his computer screen.

[pm] Wheel: 😂 I didn’t know that you could flirt. Are you sure you’re not sick or anything?

[pm] Magnum: Hey, I’m seriously shy here. I’m just pushing my luck asking you.

[pm] Wheel: Okay, let’s try. But I’m already done with my quests.

Magnum didn’t reply for a while. It was not after five minutes when he responded. Ferris thought that the other person might’ve chicken out or was just fooling around. Then, he saw the chat box prompt a message that Magnum was typing.

[pm] Magnum: Oh sorry. I was throwing my fist in the air when I read your message and was trying to calm down.

I’m done with my quests too. Don’t worry I have roses. Let me give it to you.

Ferris’ eyes blinked for a while. Was his eyes fooling him to read that message? Was Magnum really serious when he said that?

Just a few seconds later he got a notification mail. He received 300 roses from Magnum filling the requirement of 9,000 affinity points for them to marry. Ferris’ eyes widened and his mouth was gaping.

“Is he for real?” He was talking to himself.

[pm] Wheel: 300? Really? Did you hoard that or bought it?

[pm] Magnum: That’s a secret. 😁 Shall we go to the chapel now?

A dialogue box appeared in front of his screen as Magnum sent him an invitation to join his party. Ferris’ accepted the invitation and he was immediately transported to the chapel. Looking closely, Magnum’s avatar compliments his avatar.

[team] Magnum: Ready? I have the ring with me. Just accept the vow. 😁

[team] Wheel: I didn’t know that the King was shameless like this.

[team] Magnum: Aww. Can I be shameless with you? 😅😣

“Hahaha. This is hilarious. If only you know the truth. You were fooled, boy.” Ferris’ who was playing behind his computer screen can’t help but just laugh.

After a few minutes, an announcement in the world chat appeared announcing the unification of Magnum and Wheel. The world chat was bombarded with greetings but everyone was actually thrilled, finally knowing that the King of the server, Magnum and the silent one, Wheel married each other. Yes it was a big deal because ever since the game was launched the two of them never had an interaction, at least that was what everyone knows.

[wc] Magnum: Thanks guys for the greetings. Now let me warn you, don’t make me get jealous by unnecessarily approaching my Queen without my knowledge.

Everyone in the world chat went crazy. They were either laughing, teasing, or mocking Magnum. The top player only laughed at them, being the humble and bubbly player they all know.

Someone asked for Wheel’s opinion in the world chat though. Ferris sighed. He never thought that this would be big and chaotic.

[wc] Wheel: Well, I guess I need to be the best support to serve my King from now on.

Again, everyone flooded the world chatbox pane with teasing and greetings.

[pm] Magnum: If you will be the best support, then it’s my duty to protect you from now on.

Ferris was thinking if this statement of Magnum has double meaning. His avatar, a girl, was a mage type while Magnum’s a warrior type. Best combination though.

[pm] Wheel: Yeah? Let’s see that tomorrow.

[pm] Magnum: Yes my Queen. 😀

The night ended with Ferris telling Magnum that he only plays at night, which the latter already knows, earning an accusation from Ferris that he was a stalker. Magnum didn’t deny it.

They chatted for a while until Ferris noticed that it was already eleven in the evening. He still has work tomorrow and needs to wake up early. Magnum didn’t want to let him go but eventually let him be.

[pm] Magnum: Good night, My Queen.

[pm] Wheel: Good night, My King.

Ferris never knew that he would be comfortable with Magnum. As if they known each other for so long, slowly he began to know how Magnum thinks, how he acts and how genuine he is. The game was already interesting for Ferris but ever since he got together with Magnum, he felt more happy whenever his work finished, he’s excited to go home and play the game.

“Ferris! You’ve been diligently going home early for the last few weeks. Something to look forward to going home?” His colleague asked.

Ferris smiled and shook his head. It was quite rare for Ferris to smile brightly. He was a hard worker but rarely shows his emotion.

“I just wanted to take some rest. I’m going to go home first. See you on Monday, Claire.”

“He looks blooming? Is he in love? Really?” Claire mumbled to herself.

Ferris liked it whenever he would talk to Magnum in the game. They never ran out of topics and Magnum always made him. However,deep inside him, he was feeling guilty. He knew that he was fooling Magnum. What if the King thinks of him as a girl and probably was feeling something towards him? Based on Magnum’s words, it felt like he was really into “Wheel”. He doesn’t want to hurt this wonderful man’s feelings.

That night, Ferris decided to visit Magnum’s guild, Rifles. He first asked permission to his guild leader that he would just visit Rifles and would be back to Carnival immediately. Permission was granted.

When he entered Rifles, the whole guild chat praised him.

[gc] EyKey: The Queen has arrived!! 👏

[gc] DesertEagle: All hail the Queen!! 🎉

[gc] Sniper: Finally. After stalking her for too long, she’s here now.

Ferris chuckled reading all the chats.

[gc] Magnum: Oii! Don’t embarrass me here.

[gc] EyKey: Queen,Queen. Listen. Our King here was actually a stalker and killer. Everytime someone would dare to make a move on you or kill you in the pvp area, he would slaughter them.

[gc] Sniper: Yes!! I remembered when he visited every guild to warn them not to touch you or else, he would crush their guild. Scary huh.

[gc] Magnum: Oiii! Stop yapping. You’re ruining my image.

Ferris’ blinked. Is that real?

[gc] Wheel: I didn’t know that. When was all of this happened?

[gc] Magnum: Arrgg. 😬 Don’t listen to them.

[gc] Wheel: I asked, when?

Everyone in the guild chat laughed. They knew that their King was in trouble and no one would save him though.

[gc] Magnum: I will personally PK (player kill) you all for this. Er..that was a long time ago.

Ferris’ furrowed his eyebrow. “Long time ago? Does he mean when the game was launched? Was he serious when he told me that he knew me since then?” He was thinking by himself.

[gc] Wheel: Okay.

The whole guild chat went silent. It was at that moment when they knew they were in trouble.

[pm] Magnum: Don’t get mad at me. Pleaseeeee. 😞😭

[pm] Wheel: I’m not and I won’t if you seriously answer my question.

[pm] Magnum: I’ll answer properly. 😣

It’s been two months now since they got married in the game and Ferris definitely enjoyed the company of Magnum. There’s just one problem. They are actually both male. Ferris found this relationship just like having a good buddy but what if Magnum felt different believing that she was actually a “he”.

[pm] Wheel: Can we have a divorce?

[pm] Magnum: NO! 😭😭😭

After that one Magnum flooded his inbox.

[pm] Magnum: I’ll do anything you ask me but don’t divorce me. Don’t leave me. Don’t choose anyone else. Please. I’m begging here. 😭😣

Ferris shakes his head. This is what he’s afraid of. The attachment. He doesn’t want to fool a man who’s very good to him. Magnum was just two years older than him and he’s also a working adult. He was sure that this was just a game however, Ferris was sure that there was something that Magnum was hiding from him, a story behind his proposal that he doesn’t know.

[pm] Wheel: Then, tell me your story without filters. I’ll tell you mine after. You can decide if you want to divorce me afterwards.

[pm] Magnum: I could tell it but perhaps, it’s better to ask EyKey about it. He’s my open diary. The other things I’m not even aware I’ve done, he knows it all. 😣

Ferris’ sighed. Why does he need to ask about it from others?

Just before he responds, another private chat blinks on his screen.

[pm] EyKey: Hey, our Queen. Magnum gave me permission to tell you his story. Let me do the honor. No filters and complete details. He’s actually shaking in fear of losing you now. Hahaha.

Ferris’ tilted his head but continued to read as EyKey started to tell a story and fill his screen with his chat. While attentively reading everything, it was then when he realized that Magnum was really telling the truth.

According to Eykey who entered the game at the same time with Magnum because they are real life buddies, Magnum set his eyes to Wheel when they initially got into a party while doing a dungeon quest. Wheel was not talkative but his playing style was good and she never let her guard down while supporting the whole party. It was at that time when her name marked Magnum’s list.

Eventually he started stalking Wheel until she grew, becoming one of the top players. Magnum hoarded roses for the hope of giving it one day to Wheel. He bought roses from everyone who has no use of it. He rose to the top to be noticed by Wheel but it was all futile because she’s only interested in playing.

Whenever he would hear that someone was trying to propose to Wheel, he would cut them off. Everytime a news report that Wheel was being killed in the PK ground by players in another server, he would make sure to haunt and kill them ten times.

Ferris was actually shocked while reading all of this. EyKey even mentioned that the whole server knew how protected Wheel is by Magnum but they don’t dare to speak about it because Magnum threatened the whole server to keep their mouth shut.

[pm] Wheel: Is that why the world chat went crazy when we got married?

[pm] EyKey: Yes! Because finally that mad man was restrained. Even now, we are thankful that you agreed to marry him. You might find him as sweet and kind but we all find him as crazy and scary especially when we talk about you.

Ferris sighed. How could he tell Magnum now the truth? But it’s better than fooling him any further.

[pm] Wheel: Thanks Ey.

[pm] Eykey: You’re welcome, our Queen.

It was then when he decided that he would tell Magnum the truth before everything gets out of hand.

[pm] Wheel: I know it all now. Are you really crazy doing all that?

[pm] Magnum: Sorry. Just…I’m sorry. 😣😞

[pm] Wheel: Let me tell you my story now. First, if you still want to be my spouse here give me 3 roses on Monday. If you want divorce, just send me a message that you want to divorce.

[pm] Magnum: That won’t happen.

[pm] Wheel: Don’t be so sure. You have the weekends to think about it. It’s Friday now so I won’t go online on Saturday and Sunday. I’ll wait for Monday instead.

[pm] Magnum: 😭 I’ll miss you by then.

[pm] Wheel: Shhh. Okay, the real reason why I want to divorce is because I am a guy. In reality I mean. You might feel disappointed and angry because I’ve fooled you.

Ferris’ heart clenched. It was the truth but why does he feel like he’s losing someone important. Well, they’ve become really close after all and he enjoyed the game further because of Magnum.

There was no response from Magnum until he just saw that he went offline already.

Ferris sighed. “Ahh…I knew it. I probably need to quit sooner than expected. Let’s just wait for Monday then.”

He decided to call it a night. He went to his bed and let himself succumb to the sleepiness he was feeling.

During the weekend, Ferris was actually aching to open log in to the game but he forced himself not to. He would just wait for Monday but somehow, he felt lonely losing a good friend.

Monday came and Ferris was ready to lose a friend that he learned to value. He arrived early in the office and as part of the Marketing team, he needed to check on the marketing trend of their company products as soon as he arrived but something surprised him when he approached his desk. There were three roses lying on top of it.

He looked around, but their office was clearly empty. He’s an early bird and no one has ever beat his record in their team. He furrowed his eyebrows, then he saw the door opening, Claire arrived.

“Oh, roses. Who gave it to you?” She exclaimed. She was sitting beside Ferris.

“I don’t know. Maybe it’s for you, just misplaced it?”

“You sure? Because I could see your symbol hanging in the rose stem.” She pointed her index finger to the roses. Ferris glanced on it and saw a small paper wrapping around the stem of the roses. It has a Ferris wheel ivon which he always uses as his signature.

His computer has finally opened and it immediately opened a window for their intranet communications, which they use to communicate within the company.

There was a chat box blinking.

He furrowed his eyebrows and sat on his chair then opened the chat box pane.

Gunner Gaizen is typing a message…

(Sales) Gunner:  I gave you three roses already. Don’t leave me. 😣

Ferris’ eyes widened. This can’t be possible. His voice was shaking when he turned to Claire with a pale face and asked her. “Cla…claire? Who was Gunner Gaizen again from sales?”

“Oh, the top one agent in sales? Damn, that guy was so hot and handsome. He’s also kind and very approachable.”

Confirmed. Ferris was doomed. But, is what he thinks is true? Magnum is Gunner? How could that be? Did he know who he was in the first place? He could only facepalm because of frustrations.

(Sales) Gunner: Why won’t you reply? I’ll go there now.

Ferris’ heart almost jumped from his chest. Just as he was about to go out to hide, the door of their office opened revealing a tall figure, handsome and well-muscled physique of a man. A greek god, perhaps. No, it was Gunner, the number one sales agent of their company.

“Why are you not replying? Don’t tell me you’ll divorce me for real?”

Ferris gasped. He immediately walked towards Gunner while Claire was still in a daze seeing the handsome figure of Gunner descending in their domain. He covered Gunner’s mouth and dragged him outside leading to the fire exit staircase.

“How did you know? Were you already aware it was me?” Ferris glared at Gunner. The latter frown seeing Ferris furious at him.

“I told you the truth. I had my eyes on you ever since.”

“But that was in the game!!”

“Not only in the game though.”

“You what?! You mean you know who I was even before?”

Gunner nodded his head then he sighed. “You probably don’t remember but we both entered the company at the same time. I was having my rough days back then because my sales were not good then I stumbled upon you when I needed to have some materials to help me improve my sales. I chatted with you and you were so nice to give me advice.

Ever since then, you caught my attention. Then, one time I overlooked what you’re doing on your phone, you were playing the game so…I decided to play it too, so maybe I can get close to you.”

Ferris was in awe. “How did you know my ign?”

“Ferris Wheel. It’s simple. But I was too shy to approach you just like I told you, the rest is history.”

“Then why the hell did you propose to me when you already know I’m a man? An officemate to boot?!”

“I answered that already but, oh well, you’re the Queen. It’s because I like you. That’s why.”

If Ferris could actually punch the handsome face of Gunner right now, he has already done it but no, that’s a gem for their company. He took a deep sigh and tried to contain his anger.

“Stop fooling around! This is not a joke.”

“I’m not joking. I never did.” Gunner looked at him with clear eyes and said it with a serious tone.

“But…it was just…a game..”

Gunner glared at him. He heaved a sigh. “It’s never just a game for me. From the start until now and in the future. What I did in the game, I could also do it in real life. Dare to leave me, and I’ll be the crazy Magnum that they referred to in game and in real life.”

His eyes were talking business here. Ferris could only gulp. He doesn’t feel disgusted though when he hears those words from Gunner and looking at this tall man towering him, rather than feeling scared, he felt comfortable and secured like how it feels in the game.

“You don’t want a divorce?” He faintly asked while Gunner was still glaring at him. The latter shakes his head.

Ferris sighed. He must keep his word. “Okay.” he said.

Gunner blinked then slowly a blinding smile arched up on his lips. “Thanks!”

Ferris could feel the heavy feeling in his heart disappearing. “It’s just a game anyway” he thought to himself but later he found his hand being held by the warm hand of his in-game husband, Magnum or probably his soon to be partner in real life, Gunner.

 

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