“Amelia, you look so cute today!” I blush at Onna’s words.
“Th-thank you. I feel like our uniforms are more professional now.”Onna smiles at me, and takes a lint roller to my jacket.
“Yes, it definitely suits you better.”I smile.
“I like your business pants suits better though.They are moreform fitting and mature on you, Onna.”
“You guys done flirting?”My little sister Grace, or Pidge as I nicknamed her, sarcastically asks. I annoyingly puff my cheeks.
“Shut up Pidge! Come on Onna, we are leaving now."
We leave my apartment, and head to the subway station.
“You are more fluent in Japanese now Amelia.”
“I try. I HAVE been here for a couple of months now anyway.” She snickers.
“And yet you still use the formality to everyone.” I jolt.
“Well that is just cause it is more polite and proper. You do too when you are not talking to me.” She smiles at me.
“You are not wrong there.” We squeeze our bodies into the large transportation machine to reach our destination. We then look at a glowing ad that presented itself in front of our tired eyes.
“Oh that is the newest game that Pidge wants.”
“I am pre-ordering it too.” I jump a little surprised by her comment.
“You like video games?” I ask wondering if I heard her right.
“Everyone has a hobby.” She speaks as a strand of her dark hair perfectly sets itself lower to her slim ear. I brightly smile.
“That is a nice, tame holiday.” Yeah compared to my hobby of bot fighting, but I am not about to bring that baggage up. I need to change the subject, but not to obviously.
“I heard the developer is very popular with the ladies; though, I have never personally seen him.”I add to change where the direction of the conversation goes. I also can believe this since it is especially true with Grace. She drools over him and his works constantly. I sigh at that thought. Onna messes with my short, blonde hair.
“You should let me decorate your hair a little. You do always complain about being called sir.” I fiddle with another section of my hair; it feels soft, I am glad I washed it.
“Yeah, okay.” Something clicks in Onna’s mind. She rummages through her bag, then excitingly looks at me; her eyes sparkle.
“Alright, Amelia. Close your eyes.” I obediently close my eyes as my heart beat quickens. My fingers lose feeling as I wait in anticipation.
“Okay, you can open them!” I flutter my eyes open, and notice that a part of my hair is placed in a different position. I touch the source and feel something butterfly shaped. She opens her mirror app on her phone, and shows me my flustered face. Then I see the hair clip. It is a blue butterfly with small teal and purple accents.
“I love it, thank you.” I stay quiet so I do not disturb those around us. She chuckles.
“Take good care of it, Amelia.” I proudly nod.
“Now arriving at Sendai. Now arriving at Sendai.” Onna zips her bag closed.
“This is our stop.“ We scoot to and exit, and wait for themechanical gates to open and let the dozens of people flood out and in. We survive and walk up back to the surface.
“What should we have for lunch, Onna?” I ask craving the many food options that circle around my mind.
“-I am using my lunch to get that game sorry.” I feel a little but of disappointment, but then I brush it off and smile.
“That is fine. I hope you get it in time.” She, surprisingly, smiles.
“Thank you for understanding.”She waves.
“Well, see you later. Stay strong, Amelia.” I wave back.
“Bye bye.” I seem cheerful now; once she leaves, however, my anxiety and insecurity begins to kick in.
“Back to work I go.”
I walk into the cubical jungle.
“Ms. Frederick, you have papers awaiting your attention.”
My quirky smile shows itself.
“I am on it.” I sludge to my cubical, and take a look at the documents.
“This is easy though.” I whisper so the higher-ups do not hear me. I get it now. Give all of the tedious work to the newcomer. I sigh as I set my bag down, then I work on the papers. I go through it slowly, and occasionally glance at the clock as it ticks through the time. Lunch comes around, and I go and sit in my chair in the cafe. The chair that I always sit in, with Onna in front of me. She is higher in the work chain so she always has a interesting story to tell. However, today I am by my lonesome.
“You alone today, Amelia?” A voice speaks; I look up.
“Oh, hi Yuuko.” I answer with slight melancholy. She sits in Onna’s seat; it, at first, hits a nerve a little, but I would like the company.
“You see the promos for that new game? I heard that those who pre-ordered it can get it today.” I scoff.
“I am not too fond of games.” Especially not today.
“So where’s Onna?”
I stop for a second.
“-Business... she had business to attend to.”
Yuuko opens her lunch box.
I do not know if video gaming is a secret of Onna’s, and Yuuko loves to gossip. I open my lunch box as well.
“Cute hair pin by the way.”
I start to feel warm and content as I touch it, and think about Onna and how generous and kind she is.
“Thank you, it was a gift.”
Yuuko shoots the breeze with the latest drama, but I kind of tune her out. I stay in this mentality for the rest of the day. However, more and more ads pop up for the game Onna is getting.
I whisper as I shuffle through the subway. I find a spot to settle myself, and look at my phone. My eyes go wide.
I read the article.
Attention all citizens. There is a call back for all Player’s Quest Online. The game has been found to be a ‘death trap’ according to locals. It is said that all who play are locked into the game. They say that once you enter the visual chamber you disappear, and your chamber shuts down; keeping you unable to come back to the real world. After it shuts off it leaves a note. ‘Complete the game to return home. However, if the character were to die; may the lord have their soul.’ This is not a prank. Whatever you do, do not enter the game.
I see it is my stop, and dash out,
I take my heels off as I run and pray that she has not entered the chamber yet. I get to my house and frantically grab my keys, and open the door. I see Grace open the chamber’s devilish doors.
“NO!” She jumps as she sees my heavy breathing body.
“What!? You scared me Amelia!” I march over, slam the doors, and pull her away from the contraption and it’s ill intentions.
“Seriously, what’s your problem Millie?”
“I just saved your life, quit your whining.” She confusingly looks at me.
“What do you mean?” I show her the alert. She looks at the game chamber with her eyes fearful of what could have happened.
“Wh-What the hell!?” I sigh in relief, but my fears come back. Onna! I go to my contacts on my phone, and click on Onna’s. I put the phone up to my ear as I wait. The suspense consumes me. I can not wait any longer. I need to go, and now. I start walking back to my door.
“I am going to Onna’s house. Do NOT plat that game.” She scoffs.
“As if!” I smile.
I leave the apartment and go across the street. I enter the building using the key card Onna gave me.
“Please Onna... do not play the game. Wait for me.” I am coming to save you. I keep thinking of the different outcomes I could face as I get closer and closer to her. I get to her room, and quickly use the key card. Once in her apartment I notice the lights are out.
“Onna? Onna!?” I enter her living room, and see the chamber’s lights fade. She went into the game. I was too late.
“No... no no no no NO NO NO!” I start hitting the chamber to spite it. Then I stop. I feel the butterfly as it is all I have left of her.
“Onna.” Tears slide down my face. I leave and lock her apartment.
“She is in danger. Who knows what enemies she will have to face there, and by herself none the less.”
I cross the street once more, and walk back to my apartment.
“I want to help her, but how?” I open, close, and lock my door.
“Pidge.” No answer.
I open her bedroom door, ans see she has fallen asleep. I quietly shut her door, then tip toe back to the living room. I sit on the sofa, and notice a frame beside me. I carefully pick it up and look. It is a picture of Onna, Pidge, and I around when we first started living in Japan. I remember that Onna brought food to welcome us since she knew I would be a co-worker. We have been best friends ever since. I nostalgically smile at the picture, and of the memory it brought.
“I must rescue Onna.” I leave a note for Pidge.
I used your game to find Onna. I will come back when I can. I love and will miss you.