Nasrin

#NASR-05-LOVE

You Come Undone Loving All the Terrible People

I

Nasrin couldn’t remember the last time she’d felt as excited — or excited @ all, truly — as she did as she counted her collection o’ Undertale pasta can lids & discovered that they added up to 100. The fact that she wasn’t the 1 who bought the pasta cans whence these lids originated, she merely kept the lids & sometimes endured bloody scratches on her fingers as she collected them, didn’t weaken her resolve a bit.

Then she asked her father to give her a stamp & a small box, & ’pon learning that they couldn’t send such a big package through their mailbox asked her father to drive her to the post office & pay for it to be shipped.

From that point on she waited with the kind o’ itchy nerves only found in a woman who’s played her entire collection o’ roms to boredom till finally her package arrived on the following Friday.

She yanked open the package, only to realize that the tape was too tough. So she ran to the kitchen to get some scissors & then sliced the package open.

& there she saw before her the Mystic 3 Sphere in its sleek cloudy purple & white. Scrolling round its surface in slightly tilting revolutions like the earth round the sun were the neon green words, “PRESS START TO BEGIN”.

She did so, & then said up close to the honey-hive-patterned mic, ¿When will I find true love?

The Sphere didn’t waste a second before replacing its marquee with new text:

“NE’ER”.

Nasrin blinked blankly @ this message for a full minute before pressing the “Please elaborate…” button.

The message was immediately replaced with a new 1:

“YOU WILL NE’ER DEVELOP A SIGNIFICANT ROMANTIC — OR FRIENDLY — RELATIONSHIP WITH ANYONE IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFETIME. YOU WILL NE’ER SO MUCH AS HUG OR KISS ANYONE IN THE FUTURE”.

Nasrin continued to blink.

¿Ne-ne’er? ¿Truly? ¿Not a single time in my life?

Next she pressed the “¿Why?” button.

A new message appeared:

“YOU WILL NE’ER DEVELOP THE BRAVERY TO INITIATE SUCH A RELATIONSHIP”.

Nasrin was nothing but blinks now. Her mind was going through a strange form o’ technical malfunction: while she knew what she read, indeed, not only made sense, but was e’en most likely, she still couldn’t believe such a conclusion stated so simply.

She scanned the Sphere for signs o’ a “¿You sure?” button, but ’course there was none. The Sphere was always sure ’bout what it said. For it not to be would be… gainst protocol…

& you don’t fuck with protocol.

II

However, as Nasrin stewed in these thoughts o’ernight, she came to the conclusion that the Sphere was wrong. She’d ensure that it was wrong. That was why it told her in the 1st place: ’twas the HAND warning her. She would show them all.

She spent all o’ her morning before going to school picking out the swankiest pair o’ sweat pants she had, only to remember that they had a standardized uniform & rushed out without having time to shower or comb her hair.

Then, during lunch, she hid out in her usual hiding plot in the wild forests ’hind the school to design the most heart-snatching poems she could. She knew she wasn’t looking good or technically intelligent or likely to be successful, so she knew her only hope was to hypnotize someone with artistic magic.

However, as she set pencil to paper, her pencil became jabbed & wouldn’t move. Some sensors in her brain stopped the hand holding the pencil like a cart ’bout to make a getway from its grocery store.

Wincing with a tongue sticking out she tried to screw the dials in her mind slightly to find the right key to stop the sensors, but couldn’t. The pencil just wouldn’t move.

I’m trying to climb mountains in 1 leap, she said to herself as she hustled down the hallway to her 3rd period class. I have to subtly nudge myself pixel by pixel toward my goal so that I don’t e’en know I’m doing it till I’m already there.

III

8 days in she noticed her usual spot taken by a new student & made the second-split decision to sit next to a boy with bangs as sharp & black as iron mountains & a puffy black jacket that looked as soft as clouds. 2 weeks after, she allowed herself to look up from a centimeter in front o’ her desk & permitted herself to breathe mo’ than was strictly necessary to prevent passing out from asphyxiation. Then 1 day she became super bold & let her elbow lightly bumb into his as she pulled out a textbook, to which she mumbled a quiet, Sorry, & spent the rest o’ the class paralyzed by such a dangerous o’erdose o’ warmth.

He didn’t e’en complain or yell @ me for bumping him, she thought for the 50th time. That’s a good sign.

However, she eased back into the earlier steps after that. Too much radicalism was dangerous.

But then the whole painting was ruined when the semester ended & everyone was reseated, causing her to be placed next to a bookshelf & some boisterous woman who kept doodling dicks & writing strange racial slurs on Nasrin’s papers, which she knew she was going to get blamed for & yelled @ for s’posedly being racist & a bad porn artist.

¿& why is there a special “sand” variety? What, ¿is it like 1 o’ those palette-swap monsters from RPGs, but these are found later in the desert & not the 1st forest?

IV

Nasrin would waste nights staring blankly @ a wall, thinking, There must be some way to ask someone to like me…, but was empty beyond that. Every few hours she’d glance @ the Mystic 3-Sphere & cringe as if ’twere scoffing @ her.

’Course it’d go this way.

’Ventually the unhappiness o’ the ordeal became so exhausting that she became bored o’ it & turned to something else. While scrolling through her list o’ files she focused on the 1 holding her maps & suddenly craved the process o’ connecting boxes o’ different grassy angles to create hills as if smelling fresh-fried meat.

’Twas an hour in that she jokingly thought, Well, a’least I’ll be the best designer o’ imaginary levels for imaginary games.

But after a minute o’ lingering o’er this thought, Nasrin turned back to the Mystic 3-Sphere & asked it whether she would be successful as a level designer.

“NO”.

This time Nasrin could only laugh a li’l as she rolled her eyes & pressed the “Please elaborate…” button.

“YOU WILL NE’ER DEVELOP THE BOLDNESS TO MARKET YOUR WORK TO CUSTOMERS, EMPLOYERS, OR E’EN FANS”.

As a joke, Nasrin typed with a furious smile, “¿WILL MY LEVELS JUST SIT ON SOME TACKY WEBSITE FOR DECADES WITH HARDLY ANY HITS ’CEPT MY OWN?”

“YES”.

This time Nasrin laughed out loud so hard that a tear fell.

Then she turned back to her laptop & resumed her block-connecting, thinking, Well, a’least I’ll be the most prolific designer o’ garbage imaginary levels for imaginary games that nobody likes.

& though distractions appeared from time to time, that will perpetually came back with a force o’ boiling indigestion, — when she forgot to do a homework assignment, missed the bus ’gain, or made some other social screw-up with 1 o’ the million people she constantly finds herself surrounded by — & in a few decades’ time, while sitting in her small apartment with cheeks thinned with hunger & tiredness from ’nother 10 hours moping floors @ Chickweed Medical Center, was surprised to find her stock o’ garbage imaginary levels for imaginary games that nobody liked grow to quite a high population.