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[[<SAO: Siriyako>]]
Written by: TyphoonWarlock
Published: 8/28/15
<"Prequel to SSO">: A Short Story

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I: Loss

It was a cold winter's morning, November 6th, 2022, to be exact. Me and my mom and me were drinking tea and watching TV. We were snuggled up so close together, as if we were Eskimos desperately praying for warmth. You see, usually, my mother worked from 8am to 8pm every day, sometimes on weekends. But she did it all to support our family. My dad kinda slipped into the housewife role. This wasn't quality time though, as we were expecting The Call. Okay, let me start from the beginning. My dad is awesome. He is a major video game fanatic as well, and he got me into gaming at the age of one! In the years before school when he minded me for the day we would game for hours and hours. So when school did come around, I was upset. All I really wanted to do with my life back then was play games with my dad. And that's what I'd do every day when I came back from school, me and dad would game until our eyes went square. As I got older, the bedtimes got later, we gamed for longer and our bond grew stronger. Life was perfect. And anyone who knows anything about life will know that when life seems perfect, it suddenly falls apart. In my case it was the revelation in May that my dad was diagnosed with a terminal illness and had about half a year to live, so we knew The Call would be coming now, IF it was coming. The phone started to ring. I looked at my Mom and she looked back. There was a feeling of understanding in the air, as we both knew: it was here. Mom walk slowly over to the phone and picked it up.

"Uh, hello? This is the Ryako household."

i heard a bunch of muffled sounds and my Mom went "Yep" a couple of times and then, to my surprise, she held the phone out to me.

"It's for you Sitako", she said softly.

I held the phone up to my ear.

"Congratulations, your father has been cured."

--is what I'd have liked to hear. All I heard was:

"We are very sorry, Sitako-chan, but your father has died."

I wanted to scream and howl over the phone, "Why didn't you save him?!!!" , but I was too shocked to even utter a sound. It's fumny how even the things that have been building up for ages can still shock you? I slammed the phone down and wandered into my tearful mother's loving arms, and cried, and cried, and cried. I don't know how long i cried for, and I didn't really care. I just missed my dad.

II: Recklessness

Perhaps the strangest about death is how different people deal with it. With most 13 year olds like myself, the feeling of power is in your soul as you turn from a helpless child into an adult. This carries over into grief as well. The people who feel powerless because of loss will revert to whimpering children while the people who draw strength from grief turn into raging monsters. After a quiet lunch I stormed into me and my dad's gaming room and looked around for stuff to destroy like a fly looking for food. I glanced over at my dad's retro game collection. No. That's his life's work. Destroy that and a whole quarter of his life meant nothing. I looked to the other side of the room and saw my VR game collection. Of course! The VR games! His aged body couldn't handle them! It's my own fault he's dead! I then proceeded to throw my Oculus Rift, all my VR games and all my VR accessories. They all smashed on the outside ground . My Mom must have heard the racket as she came running upstairs and asked,

"Sitako, what's going on?!"

She then looked out the window and sighed.

"Oh, Sitako. Don't worry, you acted on impulse. We all experience grief in different ways. Come on, let's go buy you that NerveGear gizmo they're talking about on the news."

"No, really mom, you don't have to, I made a stupid mistake and--"

"No, I insist. Your dad is gonna want to watch from up in heaven."

So out we went to Brad's Games, where the owner is Mom's best friends son, so we get discounts.

We went to the new releases and picked out the NerveGear, then took it to the counter.

"This console comes with a free game, Mrs Ryako." , Brad said.

"Oh, right!", Mom exclaimed, "Sitako, why don't you go pick out a game?"

As I wandered off, Mum started telling Brad about Dad. I had plenty of time to choose, as Mom always takes ages with her conversations.

After 5 minutes of good hard browsing, I chose the perfect game: Sword Art Online.

III: Fear

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