You’ve got it home. It sits at the bottom of your bag. It’s been there since lunch. The afternoon is a haze, a fog of vacant glances and unfinished sentences. You know you said things, and that some of those things were said to people. You’re pretty sure you saw a cat. At one point you agreed to do something. You hope it wasn’t important.

Your keys clatter against the floor, missing the dresser by a clear foot. You stop. For the first time in weeks you decide to pick them up and put them in their rightful place. You always thought fruit bowls were for fruit, but as you discovered 94 minutes into the NeverEnding Story, titles can be misleading. You walk slowly up the stairs; cool, calm, composed. No need to run. Savour it.

You push against your bedroom door. The clothes on the other side push back. The conflict is brief, but you lose a part of yourself in the struggle. Somewhere, a fairy develops asthma. Still, you are triumphant. Fuck you Feng Shui.

You throw your satchel onto the bed. You do it casually, as if it holds nothing more valuable than ticket stubs and tissues. You look away, focusing on the room. You can feel the object’s draw; a tangible, tantalising gravity. It rewards you for resisting. You test its pull, moving away from the bed, casting your eyes around for something that might prolong the moment. You are careful to avoid looking directly at your console. But you know it’s there. A smile flickers across your lips.

There really are quite a lot of clothes on the floor. You’ve defended your garment distribution system many times and to many different people. It’s an elegant system, with a firm conceptual grounding in quantum mechanics, chaos theory and lifelong malaise. Still, it might not hurt to pick up a sock or two. After all, you’ve nothing pressing at hand; nothing you would rather be doing. Nothing that cost £39.99 and is currently buried snugly beneath contours of leather, resting in the same place you lay your shattered form at the end of each day. Concealed. Secure. Waiting.

Turns out the carpet is blue. You owe your best friend a tenner. The sensation in your stomach is stronger now, a pronounced abdominal flutter, the feeling of falling inexorably towards something. You indulge it. You let it ride up your spine and burst at the base of your skull. It fills your head with light and hope. You turn to face the source of gravity’s pull: your destination. Now is the time.

You move across your still blushing floor. You open the satchel and reach inside to recover your prize.

This time everything will be perfect. This time all your hopes and expectations will not only be fulfilled, they will be exceeded. When that disc starts spinning and those pixels start refreshing, the world will be a changed place. A happier place. A better place.

This time things will be different.

Hidden Treasures







5 responses to “Promise”

  1. Markatansky avatar

    Then just as it’s starting up – RROD!


  2. Celeste avatar

    Something tells me you’re going to self-combust in a very orgasmic manner on 29 January.

    Great read. Brings back a lot of enjoyable memories.

  3. Van-Fu avatar

    Something tells me, I will be doing the very same thing, come friday.

  4. James avatar

    @ Celeste – In a cloud of biotic foam. 😀

  5. Simon avatar

    I warn you off starting powerful relationships with games James! I’ve *sniff* had my heart broken so many times before.

    Very evocative stuff, you’ve described that feeling so well.

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