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The Mysterious Boy

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Jungkook had a long day at work, talking to customers that he wished to never set foot in the store again. He only had 5 minutes left of his shift until he could grab some dinner and hurry home.

 

He had a big night ahead of him, excited to see one special person in particular. Just as he looked at the clock, another guest walked up to him. She had long blonde hair, swaying her hips as she approached Jungkook. From her looks, she appeared to be about Jungkook’s age.

 

“Hi! Do you work here?”

 

Jungkook tried to hide the sigh that escaped his mouth, smiling kindly while taking one last glance at the clock. Three minutes left.

 

“Yes. Can I help you find something?”

 

“Actually, my friend over there wanted to know if they could get your number.”

 

Jungkook had gotten this question way too many times. After looking at the “friend” the girl pointed to, it was obvious she wasn’t interested. This number was for herself. Jungkook took a deep breath before smiling.

 

“Sorry. I can’t give my number out when I’m at work.”

 

One minute left.

 

“Well, when do you get out?”

 

This girl was being pushy, a huge turnoff for him. He looked at the clock, seeing that it was officially the end of his shift.

 

“Now, actually. But before you ask, I’m not interested in her. Sorry.”

 

Jungkook quickly turned towards the back room for employees only. He could tell the girl was annoyed, but she turned away and went out the door. He met a couple other employees in the back, waiting to get on the computer to clock out. There was someone in front of him, so he began bouncing in place slightly while he waited.

 

“Got plans or something?”

 

Jungkook was scared by his manager’s voice. With his hand over his heart, he took a couple deep breaths before replying.

 

“Jeez! Don’t scare me like that! And my only plans are to go home and play VR games.”

 

“Ugh kids these days. I understand that VR games are the new, hot thing to play, but you all need some sun.”

 

Jungkook’s manager was about fifty years old, having grown up with gameboys and Nintendo DS devices. While they understood virtual reality, they never saw it getting this popular. Most people in Jungkook’s generation would rather live in virtual reality than in real life.

 

“Yes, Karen. I’ll get more sun tomorrow, but I promised someone I’d meet them in the game today.”

 

“Of course, of course.” The computer became free, so Jungkook stepped up, filling in the right information. “Have fun!”

 

“Thanks! I will!”

 

Jungkook ran out of the store, quickly finding his car. He slid into the driver’s seat, turning the keys into the engine. After gripping the steering wheel, he began forming his plan for the night.

 

 

Alright. I’ll stop by the Korean barbecue place for takeout and eat when I get home. Then I should have about three hours to see them. Perfect!

 

 

Jungkook put the car into reverse, backing the car out of the parking spot before putting the car into drive. The Korean barbecue place was only a couple blocks down the street. Jungkook had already ordered his food when he left work, so it was ready to pick up when he opened the door.

 

“Thank you! Have a great day!”

 

“Thanks! You too!”

 

Jungkook waved to the hostess as he opened the door to leave. He quickly got back in the car, setting the food onto the passenger seat.

 

Jungkook drove home, about a fifteen minute drive. He wasn’t speeding per se, but he didn’t want to miss one second playing VR.

 

After he arrived home, he was in such a hurry to get inside that he almost left his keys in the engine and the food on the passenger seat. After he grabbed the food and keys, he started to walk to his apartment where he lived alone. He took out his apartment keys, quickly opening the door while balancing the food in his arms.

 

After entering, he quickly shut the doors. Since he was planning on playing in a virtual reality world, he made sure to lock the door. He set his food on the table and turned the VR machine on to start the warmup sequence.

 

In the meantime, Jungkook quickly ate all his food. He was used to eating takeout, most of his time spent studying for classes, working, and playing this one VR game.

 

Just as Jungkook finished eating, the VR system was done initializing. Jungkook only ever played one game, the game still loaded into the console.

 

Jungkook had permanently moved all furniture aside, making sure there was room to move around. The VR system would tell you if you were close to an object, but Jungkook didn’t like taking any chances.

 

He threw his food away and moved towards the VR headset. He quickly put it on, anticipating the rest of his night in this fantasy land.

 

He moved his right hand to scroll through all the games loaded on the VR. However, there was the one game still loaded in the console that popped out to him.

 

 

Mikrokosmos

 

 

Jungkook smiled as he pressed onto the image, anticipating the rest of his night. After the game loaded, the main screen came on. He clicked “Load” and pressed his most recent game progress. The screen went black as it loaded from the last save point.

 

Jungkook was thrown into this VR world, his last save point being in his house in the game. He started walking around, anxious to find something. It was nighttime in the game, the only light coming through from a street lamp and the stars.

 

“Hello? Anyone there?”

 

Jungkook was about to search the house before he was given options.

 

 

1) Take a look outside

2) Go upstairs

 

 

Jungkook pressed option two, the stairs now open for access. Jungkook had first liked this game, because he got to choose his own path and what happened. Now, he liked the game for a special reason.

 

He quietly went up the stairs, being sure not to make too much noise. After he reached the top, he looked to the left and right.

 

To the right was another staircase. To the left, there were two rooms with the doors closed. Jungkook assumed that one door was for a bathroom and the other was for a bedroom. Just as Jungkook was done looking, he was given another choice.

 

 

1) Turn left

2) Turn right

 

 

Jungkook knew what he was looking for, not sure where it would be since the location changed every time he logged on.

 

He knew he was just walking around the open space in his living room, but it felt so real. He was on a mission, and nothing could stop him, not even some lousy furniture.

 

Jungkook decided to click option two, the next staircase now accessible. He turned, walking up quietly. Even though it was a game, he found himself on his tiptoes to make himself as quiet as possible.

 

He eventually reached the top of the stairs. He looked around again to take in his surroundings. To the right, there was a large, wooden door. It was embellished, the door design shining in the light from the stars.

 

To the left, there was a long hallway. At the end of the hallway was a simple door with the word “Serendipity” written in yellow cursive font on a plaque.

 

Jungkook knew immediately that this was the door. He tried walking to the left, but he was immediately knocked back by an invisible force. After a couple seconds, he was given a choice.

 

 

1) Turn left

2) Turn right

 

 

Jungkook didn’t hesitate to hit option one. The invisible force evaporated away, allowing Jungkook to walk down the hallway.

 

Every couple steps, the floorboards would creak. He would flinch, trying to stay as quiet as possible. He could only imagine what he looked like with the headset on in his actual house, but all that mattered right now was opening that door.

 

He finally reached the door, trying to open it slowly. He had a good hunch of what was in the room, and the last thing he wanted to do was make a loud noise. The door also creaked, causing Jungkook to open it even slower. Once it was opened, Jungkook saw what he had been longing to see they entire day.

 

Someone was curled up under a yellow blanket, their blonde hair sticking out and placed on a white, fluffy pillow. It was obvious that they were sleeping. Before Jungkook could take another step forward, he was given another choice.

 

 

1) Move closer to the bed and risk waking them up

2) Turn around and explore the other room

 

 

Even though Jungkook didn’t want to wake them up, he was willing to take the risk. He chose option one, moving closer to the person in the bed. When he was about five feet away, one of the floorboards let out a loud sound in the previous silence of the room.

 

Jungkook immediately halted, watching the body in the bed. After a couple small movements of rustling, the body stilled. Jungkook noticed breaths being taken as the blanket covering them rose and fell.

 

Jungkook wiped some sweat from his forehead as he continued moving forward slower than before. From here, he could finally admire them.

 

The boy had blonde hair and delicate facial features. Even though the only light in the room was from the millions of stars coming through the window, Jungkook could see the boy’s features clearly. He was drawn to the boy’s lips, dusted pink as if the VR artist did it on purpose.

 

Before Jungkook could look any further, he was given another choice to make. He decided to look at the boy’s features later, so he could make a decision.

 

 

1) Get into the bed and cuddle. But beware! If they don’t want you there, they may try to hurt you. Can you run fast enough?

2) Run now! They may already be out to get you, and you’ll get a head start.

 

 

Jungkook had played this game many times since he bought it, since he became obsessed. He’s met this boy many times. According to game reviews Jungkook looked at, this boy had tried to kill other players no matter what game route they took.

 

But for Jungkook, no matter what game route he took, the man never tried to kill him or even hurt him. According to everyone else that played the game, this was unheard of, to the point where many people thought Jungkook had a faulty copy of the game.

 

However, to Jungkook, he believed that it was because the boy and him were meant to be together. He never told anyone, because he knew everyone would think he was crazy. Also, he hadn’t told anyone that he was gay, and based on where he lived and past experiences, he decided to keep it that way.

 

The game developer said that she programmed the game to give each of the characters a unique base set of traits but left the development of their personalities to the choices the player made.

 

One of the boy’s base traits was to be a killer. Therefore, most players would eventually be chased or killed by him. However, the developer did say that the boy would reveal his name to those he deemed worthy to know it, those he came to love. And while Jungkook started to fall in love with this boy, he still hasn’t heard his name. Jungkook never gave up though, knowing that even if the boy killed him, he’d feel oddly at peace.

 

He thought for a couple seconds before choosing option one. Just as he did, the invisible force blocking the bed faded away. Jungkook focused on the boy’s breathing, feeling at peace knowing that the other was sleeping. He thought about turning around one more time, before deciding to step forward.

 

His knees touched the end of the bed. After a couple seconds of the boy not moving, Jungkook moved the blanket slightly and moved onto the bed. He quickly covered the boy and himself in the soft blanket, moving to cuddle the boy softly as to not scare him.

 

While Jungkook preferred to be the little spoon when cuddling, he took the role of the big spoon this time. The mysterious boy sighed contently, moving closer to Jungkook for warmth.

 

They both stayed like that, cuddling and snuggling in the night. Jungkook realized that he must be laying in his sofa in the living room, but right now, all he cared about was being right here with the boy from a VR universe, where everything felt so real.

 

“I thought you’d never show up.”

 

The boy turned around in the bed to face Jungkook. Even with the little lighting, Jungkook still took in the softness of his face. Jungkook moved closer to the boy, them now touching nose to nose.

 

“I wouldn’t miss this for the world.”

 

Jungkook thought the boy was going to close the gap, so he waited and waited. After a couple minutes, he decided that he would do it, until the boy put his index finger to Jungkook’s lips. He slowly removed his finger, causing Jungkook’s bottom lip to drop slightly.

 

The boy then motioned for Jungkook to turn around. Jungkook’s mind immediately thought of two things. They were either both going to fall asleep, or this is where the boy kills him. Jungkook weighed his options for a couple seconds before turning around, his back now facing the mysterious boy.

 

Jungkook laid there for almost a minute, not feeling anything from the boy. Jungkook closed his eyes realizing this was it. This is when he dies.

 

However, Jungkook feels a pressure against his back, realizing that it was the boy’s chest. The boy snuggled closer to Jungkook just as Jungkook moved closer to the boy, the chest and back of the two now almost inseparable. Knowing he wasn’t going to be killed, at least not yet, Jungkook began to relax. The boy laughed slightly.

 

“I thought you’d like being the little spoon, even though you’re taller than me.”

 

It was something Jungkook had only noticed recently, now only really playing the game to meet this mysterious boy. The height difference wasn’t anything immense but was definitely noticeable. The fact that the boy noticed too made Jungkook think that he was paying attention to the details. This made Jungkook smile slightly.

 

“Yeah. I like it a lot.” After a couple of seconds wrapped in the boy’s arms, Jungkook continued. “I missed you a ton. I wish I could be here all day.”

 

“I wish you could, too. It’s not the same here without you.”

 

Jungkook took a deep breath, turning back towards the boy. They were both looking into each other’s eyes, getting lost in the reflection of the stars. Just as Jungkook was about to break the silence, the boy spoke up.

 

“Jimin.”

 

Jungkook was slightly confused, and his expression showed it. The boy laughed slightly, thinking Jungkook’s expression was more cute than anything.

 

“My name idiot. It’s Jimin.”

 

Jimin immediately became shy, letting go of his soft grip on Jungkook and playing with his fingers instead. Jungkook’s mind immediately went back to the developer’s words. He was shocked yet grateful that the boy, Jimin, had felt comfortable enough to tell him his name. Jungkook also realized in this moment that his love for Jimin must also be reciprocated by the character from the game.

 

Before Jungkook realized what he was doing, he leaned in. His hands were placed lightly on Jimin’s cheek and neck as he kissed the other’s soft, pink lips. It was nothing too intense, just a soft peck. Jimin looked surprised but quickly closed his eyes, seeming to enjoy the affection.

 

Just as Jungkook was about to pull away, Jimin leaned in, trying to deepen the kiss. Jungkook wasn’t ready, pulling away quickly. Jimin seemed disappointed at the reaction, his eyes facing the floor.

 

“You didn’t want to keep kissing? Why?”

 

“I ... I just ...”

 

Jungkook was extremely nervous, playing with his fingers under the blanket. Jimin noticed, grabbing his hands softly and waiting patiently for Jungkook to continue.

 

“I’ve never been able to be with a guy before, and I love you so much. I want to make you as happy as I can, and I guess it scares me that I’m probably failing you. I want to give you the world, but I feel like I’m not good enough, that you deserve better.”

 

Jungkook’s eyes were now facing his fingers again, trying to distract himself from how disappointed Jimin must be.

 

After a couple seconds, a finger lifted Jungkook’s chin causing Jungkook’s eyes to widen in surprise. He was met with another soft kiss from Jimin, the boy snuggling in deeper to Jungkook’s chest.

 

“You could never disappoint me.”

 

Jimin kissed Jungkook’s nose before turning the boy back around, allowing Jungkook to be the little spoon again. Jungkook sighed contently, intertwining his hand with Jimin’s.

 

“I wish I could stay here forever with you.”

 

“Me too.”

 

Jimin’s voice seemed saddened by the reality that Jungkook was a real person that couldn’t stay in the virtual reality forever. Jungkook truly wished he could stay here with Jimin. However, he knew that was impossible.

 

“I love you.”

 

Jungkook was surprised by Jimin’s words, now knowing that this boy, this mysterious boy, reciprocated his feelings and truly meant it.

 

Just as Jungkook was getting comfortable, a one minute timer appeared in the corner of Jungkook’s vision, signaling that Jungkook only had a minute left in this VR universe. Jungkook started to panic, wanting to say goodbye to the boy he’d come to love.

 

“Don’t. Just ... let me hold you.”

 

It was Jimin, his grip becoming tighter on Jungkook. Jungkook started to understand that Jimin probably didn’t want him to go either, but he’d rather enjoy the last couple moments he had rather than have Jungkook panic.

 

Jungkook let the panic subside, reading 40 seconds in the corner of his vision.

 

“I’ll come back tomorrow if you’ll still have me.”

 

“I wouldn’t try to keep you away. I’ll always be here.”

 

“I’ll visit every night, even if I get no sleep.”

 

There was a slight pause, Jungkook noticing there was only 10 seconds left. He turned around to see a tear slip out of Jimin’s eyes. Jungkook wiped it away with his thumb.

 

“I love you.”

 

“I love yo—”

 

Before Jungkook could finish, Jimin’s image became full of static and eventually cut into pitch black with a message stating “Time’s up!” in bold red letters. Jungkook took off the headset, finding himself on his couch as he expected.

 

He didn’t realize he was crying until he saw drops fall onto the couch. He quickly brushed them all away. He finally had a name for the boy with blonde hair, the boy with soft features, the boy who loved him as much as he loved them.

 

 

Jimin