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Reality Check

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Harvey spent most of his time alone in Pelican Town. He seldom wandered out to socialize, and when he did, it left him feeling incredibly empty. The almost middle-aged bachelor sat on his couch, slouched over watching the local psychic on TV. The microwavable dinner that he had heated up earlier in the evening had grown cold and.... hard. He glanced down at the black tray that rested on his coffee table. ‘Meatloaf and mashed, huh?’ A sigh escaped his throat and echoed throughout the hollowness of his apartment. The only light that was present was the literal light coming from the TV.

 

Harvey shifted on the couch to lay down, slightly slipping his hand under the waistband of his boxer briefs. It had been a long time since Harvey had the company of a woman in his life. In med school he was suave and alluring. He was the tallest man in the class and his BMI was impressive too. He certainly did have his share rendezvous in that time of his life.

 

It was after medical school and during his residency that things started to change for him though. He barely slept, and never had time to work out; that’s not saying he’s not physically fit, just not what he used to be. He started change his priorities, and before he knew it, one night flings with the tight-ass, blonde nurses weren’t cutting it for him anymore. He hated working in the ER and longed for something more... quaint.

 

When the job in Pelican Town opened up, he immediately jumped on the opportunity. Within a few months, he was completely settled in to his life here. Not long after that he hired Maru to be his nurse, and the two have kept things running smoothly ever since. Maru was an incredibly attractive young woman with legs that seemed to go on for miles. But he just never found her to really complete him. There was something missing from their conversations when they spoke.

 

Harvey defeatedly shut the TV off and made his way over to the bed. He slipped his shirt over his head, revealing the curly brown hair that littered his pectoral region. He slithered under the covers and looked over at the planes across the way. ‘If only.’ There is nothing more that he would wish to do than to pick up and leave and start elsewhere. Honestly, at this point, would he even know how to start over? He has all of these dreams about falling in love and settling down, but he can barely carry on a conversation with his nurse that he has known for five years, let alone be vulnerable and intimate with someone strange.

 

“Yoba let me catch a break.” He muttered under his breath as he gently closed his eyes. Finally, Harvey was able to drift off into a quiet slumber, with dreams of a seemingly impossible future.

 

********************

 

You have never been one to make a commitment. That’s why you were on your way home with some random man that you met at the bar. Growing up it was hard, your mother left you and your dad, and the only other parental figure you had was your grandfather. God you loved your grandfather. But his marriage ended abruptly when your grandmother died from colon cancer., and he died not to long after. All of this combined taught you one thing: attachment leads to heartbreak.

 

You sloppily make out with this stranger you had just met an hour ago in the back of a taxi cab. All a while thinking about everything that got you to this point in your life. You shove the thoughts out of your mind and try to focus on running your hands across this man’s bulge. What was his name? Fuck.

 

You finally reach your destination and and the taxi driver clears his throat to signal that you both need to get the fuck out of his cab. You and... guy... look at the tab that you ran up. He looks at you and shrugs, “I don’t have cash on me.”

 

Of course you don’t, scumbag. You fumble through your purse and throw the cab driver 100 gold and tell him to keep the change, it’s the least you can do at this point in the trip. You and... guy... grab and aggressively kiss each other the entire way up to your loft. When you get there you don’t break away from this handsome stranger and you feel for your keys in your clutch. Finally you manage to open your door and you both fumble inside. The man you are entertaining doesn’t waste much time in removing your clothes, but then again you don’t waste any time either.

 

You both make your way over to your bed and gracelessly fall onto it with a thud, slightly bumping teeth when you do. You reach down for his member and are not necessarily impressed with what you feel, but it’s only for the evening so why the fuck not. When you slide him inside of you you fain pleasure and bolster his ego with moans and whimpers; but you aren’t getting anything out of it at all. You glance over at the clock on your night stand and pray that he’ll finish soon so you can kick him out and head to bed. ‘2:43am.’ You turn your attention back to the man on top of you and run your hands through his coarse, black hair, gently nibbling on his ear. You let out a moan into the side of his neck, and the vibration must have sent him over the edge or something, because his body convulsed and collapsed on top of you.

 

You roll your eyes as the stranger buries his neck deep into your neck, condescendingly patting his back. You glance over at the clock once more-- 2:45am. You decide you’ll give him another minute before you throw him off of you. You move to brush your hair out of your eyes, and suddenly the silence is broken, “That was incredible.” The unfamiliar voice said to you, now cupping your face and lacing it with kisses. Okay, definitely time to go.

 

You push the man off of you and cover yourself with a sheet as you pick your body off of the bed, “Yeah! For sure!” you try to say enthusiastically. “I’m pretty beat though and I have work tomorrow so you should probably get out.” You notice that the man is visibly upset now, you hate when they get like this. You reach for your phone and hand it to your acquaintance, “Here put your number in so I can message you tomorrow!” You say sweetly with a big grin.

 

This diffuses the tension in the room and the man happily obliges. He puts his number in and you both get dressed to part ways. You walk the man to your front door and he gives you a kiss on the lips, “I’ll talk to you later.”

 

You just nod, you don’t feel like lying anymore, “Goodnight.” And with that you shut the door. You head back to your bed and pick up your phone. Bryan-- Delete. You throw your phone on the charger and sit on the edge of the bed looking out the window that overlooks ZuZu City. You can’t help but feel a longing in your soul, something pulling you beyond the horizon. It is in that moment that you reflect on your time in Pelican Town. You haven’t been there since your grandfather died, but recalling those memories always made you happy.

 

You walk over to your desk, the lights from the city illuminating your path, and you pull out an old scrapbook. You flip through the pages looking at all of the memories you made on your grandfather's farm, wishing so desperately that you could return to that time. You often wondered what became of the farm after your grandfather’s passing. Probably JoJa. You feel the a droplet of anger ripple throughout your body at the thought of it.

 

You have been working at JoJa for a couple years since you left college. You haven’t really moved up within the corporation, but it was enough to maintain a fancy loft within the middle of the city. You hated your job there though, wholeheartedly. You practically have to scrape yourself off your bed in the morning to drag yourself to work.

At that moment, you flipped the page in your grandfather’s old scrapbook, and a note came tumbling out of it. you hesitate for a moment, unsure what could be contained within the pages. After a brief moment of uncertainty, you bend down and pick it up. The dry texture of the paper almost feels rough in your hands as you smooth the creases flat. You walk over closer to the large window in your loft to light up the page:

“If you're reading this, you must be in dire need of a change.

The same thing happened to me, long ago. I'd lost sight of what mattered most in life... real connections with other people and nature. So I dropped everything and moved to the place I truly belong.

I’ve enclosed the deed to that place... my pride and joy: my farm. It’s located in Stardew Valley, on the southern most coast. It’s the perfect place to start your new life.

This was my most precious gift of all, and now it’s yours. I know you’ll honor the family name, my dear. Good luck.

Love, Grandpa ”

You gasp as the paper falls from your hands. In that moment you can’t help but feel like you are being watched. It is almost as if your grandfather was there to answer your previous question. You take a seat on the floor next to the fallen parchment and you stare intensely out of the window. What does this mean? You can’t deny the fact that you have grown accustomed to city life, however, there is always a part of you that feels like something is missing. ‘Have I been trying to convince myself this entire time that I am happy?’ You glance back over at the letter, squinting at it as if it had some sort of supernatural power. It looks like you are going to have some difficult phone calls to make in the morning.

*******************

Your alarm was set for 6:00am, but you didn’t need it. You barely slept through the night, you just tossed and turned for the 3 short hours that separated you from dawn. As soon as you could, you reached for the phone on your nightstand. You placed a call to JoJa Corp. and held your breath as the dial tone rang. It’s not too late to hang up and just get ready for work like normal.

An irritatingly familiar voice picked up that pretty much sealed your fate, “Hello JoJa Corp, how can I help you THRIVE?”

“Hey Eunice, this is worker 45783.... um.... I’m just calling to say that... uh....” You pause for a moment, thinking about how you are going to go about this, then, like vomit you exclaim, “I quit!”

You hang the phone up and grab a pillow to smother a scream. You can’t believe you just did that. You actually quit that awful job and you feel so... weightless. You haven’t felt this terrific in years! You dance around your apartment to the sound of your phone ringing; it was JoJa frantically trying to call you back, but you don’t have any intention on ever speaking to anyone from that prison ever again. You walk over to grab the note that changed your life, and flipped it over to reveal the phone number of a man named Lewis.

Once JoJa had finally given up attempting to reach out to you, you dialed the number, and once again held your breath waiting for a voice to pick up. The only difference is this time, you had no doubt in your mind or desire to hang up. Finally, a voice that sounded shriveled picked up, “Hello, Mayor Lewis of Pelican Town.”

You didn’t even know how to respond. You stood there in silence. Finally the man broke through the other line once more, “Hello?”

“Uh hi!” you manage to squeak out. This is all so surreal. Last night you were at one of the busiest bars in ZuZu City looking for a temporary escape from reality, and now you are making arrangements to become a farmer.

“Hello! What can I do for you?” The voice kindly replied. You aren’t used to friendly interactions here in the city.

You explained to Lewis that you are the granddaughter of the man who owned Hypna farms and that you received a note from him granting you ownership of the farm. Lewis was more than happy to make arrangements for you, actually, he was thrilled that you finally found the note your grandfather had left for you. He apparently always wondered what transpired regarding the property lot.

You chatted a little while longer and finally you both hung up. He claimed that he was going to speak to the local carpenter, Robin, to get everything set up for your arrival at the end of the week. The butterflies that were in your chest were racing at an impeccable speed. There was so much looming in the future, but you have never felt more at ease in your entire life. You have only a limited amount of time before your big move to Pelican Town, so you don’t waste any time to start sorting through your belongings. The anticipation you feel towards the end of the week is already driving you mad.