This all started when my friend, Clair, and I wanted to create a game. A realistic game, like a simulation, except you can do whatever, and I mean whatever. With no mods allowed either.  Clair was involved with the graphic design and I was involved with coding. But that was six years ago when we were ten. Eventually Clair and I separated from each other’s lives.

I’m sixteen now, and we actually made the game in about three years, but in the last year Clair and I got into a fight and Clair took the game.  It was in the third year of making the game.  We hadn't finished it, but I knew that she was going to finish it.

But one day, the doorbell rang. Clair was standing there, not blinking, blue eyes wide... she looked shocked. But she just stood there, not saying anything. I was so happy to see her that I didn’t pay attention to her facial expression. I smiled happily and hugged her, without receiving one back. She handed me a CD case, and with the same expression as before, she reached inside the house and slammed the door. I opened the door, but she wasn’t there anymore. Strange, I thought. I went upstairs to my computer and shoved the disk into the disk-drive. I was happy to see that it was our game, and I wanted to play it again so I opened it.

The title screen was there, like usual. It showed people walking the streets, like we made it.  The cars were zooming by.  Then the title popped up. Our game was called LIFE.  There were three buttons, when there were normally four. The quit button was missing.

I just shrugged and pressed play. There were no save files when I remembered making one. The theme song was nice and peaceful, but the pitch was a little bit higher than I remembered. Then the loading screen started.

The loading bar went normally.The first person view of the character was a little off, as if someone was recording it with shaky hands. I started off in my house, the peaceful music playing again. Then the screen went all static, but the music was still playing.

I hadn’t remembered the game to be this horrible in quality. At this point I had forgotten that I hadn’t made a save file, but I was on the game. I felt a little uneasy at what was happening.  I made my character walk to the mirror, but there was nothing there, which was probably a result of not making a character.  I wanted to stop the game and reboot it later, but I felt the need to push on. I pulled up the character page, where it would normally show my character, but it just showed a black silhouette.  The name was not there either.  It looked like someone scribbled on the screen in black marker.  That was enough for me.

I turned my computer off and grabbed my phone and headed for the door.  I locked the door behind me and rushed as fast as I could to Clair’s house.  When I got there, I was about to ring the doorbell, but the door swung open.  Her mother was standing in the doorway, her father peeking out of the kitchen. 

“Where is Clair?” I demanded, pulling a look of frustration.  Her mother’s eyes were red and swollen as if she’d been crying. 

“Sorry, dear.  She’s not living here anymore.  She was found dead in her room, like a suicide, but no one knows why.” Her mother sobbed. 

I rushed back to my house, tears running down my cheeks. I couldn’t sleep that night. My former best friend committed suicide, leaving me a hacked game, and not saying anything. I had dreams about Clair, the game, and everything that went on that day.

A week passed and I felt like I had to figure out what went wrong with the game. I booted it up again. The title screen had changed. There were very few people and no animals; the screen was greyish as if it was night with the same buttons. The graphics were sketchy. I reluctantly pressed the play button and left off where I was. I made my character walk outside, and I saw the grey screen and the empty streets, except for one thing. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a boy standing beside a house. His eyes were messed up, the pupils were on the bottom of his eyes and the color in the eyes were off to the side. I walked towards him, confidently. But the close I got, the more uncomfortable I got. I stood face to face with him and pressed “Talk”. 

It zoomed in on his face and the screen panned up and down his body, twice, before coming back up. His face changed from blank, to a depressed looking sad face. I left the talk screen with him, and tried to leave the area, but I couldn’t. The game was acting as if it would when you reached the out-of-bounds area. The screen turned black, which was not normal. Then a text box appeared. The letters slowly appeared, but they were jumbled up. The letters gradually made words that said:

“To leave, you must listen.”

And then it disappeared. I felt tears running down my face, but I had no clue why, or who the text was talking about. The screen turned back to how it was before. But when it did, the boy was standing in front of me. He looked the same as he did before, except there were strange creases in his forehead as if he were thinking hard. I pressed the talk button again. A text box appeared again.

“Listen to her.”

Who was “her”? Then the game froze. The face stayed on, but everything else turned black. No matter how hard I tried, the face wouldn’t disappear. I grabbed my keyboard and slammed it into the computer. That’s how it ended. I went insane after that. Maybe it was the reason why Clair died. I don’t even know to this very day. I didn’t even know who the boy was. He looked as if it was a photograph because of how realistic he was. Nothing in the game was that realistic. What I didn’t notice though, was that in the corner of the screen, there was the horrible face of the boy that remained on the smashed screen.

One year later I was still curious about what happened with LIFE. I got a new computer and put the disk inside. I went to go check the coding to see if the game was modded. I was scrolling through the files and found nothing but a file called Clair.wav. It was a sound file. I clicked on it and there was just a blank screen.

The audio in the backgroundwas disorded, screams in the background.  Her voice was shakey.

Hi, Sadie.  I want to tell you what happened with the game. It was a suicide note. I couldn't straight up tell you that I was killing myself, so I had the game do it. In the third year of making the game, I purposely started a fight. You handed the game over, and I tampered with it. I made a boy in the game to represent my depression, if you noticed the "sad face" *weakly laughs*. There was no animals at first because...well I killed them all. I changed over the years, and developed homocidal and suicidal urges. That's why there were no people when you met my avatar, the boy. He killed them. This was just a better way to tell you than up front. Also, it gives you a little bit of an experience. Well, I'll miss you, even though we're not close anymore. I love you, girl. Bye! *gunshot*


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