“Stay away from that Greymaer guy, though, he’s a lech.”
Thus spake Emily, and thus began my relationship with Mark.
I was fresh out of a long, stupid engagement in which I had never once been happy, and done with a long, stupid break-up that kept dragging on and on because I was afraid of the confrontation and I hated hearing him cry. Oh God, the crying…
My best friend, whom I had met at work in the Deli and who entertained me for all those long, drudgery-filled hours with her exciting roleplay adventures on “Savage Frontiers”, kept telling me that I should log-on and play with them. She and her husband both played on the server, and she had lots of friends there. I was a writer and I loved fantasy, so naturally I would love Neverwinter Nights, right?
Since my ex had left behind his never-used copy, eventually, I succumbed to curiosity and an intense desire to join in the crazy exploits Emily was always talking about. I installed the game, downloaded the appropriate HAKs, joined the forums, and created a character. The very first “test” character (as I had no idea what the hell I was doing) was a female gnome Monk.
My second, and first “real” character once I had gotten a bit of the hang of things, was a female human Druid, named Milla. I wrote up a background story for her and why she’d arrived. I started RP’ing with people on the server, and man! I was having a blast.
Emy was always giving me tidbits of OOC details about the people she’d gotten to know over the course of months of roleplay. One of the best roleplayers on the server was a player called “Greymaer” who had several great characters. Unfortunately, he was also a bit… volatile at times because – to his eternal chagrin – he drank and played.
Note: Alcohol and online gaming do not mix.
Anyway, at that point, I wasn’t ware of the problem and I just started RPing with this guy. We met in March of 2004 and even though it was weeks before we starting chatting OOCly, and months before we became a long distance “couple”, I like to think that I knew he was special right away.
Its funny to look back now, though.
To those awkward first moments. To the first phone call, to the first visit – when I was so certain that I’d be stuck at the airport because he would “see” me and get cold feet and run away without a word. To the first kiss and the first good-bye. To the day I arrived, my poor green car exhausted after 3000 miles totally full of my life.
The day we nearly broke up because of his drinking, and the day we made up utterly.
To the day we missed my friend from work’s wedding and the day we finally discussed our own future.
It is funny.
Nearly ten years of my life – a third, thereabouts – have been dedicated to loving this man. And it all started with a warning to stay away.
I am ever so glad that I did not listen…
Note: Image is “Sign 1” by (ba1969) from SXC.hu