Chapter 5:

sCene 5 - ᴏuᴛsiᴅe inꜰʟuenCes

ᴋraCᴋeᴅ ᴍooN / Kracked Moon

Jason was definitely right about getting out doing me some good. Now I was chatting with Nai-bu every day and catching up. It was really nice, especially since she didn’t seem to really know much about streaming. She told me she plays a few games on her phone now and again, but was so focused on her classes that she hasn’t gone deep into a game in a long time. It made me consider what games we could play together that might be fun for her.

On a pretty typical night, doing one of my usual chill-and-chat streams, I received an unexpected call from my agent. My agent’s name was Dale, and he rarely called me directly, often just sending me emails or even physical letters. After muting myself and putting up a distraction for the stream, I picked up the call.

“Hey, act natural. There’s a live one by your patio.” Dale said, referring to a potential stalker.

“What’s it look like?” I asked, curious.

“Young man. Looks like he’s got a camera and is watching the stream on his phone.”

“Think I can take him?”

“I mean I would prefer you not, but I don’t see how you couldn’t.” Dale didn’t like it when I got hands on with stalkers, even if they just run away before I can grab them.

I returned to my stream, smiley and bubbly. “Well friends, I’m going to call it here! I’m going to get something to eat! Thank you for coming and hanging out today!”

As I ended the stream, I quickly left my bedroom and headed for the patio door. My bedroom was in the center of the house, with the dinner table separating me from the patio door. Approaching the door I could hear the man’s footsteps as he tried to walk away from the patio. Once I opened the door, and saw he wasn’t near the yard’s fence, it was practically over for him.

I ran at the man, tackled him, then pinned his arms in place.

“If you wanted an interview you could have just sent an email.” I said in my streaming voice.

“I-I’m sorry! I didn’t think about--”

“Think about what? How rude it is? How illegal it is?”

“I didn’t expect that you’d be actor who played Spess!” The guy shouted.

I loosened my grip. “ aren’t supposed to know that…”

“I was at the reunion last week! I played an extra a few times as a kid! I wanted to see for myself that it’s really you!” The more he spoke the younger he sounded. Maybe high school or early college age?

I let him go, stood up, and grabbed his camera. It was still recording. I stopped the recording and deleted it, then popped the SD card out and put it in my pocket. Even if it was deleted, I didn’t want him trying to recover the data.

“What do you want then? Why come here?” I asked, almost like a snarl.

“I figured we could be friends. I couldn’t find you after you spoke on the stage, so I managed to get your address from some of the staff.”

I sighed. “This isn’t exactly how you make friends, guy.”

“I know, but I promise I’m also a fan! I’ve watched your streams a few times in the past, and I loved your work on Forgotten Station! I really looked up to you as a kid!”

“Well you’re a few years behind if you’re following in my footsteps.” I laughed, but mostly at myself.

After a bit more of the guy rambling and raving, I learned his name was Kyle and he was going to college in the area. He was pretty young when Forgotten Station was being made, so he was probably the target audience. I made the mistake of giving him my number, and he proceeded to text me often. If I hadn’t convinced Nai-bu to make a Discord account, I might have stopped talking to her just to avoid seeing texts from Kyle. He was immediately a burden.

“Just tell him to buzz off!” Jason said. Today I served him some lemonade after he mowed my lawn. Normally I made him help himself to the fridge. I was in a mood, I guess.

“It’s a little late for that. He knows my identity now.” I said, a little down.

“You’ve been streaming for how long? You might as well come out about it.” Jason said.

“Oh yeah! Let me casually tell my audience I played an evil little boy on TV in middle school. They totally won’t make a big deal out of it.” I was mocking him, if that wasn’t clear.

“I get that being stealth probably helps your numbers, but these days you can be out and proud, right? If anything it should impress people how far you’ve come.”

“There is a huge difference between being out and telling people there exists hours of footage of you as an awkward kid.”

“Fine. Then how do you want to handle Kyle?” Jason asked, annoyed.

“We just have to do friendly things with him, right? Hang out with him every so often. Just need an excuse to get together…” I had the right idea, but not any specific plan. I definitely didn’t want to invite Kyle over or risk being alone with him.

Once Jason left, I received a message from Nai-bu about meeting up to have dinner sometime. She suggested Jason and anyone else come with too. Bingo!