Chapter 19:

sCene 19 - ʀeᴊeCᴛeᴅ?

ᴋraCᴋeᴅ ᴍooN


I…

Um…

I asked Nai-bu how things went with her parents.

She told me to never talk to her again.

Because I am a monster.

I guess I won’t see her anymore.

Right Father?

Right Mama?

I took some time to just zone out. It was like I lost my legs. Just thinking of getting up was exhausting. I had to do something, but moving was such a tiresome concept.

I’ll be okay. I’ll just talk to my viewers. They understand me!

I wasn’t scheduled to stream at the time, but I decided to surprise folks by suddenly streaming and visiting the Minecraft server that my community was building. It was a mix of fellow streamers and longtime fans who would put in work on this server and make it a fun place. I didn’t really play on the server as much as fly around and look at what people were doing. It was better to do this as a surprise since anytime I planned to stream on the server, it would be flooded by people waiting in advance.

And things were going well! People were already filling chat with niceties, but they could tell something was off with me. Plenty of messages asking if I was doing okay, if I slept enough, or if I needed to eat something. I tried to reassure them I was fine, but people tuning in would ask the same questions. It was starting to get annoying, so I didn’t focus directly on chat as much.

While trying to decipher someone’s cubic sculpture, I was alerted to a new subscriber: SandyCat89. As I thanked them for subscribing, I couldn’t help but think about the name. Nai-bu’s roommate was named Sandy. I thought it was a weird coincidence, until she donated some money with a message: “You’re still her favorite!”

Before I could even process what the message said, I was starting to tear up. It had to be a coincidence! It had to be! I could see how fast the chat was moving after seeing me look like I was going to cry. I apologized to them and said that I should get some rest. I did a reminder about the community Discord server, admittedly trying to bait this SandyCat89 to see if she was legit. I didn’t have any way to contact Nai-bu’s roommate, and maybe this was her trying to intervene or something.

As soon as I saw SandyCat89 join the server, I went to message her directly, but saw she was typing. Her message read: “This is Nai-bu’s roommate, Sandra! Please call me ASAP!” I hit the call button and she picked up immediately. It was voice only, and sounded like she was using her phone.

“Hey! Did you get a message from Nai-bu a little bit ago?” It was definitely Nai-bu’s roommate. I recognized her voice, sort of.

“Yeah...she said not to talk to her…” It still hurt thinking about it.

“Cool. That wasn’t her. She went with her parents, and her mom is being a psycho, apparently!” Sandy said this like she was in a rush.

I definitely started crying hearing that. Knowing that Nai-bu didn’t send the message made me feel relieved. But I didn’t really grasp what Sandy meant.

“So, like, she chose to go with them? Like to talk more?”

“Yeah, but I don’t think they’ll just talk. I think they’ll push her.” Sandy sounded like she was rifling through drawers. “Can you give me your address or something so I can pick you up? Maybe we can cut them off or take her back or something.”

Before I could answer, my phone started ringing. It was my agent, Dale. I answered and put him on speaker.

“Hey Dale, I’m talking to Sandy right now, and it’s kinda serious.” I wasn’t really sure how else to talk about it.

“I know everything, kid. Can you be dressed in five or ten minutes?” Dale asked this very directly.

“I mean if you know everything you know I was just streaming, so I am dressed.”

“Not what I meant. I need you dressed and ready to go. Jack is coming by with a car.” Dale rarely sounded so determined. “Sandy, you can stay put. I’ll take it from here.”

“Take it from here? What does that even mean?” Sandy asked, frustrated.

“You’ll know when it happens. Cryztal, you’ve got five minutes. Don’t make Jack wait.” Dale immediately hung up after that.

“Uh...Cryz, was that your dad or something?” Sandy was confused.

“No, but about the next best thing. I’ll let you know what happens.”

I ended the call and went outside to my porch, holding my house key tightly. As I sat on the stoop, waiting for this supposed car, I had an idea of what Dale was hoping to do. When things aren’t going his way, he fixes them. In this case, whatever was going on with Nai-bu was something he wanted to change. I wasn’t sure what his goal was, but knowing Nai-bu likely still cared was all I needed. I just want to see her again.

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