The Let's Play Archive

Digital: A Love Story

by Trin Tragula

Part 8

Stars Come Out

My sister e-mailed me the next day. I tried to get something going, but she was...distant. Going through the motions. It was like I was working both ends of the conversation. And she could only get to a computer every few days, apparently.

I wasn't going to stop trying, but...

I fired off a message asking if he had a version that Amy could talk to.

Dammit! I was desperate for something to do. I tried everything I could think of over those next few days, hanging out more with my friends, staying at the dinner table longer, watching more TV, trying to draw more; but everything kept going back to Emilia. Where was she? How was she doing? Did she run away? Would I ever know?

It was Sunday. Natasha had missed her phone call, and a great black cloud had settled itself over the house. I'd slumped upstairs and just sprawled on the bed for a while, trying to make sense of everything. Finally, I decided that it wouldn't be fair on Amy if I neglected her; and it wasn't far from booting Amy up to checking Lake City Local out. I had to wait, though. Papa wanted the phone line clear in case Natasha needed it. It was a very long while before he gave up and the argument started, and it was far better to listen to the whalesong than them.

In a moment I was looking at my messages.

I didn't stop to think. I couldn't stop to think.

Message to: *Emilia

What? Where are you? How are you? Why weren't you safe? Are you safe now? How have you been? How are you sending this?

I have a million questions. I'm so worried. Please get by.


Message to: *Emilia

What do you need? Please, just tell me what I can do and I'll do it.

I do care about you. Even if nobody else does, or did, or whatever.

You're important. You matter. I care.

Message to: *Emilia

Yes! Yes, I mean it.

I haven't stopped thinking about you since we talked last.

That was all I saw. Monday was silent as well. What could she be doing? Where? How? The questions bounced off the inside of my skull, forcing themselves into the front of my mind. Attempting to concentrate on anything else was hopeless. It was about all I could do to walk in a reasonably straight line.

My heart leaped so high.

And sunk so low again. Say what? Do what? I clicked on the first one before I could imagine what was in it.

It was too late now not to imagine what would be in the second one. Chills bounced up and down my spine.

Disconnected? What? I pulled up my messages again and stared at the final one.

In love? No, I didn't understand. That's what I told myself that night in bed, over and over and over. Over and over and over until I nearly believed it. When I got there. And it took me a good long while to get there.

Because before I did that, I tried to log back into Lake City Local.

What in the...?

That, at least, was easy to not understand.