Again comes the shout. “Where are they?!”
He’s an adorable shade of red, and his breath is coming in and out in big gulps. He’s looking at you with something beyond suspicion, something hovering between rage and terror. “My PS4. My GameCube. My Xbox 360. My Nintendo Switch. All my consoles.”
You flutter your eyelashes encouragingly.
He shudders, takes a breath, and continues: “Even my Game Boy Pocket… my Nintendo 3DS… my Game Boy Advance SP…”
Seeming to shrink, he whispers, “My Assassin’s Creed… my Red Dead Redemption… GTA V… Witcher Wild Hunt… The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild… all my games…” Broken sobs start to come from the floor, and you sigh. This had to happen. You tuck him in with a felt blanket and get back to your yoga. Silly boy. He should only have one obsession, and now, it’s back to being you.
The only video games you understand live in retro arcades and Wreck-It Ralph. But your main squeeze is a different story when it comes to gaming. He has a bookshelf full of those bright green cases and old PC discs, plus a few board games up top, waiting to fall down or poison you with their dust. Or should you say, he had a bookshelf full…
Today is the day you stop playing second fiddle to a bunch of CGI characters. Real women don’t look like that, Mister!
If you’re being completely honest here, you tried. He’s the one who needs to try harder. When your boyfriend pushed you to play Super Smash Bros at a party, you saw his friends shooting you dirty looks. You thought you were totally on board with Pokémon, but he kept wincing when you asked things like “Is that Snore-boar? Oh, I know this one! It starts as Trunkasaur, then morphs into Treetrunkasaur, and ends up as Stumpasaur, right? Awww, it’s a Charcoalina! She’s so cute!” It was even worse when he tried to explain the plot of Arkham Knight and convince you it was the best Batman story ever told.
“Honey-Sweetie, you just don’t understand.” His lip trembles as he looks up at you – finally, he’s focused on his better half! You could jump for joy. “I need them… they hired a consultant at work… it’s psychological torture; he’s dangling my job on the line, forcing me to comply with this incredibly inefficient system… I need to decompress when I get home… please, please, please, my little love-bear, tell me where they are… a GameStop? With Barry in #3B? You didn’t sell them to my cousin Joel, oh please no…” He retracts under the blanket.
Well, of course you’re not heartless – you didn’t actually sell his games! You rented a climate-controlled StorBox unit and stacked them neatly, based on the size and color of each box. When he remembers to take you out on date nights and leave love-notes scattered around the apartment, he can have his Hollow Knight and Shadow of Mordor and Borderlands (3) back.
No matter how silly it is for a grown man to have a “playstation,” you are generous enough to allow it into your home… provided it doesn’t get more attention than you. He can talk to his little friends later.
Now, it’s time for a romantic dinner. He can take the blanket if he has to. You are wearing those new shoes tonight, and that’s final.