ONE

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"It's not how you drop in at the start of it. It's how you clutch up for me in the end."


「↺」


All the best things begin with a boom.

Now hear me out.

It won't matter what that boom is or how that boom came to be because, like many other things, we can't see it coming. It's sudden and it's unexpected and it can sometimes be inevitable if you believe in that wishy-washy fate stuff. Sometimes it can be scary. Sometimes it's too daunting to look at it head on, but it's there and it's happened whether we wanted it to or not. Like waking up one morning and realizing just how much you enjoyed somebody's company—more than you ever wanted to admit, for that matter. And you're lying there in bed, at a haunting 3am, thinking, "Oh, shit." That boom boom.

But sometimes a boom isn't a boom at all. It can be silent and implode inside of you just the same, crushing your insides until it's hard to breathe. Like it had snuck up on you after all this time and you wouldn't have noticed it until it had been too late. Slow growing telltale signs that you had picked out from the start but had constantly repressed until the very last minute. These are the extreme booms.

For the non-extremists, they could happen with a simple conversation with a stranger gone well. Those conversations where you hit it off like you'd known one another for ages. Then one day it's just a pleasant, "Oh," and there's no denial or fear or anxiety involved. No 'shit' element to it. They're one of the best booms you could stumble on.

Unfortunately, I had missed all the possible booms from the start. That's right. Me. [Y/N]. But it's not like I'm the expert when it comes to booming or banging.

Hold on. That didn't come out right. Let me go back to the beginning. The beginning of the time I met him, the biggest Fortnite dork anyone could ever meet: Harley Campbell. But I didn't meet him by that name.


「↺」


The crack of gunfire had split through the air, like the sound of a whip breaking the wind but hollower. It echoed against the skies and the grass, if not for half a second, but it didn't send any flocks of birds crowing or flapping their frightened wings. That wasn't possible here.

Before I could see what was happening, the sound of footsteps stomping on dirt rushed in the direction of where I was. It didn't take long for them to quickly revert to running in circles. In front of me, behind me, around me. A headless chicken could have jumped and sprinted with more coordination but all I could imagine were clouds of dust rising from where the soles of their shoes hit the ground.

And all I could do was sit and inhale the aroma of watered down coffee grounds that wafted through the air. It would've been alright to stay out of the loop until the game started, but the sound of a clap had broken the blind spell and then came the clipped voice of a young Aussie girl through the headset.

"—see me now, [Y/N]?"

"Did you really just default dance on me?" I sat up in my seat and scoffed humorously into the mic, tsking in a chiding manner as the other girl giggled. Clearly, it could be heard despite the attempts to try and muffle the sound guiltiness that had coated her tone.

"Um..." The default had been frozen on the spot, going to one knee and looking at my own character dead in the eye. "No."

In a swivel, she continued to frolic the spawn island's lush green plains, swinging her axe through thin air and picking up as many scattered firearms as she could. Not that it would matter since it would all disappear after the launch of the battle bus.

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