Video Games. To some, just pixels on a screen. To others, a fun hobby and a way to pass the time. For us, it was a lifelong bond that I'll cherish until my last day on Earth. Our love of video games helped shape both of our lives, and brought us together in a way that I don't think anything else could have.
It's a blisteringly cold winter day. School was just canceled. I wake up to the pitter-patter of little feet coming up the stairs. "Wake up bubba! No school means we can finally beat Ripto," my little sister exclaims from outside my door. I grin to myself, thinking of the countless times I've beaten that short little dinosaur, it's a secret she would be devastated to hear. "Alright, alright, I'm getting up," I reply, and down the stairs she goes, squealing with delight the entire way. It's an almost daily ritual for us, playing games. Each day after school we spend at least half an hour going after the next big boss.
As the years progress, our free time diminishes, yet our love for games never falters. Even after a long week of cheerleading, gymnastics, football, work and whatever else consumed our lives throughout the years, we always had the time to sit down in the living room and shoot a few bad guys. I distinctly remember one weekend you brought a group of friends over to hang out, your outgoing personality a polar opposite to my shy introversion. Instead of shutting the living room down and watching a movie like most teen girls your age, you decided to come upstairs and invite me to play Rock Band with you. I accepted, and we formed the Chili Cheese Balls, a band of such epic proportions that tales of its antics will be sung throughout the halls of rock for ages to come. This will forever be one of my most fond memories of you, because on that day you chose to include me and our love for games instead of ditching them for a group of friends.
Things changed when I went off to college. I was rarely home and you always worked. Gaming sessions became less and less frequent, but it was understood that any time we could play, we would. This led to some of the best times we ever had playing games together, simply because of how unusual and spontaneous each time was. I would come home from a long week of classes, ready to crash, and you'd be sitting in the living room playing Minecraft and I couldn't help but show you the right way to setup your farm. During a time when most siblings drift apart, we became even closer because of video games, and our love of playing.
Unfortunately, all things must come to an end. In life we don't get save points, although we all wish we did. I wish with all my heart I could go back to the time before your accident and grab the controller like I used to when you just couldn't beat a level. I'd trade all the blue shells in the world for you to have made it through, instead of losing your race. But this time there are no second chances, and so I must continue on without my favorite 2nd Player. Just know that every achievement I make from here on out is for you.
Fly high, baby sister, and tell me if you find Aeris.