"Come on..." I muttered at the console.
With an incredible amount of concentration for such a small task, I moved the remote. Clicked the disc channel. I did this slowly and deliberately. I didn't want it to go wrong again.
CANNOT READ THE DISC
"AAAARRRRRG!!!!!!" I shouted at the television screen. "Why do you do this to me, you terrible machine?!?!"
The screen went completely blank, the game system having turned off yet again.
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry little guy! You're the best... really! Please. OH PLEASE! Just let me play this game. It can't be that hard!" I pleaded with it. I begged it. All I wanted was to play my newest game.
"Heidi! Yelling at it won't help anything!" shouted my mother from downstairs somewhere.
"Nothing can help that piece of crap!" yelled my older brother Jeffrey from another room downstairs.
"It is NOT a piece of crap!" I retorted, not bothering to open the door or go downstairs to speak like a normal person. I could hear Jeffrey's friends laughing.
"Knock it off, both of you!" shouted my dad from his office.
Jeffrey didn't play any Nintendo game systems. He had a Playstation 3 and it was the only console he ever used, unless he was with his friends. I, however, was in love with Nintendo. I had everything dating back to an old NES, which could still be hooked up to my TV if I wanted.
The argument I was currently having was with my Wii. Some people say it's a weird name. I agree with them. I don't even really like the name of it that much, but the way you play it and just the whole system all together makes up for the name's weirdness. I love it.
My newest game? The one I've been trying to get the machine to read for nearly two hours now? The newest Legend of Zelda game. See, it's been five years since the Wii officially came out, and they now have a second Legend of Zelda game for it.
I was incredibly excited yesterday when my grandparents presented it to me as my birthday present. The best gift ever! I had been waiting for that day ever since I had beaten Twilight Princess. Now, the next day, I was trying to play the game, and the Wii wouldn't read the disc.
There was an incredibly loud banging on my bedroom door.
"What?!" I snapped, turning on the Wii once again.
"Heidi, it's me," came Jeffrey's muffled voice from the other side of the door.
"Come in," I grumbled.
Jeffrey wasted no time in opening my door and marching in. Right behind him were his three buds, Andy, Richard (called 'Rich'), and Sean. I got along with Jeffrey's friends better than I got along with him. Probably because they didn't treat me like I was inferior just because I was a year and a half younger. In fact, they tried to include me in some of the things they did, and often asked me for help on any games they were stuck on. (I'm a pretty good gamer.)
"You've been up here for two hours," commented Andy.
Andy was my favorite out of Jeffrey's friends. He was like the nice older brother I'd never had. If some guy was being a jerk to me in school, Andy would make Jeffrey stick up for me, or he would do it himself. Andy always asked me how I was doing and tried to make sure that Jeffrey didn't pick on me too much. But he still laughed whenever Jeff was teasing me. Boys will be boys, I guess.
"Still trying to get that thing to work?" asked Sean.
Sean had been Jeffrey's friend since forever. I practically grew up with Sean. He usually joined in Jeffrey's making fun of, teasing, or otherwise annoying the heck out of me. Sometimes though, when I was in a particularly bad mood, he would try to make me laugh or be nice to me in some way, but that was rare.
"Yeah," I replied, not even bothering to look at any of them.
I didn't need to look to know that Jeffrey was probably sitting in my chair, Sean was probably trying to find something he could go through that would embarrass me, Andy was standing right behind me, and Rich was probably over by the door.
Rich was the newest and quietest of all Jeffrey's friends. When I had first met him, about a year ago, I wondered why Jeffrey had befriended him. He was somewhat opposite of Jeffrey and the rest of his friends: calm, quiet, and otherwise very un-annoying. He'd never really talked to me, except when we first met. If he talked to me it was indirectly. It would be something like "Jeff, won't this bother your sister?" instead of "Does this bother you, Heidi?" like the others would say (if they decided to be that considerate).
"Does it load all the other games?" Jeffrey asked, coming up beside me.
"Yeah," I replied, still clearly exasperated.
"Let's see," Jeffrey said, snatching the remote out of my hands.
"Hey! Jeff, I told you I already tried that!" I complained as he stuck a different game into the Wii.
It loaded just fine.
"I told you," I muttered. "I'm not stupid, Jeff."
Jeff decided not to reply, but stuck the new Zelda game back into the console. He clicked on the disc channel. Nothing happened for a few seconds and then:
CANNOT READ THE DISC
"That's what it keeps doing!" I said, now totally frustrated.
I started banging my head on my nearby desk over and over and over.
"Stop that!" exclaimed Andy. "You'll give yourself a concussion!"
"What are you, my mother?" I asked angrily, resuming the banging.
I felt somebody lift me up by the waist, throwing me over their shoulder like a sack of potatoes. Good thing I wasn't wearing a skirt.
"You need a break before you crack your head open," came the voice of Sean. "How about you come play poker with us for a little while?"
I pounded on his back with my fists.
"And what if I don't want to, Sean?" I exclaimed.
"Then that's too bad," he replied, "'cause you don't have a choice."
That was when I gave up, and allowed myself to be carried out of my room and down the hall to Jeff's room.
Three or four hours later, after a dozen or so hands of poker and a lot of PS3, the boys relented and allowed me to return to my room. Much calmer, less frustrated, and ultimately less angry, I took a deep breath and tried the game again.
With the same result.
"Ugh," I groaned, flopping back onto my bed warily. I became aware of footsteps coming toward my door. I looked up to see none other than Rich standing in the doorframe. I was somewhat shocked.
Rich looked at me, then to the Wii, then back to me.
"Can I give it a try?" he asked.
I resisted the urge to look behind me and see who he was really talking to. I had sort of forgotten what his voice sounded like -- he hadn't said so many words around me in a long time.
"Go for it," I said.
He nodded and strode over to the Wii, turning it on and grabbing the remote with nunchuk attached. He turned it to the disc channel, but I could see nothing more because he shifted so that his body was covering the television screen.
I sighed and leaned back on my bed, waiting for a grunt of frustration, almost expecting an uncharacteristic angry outburst, but none came. Again, I stole a glance at Rich. He was actually fairly short, not a whole lot taller than me. He had plenty of well-toned muscle, but didn't tend to show it off.
I tried to imagine the look on his face as he tried to get the game to work, but just couldn't. I didn't know him well enough, didn't see him often enough, hadn't seen his face during enough emotions.
Again, I leaned back on my bed. I was thinking about how nice it would be to just fall asleep right then and there. But Rich was still in my room, and even though I'd sort of known him for about a year, I still didn't want to fall asleep with him around.
Suddenly, the room was filled with a blue light. The notes of an oddly familiar song were floating softly through the air. I jerked up into a sitting position. Looking over at Rich, I could see that the blue light was outlining him. It almost looked like it was coming from him, but that couldn't be right. It must have been coming from the TV.
I was just about to ask him what in the world he was doing when the light and the music disappeared. Rich turned and handed me the remote, the slightest of smiles playing on his lips. Looking over to the television screen, I saw an image of a sunset with the silhouette of Link leading Epona. Above them was the Legend of Zelda logo and the word "loading..."
I stared at it for a few seconds, not fully comprehending. Finally, I turned back to where Rich was.
"Than-," I started. But Rich was no longer there.
I stared at my door for a few moments, as if he'd reappear in a few seconds, but he didn't. Walking across the room, I shut and locked my bedroom door. Quickly, I changed into my pajamas and brushed my teeth. After I was done, I unlocked the door, but kept it closed.
The game was still loading when I looked at the screen. Strange. It must be one big, complicated game for it to take this long to load.
I picked up the Wii-mote and sat so I was leaning against my bed. Nothing was happening on the screen. Just the same picture with the same "loading..." on it. I looked down at my pajama pants, pastel yellow with pink, green, and blue pastel stars and moons scattered over them. The top was a t-shirt in the pastel green of some of the stars with a yellow moon on the chest. These were probably my favorite pajamas.
Once again, I looked to the screen to see the same loading image. I sighed. Suddenly the idea of sleep was seeming like a pretty good one. My eyelids drooped and I thought, just for a couple minutes, and then I'd open them again. I drifted off to sleep without even realizing it.