Many years ago, I met this person who I really liked. We spent some time together, just as friends, but to me the time I had with them felt like rain after a long drought. I knew I wanted to know them in a real way. I also knew, in the back of my head somewhere, that they almost certainly didn’t feel the same way about me, but once in a while, you have to have hope that something is possible.
One night that I crashed on the couch at their place, we talked into the wee hours of the morning about their family, movies, all kinds of things, all of which only made me more aware of how much I wanted them to be a big part of my life. We also spent hours playing Super Mario 3D World on the Wii U cooperatively, and of course it was a blast, endlessly charming and fun.
Soon enough, of course, it became clear in ways I couldn’t ignore that what I wanted with them was impossible. An unforeseen casualty? My ability to play Super Mario 3D World, which I now had nobody to share with, and which playing only reminded me, painfully, of the time I’d spent playing it with them. (Yes, it’s silly. This was a game I absolutely adored and still do, in my opinion one of the best 3D Mario games, so I was only denying myself pleasure.) Many years later, I did play through it on the Switch alone (though the incredibly challenging optional final stage remains unconquered), but even then, it was bittersweet, a reminder of the close connection and partnership that I’m still looking for. – Carolyn Petit