Pravus and Villor

Pravus and Villor

A Story by Michelle Leiva
"

After a year of talking online, Villor is finally going to meet his friend and longtime crush Pravus. Hopefully things go well and it can lead to something more!

"

I wish I was doing anything else right now.

It’s Wednesday night and I'm hunched over my desk desperately trying to finish this homework packet. I’ve made the effort to open to my teacher's online notes on my laptop, but I keep getting distracted. The other half of the screen is a cooking video compilation. I should’ve closed it after one video but then it recommended "Eight Ways to Serve a Potato" and now I can't stop.

If f(x) equals -36 divided by x minus 3, then f(36) must equal… "Negative three right? Wait, I forgot about the one. Then it's two instead. Wait, the negative. Then it's negative four. Right?" 

I turn to the last pages of my textbook. The answer pages are of no use. They didn't write down this chapter's questions. Just my luck. Whoever made it a requirement to take math every year of high school can talk to me and my dumb fists who can't learn anything.  I check the problem again.

"Ah-ha! It is negative four." Good job, me. That only took one hour for one question. I dread seeing the next fifty-nine waiting for me on the page.

I really wish I was doing anything else right now.

A ping sounds from my laptop. Could that be my anything else? I immediately click the other tab, closing "Ten Cookie Dough Recipes You Need In Your Life Right Now". An online chatroom sends me a notification.

dePravus is online.

Yes, this is exactly what I need. I push my homework to the side. “Goodbye hate of my life.” And I pull my laptop towards me. “Hello love of my life.” I begin to type.

vileVillor1: pravus!!

I give it a second. dePravus is typing… 

dePravus: Hey.

vileVillor1: finally showing up

dePravus: I forgot to sign in before hopping on LoL. Before I knew it, it had already been 10 games.

vileVillor: did you win

dePravus: Of course. Who do you take me for?

Pravus continues talking about each game, how he "carried" while other players "inted". I can't really follow all of it but I love hearing him talking passionately about something he loves. I know he likes having someone who will listen.

Most teens stop playing MMOs by age sixteen, but Pravus will never stop playing these games. I'd play with him even if I don't understand anything going on; he makes it fun for me. When we first met, we were playing a fantasy MMO. I sent dePravus a friend request because his character looked cool. He accepted because he wanted friends. We would go on missions together (although he did most of the work, I wasn't very good) and chat in-between. After a few months, we exchanged information for a different chatroom and we've been talking there since. We still refer to each other by our screen names. They're like special nicknames only we call each other.

vileVillor1: what does pravus even mean

dePravus: Depraved. Corrupted. Wicked

vileVillor1: :o

dePravus: It was during an "edgy" phase in my life. I'm too lazy to change it now. What about Villor?

vileVillor1: it’s the name of a fan character I made for a webcomic. he was kind of a self-insert.

dePravus: I searched it. Villor just villa in Swedish.

vileVillor1: that's just a coincidence I had no power over that

I get pulled back to the present when Pravus asks me what I'm doing.

vileVillor1: wrestling with my math homework. it’s literally the worst

dePravus: Yeah, I don't deal with that anymore. I use an app to do it for me.

vileVillor1: ex-cuse me?? app? that does it for you?

  He sends me a link on my phone. I am floored.Technology really is amazing. I can just download an app, take a photo of my work, and it does it all for me. I download the app, ready to destroy the packet. I feel like the smartest guy in the world.

vileVillor1: pravus you beautiful genius you

dePravus: I got you.

He sends a picture of a cat with its paw on another cat, looking like comrades in arms. God, I love this boy and his sweet cat pictures. I'm so caught up in my math, (there's a sentence I never thought I would say) I don't notice the most important message I could ever see.

dePravus: So, I have some good news.

vileVillor1: oh?

dePravus: I'm visiting Mayfield with my dad this weekend.

I drop my phone as soon as I see the third word. I hear a symphony play in my mind, fireworks bigger and brighter than anything Disneyland could summon. I double-check, triple-check to see if I read that wrong. Mayfield? My Mayfield? The Mayfield I currently exist in? That Mayfield!? Calm down for a second. Play it cool, play it cool, I'm cool.

vileVillor1: oh wow really?

dePravus: Yes. My dad wants to visit a specific electronics store and Mayfield's the closest location. Pretty lucky, right?

Extremely.

dePravus: We can meet and hang out, if that's cool?

Absolutely. Of course. I'd love to. I'd love nothing more. Yes. YES. YES!

vileVillor1: yeah that sounds cool. let's do it

I can't believe this is happening. We make plans and I still can't believe it. I always dreamt if and when we would ever meet in real life. Dreams are materializing. I'm finally meeting my year-long crush.

Pravus has to sign out early (early as in 11:45pm) because he has a test in the morning. Otherwise, we’d stay up all night talking. I close my laptop and put away my completed homework. I turn off the lamp and drop into bed, not falling asleep. I'm rolling around thinking over and over in my head, tomorrow is Thursday, then Friday, then finally Saturday. 

Saturday.

No word has ever sounded sweeter.

The mall seems quieter than usual. I pass by women with strollers, girls my age talking loudly, and a man holding a pretzel while talking on the phone. The smell of hot Chinese food comes and goes, causing a rumble in my stomach. Maybe I can buy something for me and Pravus real quick. I stop myself; I don't want to waste a single second. I know where I want to be.

We promised to meet by the fountain; it's the most noticeable landmark in the mall. You can't miss the fountain, big, ivory, and generic. I can hear water in the distance. With every step, my excitement turns into anxiety. 

What if he doesn't show up? He would’ve messaged me if something came up. 

Did I get the day wrong? No, today is Saturday, the only word on my mind this entire week.

What if he's not real and my friends are playing a prank on me?  They’re not that cruel. 

What if he thinks I’m a girl? No, we made sure of that a long time ago.

What if he's actually a forty-five year old man and I'm about to die? I pause.

How do I look? I stop in front of a jewelry store window and look at my reflection. I'm wearing a purple t-shirt with white angel wings on the chest; it was t-shirt number twenty-three in my mission to find the perfect thing to wear. Normally, I'll wear anything that doesn't smell bad but today is different. It's good enough with black jeans and white shoes. I take a moment to  examine my hair. I tried slicking it back but it looked too greasy. I can't look like I haven't showered my entire life, so I'm just letting the rug sit. Good enough.

I break away from the window and continue down the mall. I’m getting closer and closer then I feel my phone vibrate and I check the message.

dePravus: Hey, I'm here. I'm sitting on the fountain, wearing a grey hoodie.

I swallow the anxiety and reply saying I'm nearby. Turn the corner and he'll be there. I walk forward and turn the corner.

And there he is.

We've sent each other pictures before, not many with faces. Pravus says he's camera shy, and I don't like the way I look in photos. I had one rare glimpse of him in a photo he sent of his cat. His face was in the corner out-of-focus while Bosco took up the rest of the frame. This memory comes rushing back when I see him at the fountain; now the picture is clearer than ever.

He's sitting crouched over intensely focused on a handheld gaming system. He doesn't notice me walking up until I say something.

"Are you… Pravus?"

He looks up and widens his eyes when he sees me. Oh no. Then he slowly smiles. Oh yes.

"Villor?"

He shuts his game and stuffs it in his pockets. When he stands up, the height difference is the first thing I notice. I already know I’m a tall guy but with Pravus, I might as well be the Eiffel Tower. I must look intimidating but his smile says otherwise.

“Hi… You're really tall." I become self-conscious. "I'm kind of jealous," he says. I'm okay again.

While I ask him if he found the place alright, I slowly take in his appearance. He has blond shaggy hair, the same length as mine. His eyes keep moving while he's talking, but when they stop I see light brown. His nose is somewhat long and leads me to his lips. Then I think about what it would be like to kiss him.

"Is there something on my face?" Pravus asks. I realize I haven't said anything for a while. So embarrassing. Say something!

"No! No, I just, uh, didn't expect you to look like this." Pravus gets a little red. S**t, wrong thing to say. I try to salvage my words. "I mean, I did! All I’ve seen is that picture of you with your cat, Bosco, right?"

Pravus looks up to me and says, "You remember that? That's an old picture."

"Of course! How could I forget your level 75 familiar, Bosco the Undaunted?" He named his real cat after a cat character in the MMO we played. It's one of the nerdiest things he's ever done.

Pravus stifles a laugh and grins. “It’s so embarrassing when you say it like that.” He blushes a little. He's so cute, I need to give thanks.

Thank you MMOs for existing and bringing us together. Thank you parents for our existence. Thank you Pravus's dad for needing obscure electronics. Thank you gay Jesus for blessing me with the most beautiful boy and thank you universe for everything leading to this moment.

"Villor?" I snap out of it. Pravus says, "Oh, is it okay to call you Villor? Or do you want me to call you your real name?” 

I think about our nicknames. Everyone knows my name, only you call me Villor. "Villor is fine. Can I call you Pravus?"

He sticks his hand out. "Pravus." I grab his hand and we shake.

"Villor." His hand is small and warm. I don't want to let go. Then I feel the sweat on my hand and realize I do.

"The arcade is upstairs. They have all your favorites."

Pravus's face lights up. "Dance Dance Revolution?"

"Of course." I smile, knowing he would say that. "Let's go."

We make our way upstairs. The sound of people chatting comes back to me.  I forgot we were in a public place around other people. It really felt like all the songs said it would be; the world was just the two of us. While we walk, I ask about the game he was playing. It was Pokémon.

"I'm playing the latest game but I already beat it so I'm EV training my team for Battle Tree. I decided to go shiny hunting too. After getting a chain encounter of seventy, you get the highest chance of a perfect IV shiny Pokémon. Isn't that cool?"

I nod. I have no idea what he's talking about. I understand it as well as I do math. But Pravus is smiling and talking excitedly, and looking at me.

That's all that matters.


© 2019 Michelle Leiva


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Added on September 21, 2019
Last Updated on September 21, 2019
Tags: romance, teen, slice of life, online relationships, fiction, young adult, young adult fiction, ya

Author

Michelle Leiva
Michelle Leiva

Fresno, CA



About
Artist and Writer, I love to write stories and bring them to life through art. I'd love some opinions on my stories! @Farmersakki on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram more..

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