017 – Righteous

22 Jan

Righteous

A Short Tale by Thedude3445

 

What a day this was! His fedora on his head, iPhone 4S in his hand, and Pinkie Pie pin displayed proudly on his Halo 4 jacket, Mitch Branson was ready for a fantastic day at school. During the short bus ride to Nester Power High School, he checked for all the latest rumors about the next Call of Duty game. He actively hated the series and was quite vocal about it, but he had to admit the multiplayer was pretty cool. After that, he changed his Benedict Cumberbatch wallpaper to one of Sword Art Online, and spent the rest of the trip jammin’ out to JoCo while looking at trollface comics on 9gag.

Waiting on Mitch as soon as he got off was his girlfriend, Lisa “Nyan-Cat” Phillips. They had been dating since 7th grade, then united by a common interest in the latest Naruto episodes. Almost 3 years later, their relationship held strong, and they watched Dr. Who together every weekend.

“Konichiwa, my kawaii Branson-Senpai!” She shouted, giving a little “kyuu” in her best attempt at a catgirl impression. She was hands-down the most anime-obsessed person in the entirety of Nester Power High School, and it definitely showed.

“Hey, I watched another Homestuck video yesterday,” Mitch told Nyan-Cat. “It was cool, but who were all those grey dudes?”

“Oh!! ^_^” She exclaimed. “Those are the trolls. They’re like, space aliens that are ultra cute and stuff. My favorites are Kanaya-chan and Eridan-chun! Nyeh!”

“I’ll probably watch more videos after I read some of your fan fictions. That’ll probably help me understand it better, I think.” Nyan-Cat was essentially the mistress of fan fictions. She had written over six hundred in the three years that he had known her, across over fifty different fandoms. Nobody could beat her at fan fictions; it simply wasn’t possible.

“Oh yeah, you read my ‘Twin Violets’ one, right?”

“Yeah. It was cool but wow, this Homestuck anime sure has a lot of gay couples.”

“I haven’t actually watched it all yet, but there’s a HILARIOUS Eridan ask-blog on tumblr where he hits on like, every dude! xD”

“Yeah, I bet he’s cool.”

“Hehehe, you’d think so,” she said with a snicker. For almost their entire relationship, Nyan-Cat had always teased him about trying to get a boyfriend on the side. She was a huge yaoi fan, and in her eyes the only thing hotter than her boyfriend was her boyfriend kissing another hot guy. Mitch however thought she was too hyped up on Hetalia Mushrooms to think logically about this kind of thing.

They went to class. Mitch’s first class of the day was math, where he was only making a 74. He knew all the material pretty easily, but he didn’t care about the class, and didn’t even bother doing any of the homework. What did school matter, anyway? He played Minecraft: Pocket Edition on his iPhone while the teacher failed to teach her class about derivatives for the third day in a row.

Walking to second period, he passed the band class, which was still rehearsing for their concert tomorrow. What geeks. Didn’t they know old music was dead? Mitch personally liked stuff like Skrillex and DeadMau5, but K-Pop was pretty cool too.

All of Mitch’s classes were really boring. They either never worked or Mitch didn’t care for the subject, so he relegated himself to sleeping most of the school day. The only moderately interesting one was Computer Essentials, where all he actually did was play Kongregate game and look up memes on funnyjunk.

Lunch was the best, however. It was the only time of day during school where Mitch and Nyan-Cat actually had a period together, and they and his other friends had a blast at their table. This particular day, they brought out their Magic: The Gathering cards and began to duel. Mitch had at least eight or nine really good decks, but the one he chose for this was his “Excecutioner” deck, which utilized the best aspects of both the blue and orange colors. He won two out of the three games.

His last class of the day was construction. This was another do-nothing class, so all Mitch did was re-watch the season 3 opener to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. He was absolutely in love with Princess Luna; she was the most beautiful horse that ever was.

And finally, school let out at 3:30.Mitch decided to walk home with Nyan-Cat today, though he usually just took the bus home. They barely ever talked anymore if it wasn’t about some TV show or movie, Mitch realized in their current conversation, which was about exactly that.

“…And then Mami was like, ‘I’ll head over there are quick as I can.’ And she was like, BAM! BAM! And it was so sweet.”

“Yeah…”

“So, Mitch, what’re you gonna do today after you get home?” This question struck him like a bolt of lightning. He had no idea what he was going to do, nor did he ever know. Most likely, he was just going to sit on his couch and watch the same episode of Full Metal Alchemist for the thirtieth time, and maybe pull out his laptop to browse various social media websites for hours on end. It would be a cozy day, and yet it didn’t seem very appealing at all to Mitch.

“I… I dunno.” This was his only response.

“Really? You always got stuff to do, though! What’s wrong, Branson-sama?”

“I—Eh, it’s nothing.” Nyan-Cat took his words as gospel, and she shrugged off his strange demeanor. They soon parted ways. Nyan-Cat went to her house to hop on Tumblr, and Mitch went to his own home. He opened the door and was greeted by his father, but he mostly ignored him and paced upstairs to his room, where he laid down his backpack and plopped down on his unmade bed.

Laying on his bed, he stared at the ceiling for the better part of an hour. Sure, this was time wasted that could have been better spent doing something productive… But really, was watching an entire season of a TV show in one night actually productive? Did browsing Brock Obama pages on Facebook accomplish anything? After a while of thinking about this, he got a Skype call from Nyan-Cat, like he usually did at this time of the evening; he pulled out his computer and answered her.

“BRANSON-SAN!!!” She squealed with a glee usually reserved to her favorite musical TV show about teenage drama.

“Hi, Lisa.”

She feigned offense by his remark. “Gasp! My name is Nyan-Cat, the great and mighty cat warrior! I am no mere ‘Lisa’!”

“So, what did you want to talk about?”

“Oh! I read about this amazing manga called Hidamari Sketch or something on a website. Have you ever heard of it?”

“No.”

“It’s like, really funny and stuff apparently. I already torrented the entire series just in case I decide to read it later after watching some more Moetan.”

“Oh, really? You are always watching some series or another.”

“Hey, you are too. We are like the ultimate TV show watchers or something.”

“Yeah…” A thought suddenly popped into Mitch’s head, and he spoke it. “Lisa, what are you going to do when you grow up?”

This question caught her off-guard for a few seconds. “Uhh… Why?”

“I dunno.”

“Okay….” She was pretty weirded out, but continued regardless. “Well, I’ve… never really thought about it, I guess. I mean, I always just thought I’d keep making fan fictions until I got really famous, and maybe that’s what I’ll end up doing for a living. Being a writer or something. We’re only sophomores though, so it’s not really a big deal yet!”

“It kind of is; we only have a couple years left until we graduate…”

“Well, Mister bossy-pants, what about YOU?”

“Ha. I have no idea either.”

“Then why did you ask me?”

“I… Ugh, I dunno. It’s just… What I mean is… watching and reading all this stuff—does it really matter?”

“Mitch?”

“I know, I know. I sound crazy. I… I don’t know; just ignore me.”

“Are you mad that we still haven’t… you know…”

“No! No. That’s all fine. I honestly have no idea what I’m talking about, really. But back to the main subject of our conversation, though: I’ve never heard of that Sketch manga or whatever. You should read it and tell me if it’s good.”

“Oh, I will! Actually, I’ll go do that right now.”

“Okay.”

“Seeya tomorrow, Branson-Kun!! Expect a full status report in the morning!”

She went offline, and Mitch rubbed his forehead in frustration. They just had a ten-minute conversation, and it was the first time in YEARS that they ever even gleaned on a topic that was at all meaningful. It seemed like all they ever talked about anymore was what cool things were coming out, and what things one of them had just found out about, and stuff like that.

Regardless of any of that, he flicked on his television and watched a re-run of The Office, before going to sleep at 8 while listening to some Danny Baranoswky music. His dreams were exactly the same as they always were; he was trapped in a fun house maze, and every mirror he looked in showed a different game or show or movie, and he kept trying to find a mirror that actually showed his own face, to no avail. It was never to any avail.

The next morning, Mitch put on his fedora, turned on his iPhone 4S, and clipped the Pinkie Pie pin on his shirt. And he sighed. On the bus, he looked up info on Pokemon X and Pokemon Y. Still no new news. He got off the bus, and Lisa droned in his direction for fifteen or twenty minutes straight, all about that damn manga she read last night. He wasn’t paying any attention, but she didn’t seem to catch onto that in the slightest, as long as she could gush about her favorite metapod or whatever.

In first period, the teacher handed out report cards for the first quarter of this semester. Mitch was barely passing any of his academic classes, with no grade higher than an 81. It hit him that these grades were final. If he didn’t bring them up next quarter and balance it out, his GPA would drop even further to a 2.3. Then what college could he possibly get accepted at, with these kinds of grades? Probably none at all.

Lunch was the worst. All his friends did was regurgitate whatever media they experienced last night, and made endless pop culture references. Mitch could barely stomach his chicken nuggets watching these peoples’ endlessly empty lives. They played a few games of Yu-Gi-Oh, and Mitch had to get up and pretend to go to the bathroom for  the rest of lunch so he wouldn’t go off on how much money they wasted on dumb cards.

And construction was pretty stupid, as it always was. Why was he even taking this class? Because it was easy? What a waste. They never did anything but watch movies and use their phones. He hadn’t lifted a hammer all year, much less actually built anything. Of course he had a 96 in here!

He and Lisa walked home together. This afternoon was very cloudy, with a high chance of rainfall, the bus was way too annoying for Mitch to handle again. All he saw on there was a bunch of middle schoolers shouting “ME GUSTA!” and trying their best to imitate the Yaoi Ming face, among other idiotic “memes”.

Mitch looked over at Lisa, the woman of his dreams. Their third anniversary was on Sunday, he remembered, but he hadn’t even thought about what to get her.He guessed he’d have to get her a stupid Soul Eater shirt again, and she’d love it just because Death Jr. was on it.

He sighed and spoke, interrupting the silence that had been the current topic of their conversation. “I still don’t have anything for you for our anniversary. Sorry.” Why he told her this he had no idea.

“Oh, it’s okay. I still love you and stuff, and there’s still time to get something cool, anyway.”

“Well… What do you want? Just some crappy anime merchandise or… Something real?”

“Something… What? Mitch, what the heck is wrong with you? You’ve been acting so odd lately, all mopey and stuff. Are you on drugs?”

“What the—No! Okay, it’s just that… I feel like I’m useless. Not that I’m worthless and everyone hates me—I’m not suicidal if that’s what you’re asking—but that I don’t accomplish anything. That everything I do is merely experience something somebody else created. That my life hasn’t amounted to anything so far, and it never will. That I’m completely ambitionless.”

She looked at him in seeming wonder for a moment, contemplating his words. “Mitch… Do you want to break up? Is that what you’re saying?”

“I… Dammit, Lisa, that doesn’t even apply to this conversation! I’m thinking a little deeper than teenage relationships, here!” He sighed as she still didn’t seem to understand, even now.

They had finally walked up to Nyan-Cat’s house, and she bid Mitch farewell. “Seeya tonight on Skype, my Branson-Okomi-no-Hito. Whatever’s wrong, I hope it all works out. I’m gonna watch some more Girls Und Panzer, if you want to watch with me later.  Bye!”

“Goodbye.” He gave the fakest of waves, and turned his back on her house. At this point, it had finally begun to drizzle, and Mitch was drenched in rain. By the time he got home, he was completely soaked. He went up to his room, took off his dampened clothes, and crashed onto his bed once more.

What was he? He was Mitch Branson, sophomore at Nester Power High School. But he was nothing else. There was no resolution to his dilemma, or not one that he could see, at least. From the looks of it now, he was going to scrape by the remaining four and a half semesters of high school simply due to lack of effort on his part. Then he was going to get a crappy job in retail, and eventually make his way up and become a supervisor or manager for the rest of his life. He would always wish for more out of his existence, but never know exactly what he would want in the first place. He’d probably end up marrying Lisa Phillips, but their relationship wouldn’t get too much deeper than it already was, even after they had kids.

The most he would ever amount to was someone who consumed a bunch of media. Any maybe that’s all he needed. He thought about the concept of media at its core; it was MEANT to be consumed by others. That was its true purpose. So maybe there needed to be people like Mitch. Not creators, not designers, but consumers. People who appreciated the works that people made, and nothing more. Mitch was just one of these consumers, he guessed.

So, if he was nothing more than a consumer, then why only watch and read and listen to and play the most popular things? Even lesser-known creators still deserved their time; they still deserved to be experienced by at least someone. This was when Mitch made a vow. He would scout out works that nobody else knew about, and make them popular with all his available power. It was the least he could do, if he could not make anything himself.

A few clicks on Amazon, and Etrian Odyessy III was on its way. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation played on Netflix while he used his iPhone to look up some great new artists on http://bandcamp.com . A Skype call from Nyan-Cat flashes by, but he was too busy to answer. He was planning to introduce her to Gunnerkrig Court for their anniversary, and was trying to think of the best way to do so. After he added Hyperdimension Neptunia and Spelunky to his wishlist, he sat up on his bed and smiled. New purpose swept Mitch’s life, and he realized that he could make a difference to someone, somewhere.

This was the day that Mitch Branson became a hipster, and never looked back.

3 Responses to “017 – Righteous”

  1. Thedude3445 January 22, 2013 at 12:37 am #

    Sorry this one was 30 minutes late or so; I am not the speed typer I used to be. That or I wasted too much time looking at Evil Madoka fanart :V

    This one hits home. Not too much because it is actually a story about me (I am not good enough to waste that much time, or care that little about my future), but because I see so many people do this to themselves. Wasting their lives away on Facebook or Tumblr, and then they get frustrated that they never have time to do anything cool. Like read these stories. The target audience of this story is too busy on IGN right now to be able to find this blog and read this specific story, so maybe there wasn’t too much of an actual point in making this? Whatever. It was cool and also 6.5 pages long, topping even Joan and the Osmosis Tree.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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  2. [2012-2019] My Nanowrimo Report – Thedude3445 - December 1, 2019

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