The house was super duper quiet without her around, you could have heard the Sprint pin drop in 1080p. Just a few weeks ago it would have been Irene herself dropping the pins all over the place, so on and so forth, murmuring something or another about repairing her dress for prom (when it didn't need repair and she didn't know how to sew!) and Pinhead Larry. Incidentally, it had been Asimah herself who had first gotten Irene to start watching Spongebob? Half the classic jokes were only encoded into the visceral of her brain matter- within some vanishing distance of accuracy- because of her elder sister.
Said elder sister was back home, even though it was a weekday.
It was on Asimah to handle the house chores. Well okay, to be fair that had been the case whenever she'd been around even before Irene's passing away. Poor Dad already had to go back to work. Poor Mom was still inconsolable, and Asimah could in no way blame her at all. Asimah just did her best to comfort her whenever she screamed in chromatic anguish, straight fist up and down the piano keys. White to black to white to black until her throat was raw, but then she'd eat some of the soup but then scream more because Asimah's brain nowadays orbited around cooking all the foods Irene had used to like. That was to say, absolutely all of them because Irene had always loved home food, as much money from her allowance as she spent to the contrary.
So yeah, comfort Mom and do her best to go about her day. She mostly managed. Like here and now, she managed, because the noxious sizzle of onions and saffron on the pan under Asimah's wrist stunk up the air something savory.
Mmm. Chances that Irene would have remembered what saffron was, from the last time Asimah had reminded her? Ehhhhhhhhhhhhh. But she would have remembered the latest League of Legends patch notes though! That was probably objectively way more impressive.
Asimah's eyes watered. Not necessarily because she was sad, per say? Sure she was definitely that, the sad love songs were front and center in her auditory cortex along with all the tunes she didn't want to remember reminding her of Irene... But onion vapor. It sometimes hurt just as much as a good dose of heartbreak and infarction and 808s. Ahh, 808s. Asimah had been meaning to introduce Irene to that album at some point? Well okay, she actually had already, but Irene had written it down onto her mental to do list for later. So it was likely completely forgotten within the hour of Asimah having mentioned it.
Oh well. What was it Irene had used to say?
GG. That was it. It stood for good game, and Asimah supposed that was part of the whole sentiment. 'Life is just game'. 'Good game'. Irene would have thrown a 'remake' on at the end there, after some other less comprehensible live acronyms like 'ff20' or 'ffs u people feed'.
A deft, trained flick of the wrist killed the burner. Man, Asimah remembered the last time Irene had tried to cook. In the same vein Asimah also remembered the last time she and Mom had engaged in a three-legged race for the fire extinguisher. Fourth leg missing because Irene had dropped it ala Snoop Dogg on Asimah's ankle. She could still see the scar tissue if she looked close enough, it was shaped like a little dog and was about as perpetually hairless.
Asimah carefully completed the pan with it's own lid. She'd bring Mom her dinner ten on the dot, just like all the other times this week. Familiarity bred comfort, especially in times like this, right? It was the simple details, like the arrangement of the fork and spoon on the plate and the careful easily worn smile Asimah always slipped on before knocking on Mom's door. At least Asimah hoped that was how it worked! Anyways, it was two hours forty three minutes precisely- give or take the second she'd needed to think through that though plus the second she needed for this internal digression- she had to herself.
There was a tune stuck in her head, a friendly and familiar one sung by something Japanese or something like that.
'Thank you... I'll say goodbye soon...'
Asimah had always thought it had been a pretty song, and she was glad Irene had introduced it to her!
The house was deadly quiet, the sort of thing that made for a horror movie with guys named Johnny with axes or however that whole thing worked, Asimah had never been too good with references outside of her admittedly limited scope of interests. The mood was evocative, Asimah would break down a door of her own. As in gently creak open the somewhat open already door to Mordor, AKA 'no boys or Asimahs allowed' AKA the throne of the princess and don't you forget it sis' AKA Irene's room. Asimah whispered the apology under her breath, though it was kind of a waste of time? She'd been intruding into Irene's room every day since she'd come back, violating her sister's carefully dictated if poorly documented sisterly demands and treaties.
Normally Asimah would have been the last girl to go against Irene's wishes, but...
The bed was pristine. As in, pristine-ly (not a word apparently?) unkempt and untidy, just like how Irene always kept it. The tye-dye bedsheets were crumpling into higher dimensions of existence, the stuffed animals lay fallen in battle where they had once stood proud. Well, stood-ish. Irene had never been the best at balancing any of them on their butts, and she also liked throwing them around to burn idle energy. The only stuffed animal she consistently kept free from collateral damage was Mrs. Fluffle, her beloved dragon... princess... thing, Asimah wasn't sure about the specifics on that one. The toy had been remade a number of times by the women of the Djezari household who weren't named Irene. The princess cap with big ribbon spouting from the tip Mom had added when Irene had been eight, Mom had showed Asimah how to add the superhero cape with blindstitches when Irene had been ten, the hearts and stars and Madeon logo on the fluffy belly had been embellishments Asimah had cramped her fingers over last summer.
Asimah knew for a fact, had it committed to her history textbooks and everything by way of idle doodles, that Irene cuddled with Mrs. Fluffle when nobody was looking. Late nights cuddles while playing her video games and browsing Huffington, or Reddit, or Democracy Now, or the things she forgot to go into Incognito Mode for that Asimah definitely pretended she didn't accidentally find in Irene's search history, or...
Asimah smiled at the hybrid dragon princess and gently ran a hand over it's plush stuffed head.
"Hey there." Eh, maybe less talking to herself, but she was alone in this room anyways! It took a bit of awkward anime-style fanservice-y (that was the term right? An Irene-ism from the depths of the internet for sure) wrestling with Irene's chair because the two of them definitively had differing measurements where it counted, blah blah, but Asimah managed to wedge herself into her younger sister's chair with only some hip pain. Mrs. Fluffle rested on her lap, like it would have on Irene's week...
... Not even a month ago. The skin flakes were probably still mostly fresh from the oven that had been Irene's furnace of a metabolism. Asimah gently hugged the stuffed toy to her chest, her face cast in Yu-Gi-Oh shadow realm (Irene's favorite card game when she'd been a sophomore, her only one really). It was a bit dark in the room. A painted, bronze-cast nail bounced off the button to Irene's computer tower. It was... some sort of brand that made seemingly gratuitous strobe-esque colors, purred like an expensive car, and ran games like they were Microsoft Word. And then there was light. Mostly in Asimah's eyes, forcing a tight squeeze shut and a protective hand to her own brow.
Wait for it...
Wait for it...
Was this how Irene also had to do it? She often had left the lights off late at night, so did she blind herself with the sickly pixel perfect brightness of her own computer. Was Asimah just a, what was the term for it, noob?
The desktop loaded. GG.
It was some manner of picturesque depiction of a cartoon-drawn girl with an abnormally large chest and abnormally well-sculpted waist. Asimah had asked, Irene had insisted it was 'ironic'. As part of the explanations she'd invoked quite a number of words, syllables, phonetic inflections Asimah hadn't quite understood. 'Ka-why', 'o-peye'. Interesting phrasings like that, and a lot of violent gesticulation that had been near-misses as far as Asimah's face had been concerned. For like a moment, erm, Asimah hadn't quite been able to peel her eyes away from the girl on the screen.
Even now it was kind of evocative in an awkward sense, wasn't it? A living memory, thrust rather suggestively into her face. Asimah navigated to the internet browser ('Chrome or you're troubled in the dome', was Irene's admittedly catchy TV tune jingle). Her sister's life. Her sister's legacy. And Asimah had access to nearly all of it, because Irene had apparently never seen the need to wipe cache, cookies... Bake herself some cookies, maybe, judging by the search history from nine or so months back? Hadn't that been around the time Irene's last kitchen disaster had been? Maybe that had been what Irene had been trying to make! It had been insanely hard to tell from the autopsy of the blackened crumbly graveyard after the fact.
Oh, well. It was Asimah's oopsie and sin that she'd felt the need to pry through her sister's browser history. There was certainly no excusing it, no more than there was excusing Irene for that one time she'd approached and asked about putting together a look from a hideous and clearly parody makeup tutorial (hadn't Irene hated that boy, anyways? Against her own possibly better judgement?) and Asimah had had to gently let her down. She wouldn't have begrudged Irene the look, it was just a bit of... executive judiciousness, as her sisters part-time unpaid unappreciated makeup artist. Asimah would never have let her sister go out looking like she was about to work the streets! Like, even if she'd wanted to Asimah would have supported her in whatever decision she made, but for sure not underage and not with such ill-advised style! All of that wasn't to say that Mr. Noah Whitley was a bad makeup artist or anything, he was actually just so particularly good he could make it look bad on purpose.
Oh, erm. She digressed at her own peril.
Her oopsie. Well. Asimah knew it was wrong and there was no excuse for it, yes of course. It just gave her answers, to, like. Questions she'd never even asked in the first place, but was suddenly rather eager for the answers to. Well okay, baring the answer to the question of Irene's fetishes, that Asimah could have done without for this lifetime and the next.
There had seemingly been so much Irene had just never been willing to discuss with her own older sister, it seemed. Irene had believed her own sexuality had been a secret? Even without the many provocative gifs (je-if? gu-if?) of girls and boys both two and three dimensional Asimah could have guessed! Irene had had a crush on Crisanto, and had even cussed out Asimah's passive, unawares involvement online! Calling her a boy stealer! By name! Hm, maybe they'd skipped the internet security lectures one too many times? Oh well? Also Irene had some sort of odd preoccupation with Tolstoy as of the last three months of her life, had almost beginner-quality sketches of Homestuck (the one with the cutely drawn grey things with the candy corn coming out of their heads?) on her Tumblr, followed a particularly oddly curated blog that falsely masturbation tips, had been liked TWICE (all caps faithfully preserved from the original source) by some pro League player. Also also she had documents full of odd interesting story ideas, and apparently played online chess and almost had a respectable ELO for a beginner and well if Asimah had known she could have given Irene tips but maybe she asked that boy down at the Vicanti cafe, Alvaro...?
Asimah had missed out on a lot!
Rather, that was, Irene had hidden a lot. It was odd to learn this sort of information secondhand. From her own sister, no less. Had it been... well. Had Asimah done something wrong? Maybe it was teenage rebelliousness or maybe not so, maybe Asimah had...
She didn't know.
' ... Though it's the end of the world... Don't blame yourself... Now...'
Quite the ear worm, like those odd machine bugs from the Matrix all squirming about and drilling through eardrums and skin.
But, well. Whatever the cause. Asimah didn't predispose herself to blame her sister. How could she? It was simply unthinkable, unconscionable. Asimah relaxed in the chair as best as she couldn't, her fingers slacked over the keyboard her sister had once used to travel through another world. She tried to imagine what her sister had been feeling, all that time behind her closed door with her knees drawn up to her chest and her chair probably slowly swiveling to an awkward angle parallel-ly perpendicular to the computer screen. Happy thoughts, happy feelings for sure. Feelings in all caps and with rainbow text meticulously built from BBCode or html or css or whatever it was. Not so happy thoughts and feelings as well. Asimah couldn't stop herself from selfishly wondering what proportion of those negative emotions had been about her.
She didn't know.
The older sister who had stolen her boyfriends, who had showed her up in school, who had done drugs and set a bad example, who had run off to college and abandoned her.
Mrs. Fluffle's face flattened against the sudden proximity of Asimah's trembling elbows.
"... I'm sorry, Irene." But she'd think it again and say it again and it'd be snakes eating themselves and even Irene herself would have told her to cut it out. It wasn't like Irene, the awkward posturing for forgiveness and mercy. She'd always held her head high. With her eyes right up against the sun so she'd march on, blind and stubborn and happily and beautifully. Likely! She wouldn't want to hear groveling. Probably all she wanted to hear was...
' ... And if it's true, I will surround you...'
Asimah didn't know, but she guessed it was something silly. Something stupid and fun and then Irene would have buried her head in Asimah's chest and murmur 'Mimi' like she always did even though she'd sworn when she'd become a Freshman that she'd only ever call Asimah 'Asimah like a grown up'. It was so dauntingly simple, really.
Asimah tried to do the putting her legs up on the chair thing like Irene did, but she couldn't quite manage it. It felt unwieldy, clunky. Irene had always had her beat there, in her own gracefully graceless manner.
Wasn't that just like Irene, hm? Gracefully graceless. It reminded Asimah of incidents... incident, mostly. Often Irene's most gracious moments seemed to be accidents. Like that one time when Asimah had been trying to help a friend at a party, Irene had been in Sophomore year then, and Asimah had drunk too much and then she and her friend had gotten into a fight over something even Irene would have understood was petty. It had been the rare time Asimah had preferred to drown in her own sorrows rather than another's, and she'd come home drunk and had sobbed... in multiple rooms of the house, her memory had been blacked out rather haphazardly. But Irene had tried to comfort her. A bit, kinda? She'd said a few words. Awkward hug. Offered to talk about it. Objectively it hadn't been a particularly admirable attempt. Somehow it had been all Asimah had needed.
Asimah remembered that Irene had once, in passing, apologized for making her cry. Well, odd really. All Irene had ever done had been to make Asimah, like... un-cry. As if that was a word! Asimah wondered if it was her own fault, right? If she'd assured Irene she hadn't been at fault, maybe it would have boosted Irene's confidence. Or well, maybe Irene's confidence hadn't needed boosting and maybe she would have been better with tougher love. Maybe Asimah had gone too easy on Irene or not easy enough or she hadn't cooked eggs over easy enough times and Irene's grudge had been life-long from that day forward. Or maybe Asimah didn't know or maybe she did and she didn't want to admit it to herself... Maybe...
She had an address memorized, and she typed it into Irene's search bar, one clunk of the keyboard after another.
Irene had always liked to claim she hadn't had the pipes to really stand out as a Twitch streamer, though she had liked to say she had the pipes to be a good skater? Asimah had always been impressed by the tricks she'd shown, even the ones that ended more on the ground than they maybe should have... Anyways. Irene had always claimed her channel depended more on 'mechanics' than they had personality, or personali-tittys, as she liked to derisively call it before the inevitable awkwardly charming rant on feminism. Oh how Asimah had always loved Irene's propensity for throw-all-the-words-together Buffy-speak.
Asimah had always thought Irene's voice had sounded more than okay and firmly told her that much. Maybe that had been her mistake to assume Irene had heard it the same.
"Okay so when it comes to pathing I like to go for the early ward in this particular brush because..."
"Shit you know klonkfan20...03, shit you're somehow younger than me dude, like I personally like to think of Graves like..."
"HEEEEY THAT'S THE INSEC PLAY GOD-DAMN WHERE'S MY AIRHORNS AT...!"
To a backdrop of 'facereveal at 100 subscribers' and 'Kappa-rino' or whatever the little emoji face was and 'f e e d b o y s', so on and so forth.
Asimah had actually always been there. As 'djezariasimah', which Irene had always decried as 'totes (sic) not a cool enough Twitch name Mimi I mean Asimah'. But, well. Asimah had never said anything. And it was too late to fix any of that now. What if Irene hadn't even thought Asimah had been paying attention? No, no. She always had been. She'd studied, learned, every blurted syllable of 'noob' and 'gank' and every other funny sounding word and Asimah had memorized it all, she really had, she just...
'... And give life to a world... That's our own...'
There was only one thing Irene had been part of that Asimah would ever outright refuse to watch.
She closed the stream archive and reverently put Mrs. Fluffle back where she belonged, removing herself from where she didn't belong in the process.
Maybe she needed to let go. Maybe she didn't need to. Maybe she'd come back to this room again, maybe not. Asimah had promised a lot of things to her sister. Usually she'd kept those promises.
She didn't want to commit to anything this time. That's how Irene would have done it.
She shuffled for the door, retracing her sister's steps, the ones that had brought her home, the ones that had brought her away. She didn't know the pathways for sure, the grooves her sister had rutted into the upholstery. She didn't know anything, really... Maybe she knew one thing.
"GG, sis... Maybe we could remake someday?"
Irene had indeed taught her that. Among the many other lessons Asimah had learned too late.
She closed the door behind her but not so much that it actually closed, so the door was sort of hanging off it's hinges ready to swing open or shut. Just like how Irene had always done it.
((Written with Empress Plush's permission))
1 post • Page 1 of 1
Goodbye To A World (Fresh-er Static Snow)
- Joined: March 27th, 2015, 4:13 am
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- "So, focus on it."
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Unofficial Theme : 'I'm out of sight, I'm out of mind. I'll do it all for you in time.'
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- "I like it, you know? That's doing our community right."
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Unofficial Theme : 'We come to you, uncomfortable in our ways. Please don't slam the door all in my face.'
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