The day had started normally. The alarm clock beeping, my hand crashing down to end it, and then Grandpa unceremoniously enters my room with his usual cheerful morning greeting, "WAKE UP YUGI! THE DAY CAN'T START WITH YOU SLEEPING THE DAY AWAY NOW!" When that didn't work, for several minutes my Grandpa started beating me with a broom, "WAKE UP YUGI! WAKE UP!".
Don't worry it wasn't that hard, it was only with the straw end, and if it did hurt I'd probably call child services.
Honestly, sometimes I wonder how it is that this is the same man who raised my father to be the sharp and brilliant businessman when half the time I swear the man was out of his mind. Maybe it was because I ended up being raised towards the end of the man's life. How old was he again? 60? 80? 90? 100 years old?
By the time I came downstairs for breakfast, my grandfather had put a very familiar box in front of me that made me groan. The broken-up Millenium puzzle. The same puzzle I've been trying to put together since I was 6 years old, only I was only able to finish about half of it before I gave up. I never was sure why. Probably because I started realizing old-fashion games weren't popular with the kids my age anymore and I wanted to fit in damn it, but when you're being raised as a Moto.
"Now Yugi, today is an important day," Grandpa says as he's frying eggs in a pan. "The day you start your journey into becoming the great man you're meant to be." As Grandpa starts his lecture I look and play at the puzzle box, kind of intrigued as I always am with it despite knowing the thing is just impossible to solve.
"Now I know you've heard all the horror stories of high school, and I can't really say they are false." Great I think, as I pause in putting two pieces together. Huh, maybe this time I might solve it…
" But trust me, it only starts that way." Okay, I guess that's nice to know. " The key is surviving, and later becoming so great that when you come back to high school after many years, you'll say AHAHAHA! LOOK WHAT I'VE BECOME LOSERS! Unless you become popular." Doubt it. "Then you can still say, "AHAHAH! LOOK WHAT I'VE BECOME LOSERS!" Grandpa laughs as he serves me some of his delicious scrambled eggs.
"Okay yeah Grandpa I understand," I said munching on the eggs as fast as I can. I actually don't want to be late on my first day. "But exactly how am I going to survive, if I don't really have any friends… Or even know exactly how I'm going to end up successful in the end."
"The key is, Yugi, to focus on your studies." Ugh, typical old-fashion Grandpa response. "And as for friends." Grandpa starts laughing boisterously again, "Why you'll make a lot of them no problem. You know, in my day I was rather popular, you know." Okay, that I totally DO NOT believe. "All the girls just wanted to be with me!" Again doubtful.
"But if you're anything like your father, you might not end up so popular." I pause in my munching as my jaw hangs. Dad? Unpopular. Dad's the coolest person I know. I mean he doesn't even talk to me and act like I don't even exist.
" Not that your father wasn't meant to be unpopular. It was perhaps the fact that he was very reserved I suppose." So I guess it's not me then..?, I think as I look down at my puzzle box
"Or the fact that everyone was just jealous of how brilliant he was!" Grandpa chuckled, while I raised my eyebrow.
"….You were popular?" I finally asked dubiously.
"Of course!" He grins. "What, you don't believe your grandpa was such a ladies man back in the day?"
"It's not that I don't believe you..." To be honest I really didn't.
"Haha ah, kids. So skeptical these days. Hmph. Fine don't believe me, not that it matters but it's true! I do have something though that may help with your friends' issue." Grandpa sits down by me patting my shoulder.
"Really?" I say, both shocked, intrigued, and hopeful. I mean I wasn't exactly popular in middle school… or ever really. Being a runt and all has its drawbacks (again the reason #2 why I also think he's lying. I get my shortness from him and maybe my mother. My father oddly didn't get the shortness gene from his father, lucky bastard. Maybe it skips a generation…) like being bullied constantly in school, and being the last chosen in any sport or game. Oh also the lack of friends, because nobody wants to be friends with the short, unattractive, runt of the group. Hell if I wasn't such a runt, I'd probably not be friends with me either. I mean what benefit would, I, a runt be for a friend? Why exactly would anyone be friends with me? I'm useless. Hence the reason why I have no friends.
… Wow. This story suddenly turned into the sob story of an angsty teenager, which I assure you I am not. I'm rather a very optimistic person, albeit shy. I do want to meet new people… I'm just not very confident. Being thrown into the dumpster many times during my past experiences of school does that to a person…
"Come now! Don't tell me you forgot your lucky charm!" Grandpa laughed while I kept looking at him cluelessly.
"What are you-" I started to say only for him to push the golden box with a familiar creepy eye in the middle to me. "Your puzzle box! You remember! I gave it to you when you were little. It was your lucky charm" exclaimed Grandpa while I stifled a groan. Right. My lucky charm.
"You've been working on this since you were eight! I wonder why you stopped working on it. You were almost there!" Grandpa says. I have no idea what he's talking about. My puzzle was only half-finished. "I figured this might be your lucky year," he says, as he always does. Every year.
I sighed.. This puzzle had been the bane of my existence since I started. You see, I don't like to brag, but when it comes to board games and card games I am the fucking king! I can win and complete the impossible. But this box… this puzzle….
"This Yugi is an ancient box" No duh. "Containing the pieces of a fabled magical item called the Millenium Puzzle. According to what this says, if you are able to solve the puzzle and put it back together, the item will allow you one wish, and it will happen. Your life will change forever." Grandpa ends with a dramatic air. This is what he said the first time he gave it to me. And this is what he says every time he brings it up again as if it'll encourage me to finish it.
I look at him with a raised eyebrow as I take the puzzle. Maybe next time I should throw it in the dumpster. Oh well, I guess I could humor Grandpa for a while. That and I do love puzzles, and any kind of games really… except for the athletic kinds… cause I suck at those. Though who knows. Maybe it'll be my lucky year. "Thanks, Grandpa. I can't wait to start finishing this!"
If I ever.
"Haha I have a feeling you will and who knows, you might end up making some friends with the puzzle." Yeah right, but Grandpa smiles and I feel a bit touched that he cares so much.
Really I have the best grandfather in the world, even if I'm just saying that because I'm around him often, though if anything that just adds to how really awesome he is. I mean if you were around him as often as I, it'd probably drive you insane, and it does drive me insane, but at the end of the day, there really isn't a more caring person then my grandfather, plus he's the closest person to me. He knows everything about me, and understands everything that I feel! It's kinda creepy when I think about it.
"Now you go off now. The school bell will ring any minute now, and I don't want you to be late on your first day now" Grandpa says pushing me out the door of the game shop we live in.
"Bye Grandpa!" I wave my hand as I pack the Millennium's Puzzle Box in my back bag and make my way to school.
When I arrived at school, I was met with one of my old buddies from middle school. Actually, not really one of my old buddies, but he was a familiar face anyway. Joey Wheeler, A.K.A Asshole who won't get off my ass.
Since as far as I could remember, the moment Joey Wheeler had come to Domino, he'd decided that I would be his personal plaything. His excuse to the daily throwing my ass in a dumpster, stealing my homework, taking my lunch money, or whatever torture/punishment he decides to do to me for the day is one thing simple: to teach me to stand up for myself.
Yeah, he's a real helper, this guy.
"Well look who's finally showed up!" Wheeler says cheerfully as if we were planning to meet up and hang out before school.
Really the day I become friends with this guy will be the day Ushio, the hall monitor, who takes his job way too seriously in my opinion, loses his head and tries to fall off a roof! Man do I have some gruesome thoughts. Maybe I should watch more of My Little Pony.
"And where's that lunch you promised me?" Wheeler barks at me bringing me, unfortunately, back to reality.
"What!? What lunch? What are you talking about!?" I ask my voice unintentionally getting higher with each word. Seriously what the hell is wrong with me? I'm not scared of this guy!
BAM! GAH! I gape as a fist almost collides to my face and hits the dumpster behind me. Damn it! How does he corner me so easily! How did that dumpster get behind me!?
"Yugi! And here's me thinkin we were friends. How am I goin' to eat if I have no lunch!?" Wheeler growls at me, his hand grabbing my shirt.
"I don't know." I whimper. Damn it! "Maybe you could uh buy some?"
"Or maybe" Wheeler smirks and I don't like it. "You could jus' lend me summah your money so I could buy me some chow laytah."
"Uh well… that isn't really what I meant." I mutter sheepishly scratching my chin. Wheeler then slam me back on the metal of the dumpster.
Geez, what is with this guy and slamming people to dumpsters!
"Look punk! I know how loaded you and your gramps are being what he bein the lead archaeologist and one of the greates' pokah playahs in da world, and your pops work at one of them big gaming companies out dere that you still get a paycheck from? Am I right?" How the hell did he know this? Shit! Is he stalking me?
"So I don't see how a guy like you don't have a few extra change in your pocket to give to a poor guy like me who's starvin and got nothin' to eat later!" Wheeler growls.
I just stare at him.
"Hey do'ya have a problem understandin' English!" Wheeler shouted at my face and slammed me to the dumpster. Urgh! That's going to leave a mark.
Okay, this guy's not going to let up, but I'm not going to just hand him my lunch money like that! I mean. Come on! I have to maintain some dignity and pride here!
"Okay! Okay! Here!" I gave him the change Gramps gave me to buy lunch today. Okay, maybe I don't have any dignity and pride in me after all.
"Heh!" Wheeler grinned. Man! Is he insufferable! "Well, I hafta say I'm disappointed Yugi! That was like takin candy from a baby! I expected so much more!" Are you kidding me!
"Oi Joey! What's going on?" Oh great, it's Buffoon #2 coming to join the party.
And sure enough, there's Triston Taylor coming around the corner toward us.
Now compared to Wheeler, he isn't really so bad.
I mean he and I used to do projects together in Middle School and he tries, emphasis on the "tries", to help out and not let me do all the work.
He also, unlike Wheeler, attempts to make some civilized conversation with me, when he has to anyway, instead of smashing against a wall and stealing my money. All in all, we have a very good non-intimate acquaintance relationship going on. Add Wheeler in the picture though, and well you can't really count on him to be my ally and defender.
Today though it seemed he might be my hero.
"What the hell are you doin Joey? I thought you were gonna stop picking on the shrimps ever since Kane transferred into the Rintama High School?"
"Now's not the time Taylor! Now, are you gonna help me throw this punk into the dump or are you gonna stand there tryin' to reform me to your law-abiding ways and shit. Cuz I got news for ya buddy, you're wastin' your time." Wheeler sneered.
And so that's how I ended up in the dumpster that lovely Monday morning. Yeah, my first day is going spectacularly!
And Taylor really sucks at playing the hero.