Chigusa Kusaka, the player known as Atoli, was growing desperate.

Well, formerly known, to be exact.

Her room was cluttered in a organized mess of clothes, toiletries, and personal belongings. Most of it was piled on top of her twin bed, which was, thankfully, made this morning before all of this happened. She scrambled to get her room as clean as possible for this day.

The day she moved.

Was she relieved? Of course. Anyone would be after countless days of verbal abuse. From her own mother, no less. I mean, her father thankfully never actively participated. At least there was that. However, he was the only bread-winner in the household, which left him exhausted almost every day. Months passed by after he was forced to work more, due her mother getting laid off. It's like the exhaustion became a part of himself and, sooner or later, his daughter secretly resented him for it. Putting in hour after hour of overtime and leaving her to her jobless mother was bound to cause more issues, no matter the reasons why. She just felt so alone and unwanted. The lonliness and desperation for someone to be there by her side was unbearable...

Until The World came along.

Everything changed.

There was a whole other universe to explore. People didn't recognize her. She could finally be herself without suffering any negative backlash. Sure, there was a few bad eggs among the game, but it was nothing compared to what she had dealt with on the other side of the screen. Plus, she adored her character model.

When she met Haseo, his attitude shocked her and he stirred up so many feelings that she never thought she could feel. She was angry at first. Angry at him for pushing her away when all she wanted was his friendship. It took quite a while for her to gain his trust but, in the end, it was worth it. Their barriers slowly dropped and, in return, the relationship between the two blossomed into something beautiful.

Unfortunately, neither of them have found that out yet. As of now, they were the best of friends. They had each other's cell phone numbers and even saw each other offline a couple of times. Both of them were too shy to make a move, but subtle flirting was present. They even call each other by their first name, which Ryou, Haseo's player, insisted. I mean, they basically saved each other from comas and emailed every so often.

Speaking of the Terror of Death, Chigusa forgot she had a missed call from him earlier this morning. She blindly went for her phone, almost knocking over a neatly folded stack of clothing. In a panic, she decided to shoot him a quick email, apologizing for not answering and also asking if everything was okay. She still needed to pack and Kami knows how long she kept her Mom waiting. Every 10 minutes or so, she would yell at her to hurry up or else her "mystery roommate" would have to wait and deal with her tardiness. Unfortunately, the only description she had was that they were male and can be a potential candidate for marriage.

Truth to be told, Chigusa's world shattered when her mom decided to drop the ball like that over dinner. She felt a sudden urge to run away. Anywhere. Anywhere, but here.

However, as soon as she escaped to her room and had a full-blown anxiety attack, the anxiety slowly molded into a sense of relief. This is an opportunity to finally have a sense of freedom, even if she had to sacrifice a bit of her space to another person.

A male, no less.

A potential candidate for marriage.

Even thinking about it made her skin crawl.

Her mother was keen on not telling the whole truth and manipulated her whenever she wanted to get her way, so the marriage bit could likely be false. Probably hopeful thinking. Chigusa felt very nervous about the whole thing, considering the fact that both of her parents wanted to marry her off as soon as possible.

The doorbell suddenly rang, making Chigusa jump.

Oh, Kami, is this my roommate? She bit her lower lip as her anxiety went from 0 to 60, heart hammering in her chest.

She finished packing the last of her things and made her way to the living room downstairs. As she went down the steps, she heard a voice that made her freeze, almost dropping all of her luggage.

There he was, in her own front room, talking her mom with a scowl on his face.

Ryou.