When I was 20 this incredible game came out called “the Sims’” You created characters and controlled their lives. What they wore, ate, did for a living, you could even influence their sexuality. Needless to say I created a happy couple by the names of Terence and Tommy.
Terence and Tommy lived in a fabulous house that Tommy designed for them and both were very happy in their careers. Unfortunately the lifestyle they were accustomed to was a farce. Tommy had found a cheat code to manipulate the income they earned. (Tommy’s defense was that it came from a “trust fund”)
Now I have a history of being passive aggressive in real life and the real version of Terence had a knack for pissing me off. Rather then confront Terence in a healthy manner or that would have been conducive to our relationship I chose to take out my hostilities on the computer version of him, and to make matters worse the ‘Sim’ version of Terence was very temperamental. I conjured many ways to torture him. I would remove the door from the wall trapping him in a room, them just enclose him in drywall to watch him cry and bang on the wall. Sometimes I would remove the toilets and bathroom fixtures till he would defecate on himself. I was very cruel. However not matter what I did as soon as ‘Sim’ Tommy would return home to find his lover trapped in a wall he would bang on the other side and they’d talk and virtual hearts would flutter.
One day while choosing to not torture Terence and just observe his day, the phone rang. It was a prank call. “THE END IS NEAR!” came out of the receiver. Terence was terrified and I was perplexed. What a dark and twisted thing to put into a game. This phone call persisted only when Terence was home alone. He would wait anxiously for Tommy to arrive. Finally playing god I decided that if I don’t like confronting my demons neither should my ‘Sims’ so I simply hid the phone and got an answering machine. One morning while Terence walked out the door to go to work he dropped dead. I stared at the computer monitor in disbelief. Tommy returned home to find a grave stone that the game placed right where he died. Tommy was devastated. He cried and cried and screamed and clearly was upset.
What was I going to do? This game was a reflection of my life. Like I always did I cheated my way out of the situation. I resurrected Terence. (kinda sorta) I quit the game without saving it and it restarted the day prior to his death. That day instead of letting him go to work I made him go swimming in the pool. Something wasn’t right as the weeks (in real time) went by. The phone calls became more persistent. Terence started suffering from even more anxiety. Then he dropped dead again. I restarted the game. He dropped dead again. Then one day I accidentally saved the game making Terence’s death unchangeable. Now the real Terence and I at this point were having real difficulties and some how my computer reflected this all back to me. I tried to get Tommy over his death but he just moped around and was so melancholy. He would walk up to Terence’s earn and cry and weep and mourn. He even started wearing black everyday.
Not soon after the real Terence and I split up for good. That was eight years and two months ago. Since that game I played the real Terence has had to be the innocent bystander to a lot of my wreckage. I don’t know how I can ever really make up to him all the horrible things I’ve done to him (via a computer game mostly) or to myself. I do look to him with a ton of respect and admiration. The reason why I have no romantic feeling towards Terence anymore is that I simply did enough damage to him. Regardless of how much I work to become a better person then I was, there is no way that I would be consumed with guilt if I couldn’t keep Terence at a distance. The over zealous guilt driven people pleasing would only lead to me becoming resentful. Being resentful would only make old behaviors reemerge, like trapping him in a wall and starving him to death. All I can do is the next right action and learn from my mistakes and eventually hope to not repeat them with the next guy.