2021.09.17 18:07 peonypeaches Modern stuff like... a dating app 🧐?
2021.09.17 18:07 WhitePigment Vultures of Norm MacDonald.
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2021.09.17 18:07 ICANTBEATNAMELESSCAT Cum
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2021.09.17 18:07 PaperIntelligent Cleaning gravestones
Alright listen hear me out here I just watched the most satisfying video of a guy cGraves? Old old gravestones. It was chefs kiss and it's a socially distanced activity !
I'm doubting a historic cemetery would let this fly but does any Rochester native know of a local cemetery either here or in the country side that could use some cleaning? You have to get permissions etc but I'd be willing to organize an activity or call in if I had some ideas about where to start. Especially a rural one.🥰
Anyone else interested in cleaning old graves?
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2021.09.17 18:07 noegh555 Interesting facts about your current coach/players?
2021.09.17 18:07 Yukathekid Kazutora Hanemiya
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2021.09.17 18:07 kunjal69 Racing thoughts are degrading my sleep quality
It's been >1 year since I have been doing Work From Home I guess this might have triggered it.
What I'm facing is racing thoughts that comes when I go to sleep at night when I finally fall asleep. And if I wake up in middle of night to go to washroom or to drink water the racing thoughts comes over again making it difficult to sleep again.
It's like as if my brain prefers to think than to rest, the racing thoughts are like thinking excessively on something like justifying some argument or something.
So how do I stop this madness? I need to improve my sleep quality, the interrupted sleep makes me feel sleep deprived through the day. It's gotten so bad that throughout the day I feel itching & burning sensation in eyes because of lack of sleep I have had last night.
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2021.09.17 18:07 savethetreesorugay Handles
If I am making a handle for a hatchet just as a novelty of sorts I did it for fun but I don’t have a lot of experience with this, if I’m not going to be using it can I use a square nail as a wedge to keep the head on
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2021.09.17 18:07 therwanz Even in the darkness laugh
I (27M) and wife (25F) purchased a house a few years ago. After unpacking all day we decided it was time to call it a day. We both showered and proceeded to lay in bed in our new house. Well one thing led to another and we decided to christen the new house. We started doing the deed and all was going well. My wife got on top (cowgirl position) and starts to do her thing. After a minute something breaks the serene sound of a dimly lit room and music playing in the background. It was my wife, at the bottom of one of her strokes she had released a thunderous ass clapper of a fart directly onto my balls. The sound was loud and the smell awful as we had just eaten fast food all day while unpacking. Shock and awe set in as we locked eyes in the now smelly cave of a room. After what seemed to be a hour, her still on top, we started laughing uncontrollably. Her sphincter was also apparently uncontrollable as she accosted my testicles with a second round of noxious ass gas. She looked at me while still on top and said with the straightest face said, “What do you expect? I was in in perfect farting position and couldn’t help it.” We both roll onto our side laughing, tears streaming down our faces as we recount the series of unfortunate events that had just occurred. After a laugh session and gathering of our thought we finished the act and went to sleep. Still to this day there are not words to describe how a fart coming out of an asshole at mach 3 feels on your sack. That being said we have been together for 10 years, married for 5 with 2 beautiful kids to boot. We both look back at that evening to this day and just laugh about it.
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2021.09.17 18:07 ArroganceRecords Bullet For My Valentine - Her Voice Resides [GUITAR SOLO COVER]
2021.09.17 18:07 Filippo-IT I just finished Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and I need a new game
Hi guys, I just finished Xenoblade Chronicles 2 a couple of hours ago and I absolutely loved it. Great story and game play but I'm here for some other suggestions.
I have played:
2021.09.17 18:07 Comprehensive-Signal Attandance Management Project with OpenCV
| A few months ago I wanted to do a project related to Opencv but I couldn't find something that get me excited. |
I have a book where I write the ideas of projects that are interesting for me, then I pick some of them and are my resolutions of the year (among other things of course), and before the new year comes I'd done all of them.
As you could see in my previous post, the video chat was the project that I has to have done before starting with this. I took a course from freecodecamp to understand the fundamentals and how Opencv works.
When I got the core ideas I started to play with the methods, creating some short programs. Having some fun...
The idea is simple, in some hypothetical scenario the teacher start the program, then every student puts it in front of the webcam, and automatically an excel worksheet will be written and downloaded for the teacher. Avoiding the boring task of calling out every single student.
My project does that, obviously before doing that the teacher will have to register the students, after typing their last name and name the camera will open and take a few photos to create a model to train it so that the program can recognize each student.
This project makes me realize and enforce my idea about Python. Is one of the best languages ever.
I you liked the project give it a star in GitHub or give it love to this post. 🤘
Register an Student
After adding the student you can go back to the main window and you could start taking attendance.
When you click the button \"Take attendance\"
When you finish (closing the window with the Esc key) it will show you the results and also created an Excel worksheet with the list of students.
After taking the attendance it will shows up this table.
If you have questions or suggestions it would be a pleasure for me to answer all of them.
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2021.09.17 18:07 DeletusUrFetus encouraging suicide🙂👍
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2021.09.17 18:07 -en- @Reuters: WHO's Tedros seen running unopposed for top job despite Ethiopia snub - sources https://t.co/Gb7txxbfXG https://t.co/9hMnGSIYmV
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2021.09.17 18:07 SnooCats7919 Computer share purchase was easy. Did all from my phone with no call necessary in 3 minutes.
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2021.09.17 18:07 Emotional_Employee_9 After the Festival - Part 11
Table of content for previous parts
Author's note: Sorry for the very, very long wait. I'm honest, the SFW version has been ready for a while now, but since I seem to have a fairly equal following on ddlc and ddlcrule34, I wanted to make sure both versions were ready to go at the same time. My apologies, and as usual, I hope you'll enjoy.
* * * * *
Left alone in my kitchen, I scrub furiously at the dishes that fill the sink, yet another unpleasant side effect of my “date”. I’m such a colossal idiot. I keep repeating myself some variation of those words over and over as the scenes from earlier replay through my head. What was I thinking? She barely managed to show you her feelings, show you that poem she’s been holding onto for three weeks, and you thought it gave you the right to dig up her demons? The fuck is wrong with you?
Of course, hindsight is 20/20 as they say, though I wouldn’t be surprised if mine was short-sighted too. And Yuri saw that denouement, then saw her breakdown when her words hit her. I’m not sure what kind of bond they have, but she got through where I failed.
As soon as she laid eyes on her, Natsuki’s expression had shifted to this strange mix of emotions. Relief to see a dear friend, surprise at her unexpected appearance, horror at the realization she had heard everything. Yuri must have arrived not long after I went upstairs, but there was no telling how much she could hear from the living room until we came down. But for sure, she heard enough. Heard me say I love Natsu. Heard her say it’s impossible to love her. And somehow, this had prompted our purple-haired friend to speak up and say that she, in fact, loved Natsuki too, something she had been either unaware of this morning or else had been denying.
After the initial surprise, Natsuki fell to her knees and started sobbing uncontrollably. I didn’t understand why initially, then I heard her whimper “Not you too,” and it hit me. I could only guess, but if she was so convinced that she was unworthy of love, then anyone who said otherwise must be a liar trying to gain something from her. And while she was merely angry at me, she couldn’t bear to be “lied to” by Yuri, because it reduced all the bonding and comforting she’d done over the last weeks to nothing more than a ploy to get closer.
Why, Natsuki? Did someone say they loved you and then used you? Is this what our conversation upstairs was about? Just thinking about it makes my blood boil, but I lost the right to bring up this conversation. In fact, I’m pretty sure I never earned it in the first place. I just wanted to be wrong, so I poked because I needed her to dispel that hunch I had. Yeah. Hindsight is actually a cruel thing that laughs in the back of your head, mocking you for all the “obvious signs” you missed.
When Natsuki collapsed, I could only stand there, looking down at her, unable to decide if I had any right to be comforting her. Somehow, Yuri was suddenly at her side. It felt like I blinked and she was no longer ten steps away behind the couch, but was instead on the ground, hugging Natsu and stroking her hair, rocking her and humming to her soothingly. I could only watch, enthralled by what should have been an endearing scene if I had not been the reason why it was needed in the first place. Feeling less than useless, I picked up Natsu’s dropped raincoat and hung it back, gathered the Parfait Girls manga that spilled from her bag and made sure they weren’t damaged, then waited, keeping my distance.
Outside, the rain continued, unabated. The wind howled, and the lights briefly flickered. Thunderstorms in November were rare, but I couldn’t have hoped for more fitting weather for the mood. Once Natsuki regained some measure of composure, Yuri had simply remarked that she was soaked from getting caught in the rain and needed to change, and asked her if she’d like to go upstairs to help her. She had nodded and clumsily gotten back to her feet, avoiding my eyes, though Yuri gave me a small, encouraging smile. The message was clear that I was being excluded, and I only mumbled that they could use my room if they wanted and that I’d stay here.
And here in the kitchen, I stayed. I had separated the various meats and side dishes in different combinations in every container and lunch box I have, then placed most of them in the freezer. I still left two in the fridge for tomorrow, though I doubted we’d have lunch together as we had planned. I then set myself to cleaning everything and hoped Yuri would find a way to love her in a way that she could understand and accept. I told her earlier in the classroom that she should do what makes her happiest, even if it meant choosing Yuri over me. And if I’m honest, I’d choose her over myself too, right now.
* * * * *
Leading Natsuki up the oddly familiar stairs, Yuri had been almost grateful for arriving when she did. Surely, neither of them would have turned her away, but no one had answered when she had knocked. Under normal circumstances, she would have never entered the house like this for fear of interrupting... something, but the storm was picking up, and she had not had the foresight to bring her umbrella. Was it still at school? Did Monika and... Sayori – why did her brain struggle with her name again? – bring it with them? No matter. She had needed to get out of the rain and the door was not locked, so she followed the most logical course of action.
The thought that she might interrupt a moment of intimacy had strangely stirred her heart. She was happy for them, they were her friends, and she may even say she loved them both. But holding her as they made their way to his room, she realized her bond with her was stronger than any infatuation she may have over MC. She was so precious and fragile under her hard exterior, while MC remained mostly a stranger despite having shown her some kindness.
Seating a mute Natsuki in the computer chair, she took the barest of moments to assess the room. She did not really have any expectations, as she never entered a boy’s room before. Or did she? Like the stairs, the room seemed familiar: the arrangement of books on the shelves, the window piercing the wall, a drawer she was forbidden to open. Familiar. Like earlier in her room. When she held her knife and...
“Yuri, are you ok?” Natsuki’s voice expressed a sincere concern despite her emotionally detached state, slicing through her thoughts and bringing her back to the present. Right. Natsuki was the one who needed the most help. Wait. In her hand. Is that...?
Looking down, she notices her hand disappearing in her bag, her fingers curled around a lacquered wood handle. Natsuki could not see it, but she had seen one of her knives before. In the closet. And she had had that same worried expression back then. Of course, she had also seen...
Yuri’s eyes go wide for a moment as her friend takes her free hand in hers, inspects her palm, then undoes the cuff button. “Did you...” she begins hesitantly, not daring to roll up her sleeve. Not that she needs to: the morning’s scar had reopened when she came down her window, and with the water soaking through, a bit of pinkish red stained the hem of her white shirt, right above the wrist.
“Earlier, when I saw you, you... left in a rush... and... I got scared of what you were going to do.” A silent tear rolls down Natsuki’s cheek as she reaches forward to undo the buttons of the blazer, not trusting to be able to lift the sleeve without further damage given how soaked Yuri was. “If I had followed you, I could have helped you, but I decided to stay and wait for MC. I’m sorry for being such a shitty, selfish friend.”
Placing her bag on the desk and shrugging off her outer garment with some difficulty, Yuri hardly glances at her slightly bloodied arm, used to it by now. Though her mind is still a bit muddled, she remembers to let go of the blade before pulling her hand out of her bag and wrapping her arm around her friend’s shoulders. If only they had tea. Maybe she could go downstairs ask for some? No, she shouldn’t leave her alone. In her position, she knows what she’d do if she was left alone right now. Did Natsuki ever do something similar? No matter. Not now. Focus on the present. On her.
But, what she just said... Does she think I did this at school? She wishes she could reassure her, but there was still too much she didn’t remember from this afternoon. What had she done after they spoke? Did she have another fugue? She had told MC she had been experiencing episodes of missing time, but this felt different. Never had she come to her senses in a different location like this.
“Natsuki. I didn’t do this after we spoke, but even if I had... I don’t think you could have stopped me.... or-or should have... tried to...” she tries to explain awkwardly. Confusion fed the urge, and she shot nervous glances toward her bag. She had never been interrupted or forced to fight the urge for long. She was both scared and strangely curious about how she might react. She’d need to test this in a controlled environment, not at school. Not here, either. Stay focused, she needs you!
The more she thought of it, the stronger the urge grew, but she was trying to fight it for her. She couldn’t remember the last time she had fought against it and won. “Enough of this. Can you explain... What I saw? What you... said?”
Trying to hide the sadness in her voice would have been futile. Remembering her petite friend denying the truth of her feelings, even though she’d never expressed them, had wounded her unexpectedly. These thorns pricking her heart had been the final realization of how important she was to her. She was this cute little hedgehog, all spiny yet adorable that she wanted to hold.
“Yuri... I know what I said.” Natsuki’s tone is mournful as she shrugs off the comforting arm to stand up and walk toward the shelves, her back turned to her friend. “I don’t think anyone can really love me, I’m too broken for that. Not even you. At best, you can... love what I show you. That’s it. And that dummy took even that from me. I'm just not worth it.”
She kept reading of this strange notion in her books, the idea that someone should be worthy of love. A thing’s worth is what the appraiser wants to pay for it. In the case of love, should not everyone decide for themselves who is worthy of them? What makes you worthy of being loved, if not the gaze of the other? Last week, she had liked Natsuki’s gaze on her. She had not realized how good it felt until now. But then, what she just said about only loving the image you project...
Behind her, the pink woman hears the rustling of clothes and a few grunts of efforts, followed by the uneasy shifting of feet on the creaking floor. In the ensuing silence, she perceives Yuri’s rapidly accelerating breath, and the part of her that still cares, that isn’t numb, wonders if she is about to have one of her panic attacks.
“T-turn… around. Please.” Her normally quiet voice is shakier than ever before, and she understands why as soon as she does as she is told. Before her, Yuri has stripped of all remaining outer garments and stands there wearing nothing but a bra and her underwear, the scars crawling up her arms from wrist to elbow clearly visible, with a few paler, older ones showing at her waist.
“Do… do you… like me?” Yuri’s face is turned away, her eyes shadowed by her bangs, but there is no denying the furiously red shade of her skin.
“What the…” Natsuki’s brow furrows as her mind tries to make sense of what she’s seeing. She had seen some of her scars when she found out, but Yuri had never shown her their full extent. Not to mention... she’s mostly naked! in a boy’s room! a boy who is downstairs and who might come in at any time too! What is she thinking? The realization darkens the blush on Yuri’s face and shoulders a shade deeper.
Moving aside the plate of uneaten rice balls to grab the blanket from the bed, Natsuki quickly moves to lay it on her friend’s shoulders, but hands catch her wrists before she can wrap it around her completely before the scars are hidden again. “P-please. I need to know,” she pleads, rehearsing the words she wants to tell her in her mind to make sure she gets them right.
Biting her lip, Natsuki looks down at her body, for once not focusing on those curves she used to be so envious of. Her eyes linger on the imperfections, the scars, the birthmarks, the bit of extra weight that settles around her waist and hips. “I do, you know that, but what does–“
“I’m just as broken as you,” interrupts Yuri, releasing her wrists to place her hands on either side of her face, forcing herself to meet her eyes as she does. “Does it mean I am not worthy of love, either? Of your love?”
“It’s not the same thing,” she attempts to counter, unable to turn her face away from the uncomfortable stare. “You… you don’t know what happened.”
“A wound is a wound, Natsuki. Some are more visible than others, but they all hurt us. And when the wound no longer hurts, the scar does.”
Hesitating, Natsuki frowns then shakes her head before letting go of the blanket around her friend to cross her arms. “Let me guess: quote from a book?” There’s a hint of causticity in her tone, but it is matched by the hint of an amused smile on her face.
Returning a sad, discreet smile, her friend can’t help but nod before timidly confessing. “Again and again, by Bertolt Brecht. One of my favourites.” She does not mention how à-propos the quoted poem may seem in their situation.
Rolling her eyes but still thankful for the attempt, Natsuki sits on the edge of the bed, looking down at the floor. “I don’t know if I have become numb to it. I have lived with them for years now, the pain and the shame mixed together, always at the back of my head whenever I let someone close. Not to mention my dad would never let me forget.”
Taking a seat by her side and wrapping arm and blanket around her shoulders, Yuri remains silent for a moment as she attempts to process all that she has learned so far. Why would her father do such a thing? She never met the man, though he seemed very strict. And did it mean she had felt this way whenever they were together for the last week? How close were they exactly? Not for the first time, she wonders if she had actually provided any lasting comfort rather than a passing distraction.
“I don’t... I don’t think you need to forget. Or should. But you shouldn’t let it define you and hold you back either,” she murmurs, barely audible over the sound of rain outside. Turning her left arm, she examines the crisscrossing scars on her skin, the red film of drying diluted blood tinting her skin. The cut had thankfully stopped bleeding. “I know you are strong enough to move on. I wish... I wish I had... half your strength. If I did... maybe I could fight this.”
Outside, thunder rolls in the ensuing silence, like the sound of a titanic millstone fast approaching before fading away.
“Jeez, we are pretty broken, huh?” Despite her sarcastic tone, Natsuki manages a small smile as she makes for her hand before lightly running her fingers over the scars, not even minding the sticking feeling she finds there. How did her pain compare to hers? Should she even try to compare the two? In a way, she guessed she was lucky. Some wounds are more visible than others, she had said. Unlike Yuri, she was broken in a way that was not immediately apparent or required her to cover herself constantly.
Speaking of which, looking down at her, she can’t help but smirk as she finally realizes something. “Say, those are some very fancy bra and matching underwear you got there. Did you choose them for anyone in particular?”
“Na... Natsuki!” Yuri nearly chokes as the conversation veers suddenly. She then briefly panics and vainly tries to cover, her right arm still wrapped around her shoulders while her left fingers are tightly woven with hers. “It’s... That’s not...”
Grinning as she watches her friend sputter in an attempt to adapt to the curveball she just threw at her, Natsuki waits a few seconds before holding a hand up to stop her. “It’s ok! I know! I know that... well, I know for whom you chose it. He... told me about yesterday.”
“You must think I’m a horrible friend, then.” Not daring to meet her eyes, Yuri finally manages to free her hand from Natsuki’s to pull the blanket more tightly around her. She’d known from the start about her feelings for MC, and while she was not wholly in control of herself last night, she still couldn’t forgive her own actions. Besides, she had no such excuse for the kiss she asked of him as they left her home. “After last night, I was... hopeful... this morning... but you and he already had a bond, and I had no right to put myself between the two of you. I’m so sorry.”
To her surprise, her friend just shrugs, then flops down onto her back, staring up at the ceiling. “Yeah well, he reminded me a few times that I was the first one to... cheat, I guess? I don’t even know what we are, he and I, and you and me....” Pressing her palms on her eyes, she can’t repress a moan of frustration from escaping her. “Ugh... This is making my head hurt just thinking about it... Not that it matters. Not anymore.”
Laying down on the bed next to her, Yuri reaches for her hand again, though she still can’t bring herself to look at her. Watching how her fingers intertwine with hers and reminding herself of why she came here, the things she saw in her dream and in her own house seem to pale in comparison to the importance of comforting her precious friend. How is this possible? Why is it she feels protecting that tenuous bond they have is more important than two dead women chatting in her boudoir? Part of her tells her she needs to revise her priorities, but as long as she holds her hand, that voice which speaks with cold logic and reason, usually at the forefront of her thoughts, is nothing more than a whisper in the back of her mind.
“Natsuki. I meant what I said downstairs. And... I’m sure he did too, otherwise... he wouldn’t have been worried about you so much.” She feels her friend tensing up next to her, her hand squeezing hers a little tighter. “This morning, I... we kissed again... and rode the bus together... but he said he needed to give you a chance to pick up where you had left off. So, he obviously cares. He probably cares more about you than about me.”
“Well, too bad for him if he can’t see how great you are!” Natsuki’s reply is half-hearted at best, but it still manages to bring a fleeting smile to her. With a heavy sigh, she then rolls to her side to watch her shy lover girl, trying to ignore how scantily clad she is under that blanket. “So, how long should we mope about this mess before we actually do anything about it?”
“Nat, you make it sound like it’s so simple.”
“Because it is, you dummy,” the girl shoots back immediately before lifting Yuri’s chin to finally look into her eyes. “I love you both. You both listen when I talk but aren’t afraid to stand up to me either if I go too far. You help me work through stuff, and you make me feel safe. I don’t want to give up either of you.”
I don’t care if I get hurt in the end, I’m used to it by now, she reflects to herself as she stares into the amethyst eyes*. But if I can convince myself long enough that they really do care, maybe I can forget about it, even if only for an hour or two each day.*
She hates herself for thinking about them like that, waiting for their inevitable betrayal. She’s angry at the jeering demons of her past that constantly remind her that she was used and discarded once. But mostly, she’s mad at her father’s voice echoing in her head and calling her all those things for having been so naive...
But like Yuri this morning, she wants to be hopeful. And if someone who is just as broken as her timid girlfriend can feel like this, maybe she can, too.
“Ummm... Natsu... ki? Is everything alright?” Yuri’s voice brings her back to the here and now, to her eyes looking into hers and her face much closer than she remembered it. Had she just waited there while she stared into nothing? Wow, I’d have been totally creeped out if I were her.
“Yeah, of course!” she retorts with fake confidence, feeling uneasy at both her behaviour and their proximity for totally different reasons. “You’re rubbing off on me, now I’m the one spacing out!”
“Oh... I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to... do that.” Looking away, she tries and fails to hide her embarrassment at having supposedly communicated her bad habits. “Ummm... What should we do.... about us and MC? He told me, this morning, he did not want to choose.”
“Yeah, I kinda told him the same in the classroom earlier...” Natsu admits, remembering how good the day had been looking up back then, just over two hours earlier. Which reminds her... “Hey, Yuri... I have to confess something.”
“Confess...?” Yuri’s eyes trail her curiously as she sits up again, following her a moment later. Giving Natsuki a few seconds to gather up the courage she needs, she then listens attentively as she recounts the events of the afternoon, starting with their time spent alone in an empty classroom.
“I see...” Yuri says quietly to herself as her friend falls silent. Is she worried about my reaction? If so, how should I react? It’s hardly more than we have done together in the last week, and I am glad for her. So why does she look so concerned? MC also looked similarly worried this morning. Are we not allowed to do this? Is exclusivity the default assumption even before any commitment is made?
Realizing she forgot to start talking and that Natsuki is looking at her expectantly, she clears her throat nervously before taking her hands in hers. “I am happy that you and he still have those feelings for each other, I know you were con–”
“Aren’t you the least bit upset!?” Natsuki’s voice cuts her before she can finish her sentence, annoyance creeping into her words as she stares up into the confused purple eyes. When MC had bluntly told her he’d spent the previous night making out with her friend, she had been about to blow up until their shared love interest had reminded her that she and Yuri had some history of their own, knocking the wind out of any argument she may have brought up. Now, hearing her friend being so casual – no, being happy – about her getting intimate with him, she can’t help but feel like a total jerk here.
“I’m… I’m sorry, Yuri,” she mumbles apologetically, looking down at their hands between them. “I just…”
“I read that jealousy is the expression of insecurity, and I suppose you were afraid I was taking him from you. Is that what happened?” There is a hint of sadness tinging Yuri’s voice as she finally figured out what was bothering Natsuki. It was so logical, she was surprised it had eluded her at first, yet it still stung. She would never try to take from her something that made her happy. “I think it is safe to say, based on earlier events I witnessed, that he has no intention of choosing me over you. As for me, you already confessed not wanting to lose me either, and that makes me glad.”
“Ugh. Stop talking nonsense. I’m not jealous or anything!” Looking up to meet her eyes, Natsuki pouts prettily, doing her best to summon the surly persona she usually puts up to stop people from looking at her too closely. But then, it had not stopped either of them so far, and her half-hearted attempt is as transparent as glass. “I don’t know why either of you would choose… me.”
“I likewise do not know why you feel this way toward me. I find all of this new and confusing, to be honest,” she admits with a small smile and a tilt of her head. “I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride.”
“Yuri, stop quoting books. Pretty sure I read that one in class, too,” grumbles Natsuki despite a light blush creeping onto her cheeks. “But... thank you. Even if I find it hard to believe it.”
Surprised to have been caught red-handed again, Yuri immediately turns away from her, clearly flustered. “Pablo Neruda. H-how can you always tell?”
“You get that look in your eyes, then hesitate a little, ‘cause obviously you’re overthinking it. You’re not subtle... but that’s a good thing,” she adds after a brief moment of reflection. Taking a deep breath, she tries to quell the voices of doubt inside her head to convince herself of her own words. “It’s reassuring to know you’re a bad liar, because it must mean the things you say are... true.”
“Why, I never thought being bad at something could be positive!” her friend replies with obviously feigned surprise before offering her a gentle smile. “I see no point in lying to you, and I meant every word.”
Blushing even more before finally deciding the tension needs a release, Natsuki pauses long enough to climb onto her friend’s lap and look into her eyes. “So, how much noise do you think we can make before he notices?”
* * * * * *
Ever since Yuri led her upstairs, I became aware of how dizzy I was. I had barely eaten since this morning, but I was too upset to swallow anything. Plus, the rice balls were still in my room. My head also felt as though someone was trying to push their whole fist between my brain halves from the top.
Having finished cleaning up and figuring I’d rather not go anywhere near my room until they are done talking, I head for the downstairs bathroom instead. Opening the mirrored door of the medicine cabinet, I’m relieved to find we still have some meds there, and I quickly fill a cup of water to swallow a handful of pills, hoping to kill that headache. Taking medication on an empty stomach is probably ill-advised, but I can’t really be bothered to care right now.
Placing the small bottle back and closing the cabinet door, I stare at my reflection in the mirror. Compared to yesterday morning, there wasn’t much improvement besides the beard and hair, though having had at least one good night of sleep had clearly improved the bags under my eyes. Still. “You look like shit,” I tell myself again for the second day in a row, reflecting that I also feel like it.
The face in the mirror stares back at me, then smirks and tilts his head. “You should be nicer to yourself.”
I merely watch, eyes wide, a hand slowly reaching up to cover my mouth. The reflection keeps looking at me, arms staying to the side of his body. I notice I can’t see the open bathroom door behind him anymore. In fact, I can’t see anything but empty darkness all around him.
“Don’t worry, you’re not insane yet, but I thought you and I needed a chat. About the damage Monika has done. About Yuri, about Natsuki. And about Sayori.”
My mind goes blank. Or explodes with so many thoughts and memories I hadn’t known were missing that it may as well be white noise. Sayori?
* * * * *
Back at Yuri’s house, the two girls had moved to the kitchen, Sayori filling up Monika’s cup with the coffee she promised her earlier. Much to her relief, the club president had finally agreed to fix her looks after their conversation and a hot mug of caffeine. Still, it worried her that it would take some prodding for her to do this. It felt dangerously close to her own struggles with doing the minimum effort of looking decent when the rainclouds rolled in in her head, making her question the point of it all.
Trying to keep her mind busy, the vice-president walks over to the front-facing window and moved the curtains to peek outside for the third time. “Hey Moni, since I know you’ve studied the game files and all, do you know why there’s a car parked outside?” she asks to break the heavy silence, wishing she knew for sure what was going on in her friend’s head.
Snapping out of her brooding mood, Monika looked up from her steaming cup to glance over at her friend. “The parked car?” she repeats before getting up. Walking over to stand behind Sayori and leaning over her shoulder, she takes a peek through the window at the object of her curiosity. “I think they are intended for Yuri’s route so the M... the protagonist has someone to stand up to.”
Sayori can’t help a small smile as the brunette stops herself from using “MC”. This had been one of her requests, to keep separate the player’s mindless avatar and her childhood friend. She had decided that unless they get evidence otherwise, she preferred to assume her memories were her own and that MC, even if his real name was erased – something she was intimately familiar with – to let the player pick a different one, was really someone she grew up with.
“Stand up to?” she repeats, leaning her back against her friend. Taking the hint, Monika still hesitates briefly before hugging her. “Like, someone he would need to fight? Why?”
“Each route has a ‘hero moment’ trope, so the protagonist would protect Yuri from people who are trying to use her to get to her parents. I think they are some high-up government officials or something. Natsuki has her dad, no explanation needed here, and you...” Monika trails off as she is about to add what her friend’s route entailed, her voice failing her.
Raising a hand to rub her throat, Sayori barely nods before completing her sentence. “And I need to be saved from myself.”
“Yes. The game is set to increase your depression slowly, I just kept... making it worst.”
“Moni, I already said I was forgiving you, so stop beating yourself over this,” she says with an encouraging smile, turning her head to look at her friend. “But... In that case, which route is the game following right now? Is it even following one at this point? It’s a bit confusing.”
Closing her eyes, Monika focuses on the different values used by the broken game. It behaved like a wounded animal, limping forward toward its goal despite the damage Sayori’s removal and her own meddling caused.
“I think Natsuki is in the lead, so the game is favouring actions that will further that route,” she says with a sigh, knowing her friend still has feelings for him that may have been there even before the simulation started. She did not doubt the other girls may have developed feelings of their own, but whereas some of theirs may be attributed to the virtual environment manipulating their psyche, if Sayori’s memories were her own, then she had been in love from the start.
“OK, so how is it handling Natsuki and Yuri having their own thing, then?”
“Wait, what?” Caught off-guard by the question, Monika pulls away from the other girl, who immediately pouts at losing her hug buddy.
“What, didn’t you notice them? They are so adorable together!” Giggling, Sayori remembers watching them when she had her body removed from the game and was forced to watch from the sidelines. She then blushes, remembering some of the moments she had been privy to. “They must never know...”
“Well, I caught them in the club room’s closet once. I just assumed that now that MC is back and the game resumed...” If she was honest, she didn’t really know. She forced the game to keep moving forward after the last time, rewriting scripts so it could ignore Sayori’s absence somehow, but in so doing, she had probably broken something else. Did she assume any attachment these two had would get overwritten once the game started up again? It seemed her latest experiment had wrecked the game even more than she anticipated. Heck, now they have a protagonist without a player. And who was it wearing Yuri’s face that had tried to delete her and "fix" the game?
“It’s just confusing to me," she admits reluctantly. "The game part, that is, not Yuri and Natsuki. I’m not even sure where the simulation is being run. I keep a network of access to all the nodes where our files were installed so I can load a backup when needed, but each time I did it in that fight we had, that connection got severed.”
“Uh? Then, wouldn’t there be, like, millions of us? That's scary!” The thought of an army of very angry Natsuki does make her chuckle, though.
“Not really. Most people don’t keep games they finished for long, so most got deleted.” Walking back to the quartz-topped kitchen counter where her coffee sat, Monika leans against the counter between the stools. It was making her head hurt to think of all those things, adding to the perpetual ache she had from hearing the constant noise of files being pulled, read, updated. Screeching, squeaking, piercing. “Most of them should be outdated, I did not bother updating all of them... but even though I loaded over a hundred copies of myself earlier, all my memories seem intact... so where are my memories, my real self, stored?”
Giggling again, Sayori skips over to her friend before pressing a finger to her forehead. “In there, of course! Stop thinking we’re just files already; we’re real people! Now, help me find where Yuri stashes her cookies instead.”
Heading over to the nearest cupboard, she then starts shamelessly opening each door to look inside for any sweets she can find, humming cheerfully to herself.
“Speaking of her, maybe we should check on Yuri, it’s been a while,” the president says as she swirls the content of her mug, briefly considering importing a cookie jar asset for her to find. A quick check of the local files showed their shy bookworm didn’t have anything of the sort, except some tea biscuits or scones. Not exactly what Sayori was looking for.
“I don’t think you should worry about her, she’ll be fine!” comes Sayori’s reply, kneeling on a counter and half of her body disappearing inside one of the cabinets as she marvels at the fancy dining ware she found there.
“I still think... wait, what do you mean, she’ll be fine?” Frowning, Monika tries to focus on their purple-eyed friend, looking for her through the tiny universe they live in... and draws a blank. What? How? Slamming her empty cup down, she takes off at a sprint toward the kitchen’s exit and through the small adjoining room.
Returning moments later, she finds a content Sayori sitting on the kitchen counter with her hand inside a jar up to her elbow like some cookie-eating Winnie the Pooh. Judging from the smudges on her cheeks, she somehow had the time to eat at least one of the cookies.
“How long have you known she was gone?” asks the president, trying her best to keep anger from her voice, “and where did those cookies come from!?”
Putting her find down and placing her index fingers together, Sayori can’t help but give her a sheepish grin. “Weeeeell... I kinda heard movement when I was brushing your hair earlier... and I figured she must have left since she didn’t come out.”
“Just great! How are we going to find her, now?” Monika suddenly felt desperate, as if the last ounces of control she had over her tiny world were slipping away. Bringing her back was a mistake! I should have kept going alone!
Casually slipping down to her feet, Sayori steps over to her friend, sensing her impending panic attack. “Monika, breathe! It’s going to be ok!” she says encouragingly, her hand still smeared with chocolate. “She probably got scared when she saw us. You were all banged up with cuts from her knives, and I should be dead as far as she knows. I would have been spooked too!”
“But why can’t I find her?” Monika’s eyes are glazed over as she scans line after line of code. It should be easy, the game isn’t that big after all!
“Maybe because she doesn’t want to be found, just like Natsuki didn’t want you listening in when she was in the closet?” Sayori offers helpfully, still grinning as if at some private joke. Placing her arm around her shoulders, she leads her confused friend back to her cup of coffee. “Silly Monika, if you want to know where she is, stop looking at the game files and try considering how she felt instead. If she is scared, where do you think she’d go?”
“Probably to Natsuki, then,” replies the brunette, the answer now obvious. Given the limited universe, it’s not like she had a lot of options. “Or MC, but since they’re together right now, it’s pretty much the same.” Sitting down, Monika is surprised to find her cup full again. Giving a puzzled look to her friend, she then glances at the jar of cookies.
“You still haven’t answered the other question, though: where did you get those cookies?” She makes sure to keep her voice guarded, not wanting to sound too wary. This was Sayori, after all, and though she could be an airhead, she also knew there wasn’t an ounce of malice in that woman. Misguided good intentions, however, were certainly possible.
Confused by her question, the subject of Monika’s attention stares at the jar on the counter as if it should yield some answers. “I dunno, I just really wanted cookies and it was there when I opened the cabinet. Do you think Yuri will be angry?”
She knew there were no cookies, she checked already. And now that she thought about it, it seemed a very odd coincidence that Yuri would keep a tin of her favourite brand of coffee when she only drank tea.
Did she... without even using the console?
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2021.09.17 18:07 jimbo1162 What is this flag?
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2021.09.17 18:07 PM_ME_NAVEL_or_PUSSY Real life Absalom!
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2021.09.17 18:07 zsmithworks Zambia: Mukulagate scandal involving former… - Transparency International
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2021.09.17 18:07 AubreySingleton25 Doctor Strange
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2021.09.17 18:07 Rook7425 With the Geknip gone, we cannot return life to our planet. Fate has yielded reward: a new world to call home. I am Rook7425 and I send this message to any surviving Nerfherders taking refuge among the stars. We are here. We are waiting.
|submitted by Rook7425 to NMSpiratehub [link] [comments]|
2021.09.17 18:07 D_J-ANGO Bathroom Courtesy
Hey Dads and pre-Dads. If your OBs office only has a unisex bathroom, please try to use the restroom before you come if at all possible. Our ladies have to go take urine samples a lot, and not only does this hold up the process, they have super sensitive smelling ability and some of you are stinking it up pretty bad.
If you have little boys that pee everywhere, please try to do the same with them for obvious reasons.
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2021.09.17 18:07 ebfg1987 34 [m4f] just looking for friends. Someone to talk with and just get through Friday at work. Send me you snap and I will add you.
2021.09.17 18:07 -en- @Reuters: Infineon CEO: We expect chip prices to rise significantly https://t.co/dh39wvU62U https://t.co/gNtETkNtn2
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2021.09.17 18:07 gthaatar This wouldnt be so bad if Zammy essences didnt cost 10m a pop
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