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Junior High Halo

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Hesitantly, I reached for the door handle and pulled, opening the room that I would become very familiar with in the next two years. My first day of junior high school was full of smiling faces, none of which were smiling at me, of course. I was new to this school; heck, I was new to this state, a So-Cal surf boy fresh out of the water and thrown into the Texas backwoods. I was something straight out of a bad sitcom. Having no one to talk to actually helped me make friends; the less I talked, the more I could listen to what the others were talking about, and then take a shot at socializing.


As the morning dragged on, I pretended to focus deeply at my books, but I was really listening to everyone else talk. They spoke about what they did over the summer and what funny movies and shows they had seen; I had hit a social acceptance goldmine. The movie fad that was currently pulsing through the class was “Monty Python’s The Holy Grail.” That same night I begged my mom to let me go rent it, apparently she understood my motives and allowed me to rent a movie on a school night.


The next day I came to school armed with an arsenal of memorized quotes and scenes, all I needed was the opportunity to strike. After waiting patiently for three periods, recess finally came, and so did my chance at making friends. I casually stood near the group of cool kids and listened to them ramble on about “holy hand grenades” and flesh woods. One of them said “What was the name of the knights that all say the same thing?” I pounced on the opportunity and blurted out, “The Knights Who Say Ni!” I was instantly a part of the cool crowd, I got to sit with them at lunch, hang out with them at recess, and I was even invited to a birthday party that weekend.


I had seemed that I was set; I would remain popular throughout Junior High and life would be good, but things never quite go the way you think they will. That weekend I went to Jack’s birthday party, a fantastic little gathering; we ate cake, rode bikes, watched Monty Python and The Holy Grail, and played a game I had never heard of: Halo. I was curious to see what all the excitement was about, everyone seemed to really want to play this “Halo”. We charged up the stair case and flopped onto Jack’s futon where Halo was awaiting us. The seductive green glow of the Xbox start screen flushed through the room, followed by the chanting of a holy order of monks. I felt my stomach drop when I heard the song, I had a feeling that this was very serious business. We started a multiplayer game and chaos ensued. My character was nothing but a meat shield to the others, they would follow behind me so that they wouldn’t get shot by the other players. This went on for hours and hours, until we could see the sun coming up outside. We decided to scramble to the bedroom and make it look like we slept, so we could play more later.


Jack’s parents came into the room in which we were pretending to sleep in, and “woke us”. Back to the Xbox we went. The only thing that was different this time was that now I knew how to play, no longer would I be a meant shield for the more talented players. We entered back into our multiplayer game, and I quickly scrambled for a shotgun. Now that I was properly equipped, I was ready to pwn. My friends were in a scuffle in the middle of the map, and I decided to help. I tossed in a grenade and let a few shot fly. When the pixels settled everyone was dead, and I triumphantly stood over their bodies. It had not been enough to simply know what my new friends were into, but I had to show them that I was able to hangout with them and not be a loser. I sat on the futon, basking in my e-glory, with new earned respect from my new best friends.

Halo became a common ground for us, it didn’t matter who you were or if you had a lot of friends or not or what you liked to do, or if we hung out or not, everyone played Halo, and that’s what brought us together. It had been three years since I had last seen all my old Junior High friends, and I decided that we should have a little reunion. I called everyone up and we met at Jack’s house. It was a nostalgic gathering, we talked about all the old things we used to do and play, and Halo was brought up. Before I knew it, we were back on that ratty old futon, controllers in hand, playing another game of Halo. The game was old and outdated, but what we built on it still held true, it was like we were in seventh grade again.





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Vincint_Maroon said...
Sept. 22, 2011 at 1:43 pm
Amaizing, Truely amaizing
 
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