Monday, October 4, 2010

The Skye and Girish Story... 4

Unexpected things were happening in Girish’s life in RL. He had landed an assignment that required him to be out of India for more than a month. There were also suddenly other trips abroad lined up. It was going to be a busy 6 months ahead, with a trip abroad almost every month. 
But all this cast a gloom of uncertainty over his heart. He would not have net access when he traveled. He would not be able to log into SL for weeks. Will Skye wait for him? Or will some other nice guy fall on her head and sweep her off her feet, while he was gone? He did not doubt her attachment. But after all both he and Skye came into SL to feel good, to relieve the stress of RL. Surely, she would rather move on and find happiness, than keep pining for him and getting bored and more stressed! Why would she wait? Why should she? Sure, he was a nice guy and they liked each other, and were lovers. But it was all a fantasy. Reality is always more important. Fantasies can go stale, and change, even in RL…
When he told Skye about his travel plans, she was disappointed, but took it all rather philosophically. “Of course I will miss you, but you are not gone yet.” That was her response. Her attitude relieved him and disappointed him at the same time!
He had specifically requested for hotels with net connectivity for his 45 day trip, but it didn’t quite work out everywhere. Most of the time he was away from the net, and spend sleepless nights – frightened, insecure, dreading the pain of loss to be suffered all over again. And Skye had not wanted email or any other RL contact. He hadn’t pressed the issue because he also wanted the relationship to be strictly SL, and saw the wisdom of her decision. In many places that he traveled to he had net access and could have emailed, but the speed was not good enough for logging into SL. He did send her messages via emails to his elder sister in SL – Cre8tiveFemme. Sometimes he did manage to log into SL, only to crash repeatedly or lag horribly. Also, the timing was not always right for meeting Skye online. He fumed and fidgeted. He imagined her forgetting him and going on with her SL life as she had before he entered her life. He tried hard to focus on his work, but it was difficult. 
Finally the tour was over… He logged onto SL, the first thing on reaching home… and she was there, waiting for him, eager to jump into his arms, kiss him, drag him into the cave, make passionate love to him… she was there, she had valued him enough to wait for him… 
A few months ago, a separation had drifted his RL mate away from him. Now, this separation brought Girish and Skye closer. They felt their bond strengthen. And so Girish proposed to Skye. He wanted to make it official in SL. But she refused. There was logic to what she said. They were together, all their friends already knew they were together. They were in fact the most romantic couple on the Perfect Paradise Island. The lovebirds of paradise! What would making it official achieve? It would only show that they were partnered in each other’s profile. That is all. Everything else would still be the same. Besides there was another reason why she didn’t want to officially partner in SL. One of her former partners had given her the shock of her SL. After a wonderful evening spend together, one day she came online only to get a brutal message from SL informing her that the partnership had been ended by the other party. No reason, no explanation, no discussion from him. He later told her that he had started falling for her in RL, and that had frightened him. But the shock of getting that brutal message had really got to her. She was determined never to partner again in SL. 
Girish understood and agreed. He wanted her to be happy, that was his only desire. 
Skye’s birthday was coming up, and he wanted to buy her a present. He had not done much shopping in SL, and was quite nervous about it. But his recently acquired new SL sister Kalea helped him with the shopping. He bought a diamond necklace for Skye. His heart was hammering when he gave it to her – suddenly he was filled with doubts – she will not like it… But she loved it. Her present to him when his birthday came up in a few days, was an Indian skin and shape. Something that made him feel himself and also made him devilishly handsome! The Christmas of 2008 turned out to be very special… filled with romance, love, and ever heightening sexual delight as Girish shed his newbie persona and became a man in SL, thanks to Skye. 

Over the last few months, Girish had also got more and more involved in Perfect Paradise Island and its community. From being a nomadic pauper he had suddenly become one of the leaders… a wise man whom everyone looked up to. Both Mira and Harps, owners of the sim and the originators of the community concept, appreciated his contribution, and considered his inputs valuable. 
Girish was always willing to welcome visitors, show them around, talk to them about the philosophy of the community, try to make them see how they can be a part of the social experiment… He was committed to wooing new members for the community, and tried his best to walk the line between remaining friendly and spurning the female visitors’ attempt to woo HIM instead! Having the Prize Winning Hut on the island was a huge help to him in this context. He always included the Hut in his tour of the island for any visitor, and made it a point to inform them how it was a symbol of his and Skye’s love and devotion to each other! Normally, this resulted into two outcomes with female visitors. Either they continued with the tour (which meant they were interested in the community concept and wanted to know more) or they suddenly remembered some other task elsewhere and left! (which meant that they were listening and taking the tour only because they were interested in the tour guide!). He always tried to see the funny side of each such interaction and shared each experience with Skye. Most of the times she too saw the funny side of it, but sometimes some girl’s remarks really infuriated her. For example once Girish told her how a casual visitor had called him ‘Skye’s toy boy’ in jest… well, suffice it to say, if that girl had been around, she would have got charred and vaporized by the fire from Skye! It was as if his calm and pleasant Goddess Gauri, suddenly transformed into the angry and violent Goddess Kali! Girish absolutely loved this fiery side of hers too!
But none of these encounters ever caused any misunderstandings between them. Girish was always honest and open – telling Skye about all such crazy and silly encounters that he had. And she always had enough confidence in herself to not allow any such little things rattle her too much. Girish had formed some great friendships too through his interactions with existing members, and visitors. Over the time he was also realizing that Skye is good at ‘reading’ people and he was developing a lot of trust in her judgment. Due to her SL time being rather restricted, she was not as ‘visible’ on the island as he was. But many of the ideas and thoughts that he expressed, actions that he initiated in the community were actually outcomes of the two of them having already brainstormed over the ideas. He was the front, but his activities were almost always a result of their teamwork, which the casual observers did not realise. 
And then came a new member in the community. She was brimming with enthusiasm and new ideas. She was also brimming with psychological issues… which started coming to fore only as people got to know her more. She was a complexity – excellent ideas and yet a twisted mind… Right at the beginning Skye warned Girish about the mischief this person could cause, and he did acknowledge it. But no person is really perfect and one of the aspects of the social experiment that they were participating in was to accept a person for what he/she is and to work to make him/her a part of the community, without pressurizing him/her to change. So he tried his best to keep connecting with the intellectual and logical side of this person as a friend and colleague, and largely leaving her alone to deal with her other issues. 
But there were inconsistencies cropping up here and there… one day she assured Girish that she intended to keep other more dramatic and gory aspects of her second life away from Perfect Paradise, and within hours she was deeply involved in personal dramas with other members of the community. Red flags were rising from several people about this person. And yet her promise of potential intellectual contributions kept her deeply involved in the community's activities, with support and encouragement from Mira, Harps, Girish, and a few others. 
And then this new member came up with a role play based project concept – Skye did not like it much, but Girish didn’t take her apprehensions seriously… 
The island community is based on the premise that we are all a diverse group of people coming from different backgrounds, cultures, belief systems… all part of this isolated island community as a result of a shipwreck. The new project idea was to create new AVs to roleplay the next generation – of people BORN on the island. 
There was already one such ‘island child’ at the time. Paradise Scribe had been created more for administrative purposes than any role play, but he was the first AV born on Perfect Paradise. There were several people who could have used him, but it was Girish who often did at the time. So, to try out how it might go, Girish took on the persona of Paradise Scribe, and the new member brought on a AV of her own – and they tried to have a dialog as two persons who do not know anything beyond the island. However, the conversation took a strange turn – the girl seemed to seduce Paradise. Girish’s attempt to get out of the situation without causing drama actually gave Paradise Scribe a personality! 
If you see Paradise wandering around on the island, please remember that he is a wild maverick, whose parents abandoned him on the island when he was young (actually he was created by two members, who later left the community). The first time Girish had used him was to set up fishing on the island for Skye. So when the girl started pushing Paradise he told her the first thing that came to his mind - that he had lost his heart to Skye and hated Girish’s guts! For your information, Paradise still has a soft spot for Skye, but he has overcome his hatred for Girish now and has accepted that Skye can never be his! :D
Girish did manage to extricate himself from this strange encounter, and told Skye all about it when they met later. Skye had till then lived with a lot of jealousy, snide and vicious remarks, veiled insults… and not allowed anything much to shake her tranquility. Several times Skye had tried to point out to Girish that this woman was gunning for his attention in various subtle ways, and he had just laughed her off mostly.  But this devilry in the garb of a serious community project was sort of like the last straw that broke the camel’s back. 
Skye had already been displeased by this relatively new member being given a lot of authority on the basis of only plans and promises. This incident clearly indicated to misuse of authority and trust to Skye. To think that the community was allowing an experiment with so much potential for manipulation and mischief and that this woman was actually trying to trick Girish into intimacy caused a bit of an explosion in her. She stormed off the island, vowing never to return. 
This was the first ever challenge in Girish’s relatively young SL life. He loved Skye with utter devotion and intensity. The thought of being at a place that she had vowed not to enter was totally unbearable to him. But he also had a lot of intellectual and emotional investment in Perfect Paradise… Of course it was not really a question of choosing – love is always supreme over everything else, anything else. The community was close to his heart, but Skye was his life. He had no doubt in his mind as to what he should do - if Skye was leaving the island, so would he...
To be continued....
Girish Navarathna

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