4

Guard Break and Focus Attack

Street Fighter EX, the SF franchise’s first foray into 3D, wasn’t nearly as well received as Street Fighter IV (allegedly- personally, I’ve never met a Street Fighter fan that didn’t adore the EX series). Even so, some of Street Fighter IV’s concepts have roots in the EX series. The most obvious example of this is the Guard Break.

In EX, by pressing two buttons of the same strength (any two, it didn’t just have to be strong+forward), the player could spend one bar of meter to execute a slow but unblockable attack that would leave the opponent stunned and open to any number of devastating combos.

EX2 added the ability to Cancel Break, allowing the player to cancel any blocked attack with an instant Guard Break, improving the move’s utility considerably.

For IV, the Guard Break became the Focus Attack and the Cancel Break became the EX Cancel. The move and it’s mechanics lay the groundwork for SFIV’s metagame, perhaps proving that the EX series had more untapped potential than anyone was able to recognize at the time.

This is from the last guy I dated before I started online dating in July 2012. (I picked up again and started this blog in July 2013.) This text was from yesterday. What am I supposed to say to that?

(Cue Taylor Swift’s We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together)

18-23

My ex from San Francisco (SFex) and I went to college together. We met right after I turned 18 in the fall, and I remember him chasing me all of the spring and summer. (I’m not tooting my own horn, but I was new to college and college boys, and fresh out of my high school relationship. I needed to just enjoy my new singleness.) I remember him trying to suggest (really lame) ways for us to hang out. He asked me to accompany him to 7-11, or to stop by the student center where he worked. I always thought it was amusing, but I never was interested or ready to date.

After a year or so, we crossed paths, in the spring of my junior year. I was 20 and had a fake id. SFex and I lived on the same street, and, due to his persistence for the past couple of years, I agreed to let him take me on an evening tour of our neighborhood. I had moved there in the fall, and he felt it was his duty to get me familiarized with the place. We never got together again, but I ran into him (while using my fake id) when I was sick, but I was hosting a friend from out of state.

Anyway, he was funny, witty, charming, a little crude, goofy, very tall, and a sweet talker. Although I wasn’t smitten…not even a little bit, I enjoyed the company and the generous attention.

It wasn’t until the summer before my senior year that I finally gave him a chance. (Everyone was shocked.) And the whirlwind of college love left my head dizzy. We were inseparable in the summer, and in January, he told me he loved me. And it came full circle in the summer when he broke my heart.

Now, it’s been almost two years since I’ve seen him. We’re five hours and an ocean apart, and he wants to give this another go.

Spotted: #Young Crane (Guy in red. He was cute when I dated him, I swear! We dated in July 2012.)

Background novel:

TL;DR : My friend and I dated the same guy. Some people never change.

I went to a small university. I met Young Crane (YC) during my first year of college, when we had the same intro to com class. I remember he told my friend that he had a crush on me, and we soon became Facebook friends. I think we did a little bit of flirting via facebook chat, and I may have given him my number. Overall, I think I was just hesitant with jumping into the whole dating scene, and things didn’t move further than chatting.

Just today, my best friend sent me the picture above. She spotted YC at Starbucks. They have their own history. She went out to have dinner with him a couple of times near the end of our first year. But things never progressed past dinner. She and I just laugh that we share everything, and when his name comes up, we say he’s the other one’s boyfriend. (My text is in blue, and I’m teasing that she met up with him.)

After our sophomore year, I hadn’t heard anything about YC for a while. I heard he took some time off from school, and that he was in a serious relationship.

Fast forward a couple of years to the summer after my senior year. I had just returned back from San Francisco with my carry-on bags and a broken heart. SFex decided we’d be better off apart right after he flew me up to see him after graduation.

I decided to bounce back from my slump, and make the best of the rest of my summer. I made my return to the world of online dating.

A day or so after I created my profile, I was surprised to see a message from Young Crane; it was several years since the last time we communicated. I was a little embarrassed that someone I knew in real life found me on there! But, I guess knowing him in real life worked out in his favor; we made plans to get together when he returned from his summer trip.

We dated for several months, and I thought I was lucky to have found someone I was compatible with early in my online dating experience. I was surprised how much he had changed since our first year, (he didn’t drink/smoke anymore!!) and how quickly we liked each other. I met his family, we met each other’s friends, and things were going well.

The end of our relationship took me by surprise. The last day I saw him, we had great sex, went to dinner, and had a nice evening, and he walked me to my car before I made my way to my overnight retreat. I didn’t know he “Dwayne Wade’d" me and pulled the ultimate fade away.

I was really hurt, puzzled, but I knew that there were other fish in the sea.

…This wasn’t the last of Young Crane, though. He resurrected from the dead and made it a point to text me, for the first time in months, on Valentine’s Day 2013. Yes, Valentine’s Day. I had imagined hearing from YC again, and had thought of the million things I would say if he ever talked to me again. He just wanted to remind me of what a wonderful woman I was and that I deserved the world. (Gee, thanks!) His timing was always impeccable (…impeccably awful). 

For the next couple of months, Young Crane would pop in occasionally to like my Instagram pictures. The cherry on top was when he invited me via facebook to his graduation party at his home and to his graduation ceremony May 2013. I was dating TXex, at the time, and was amused when I got YC’s Facebook invitations. I hadn’t seen YC in six months, and he wanted me to relish in his accomplishments, and visit his home? The whole situation amused me. His timing was always bizarre.

I figured that inviting me had to take some courage; although I skipped the party (too awkward!), I decided to make him a graduation candy necklace.
Of all the thousands of people at the ceremony, he found my face in the crowd, he shot me a smile, and waved mid-ceremony. I found him after the ceremony, gave him the candy necklace I made, congratulated him, and left.

I thought that was the end of seeing YC that night, but I ran into him and his family while I was at dinner with another graduate’s family. Despite my best efforts to avoid seeing his family after the ceremony, and by not attending the party at his home, we were seated beside them. (Oh, joy!) When they were about to leave, his mom (bless her heart!) came up to me and gave me a big hug, and was teary eyed when she said it was good seeing me. I forgot how sweet she was!

After the reunion, I was ready to have a drink. My friends decided to make our way to this little old bar with great drink specials. To my surprise, YC, the non-drinker, was there celebrating with his friends. I couldn’t believe how many times I had seen him in one day, and how I never ran into him before that day.

Weeks after the celebration, he reestablished contact by texting me to thank me for his gift. He then went on to tell me that he had the best dating experience he’s ever had with me. And he continued to send texts I never expected to receive. He apologized for the way he faded out, and I got answers to questions I had pondered for a while. He asked me why I never reached out to him when he left without any notice, and I explained that I wouldn’t run after him. He knew how to reach me if he really wanted to. I was happy we finally talked about it, and he suggested we get together. I tell him he’s just probably lonely, and that it’s better if we don’t hang out.

By July 2013, things with TXex come to a halt when we learn that he’d be relocating to the east coast. Long distance just wasn’t in the cards for our budding relationship. I moped for weeks, mourned the loss of our beautiful future life together, and I got back on the dating train. I started this blog, I dated some losers (#crazy neighbor, #PT guy), I met some nice guys (#occupied, #pen pal, #rockstar, #mba guy, but nothing really happened, as I was still very hung up on TXex.

In October 2013, I had started to crush on Rockstar. YC decided that around my birth month is when he felt like checking in. He asked to hang out. He tried to assure me that this time would be different, if I gave us a shot.

He sent me a barrage of sweet texts morning, noon, and night. We reminisced a little; I teased that once we finally spent some time together, he’d be off the face of the earth, once again. He swore he wouldn’t just leave out of the blue.

So, I, wanting to see what good a year had done him, agreed to go on a walk with him. We ended up at the park where we had our first kiss. This was the first time we were alone together in almost a year. Conversation flowed, and we caught each other up with what happened the last year. 

I had forgiven him, and it was funny how familiar everything felt. We talked a little bit longer, and we talked a little bit about the possibility of getting together again. 

I was soon was reminded of his touch. He tried to break the touch barrier by touching my hand, and putting his hand around my waist. And then he kissed me. I remembered how it felt the first time he kissed me at that park, and I remember how it started to rain.

I wanted to believe that things could be different between us. I wanted to believe I’d feel that magic in his kiss again. But I didn’t. 

And maybe he didn’t either. 

Because sure enough, the next day, he dropped off the face of the earth.

This time, I made sure to tell him that we really were through, and I wished him a nice life.

The Vault: They always break your heart in the summertime.

I’m at a good place in my life right now. I’ve got my routine down, I’m doing fine in classes, and I’m happy. 

I do however have a billion notes scattered all over my phone and my DayOne journal app that I’d like to compile and store somewhere. Maybe you’re like me and turn to writing notes to sort out all the thoughts in your head. I wrote a lot of notes when my heart was broken. Here are some random entries I’m pulling out of my phone and storing on here instead.

I don’t even know if some of them make sense. I think I did a lot of crying while typing these, so please be gentle.

2012

July 16

I wish I could read your words and that they’d comfort me through the night. Like a warm blanket of familiarity. But they’ve long been erased. Like you’ve been from my life. 

Finding traces of you in the people I meet. It’s so unfair. Reminders of love gone wrong. Wish I forgot it all. #emotweet 

June 22

You are off the hook.

You left easily, unscathed.

Foolish, broken heart.

June 8

Hardest week of my life. Lessons on self love, worth and respect.

I am worth it. This might be tough but I am tougher

June 7

Going back and checking your work. 

Go through the problem again to see if alternate steps would produce the right solution. 

What went wrong?

2

Is this spam? Or did this person seriously send this to me?

Either way, he’s been blocked. Where do people get off talking to anyone like this?

1. You’re my friend’s older brother
2. We aren’t even friends (IRL or FB) - this is our first exchange ever.
3. Why would you think this is okay?

And I also got a snarky text from SFEx asking if he could delete an app I suggested he download (a long time ago) since he’s aware I’m in a relationship?

Really? Do whatever the heck you want.

"It was a joke."

Boys.

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