anyone who witnessed the umino family – how close they had been, so loving and dedicated to each other – knows it’s hard to get up in the morning, but they can barely grasp the energy it takes to put up a smile when two parts of your soul are missing. the maybe-not-so-gentle voice of a mother waking her son up; the proud smile of a father passing down a legacy; finding breakfast ready in the morning; even cleaning his room because he was told; treasured memories that were consumed by fire. it’s a lot to make up for.
a lot of things hurt that night. the usual flashbacks, mizuki’s betrayal, the fuuma shuriken to his back. but the worst was naruto’s crying; enormous, hot, messy tears, the innocent and eager admiration shining through glossy eyes like iruka was some big hero. he’d neglected naruto for so long, a boy like himself, yet he hadn’t been able to find the empathy to see through the monster naruto had never, ever been. more than protecting naruto, more than jumping in front of such a weapon, forgiving himself seemed absurd. it only sounded plausible when naruto hugged him like he’d never been hugged before; the boy was so bright and honest that it melted any regret that resided in iruka’s heart.
in all honesty, iruka had always been afraid of getting caught by anyone besides sandaime, who’d always been understanding and patient despite the obnoxiously moody front iruka put up; he did it for the attention, not because of authority issues per se. however, iruka fought viciously against the apprehension of standing up to a jounin, fear of confronting a higher-rank shinobi, and respect for a superior’s decisions when team 7 was nominated for the chuunin exams. his voice trembled and his hands were shaking, but he wasn’t willing to back off even if – out of everyone he could have defied in this lifetime – it was hatake kakashi. for his students’ sake, he’d go against that entire room of jounin. and he did.
blaming kakashi wouldn’t bring sasuke back, but forgiving kakashi wouldn’t bring sasuke back, either. iruka tried to reason with himself, tried to be an adult, but sasuke and naruto left, and sakura was hurt and abandoned, and iruka hated kakashi for what he’d done. when he saw kakashi again, though, he noticed how broken he looked; the cold steel was gone from his expression, his shoulders slumped as he stared at a cereal box in some grocery store aisle. iruka remembered rumors from when he was a teenager, and suddenly wondered if kakashi hadn’t always been broken. he decided not to make the same mistake he did with naruto, and said hi first. this time his voice didn’t falter. kakashi looked surprised, somewhat forgiven.
So the idea is that these are little snippets, forwards, backwards, all over their history. This first one is like an “oops we moved in together!”
After a scare, Karen points out something Joyce or Hopper hadn’t noticed. Hopper is living at Joyce’s house. But Thanksgiving is fast approaching and the boys will be home for the holidays so they’re going to find out and that’s a little nerve wracking.
“It’s already two, I can pop in for a few minutes but I’ve got to get home by three.”
“That’s when Holly gets off the bus?” Joyce asked Karen, absently, scrunching the top of the paper bag.
“Yeah, what do you even need me to come in for? We’ve been out for almost three hours, is there a surprise party in your living room or something? Forty three is not traditionally a surprise party year,” Karen joked, or Joyce thought she was joking, sometimes it was hard to tell with her.
“It’s Thursday afternoon. Your birthday is in two weeks, this is not a surprise party setup,” Joyce said, unlocking her front door and walking through it with a flourish to prove it.
Joyce and Karen had been off again, on again friends over the years. They’d gone to school together, they’d had kids at the same time. But for so long Joyce didn’t have time to socialize with friends, it was in the last few years that Joyce had time again. Plus after Will’s disappearance, Karen had stepped up. She’d helped Joyce, knowing that Will had to be looked after a little more. Since then especially, they’d become close again.
“What’s so important that you have to have me in your living room after we’ve already had lunch in Jonesboro?” Karen asked, annoyed.
Joyce looked at her. She pressed her lips together tightly and dumped out the bag from the drugstore on the coffee table.
“Holy shit,” Karen said, seeing the pregnancy tests she’d bought while Karen was looking in the antique shop.
‘He is like a Playstation player.’ – Arsène Wenger, 2010
Life is impossible to perfectly recreate, and football, restricted by reality, is the same. Video games are simply a reduced reflection of that on which they are based, and can never compete with the real thing – but that’s only obvious. There is only so much that current technology can achieve in taking life and art to the same level. There are only so many fingers on two hands, and only so many buttons and triggers that can be pushed at once. There are only so many different combinations resulting in only so many movements on the screen. A virtual Lionel Messi is good, but he has his limits.
The Messi that scored 91 goals in 2012 , that has won the Ballon d’Or for a fourth time, seemingly has no such limits. Wenger was wrong to compare him to the artificial imitation. The real Messi is far better.