A few people recognize this face, and an even smaller amount may be wondering where it’s been. Why it’s been gone for so long, and why it disappeared so suddenly. This, to those who do not know, is Jack. You see, I roleplayed Jack for over 3 years in a small, intimate and incredibly inspiring community. He and I have made many amazing friends, and it’s through our characters did we all inspire one another. And what’s even better about this is that this community was mostly compiled of original characters. There were cosplays, fanart, fanfictions, fans. People who adored these characters, talked about characters that weren’t even theirs, and even now I’m still in awe how a large group of roleplayers got so popular!
Jack had no dramatic backstory. He was an average boy in a beyond average town, going through obstacles of finishing high school, landing a new apartment, working odd jobs, and still managing to find a balance between his work, studies, and the close friendships that kept him grounded. He was realistic, family-oriented, and put others before himself without a moment’s hesitation.
But of course, he found his drawbacks. He had depended on the support of his friends so heavily that when each one left he was finding it harder and harder to pick himself back up. His situation got so intense that my own stresses often reflected on him. His smile he shined so brightly when he started only proved false and wavering as time went on. He was exhausted. I was exhausted. And I knew that the more I worked with him, the worse my Jack was going to be; the worse I would be. Somehow, I had managed to make him my own emotional support that it was as if I were playing myself in these situations (even ones that I didn’t even relate to!). So I stopped. I stopped playing him altogether and focused on my own self care before I could even begin to worry about his.
Days turned to weeks, and weeks to months. Then finally, I had a dream about him the other night.
I had a dream that the community was shining again with loads of new players. I went back to Jack and readied a “welcome back” story for him, and one of my good friends (who played a big softie goofball aka one of Jack’s best friends c: ) had hers prepared as well. And as excited as I was when I was in the dream and preparing my character like I use to, I woke up still feeling…like it was too late.
Everyone has moved on to different things, and there would be no use beating this dead horse if I decided to conclude his story. I put a hell of a lot of work into him, but these past few months I’d finally noticed how exhausted I really was with him. But Jack meant everything to me.
He resembled the kind of person I wanted to be, and still I continue to grow into a stronger individual.