18 August 2012
It’s 5 AM in a tiny house in the old town of Osaka. The air condition is set to max but it’s hot and humid as I wake up and make a coffee. I open my laptop and check emails as I hear the sound of tiny feet on the hardwood floor. My mini me is already wide awake and happily climbs on my lap. I kiss her sweaty little head while she yaps away about going to the beach.
It’s only two weeks since my brother got married in a traditional Shinto ceremony and it’s almost the end of our vacation. Mini me presses some keys on my laptop and then runs off to wake up her sister. I quit the browser and can’t help but smile as I see the picture I set as my current wallpaper: two hands – a bigger one and a tiny one – presenting rings. Still smiling I open the folder with old chat logs…
18 August 2008
Almost the same time and almost the same place, just half an hour away in a tiny apartment in Kyoto. My hands got sweaty when I saw the ‘Greta Gazov is Online’ message on my screen. I took a deep breath and typed my usual ‘Hey, how are you? <3’, then stood up, went to the fridge to get a cold drink and came back staring at the pretty bunch of pixels on my screen with a stupid grin. We chatted and she seemed surprised I was not logged into Skype but I just couldn’t talk, typing seemed so much safer in case this went wrong.
We had been partnered in SL and we had met in RL before. Things had happened in RL that made us decide it would be more sensible and adult to dissolve the partnership and ‘be just friends’. I didn’t want that anymore and clicked the ‘send’ button. After what seemed like an eternity I received the message:
‘Hi Takuya Kawashima,
Congratulations! Your proposal has been accepted by Greta Gazov!
What took you so long?’
We both logged into Skype and a few hours later I called the university hospital and told them something about a stomach bug. My little bug wagged her finger into the webcam and told me a lie was a bad omen to start a SL honeymoon.
18 August 2009
11 AM in the town hall of a city somewhere in western Germany. My brother smiled as he patted my back and checked the pocket of his black suit again for the box with the rings. Little did we know back then that three years later he’d be the nervous one and I’d be the one clenching my fist around a box with two rings. A perfect circle…
I stared at the piece of paper and reached for the silver pen on the desk. My hand was trembling for the very first time in my life. I looked to the side and saw her smile. She nodded slightly. I grabbed the pen and signed the document that would change everything. My RL girlfriend and SL partner would become my RL wife. She would become my partner in crime, my confidant, the mother of my children. Mine! In every life, in every storyline.
Takuya Kawashima is a 32-year-old orthopedic surgeon currently working in medical research, born in Japan but raised in Germany. He’s the husband of the most beautiful woman in either world and proud father of two adorable girls. A former roleplayer, he now spends his very limited SL time shopping and taking pictures for a blog just like anyone else.