And she’d sat on the floor with me, and looked somewhere else when I embarrassed myself. I’d started salting the carpet over a song that was playing when life was taking too long. Final Fantasy VIII was there for me when nothing meant anything. I lost my phone for a month and when I got it back it was full of texts that went: Your bill’s way overdue. All I had for company were the streetlights outside my window for the longest time, stooping like I always did. I would only sit up straight for Squall, who I mirrored a great deal. Now, I’m told, I’m more of a Zell. Final Fantasy VIII is the warmest gaming memory I have and I’d frame it if I could. In a way, I have: Its nostalgic value to me is so abyssal I can’t even listen to covers of its music without painting myself into the portrait with manly(ish) tears.