Where the heart is
The young girl no older than six watches the screen, intrigued as the pixelated images of zombies sway to the eerie music, and the image of an officer darts through doors in an attempt to escape them. It is incredible; she has never seen anything like it and best of all, she’s not even afraid. When the level ends, she turns to the young curly-haired boy and grins. He smiles and gestures to the video-game controller. “Want a turn?” he asks, but she quickly shakes her head and turns away. She doesn’t want him to laugh at her poor first attempt. The boy and the girl have known each other since before they can both remember. Their parents have been friends for years. His aunty and uncle even attended high-school with the girls mother. They cannot remember life without knowing each other, yet they cannot recall a time they had encountered before, because they are simply children, and little girls commonly tend to become intimidated by little boys.
Over the years, the boy and girl see each other perhaps a few times a year, and when they become teenagers they forget about each other entirely. The boy gains a solid job, and the girl prepares for university. Both enter young hopeful relationships full of promise and eventual heartache. Their families both joke from time to time about the idea of them meeting up one day and forming a relationship, believing they could relate to each other due to horrible past experiences with attempts at love; but this is brushed aside. However one day not too long ago, the boy who is now a young man hears this joke for the very last time before humorously deciding to add the girl on Facebook. For the very first time in almost ten years the boy and the girl talk once again, and come to find that they have much in common. They enjoy the same music, movies and ambitions; and have even been to many of the same places at the same time without even realising it. They come to find that they have little memory of each other as children because they weren’t ever that close; yet the pieces that they do remember are fun and reflect the magic of childhood innocence.
Not long after, the boy asks the girl out on a date, and instead of a restaurant takes her to the video-game arcade. She has never had a more fun date, and although she doesn’t admit it at the time - she begins to fall in love with her childhood friend as they shoot zombies together on the Gold Coast.
Now, although it’s still quite new and they’re still young, they both know that what they have is something special. It is something they believed was written only in other people’s stories. Something that didn’t exist. It’s their story, and it feels like home. With an interesting twist of fate. It appears that at times when home and heart felt a million miles away, they were both always right around the corner from each other.