Welcome to Spirit Universe

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“Trevor! Come down now! It’s time for school!”

I have been awake for two hours, but I am nowhere near ready for school. I put my headphones back on and stay at my computer.

“Trevor! You have five minutes to get down here or I will take your computer away for a week! You know I mean it.”

She never calls me by my preferred name. I shout down to her,

“Mom, I told you, I go by Zeus now.”

Then I quickly get ready and run down the stairs. I can’t risk getting my computer confiscated again. To say that was the worst week of my life would be an understatement.

“When your birth certificate says Zeus, that’s what I’ll call you! I named you Trevor after your grandfather. This little computer game you are obsessing over is childish and my Papa Trevor would have thought so, too… And brush your hair!”

“It’s not little,”

I mumble. People make money off of this now. People have become rich and famous from it. She just doesn’t get it.

I brush my hair, get on the bus, and stare out of the window for the entire 25 minute bus ride to school. I just can’t stop thinking about Zeus. I imagine what Zeus could be doing if I had stayed home. I could be finishing the treehouse I started building a couple days ago, meeting a new friend, or learning how to ice skate. I really want to learn that skill. Wasting my time going to school means I am getting behind in what really matters.

Once I get to school, I sulk to homeroom. I sit through my monotonous classes, but Zeus is all I think about. It all feels so pointless at school. This stuff doesn’t matter to Zeus. Finally when it’s time for our fifteen minute break after lunch, I am able to slip away from my classmates and head to the computer room. There are a few computers and I am lucky enough to sit at the last open computer.

“MUD time,”

I whisper to myself with a sigh of relief. I type in my username and password to my online community, Spirit Universe, and I finally feel at home again. I look around my universe to see if my boyfriend or any of my best friends are here. I see my boyfriend.

His name is Royal Prince, but to me he is just Prince. He is the love of my life. I know I am only sixteen and he is only seventeen, but this is what true love is like. We both love pizza and movies and the color blue. We just understand each other. My classmates at school only know Trevor, the quiet kid with shaggy blonde hair who runs off to the computer lab whenever he has the chance. Prince knows the real me. He is the only person who even knows that I’m gay.

I eagerly talk to my boyfriend.

“How are you, Prince?”

“Zeus! I have never been better. Look! We both have learned enough tricks and skills to apply to be a paid user! We have to do it.”

“Duuuuuuuuuude. No way. This is insane. How do we apply?”

“See the green button on the bottom right of the screen? Click that and it will ask you to answer a couple questions. I bet it will only take a few minutes to apply. We totally deserve this. I know we will get it.”

I have idolized the paid users for years. I am surprised Prince really thinks we deserve this. It’s a pretty select group of users, but I guess I will try.

I look up at the clock and see that there is only one more minute before my next class. I hate to leave my universe, but my mom will kill me if I get caught skipping any more school.

“Prince, I’m so sorry, but I have to leave. I will be back at 4 PM and will apply to be a paid user then! Love you.”

“I’m applying right now! Love you!”

Once I get home from school, I run to my room, sit at my desk, and log back into my universe. I immediately see Prince.

“I got it! I got it! I submitted my application and immediately got confirmed to be a paid user! I just learned how to fix a car engine and $50 was sent to my bank account. This is sick! I’m going to be on my computer all day.”

“Holy sh*it! Applying now.”

I answer the application questions as quickly as I can. They are pretty straightforward:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Gender

and so on. Logistical things.

By 4:05 PM, an alert pops up on my screen. I am officially a paid user in Spirit Universe. I decide to learn an easy skill to see if Prince is telling the truth. I hardly believe I can make money from learning one small skill. I learn how to climb a tree and then check my bank account. I am $10 richer. My jaw literally drops. I am in shock.

I stay on my computer for the next 11 hours, learning new tricks and skills and forming new friendships and alliances. I finally learn how to ice skate and earn $50.

I don’t go downstairs for dinner or to eat cake for my little sister’s ninth birthday. I don’t feel badly, though, because now I can get her the most epic birthday present. By the time I rest my head on my pillow to sleep around 3 AM, I have earned $2,000. I think I’ll buy her the ability to fly for a week in the Spirit Universe. That’s what Prince got me for my birthday in August and it was the best birthday present I have ever received.

Even though it’s short-lived, I have the most wonderful sleep of my life. I dream of becoming a billionaire on Spirit Universe and living the rest of my life with Prince. I wake up at 7 AM and go on my phone.

I scroll through Twitter and see an article posted by the New York Times this morning, October 25th, 2030, entitled,

“Thousands of American workers quit their jobs and hundreds of students dropped out of school yesterday to pursue their virtual dreams.”

I have the chills. My dreams are becoming a reality.

I skim the article and see that Spirit Universe changed its community guidelines yesterday to invite hundreds of thousands of users to become paid users. I don’t feel as special knowing that I was only one of 260,000, but I still can’t contain my excitement.

I run downstairs to break the news to my mom.

I will be dropping out of school today.

You, too, could have success like Zeus. Search Spirit Universe in your Web browser and join to start making money today!