nerdygamermama Kati Mahadeo

In every story, there are Main Characters and Side Characters. We all know the stories of the Main Characters. Their stories of adventure and romance bring us happiness and joy when we read about them. But what about Side Characters? Gabrielle Swanson is a professional side character. She plays her role well and enjoys helping her protagonists to get their happy endings. But recently, she has fallen into a deep depression after realizing she was only a character in her world of fiction. One day a mysterious woman came onto her TV screen with promises of a better life if she makes an agreement with her. To have some control over her life, Gabrielle takes the woman's offer but with one condition. If she was going to continue to play her role as a Side Character then she was going to have the ability to choose what stories she was going to be a part of. But after choosing between the two stories that came across her desk, she's suddenly regretting her decision. What's going to happen now that she's met Lucas and Everet? Two male protagonists who just lost their parents in a fatal car accident. Now forced into a rollercoaster ride of new emotions and tense situations, Gabrielle finds herself in the worst position a Side Character can ever find themselves in. She knows how the story is supposed to go but will she really be able to hold back her own feelings of love for the Main Character? *Book one in The Adventures of Fictional Characters Series* ~Chapters 5-36 are unedited. Please bear with me and I will go through them when I get a chance. Also, the translations may be a bit rough. I apologize if I get some words or phrases wrong. My friend is helping as well as Google translate. Thanks!

Drame Déconseillé aux moins de 13 ans.

#romance #drama #realistic-fiction #original-story #relateable
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Who am I?

Who am I? I’m no one. Just a side character in a world of fantasy that was created to support main characters in their stories. The girl they cry to when their lives take dramatic twists and turns. The girl that comforts them when they feel like their world is crumbling underneath them. The girl who cheers them on from the sidelines as they progress through their stories until they get their happy endings. The girl at the end of the movie with a smile on her face while standing beside the happy protagonists despite everything she’s experienced by their side.

Normally it’s easy for me to play this role but recently it’s becoming harder and harder to keep this fake smile on my face. As a side character, it’s my job to help and support the main characters through their stories. No matter what, I must be there for them in every way possible; even if it means I get hurt in the end. Before now, I’ve enjoyed playing my part. Seeing main characters get their happy endings has always been enough for me to live my life without any regrets. Their happiness and joyful endings brought satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment to my heart.

But recently I’ve noticed a change in myself. My role as a supporting character only seems to bring me sorrow and heartache instead of the usual happiness I get at the end of the story. Maybe I’m just tired. I haven’t been sleeping well lately. I keep waking up with tears streaming down my face but no memory of what I was dreaming about. I can’t figure out what would cause me to feel so sad. It’s becoming a serious problem.

If I thought being exhausted was bad, the change in my personality was worse. I’ve noticed that when I try to play my supporting role in the stories I’m given, I haven’t been able to be as kind and caring as I normally am. I’ve never had a problem like this before. I don’t get it. I know my role and have always done an exceptionally good job at getting my protagonists to their happy endings. Why is this happening? Sure, I go through my own hardships. Being a self-aware character isn’t easy. In fact, it's extremely difficult. But that’s my job. That’s why I was created.

Over the years, I’ve come to accept the reason for my existence. Throughout my life I’ve gone through a lot of bad things only to come out with a smile on my face. But again, that’s my life; that’s the job of a side character. We are created to go through horrible situations so we can better help our main characters in their journeys. This is my life. A lonely existence of watching other people get their happy endings while knowing I’ll never have one of my own.

Now I’m not saying being a side character is all bad. I’ve had plenty of good things happen to me. I’ve been blessed with several caring friends. I never have to worry about being homeless or going hungry. Money’s tight but I have what I need to survive. I have a respectable job and a reliable car to get around in. I should be happy, right? I don’t know what’s wrong with me. In my world of fiction, I really have nothing to complain about. So why do I feel so depressed? I’ve thought about it for a long time, but I still can’t come up with an answer.

As a writer and editor, I’ve read and written many stories with supporting characters like myself. I always make sure they know their roles and play their parts well. But when I think about them, I can’t help but feel my heartache. I can’t seem to stop thinking about why these characters can’t have a happy ending of their own. Why is it that in every story, one person must suffer more than the other characters? Why can’t everyone get the ending they deserve?

Then I think about how villains are created. We all know that in every story, there is at least one person who causes chaos for the main characters. The basis for a villain usually consists of a character or characters, minor or major, who is either wronged in some way or felt wronged by the main characters. Their feelings usually go unnoticed by the people they consider important. Most villains were even good at the start of the story only to end up doing evil deeds because of the world around them. Eventually, they are disowned by everyone they love and care about because of their dramatic changes. Is that how I’m going to end up? A villain?

I sighed sadly. I don’t think I would be able to live with myself if I ever became a villain. I took a sip of my coffee as I stared at my laptop screen. Sitting in this cafe on this bright sunny morning with all these smiling faces around me only makes me feel sadder. I never realized how badly I craved to be a main character. Even if it was just for a moment, I would be happy with that. It would be all I would need to make these horrible feelings go away. A kind word or small gesture of love would do. But who am I kidding? I’ll always just be a side character in this world. What’s the point of wishing for more than that?

I glanced over at a couple sitting across the room. The man is holding his lover's hand with sweet, tender love, placing a soft kiss on the back of her hand. Her lips curled up into a shy smile as they stared deeply into each other’s eyes. It’s beautiful to witness such affection. Why then does my heart feel so empty seeing it? Jealousy has never been a trait of mine. I’m not a person who lusts after love and affection from others. But as I continued to watch the couple, I couldn’t help but feel tense and uncomfortable.

Who am I? As I’ve said before, I’m no one. In this world of fantasy, I’m just a side character created by a writer of the real world. But I guess since you’ve come this far, it would be rude of me not to introduce myself. My name is Gabrielle Swanson. I’m a professional side character in a world of fiction created by writers of your world. My purpose, as I’ve already stated, is to be a side character in a variety of stories.

My official duty is to play the role of the best friend to the main character of whatever story that comes across my desk. My job as an article writer and editor for Ashton Entertainment, a famous entertainment company in my world, keeps me in the loop on all things trendy and popular. The writer created me this way so I can play my part as a supporting character better.

All kinds of stories come across my desk. From befriending Cinderella characters, to helping a stranger crying on a park bench. I’ve even been assigned to comfort the CEO of my entertainment company in order to get him his happy ending. It was one of my favorite stories I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of.

At the end of his story, I became good friends with him and his wife. Even after five years of the story's completion, we are still close friends. It was one of the easiest stories I’ve been assigned to do. A little push here, a few hints there and poof! They got their happy ending.

I’m not complaining but sometimes I think these writers are a bit cliche. Kissing in the rain after a dramatic misunderstanding by the female protagonist. Come on guys. You can come up with a better makeup scene than that. But who am I to judge? I’m no expert in love by any means. I’ve never fallen in love, nor do I want to. It only brings characters like me problems.

How did I find out I was a side character you ask? The answer is simple. The writer told me. I know what you must be thinking. Why would she do that? The answer, I refused to play my part. Many years ago, I started feeling like my life was pointless. I already had some awareness that I was a minor character in the world, but I was never a hundred percent sure. It pains me to admit that I gave up completely. I stopped going to work. I refused to eat anything but junk food and drink soda. I didn’t bathe or brush my teeth. I just stayed in my tiny one-bedroom apartment, watching soap operas all day.

Yes, I know it’s gross but, in my defense, I was too depressed to even get off my couch except to use the restroom. Almost two weeks had passed before a woman came onto my TV screen and spoke to me. At first, I thought I had finally lost my mind. It wasn’t until she showed me the truth about our world did I know my suspicions of being a character were right. She explained more about my world of fiction and how important my life was.

I didn’t believe her at first but when I thought about it, I came to understand what she meant. If you’re an avid reader, you know how important side characters are in a story. Without characters like me, stories wouldn't progress leaving everyone with an unsatisfactory ending. Although she tried to make my life sound extremely important, I couldn’t help but feel more depressed.

I really had no control over anything in my life. Everything I did, everything I will do, my very existence, was all created and planned out by someone else. Sorrow and anger filled me to my core and I did something that would change my life forever. I made a deal with the mysterious woman.

In exchange for continuing to play my role in the stories she writes, I wanted to be able to choose what stories I was going to be a part of. I know that’s a ridiculous request to make but to me it meant a lot. Being able to control some aspect of a life someone else created, why wouldn’t I at least try to get that? I’m sure you would’ve done the same if you were in my shoes. The woman took a few minutes to think about my request before nodding in acceptance but she had a few conditions of her own.

“If I give you the freedom to choose the stories you want then you have to follow my rules.” I shrugged. If it meant I could have a tiny bit of control over my life, then I’d be willing to follow a few rules. “Sure. Name them.” I replied without hesitation. “Rule one. I will give you two stories at the beginning of every month. You MUST choose one of the stories I give you. No exceptions.” I nodded in agreement. One story a month wasn’t such a hard request. Normally I was in two or three at a time.

“Rule two. You can’t refuse any scenario I come up with. If you refuse to take part in a scene, our agreement will be broken and I won’t give you another chance.” “Ok.” It wasn’t like I hadn’t been in awkward situations before. Once a female protagonist mistook my relationship with her male counterpart and slapped me so hard I fell down a set of stairs. What could be worse than that?

“Rule three. If at any time you begin to lack in your role or refuse to continue playing your part like you’re doing right now, our agreement will be broken. I can’t have you sitting here doing nothing but watch TV and eat junk food. No one will read my stories and I’d lose all my followers.” She paused for a moment. “Do you agree with my rules?” How could I refuse? “Yes, I agree.”

“Great! Then tomorrow, go to work as usual. I will have the files brought to your desk once you arrive. No other character will be able to see the paperwork so you don’t have to worry about hiding the files. To everyone else, they will look like articles given to you for editing.” The woman paused, dropping the smile on her face into a stern expression. “I expect you to keep to our agreement Gabrielle. I have to warn you. If the other writers find out I made this deal with you, it won’t just be your life on the line.”

“Geez Lady, relax. I’ll keep to our agreement. As long as you keep your end of the deal, I’ll keep mine.” I folded my arms across my chest with an annoyed huff. “I’ll be in touch. Make sure you keep your phone on you. I’ll text you details of the story to keep you informed of scenes before they happen. That way you're not shocked when you have to go through important scenes.”

I gave her a questionable look. “Hey, just what kind of stories are you trying to put me in?!” She sent me a wicked smile. “You’ll find out soon enough. Remember your promise and don’t be late tomorrow. I’m counting on you.” With that the television turned itself off.

I kept my promise. I arrived at work with a few minutes to spare. The two tall glass doors with large black lettering across them that read ‘Ashton Entertainment Company’ sparkled in the bright morning sun as I pushed them open. I said good morning to my coworkers who returned my greeting. No one seemed phased that I suddenly showed up after being gone for almost two weeks. I laughed it off. It didn’t surprise me that they didn’t notice my absence. They were written that way after all.

My desk was on the far end of the cubicles near the back of the office. My desk sat just outside of the CEO’s office door and near the conference rooms. My name was engraved in bold silver lettering on the side of the cloth wall. ‘Gabrielle Swanson, Senior Writer and Editor’. I put my backpack on the floor next to my desk before sitting down in my black office chair, pushing the ‘ON’ button on my desktop.

As I got settled in my chair, a voice from the hallway caught my attention. “Hey Gabby, here are the articles the Derek asked you to look over.” Ed, our office mail clerk, called out as he passed by. He quickly placed a stack of papers on the corner of my desk before disappearing around the corner. As the writer had said, at the top of the stack of papers were two manila envelopes with black lettering across them.

I picked them up, holding a file in each hand. “STORY ONE” “STORY TWO” were written neatly in capital letters at the tops of each envelope. I carefully examined them before setting the second envelope on my desk to open the first story. I slid out the single paper from the envelope, scanning over its contents.

It was written like a memo. My name and the date were at the top of the page along with a heading. This paper's heading read “Best friend falls in love with childhood sweetheart.” The details were short and to the point. “In this story, your best friend, Heather Pearson, falls in love with an old childhood friend and schoolmate, Christian Morrison.”

Oh God. Not another friendship turned romance. I rolled my eyes before continuing. “They lost touch after graduating high school and met each other by chance at a cafe in the city. They’ve always had a crush on each other but never told the other their feelings. He had just got a promotion to detective for the Lakeview Police Department when you were introduced to him. His job interferes with their relationship and causes conflict between the two. Just as they get over that problem, the appearance of his ex-girlfriend, Kristin Joseph, wants to rekindle the relationship with Christian and causes more trouble for the couple. Your role as her best friend is to support Heather and help her get through the situations accordingly.”

Geez, that writer lady really needs to come up with different storylines. It seems a bit cliche. Of course, a romance with a man in uniform is appealing but after being a part of so many of these types of stories, it gets old. I couldn’t help but scoff with annoyance as I put the paper and envelope on my desk before opening the second one. The heading immediately caught my attention. “An Unexpected Romance.” Well that’s different.

“A close childhood friend, Lucas Hamilton, falls into tough times after losing his parents in a tragic car accident. His relationship with his brother only adds to his stress as he’s grieving. Just as he thinks his entire world is falling apart, a stranger comes along and changes his life completely. After dealing with many hardships, his younger brother tries to steal everything he has, including the woman of his dreams. Eventually the two fall in love and get married. Your role as his friend is to help Lucas go through the hard times and lead him to meet the love of his life.”

I reread the details in confusion. What’s the name of the woman? How am I supposed to know who to lead him to if I don’t know her name? A loud ‘BING’ of a text message jolted me from my thoughts. I slid open my phone to see an unknown number had sent me a text. I opened it with hesitation. “Which story would you like to participate in?” Man, that lady wastes no time.

I looked at the papers in front of me for a moment before typing, “Story two.” Taking a breath, I clicked the green send button. Almost instantly, my phone began to ring. A contact I never knew I had appeared on the screen. ‘Lucas Hamilton’ That was fast. I slowly pushed the green ‘answer’ button and put the speaker to my ear. “Hello?” “Gabby…” A quiet male voice said into the receiver.

I could hear the man sniffling, sending a twinge of pain through my heart. It was the strangest feeling of sadness. I don’t know why but for some reason it broke my heart to hear this stranger crying. “Luke? What’s wrong?” The words left my mouth without a thought. “M…My parents…They’re gone Gabby. They’re dead.” Wow, we’re starting off this story on a hard note.

‘BING’ I looked at my phone to see another message from the unknown number. “Remember, your job is to comfort your friend. Good luck.” Of course. I should have known that once I accepted the story it would begin right away. Why did I expect anything less? “Gabby?” The man said, pulling me from my thoughts. I quickly changed my attitude before putting the phone back up to my ear.

“I’m here Luke. Where are you?” A couple sobs echoed into my ear. “I…I’m at the office. I don’t know what to do Gabby. I…I can’t breathe.” “Stay there Luke. I’m on my way to you. Just take deep breaths, ok?” I knew he nodded his head before I hung up the phone. I quickly stood up, picking up my bag and throwing it over my shoulder. I ran out of the office and down the two flights of stairs to my car not thinking about taking the elevator in my frazzled mindset.

I sat down in my car, turning the key to start the engine when I froze. “Wait. Where is his office?” I thought aloud as I heard my phone go off again. ‘BING’ I looked down at my phone to see the directions to the Hamilton Distribution Center was already set in my GPS. Damn that writer lady is fast.

I put the car in drive and pulled out of the parking garage. His office was only a few minutes away from mine, but the minutes felt like seconds. That’s typical whenever a part is irrelevant in a story. We call it ‘Time Jumping’. Honestly, it’s something you come to love and hate but it does save me a lot of time.

I pulled into the parking garage of Hamilton Automotives, quickly finding a spot close to the elevator. I slammed my car door and ran over to the elevator. Luckily, there was a sign on the wall next to the elevator with the names of all the offices and the floor they were on. I scanned through the names of the different departments before landing on floor twelve. ‘Hamilton Distribution Offices’. That’s the one.

I pushed the ‘UP’ button and waited anxiously. Once the elevator doors opened, I rushed in and pushed the large ‘12’ button a couple times. My heart raced as I ascended to the twelfth floor. I hate this feeling. I don’t even know this guy, yet I can’t help but have a strong sense of wanting to comfort him.

I sighed. But that’s the life of a side character. Constant emotions of wanting to protect and care for our main characters. The metal doors glided open to reveal a wide white desk with two secretaries typing with intense focus. Large metallic gold letters that read ‘Hamilton Distribution’ sat behind them on the plain white wall. I rushed over to the desk, placing my hands on the counter with a loud ‘THUD’.

“Hi, I'm here to see Lucas Hamilton.” The young woman continued typing, speaking to me without taking her off her monitor. “Do you have an appointment?” I gritted my teeth. “No mam, I'm his friend, Gabrielle Swanson. He’s expecting me.” She glanced up at me with an annoyed expression before looking back at the screen to continue typing. “No appointment, no entry.” Are you kidding me?! I opened my mouth to say something when my phone went off again.

‘BING’ I opened the text from the unknown number. “Go down the hallway. It’s the last door on the right.” I looked in the direction she had said, thinking about what to do next. “Fuck it.” I said under my breath before taking off down the long hallway. I looked back over my shoulder to plan my next move if they decided to chase after me, but my sudden reaction didn’t seem to faze the two women.

They continued typing like I was never there. I slowed to a walk, stopping for a moment. Interesting, how had I never noticed that before? Did every character act so oblivious? I shook my head as I turned to continue walking down the hallway to the back offices.

I walked up to the last glass office door on the right as the writer had described. I peeked inside but the room was dark. The blinds were closed making the room almost pitch black. Did I get the office wrong? I looked at the message again before looking back up at the door.

No, this is where the writer told me to go. I took a step back and glanced up at the plague next to the door. ‘Lucas Hamilton. Co-Owner, CEO '. This is the place. I slowly pushed the door open and stepped inside. “Hello? Luke? Are you in here?” I carefully closed the door behind me as I walked into the dark room.

It was eerily quiet. I gripped my phone tightly in my hand as I maneuvered my way through the room. Papers were scattered on the floor in front of a large wooden desk. A black office chair was pushed aside behind the desk and all the items on the desk were a mess. He must’ve really taken his parents’ deaths hard. I feel bad for whoever has to clean all of this up.

Sudden sounds of soft sobs made me freeze mid step. It’s coming from the other side of the desk. I carefully stepped over a broken picture frame; glass shards were spread around it. I tilted my head to look around the corner of the desk to see a man in a navy-blue suit curled up with his back to me. His knees were tucked close to his chest as he heaved heavily. His face was buried in his arms that were wrapped around his legs.

I took a step closer, kneeling to get to his level. I reached out to put a gentle hand on his shoulder. “Luke?” Without a word, he spun around, wrapping two muscular arms around my neck. He pulled me into a tight embrace, burying his face into my shoulder.

“Gabby!” He cried loudly into me. I tensed at his sudden embrace. My mind went blank for a second before quickly coming back to my senses. I put my arms around him to return his hug, stroking his back lovingly. “It’s ok Luke. I’m here. It’s ok.” He pulled me down roughly, making my other knee hit the hardwood floor hard. I winced in pain, biting my lip to hold in a cry of pain. As a professional character, I knew better than to express my own pain at a moment like this.

“They’re gone Gabby…They’re gone.” He mumbled into my shoulder. “What am I going to do?” I continued to pet him, smoothing out the wrinkles in his jacket in the process. “It’s going to be ok Luke.” My eyes began to water as I felt his tears soak through my shirt. I hate these parts. It always made me feel so sad to see the characters I was supposedly close to go through such awful situations. I put my chin on his shoulder. “It’s ok.”

After a while, his sobs calmed into quiet sniffles and he slowly released me from his grip. He leaned back a bit with his arms still around me to look me in the eyes. My eyes widened as I finally got to see his face. God he’s gorgeous! I bit the inside of my lip to prevent my mouth from dropping open. I studied his face with awe as we gazed at each other.

He was of Asian origin. His deep brown almond eyes were red and puffy from crying. He had high cheekbones with a strong jawline. His black hair was faded short on the sides with long hair on the top that was slicked back out of his face. He had a small silver hoop earring in his left ear. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say he was a model. But then again, that’s how that lady created him.

“Gabby…” He said with another sniffle. “I don’t know what to do. What should I do?” I shook myself to get myself back into character. I put a warm smile on my face, placing a hand on his cheek to wipe away a tear with my thumb. “It’s going to be ok Luke. I’m here. Talk to me. Tell me what happened.”

He slowly explained that he received a phone call from his uncle about an hour ago. His parents were on their way home from the airport last night when a drunk driver hit them head on, killing three of them instantly. Due to how bad the accident was, the police had to complete their investigation before releasing the bodies to the families. His uncle’s number was the last call his father had made before the crash, so the police called the number back.

It was hard not to cry at such a painful story. That writer sure knows how to make a tragic accident. I pushed back my tears to keep the smile on my face. I brushed a strand of black hair back into place as I spoke. “It’s ok Luke. Let’s get you off the floor first, ok?” He nodded, his lip quivering slightly as I helped him into the desk chair. I knelt back down to get eye level with him.

“Do you know where they took your parents' bodies?” He shook his head as he bit his lip to hold back from crying again. I put my hands in his with a gentle squeeze. “It’s fine. Don’t worry about it. How about we take you home first? We can deal with the rest later.”

He slowly nodded again before slowly standing. He wiped his face with his hand before composing himself, straightening out his clothes with more sniffles. I was mesmerized. Not only was he handsome but he was tall. Maybe 6’1- 6’2. Being only 5’8 myself, he towered over me. I couldn’t help but notice how his suit squeezed his muscles as he buttoned his jacket.

Man, whoever you end up with is going to love those muscles. I slapped myself internally. Stop it Gabrielle! You need to quit thinking this way. You’re a side character. Having a crush on a main character is ridiculous. Especially one I know ends up with someone else.

“Gabby?” Lucas said softly, giving me a look of concern. I looked up at him, putting on a quick smile to reassure him. “I’m fine Luke. Come on, let’s get you home.” As I followed him out of the office and down the hallway, I can’t help but think how much trouble I’ve put myself in.

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