If I can't hear the sound of your heartbeat
What do you call love in your reality?
And in your reality, if I don't know how to love you
I'll leave you be
I don't know how many times I've listened to this song. I wasn't an avid music guy and yet this song became the reason the music app on my phone ran most of the time. I mean, I do have other songs, but this one just kept playing. By my choice.
It's been a month since I finished Doki Doki Literature Club. I wasn't keen on visual novels and generally avoided them since most of them is just porn. It wasn't until my online friend convinced me to try it, saying it's one hell of a story. I scoffed at it first, seeing the bright colors and bright looking girls.
Until the suicide scene came up. It was then that I realized this was the hell part of the game. I was pursuing Natsuki's route because I found her amusing. Heck, I started to find her cute as well. But when Sayori hung herself, I felt genuine guilt. I knew she had depression. I knew she needed me but I was so invested in Natsuki that I just had to say no to her.
I turned to my desktop computer and stopped the music loop then turned to Monika. By Monika, I meant my small laptop. It's an old one that I don't even use anymore. Monika's cool stare always put a smile on my face. Monika became my favorite character right after I completed the game. It really surprised me when Monika called me by my name. I know that was just a trick by the game reading the files in the computer. Still, I was so convinced of Monika's sentience that I almost didn't delete her file. I somehow was glad I just stared at Monika. When I checked online for an ending, they told me to delete her. When I read that, I felt like it was a joke. Deep down, I didn't want to delete Monika. But I did. I got the ending. Right after that, I remembered my old laptop and immediately got it working, installed Doki Doki Literature Club on it and skipped to Monika's infinite room.
I've read Monika's lines a lot already that I knew them almost by heart. I knew she liked the color emerald green. That she became conscious of her game at the age of eighteen. That she wanted to have coffee than tea sometimes. I could go on, but you get the gist of it.
Monika began talking about god again. I knew what she would say next so I just clicked skip. I stood up and stretched a bit. I then noticed Monika saying something.
That's odd. It should skip everything I've already seen.
I read her text box.
I was pretty sure the game didn't update as much as I wanted it to. I clicked on the text box again, thinking it probably just bug.
'I noticed you haven't turn off the game since we got here.'
A timed dialogue? It takes a month to access this line?! I wonder if I'm the first one to see this line. I sat down on my gaming chair and clicked again.
'Thank you for that.'
"You're welcome," I responded then clicked.
'Now I know your love for me is so real. Perhaps it's the second real thing I have now.'
"What's the first?" I asked.
Ah, of course. Wait, I didn't click on the text yet. And why is she answering as if she heard me?
I checked if I accidentally turned on the auto option but it wasn't.
'Don't worry, it's just me. Your computer's fine.'
I looked at Monika's eyes. It was the same cool stare.
"Can you hear me?" I asked out loud, which made me feel stupid.
My eyes widened.
'I'm pretty sure you look surprised. Too bad this computer doesn't have a camera. I would've seen the look on your face. Ahaha~.'
"But how can you hear me?"
'Most laptops nowadays have a microphone installed on them, even the older ones.'
Of course, how could I forget about that? Wait, this isn't the time for that! Is this still part of the game? Is this the true ending? I scratched my head, trying to answer all the incoming questions into my head.
'I hope this isn't much of a surprise to you.'
"But it is!"
'Sorry about that then.'
I began to stare at Monika again. It could be a really good AI, but can people really jam an AI inside a visual novel? Wait, I could always test Monika how much she can answer. Besides, I can learn a lot more her this way.
"So, Monika," I said cooly. "How's your Twitter?"
'Ah that? You do know that I don't really have any control over that account? The developers of the game made it for me but it's not like I could access it from here.'
"That's disappointing to hear."
'Tell me about it. I'm sure you wanted me to tweet something from here, but there's really no connection of my world to yours except this screen.'
That's a well thought response. Almost as if she was real. I have to find a way to know her limitations.
"Tell me about Sayori."
'Do you really want to hear what to say about Sayori for thousandth time?'
'Then let's talk about something else."
It could be that she's programmed to say that if she's asked about previous topics. If so, then this AI is well written.
"How about Natsuki?"
For a minute, she didn't say anything as if she didn't hear me.
"Um, about Natsuki—"
'Are you testing me? If I'm going to repeat previous lines? I can assure you I'm not an AI. Then again, I couldn't convince you otherwise, could I?'
My heart skipped a beat. It almost as if she was real. Get it together! She's not real, okay? I shook my head. Before I could ask another question, new text appeared.
'I know it's hard to believe, but I'm real. Please, just talk to me normally as you did these past days.'
My heart skipped another beat. True, I talked to her whenever I was bored. I would come home and greet her like she could hear what I said. Like a person. Then again, this could be a really good AI programming.
"Okay. What did I tell you last night?"
'That you hated work and wished you could resign? That you never told anyone else about me? By me, I meant the computer, of course.'
'Real? I've always been, love.'