a/n: Hi there~ This is my attempt at writing a tear-jerky AC fic with a character that really doesn't exist. THE PLAYER-CHARACTER.
That said, this is Player-character centered. Please don't kill me for characterization; I just started playing AC: WW again after two years because my original character was erased by a younger brother. .
Nether-less, I ask you to enjoy this. I enjoyed working on it.
Another Forgotten Memory
She never understood why she loved that old little town so much; she never understood why it broke her heart when she left.
So, the first time she set foot in Rien Town, she was unimpressed. She hated it, she hated the country-esque air, the lack of rising skyscrapers, and the fact that she had been hit on by some…creature (the only thing she knew about him was that his name was Kapp'n), for an entirety of a bus ride. Her eyes were accusatory to all, as she mumbled to herself all the reasons she should've stayed in the big city and never moved. She should've stayed in her apartment complex, where she had more friends than she could count, she should've rejected the offer and promise of a life of luxury.
It was ridiculous how stupid she had been in those crucial hours. She traded in her life as a socialite for the life of a…of a what?
What was she in those first days in Rien Town? Not much, she decided. She was an errand girl for a…raccoon-type creature. (Tom Nook was a raccoon, right? She never asked him, and didn't plan to because he was a pain when he was angry; he was worse than Resetti and that was saying something). She traded carpets with her fellow neighbors (nothing else but neighbors; they were simply…there. They weren't her friends) for wallpaper designs and electric guitars, but she never kept the wallpapers because wallpapers were ridiculously cheap and she never cared much for them. She was happy enough with her slate gray walls, her wood-panel floors. What she wanted was music. She lived for it; she left the city for music.
(They told her so many lies, but when that…weasel? Otter? Whatever he was, but when Lyle, the insurance-selling man, told her that there was a grand collection of musical instruments at the local Rien Town museum, she believed him. She left the city and took the next bus to Rien Town. She left her life behind, changed her name and hair color; she changed her identity. Only to find out that there were no musical instruments to speak of and that she had been lied to, once again.)
She was not only the newest member of a community filled with strange creatures, but she was a lost girl with no idea of who she was and why she was there.
She was another lost girl. She was simply
A N O T H E R * F O R G O T T E N * M E M O R Y
She would be lying to you if she told you that there was nothing good about Rien Town. There were a lot of good things about the town, but she simply refused to mention them; the truth was, she loved the town with every fiber of her soul and was completely heartbroken when she left and returned to the city. She spent her days attempting to recreate an image for herself, attempting to regain what was once hers. She helped out the Able sisters with their work by designing dresses, shirts, umbrellas, and hats; her work became a hit among the Rien Town citizens, all of them sported her designs. She became good friends with Sable, who she secretly thought was much cooler, better, and nicer than Mabel, in a way that wasn't faux-peppiness, but real kindness. They gushed over soap operas and romance novels, while swapping gossip over the newest relationship in town or who had the newest gadget in their house. Sable and she talked for hours, they talked so much that Mabel usually had to intervene to end the conversation.
After Mabel's daily intervention, she would wave goodbye to the hedgehog sisters and visit her favorite person in town: Blathers the Museum Curator. He was an owl with a taste for good books and fancy paintings, and he enjoyed chatting with the girl over the newest novel or current ensemble dark horse in the art world. His sister, Celeste, was nice as well, and the girl liked talking about space and constellations and stars with her. After chatting with the owl brother and sister duo, she would hang out at The Roost, tapping her fingers to the rhythm of K.K. Slider's newest song, while sipping some Pigeon Blend coffee, especially made by her favorite barista in Rien Town (ahem, the only barista in Rien Town), Brewster. Brewster was from a far away city, he too was a transplant in the town of Rien. He didn't seem to mind much, though, but the girl knew she kept hearing the slightest of accents whenever the pigeon spoke. He comforted her when she felt lost, with words of wisdom, most of them little snippets of poetry or lyrics long forgotten in the rift of time.
She loved that about Brewster. She once jokingly told him that "if he was a human boy, she would've asked him to marry her". That caused Brewster to go pale in shock and mumble some incoherencies that caused her to laugh. She would wave goodbye and left the museum, taking out her lacy parasol, headed back home.
Every season had a different effect on the cozy little town called 'Rien'.
During the spring time, an abundance of flowers would sweep through the town, and residents would compete with each other for the best front lawn and garden. The girl wasn't a big fan of gardening, but even so, she pitched in with the annual flower fest, hosted by the turtle mayor of Rien, Tortimer. That was the day in which every resident of Rien Town would chip in and help decorate Town Hall. The girl dropped off the darkest orchid, so dark it was black, at the front door. The girl's neighbors turned friends dropped off lavish baskets and fantastic flower bouquets, but the girl never brought more than one flower. One day, Kiki the cat (and one of the girl's best friends) inquired the question that half of Rien wanted the answer to.
The girl answered with as simple phrase: "My mother left a flower before she left dad and me."
No one pushed the matter further, not even Cyrano, who had this OCD-like behavior about information. Cyrano, cold-hearted and cynical Cyrano, patted the girl's shoulder and mumbled an apology before leaving the grand flower fest.
The girl had clenched her fists and left as well.
In the summer, picnics were a must, and the girl found herself actively participating in them. She would help the penguin relatives, Hopper and Roald, set up the picnic sites by spreading out the red and white plaid blankets and packing the handled baskets. Even arrogant Amelia did her part, she baked the most delicious chocolate chip cookies, but K.K. Slider simply shot her an annoyed glance, because everyone knew that the only reason Amelia baked cookies was to spite K.K.
This always made the girl laugh; Copper slyly mentioned how that "this was the first time that he had heard her laugh".
The party grew quiet, and the girl smiled in response.
"I guess it's been a while since I've laughed."
This caused the rest of the Rien Town citizens to laugh, and even Brewster let out a slight chuckle. The golden beach they picnicked on was filled with shiny shells, and the wind whipped around grains of sand, much to Pascal's annoyance.
"I can't eat my sandwich like this." He muttered darkly, much to the amusement of everyone else.
The season of autumn was the girl's favorite thing about Rien Town. She loved how the once vibrant and green leaves turned into the darkest burgundy and the brightest gold. The leaves were usually scattered all over the landscape, and Tom Nook would exit Nookington's, screaming about how someone was intentionally leaving leaves at his storefront. His little helpers laughed at their boss, as they threw leaves at each other. Sable and Mabel simply rolled their eyes and continued to tailor the hottest looks for fall. Crazy Redd came around this time, and tried on various occasions, to sell the girl two faux-paintings, a knock-off of a beautiful dress that the girl fell in love with while she lived in the city, and a palm tree.
She bought the dress and the palm tree; she was scolded by Gracie, Couture Goddess, harshly. Gracie wasn't pleased whatsoever at the fact that her shining star bought a knock-off and revoked her certificate.
The girl cried for a bit about it, then realized how stupid she was acting over a piece of paper. Gracie came over the next day and handed her a new certificate, claiming that "the girl was needed in the fashion world, and she needed to buy designer, never knock-offs".
Or something of the sort. The girl wasn't too sure anymore, her brain was getting fuzzy.
Then, winter came along, chasing away the leaves of fall, leaving Rien Town barren and cold. Kiki moved away during one of those winters, and the cat promised the girl that she would write every day no matter what.
Kiki never wrote, never sent a message or note.
The year that Kiki left, was the year that the girl's life started to tear at the seams. She was in debt; it was ridiculous how much Tom Nook wanted for her mini-mansion. Redd was pointing fingers, and since she bought something from his store, she might be facing criminal charges. What used to stand for freedom, Rien Town, was now becoming the girl's personal prison.
On one of the last days of winter, somewhere between January and February, the girl stumbled into the Rien Town museum. It was late at night, and Blathers was chirping a tune, until he stopped, his brown gaze slowly wavering towards the distraught looking girl. The owl flew towards her and tiled his head. A question unasked.
"Hoot, well, miss. What brings you here so late?" He smiled slightly, and the girl shook her head. She picked herself up, brushed her noble dress shirt off, adjusted her white masquerade mask, and gave Blathers an attempted smile.
"I don't really know, Blathers."
"Hoot, well…that's no good. Come; let's get you some…coffee? Hoot?"
The girl nodded and Blathers escorted her to The Roost, and Brewster poured them two cups of coffee. The girl shakily took her cup, and Blathers mixed sugar in his. She sipped the piping hot drink, downed it down in less than a minute. Her tongue was scorched, and she throat was scalded, but she needed to feel warmth. She needed to feel safe.
She hadn't felt safe in a long time, even before she moved to Rien Town. The girl placed her forehead against the cool stainless steel counter, Brewster moved the saucer and cup away from the girl, and arched an eyebrow at Blathers. Blathers shrugged, as to say 'I have no clue'. She felt her brain throb inside her skull, and she knew that she really needed to sleep, or go back home, or do something that wasn't going to kill her.
She just didn't know what to do anymore. She was slowly returning to the girl that first arrived at Rien Town, the girl who had no idea who she was, who she was supposed to be.
"Um…Miss?" Blathers poked the girl's shoulder with his feathery wing, and the girl slowly moved her head towards him, brown eyes weary. The owl cracked the slightest of smiles.
"If you can…Miss…would you accompany me to the museum?"
The girl let out a sigh, her breath condensing on the stainless steel, clouding up the metal. She slowly picked herself up, both red-sneaker clad feet on the ground. Her violet noble dress shirt was wrinkled, but she didn't care about any of that. All she cared about was the mask that hid half her face, a pearl white masquerade mask. She adjusted the mask and followed Blathers out back into the museum. The owl called for his sister, and Celeste flew down the stairs, the brightest smile on her beak.
"Is it time, brother?" She asked, cheerfully, and Blathers nodded carefully. Celeste then blinked and her grin intensified.
"Yay~! Missie, please come with us!" She dragged the girl away, into the art gallery, and before the girl could question their going to, they passed the art gallery through a door the girl didn't realize existed.
Blathers took the lead, leading the two girls into the room. Celeste covered the girl's eyes and the girl protested, but decided to keep her mouth shut. Blathers turned a light switch on and the girl swore she heard a bit of a melody…such a beautiful melody…
It was warmth in song.
"Let her seen now, hoot." Blathers ordered softly, and Celeste uncovered the girl's eyes.
The girl stared in shock, and then felt her cheeks get damp. She raised her hand to her eyes and realized she started to cry. Her mask was becoming wet, so she took it off, allowing her brown hair to cover her eyes. She cried, cried tears of joy and of hope.
All around her, all around the simple black and white room were the instruments that she came to Rien Town for. She saw cellos and violins and flutes and oh my stars, a grand piano, played by some people she didn't know, some people most likely from another town or something of the sort, but she didn't care, not one bit, because the lie she fell for was finally coming true.
"I told you she'd like it, brother~!" Celeste said happily, and Blathers nodded, scratching the back of his ear with his right wing. The girl broke down into sobs and turned towards the siblings, thanking them endlessly for the gift of a musical instrument wing in their museum. She thanked them and thanked them all over again, because this was what she needed; she was no longer the lost girl who hated the countryside air, but the girl who loved music and fell in love with a sleepy little town in the middle of nowhere. She was the girl that helped others, no matter the cost, and she was finally happy.
"Thank…hiccup…you." She murmured, and Blathers and Celeste gave her a hug, patting her back in comfort. She hiccupped once more, and her teary eyes shone brighter than the stars.
Everything was perfect, finally perfect.
Two weeks later, the girl was holding her suitcases and moving boxes. It was raining, pouring buckets and buckets of rain, as if the gods above were lamenting the day. She was leaving Rien Town.
The town was there to see her off, all of them piled under the awning that the town hall owned, wishing the girl good luck and best wishes. Sable hugged the girl, and told her to remember to write back and tell them about her life at the city. The girl tried to match everyone else's enthusiasm, but found it extremely hard when her heart felt like it was being torn into two pieces. She didn't want to leave, she didn't want to go, but it seemed like her leaving of Rien Town (slowly becoming Rien City) would be the best for everyone. She finally paid off her debt, and Redd was caught for black market sales. Life would return to normal for these animal-creatures, but the girl would never be the same after her three years in Rien Town.
The bus rolled in, its engine heard from a half mile away. The driver, the driver that had shamelessly hit on the girl during her arrival, waved. She waved back, and Hopper the Emperor Penguin helped the girl put her luggage into the taxi, ignoring the rain. She carried an umbrella, the lacy parasol, her first purchase at the Able Sisters' tailor shop. The girl turned towards her neighbors, no, her friends, and waved, before boarding the taxi's back seat. She waved and waved, and the citizens of Rien Town waved back, shouting 'goodbye', and the girl clenched her jaw, tears streaming down her cheeks, as the people she grew to love faded away in the sleet.
She cried all the way home; Kapp'n didn't say word. He kept driving until the city lights shone brightly against the rainy mountain side, and he stopped in front of an apartment complex that the girl used to know so well.
She slowly lifted her head up, only to be blinded by the sheer amount of light. Skyscrapers were everywhere, their bright lights blinding. She could smell the smog and pollution from the cars that whirred past them. Her stomach churned, and she lifted her knees up, propped her chin on them.
She didn't want to get out of the cab, not now, not ever. Kapp'n waited for her to get off, but when five minutes passed and the girl made no move to leave; he turned around, his green head tilted to the side.
"Whats'sup, lassie? Somethin' up?"
The girl nodded, trembling prettily in her soaked green ginger dress. "Everything."
Kapp'n let out a sigh and exited the cab, opened the trunk, and took the girl's belongings inside the lobby of the apartment. He exchanged a couple of words with the lobbyist, who took the bags and gave them to a bellhop or some sort. The taxi driver then returned to the girl in his taxi, and opened the door for her.
"Come on, lass. You need to be strong, it'll all be a'ight."
She raised her tear streaked face up and made herself swing her legs out of the car and into the concrete floor below. She landed in a puddle. Kapp'n nudged the girl forward, and she kept walking until she was under the apartment complex's dark green awning. She turned around towards the taxi-driver and gave him a meek wave.
"Thank you so much, Kapp'n."
Kapp'n laughed, heartily and gave the girl a grin. "No need to thank me, lassie." He entered his taxi, and before he drove away, the girl swore she heard him shout 'Good luck, Annie!'
Miss Annie. That was her name. The brown-haired girl felt her throat tighten, and the tears welled up in her eyes again. It had been such a long time since anyone's called her that. She hugged herself, and besides herself, laughed. Her laughter was dark, sarcastic, and it was another way to get the emotional distress out. The warmth she previously felt was all gone and she felt the familiar ice wrap around her like a wet blanket.
She was back in reality, back in the real world.
"…goodbye Kapp'n…goodbye Rien."
Spring, summer, autumn, winter. Each season cycled through her mind, each memory associated with each event, everything came back to her. She shook in her dress, her white mask becoming darker and darker with every raindrop that hit. Her mind reeled with each memory; her mind was overflowing with so many memories…she felt like she was going to die.
"Coo…miss…have you heard off a song that goes like this? 'Stand in the rain, stand your ground, don't give up when it's all crashing down'? My brain forgets the rest of it…but that's what I wanted you to hear. Coo…"
The memories were fuzzy, the memories were fading away. But that striking moment with Brewster on a Saturday morning, stood out.
The rain went on pouring, but the brunette girl named Annie, entered the apartment complex. She left her mask on the floor of the sidewalk behind her, let it get ruined and carried away by the rain.
She didn't need it anymore.
She was no longer the girl who loved music and helping others; she was just another faceless soul, just another nameless girl.
She was just another memory.