But I think we'll worry about that tomorrow, because I think we just decided we're not going to take the day off, and a day of work tomorrow will let us know how much overtime we have to work. In the meantime, let me tell you about Melissa!
So we started Melissa's story last week, and oh my goodness, it is so cute. So I don't know if anybody remembers this, but Melissa is a little doll made of fabric stuffed with mud. Zeus was attempting to make a human being, but it didn't work out so well. Athena seems to remember from the first KamiAso game getting the vibe that Melissa was Zeus's original attempt to get a human to teach the gods, but it does make more sense to get a human who is actually familiar with the human world, so I don't know, and that was a long time ago and neither of us really remembers. Anyway, now Melissa is a living ragdoll who lives in a dollhouse in Yui's dorm and is also basically her assistant. He's always there for her when she's having trouble and needs some advice.
And so the Melissa story begins when Yui has been at the school for a while and is pretty much despairing of ever teaching any of the gods anything. Melissa points out that hey, they didn't want to come to this school any more than you did, cut them some slack, and by the way, you'll be fine. Then he tries to cheer her up by making her some hot milk, which turns out to be quite the ordeal for a little doll who fits in the palms of her hand. He makes a bunch of cute noises while he tries to leap for the refrigerator door handle. Yui tries to help, but he's like, "No! I said I'm going to do it, and I'm going to do it! You just relax."
So of course, Melissa makes the best hot milk ever, and then Yui suddenly gets very very sleepy, which, when I put it that way, sounds like maybe the drink was spiked, but I assure you it was not. It was really just a plot device. She just felt so relaxed because she had been so stressed out and not sleeping well, and now she felt so much better. But Melissa was alarmed at the prospect of her falling asleep on the couch where she might catch cold, and he tried as hard as he could to get her to go to bed, and she was like, "Yeah, I know I should... Zzzzzz..." She woke up the next morning on the couch, with a blanket over her, and on a corner of the blanket that's fallen to the floor, there's Melissa, the cute little guy. He got her a blanket and then fell asleep on it himself! Either he was that tired from the effort of dragging a blanket that was surely multiple times his size, or he was so worried about her that he didn't want to leave her side.
Well, after that Melissa starts acting weird. He tells Yui he's going to go somewhere, and she's like, "Oh, let me go with you!" and he's like, "Uh, no thanks! Sometimes a man's gotta be alone!" And she's all, "Ooookay," and goes about her business, but then he sneaks out on her every day for over a week and never comes back until she's in bed. She decides this has got to stop, so one night, she follows him...straight to Zeus's office! Dun dun DUN!
She doesn't have the guts to walk in and ask what's happening, so she waits outside until Melissa comes out, at which point she hides so he doesn't catch her. She hovers by Zeus's door for a while, trying to decide what to do, when she hears a voice saying, "Yui Kusanagi. I know you're out there. Come in." So she goes in to see Zeus, and he tells her that yeah, Melissa's got this wish thing going on, and he's telling him no. So Yui's like, "Well, won't you grant it?" and Zeus is like, "Fine, if you care that much, then when your wish and his wish are the same, it will come true. But be prepared to face the consequences." And Yui was kind of like, "Well, okay, I don't know what the big deal is, but I just want Melissa to be happy."
So she goes back to her dorm and waits for Melissa to get back, and demands to know what all the sneaking around is about. Melissa confesses to beseeching Zeus, and when Zeus tells him no every night, he'll go wish on the stars, because he desperately wants to be a real boy. (Obviously there were a lot of Pinocchio parallels, but when he repeatedly went to see Zeus, I couldn't help being reminded of Disney's Hercules, too. But really it is more of a Pinocchio thing, hence all the wishing on stars.) Yui was really surprised at this, despite the fact that when Melissa made the hot milk for her, she spent a lot of time thinking about how hard it must be to be a little doll and Melissa must really want to be human the poor guy. At the time, Melissa guessed what she was thinking and said, "Whatever, it's fine! I like who I am!", and I guess she believed him. He might have really meant it, too, but that was before she fell asleep on the couch.
Anyway, Yui says, "Well, why don't we wish on the stars right now?" and Melissa's like, "Well, okay." So they find a good star to wish on--they want the biggest, brightest star, which at that time of night would have been Jupiter, but the narration specifically points out that they found an appropriate fixed star, so they probably didn't end up wishing to Zeus after all. Melissa wished that he could be human, and Yui wished that Melissa's wish could come true, and then! there was a blinding light! And when Yui could finally see again, Melissa was nowhere to be seen, but there was a strange naked man standing where he used to be. She was really confused for a while, a fact which had me confused, because come on. It was like, "You know what you were just wishing for, right? What did you expect him to look like?" But Yui, despite having been transported to a magical school, probably isn't used to this kind of thing, so maybe I understand a little, but most of all, I wonder how I would have reacted in that situation.
From here on, Melissa basically just goes around being the best. First, he's super excited that he's human now! Woohoo! Yui wants to celebrate with him, but she's having a hard time with the whole naked thing (I really can't blame her for that one), and Melissa quickly figures out what the problem is and wraps a sheet around his waist. I like it, because while he doesn't seem to mind being naked, he doesn't get all indignant when other people mind that he is naked. Nevertheless, Yui is still having a very difficult time coming to terms with the whole situation, so she suggests they go to bed (which turns out to be especially awkward when they realize that Melissa can't sleep in his dollhouse anymore), and spends all the next day avoiding him. She started by going to Zeus in an attempt to get Melissa another dorm assignment, but Zeus is all, "Hey, you agreed to this. He's your problem now." She was so freaked out about it, that they even had some of the other gods speak for once to ask her what was wrong. (I love Melissa's story, but it is sadly devoid of other characters. On the bright side, Anubis did get a line.) Meanwhile, we were sitting there thinking, "Just put some clothes on him. You'll feel much better."
After school, she's sitting in the courtyard, trying to sort it all out, and it all gets to be so much for her that she falls asleep, and wakes up at nighttime. She realizes that here Melissa is going through this big life change, and she's been avoiding him all day. Just when she decides to go back to the dorm and make it up to him, who should appear but Melissa himself, still wearing only a sheet. She apologizes, and he's like, "Hey, I get it. It's not a problem." And he really meant it! Awww, cutie. So they talk it out, and decide that they're going to work on this together, because he's still new to the whole human thing, so if either of them has a problem, they'll be open about it, and solve it together. Awwwwww. And finally Yui tells him he needs to get some clothes.
But they don't have anything on hand, so they have to work on that, but this conversation took place the next morning and Yui was running late for class. So Melissa says, don't worry I'll handle it, and the next time Yui sees him, he's got some pretty snazzy ancient Greek style duds. Yui asked where he got such perfect clothes, and Melissa's like, "Zeus gave them to me. I went to thank him for granting my wish, and he said, 'Don't walk around like that.'" That was one of my favorite parts, but I'm not sure I'm doing it justice. I just love imagining Zeus seeing him walk in wearing a sheet, and being like, "Stop it, you're embarrassing yourself."
So it's been a pretty good day, and Yui is starting to get sleepy on the couch again, and this is the moment Melissa has been waiting for! He's like, "Here, I'll take care of that," and he picks her up and starts to carry her to bed. But she's alarmed at this and says, "No, I can get there myself!" and he's like, "Aww, but I want to do this!" and she's like, "Well...fine, but just this once," and he's not very happy about that. We were like, "Don't you see? This is WHY he wanted to be human!"
So things are going pretty nicely, but Yui's still having trouble getting the gods in line, so Melissa shows up and suggests they go on a walk to get a change of pace. So they go to the grassy field, and there was a cute scene where Yui got excited and started to run, and Melissa was like, "Don't run, you'll fall! *splat!*" So Yui went to help him up, but he's still figuring out how strong he is, so he ends up pulling her down on top of him, and there's a still that is so very adorable.
While they're at the grassy field, they talk about how things are going, and how Yui is struggling and how things are going for Melissa. He says that since he's been human, he's been aware of more emotions than he had before, and she's like, "Really? Like what?" and he's like, "Well, you...uh, never mind." And this was the worst part! The worst. part. The Thread of Fate showed up! What!? Noooooo!
So Yui can either say, "No, really. What were you going to say?" which is what we desperately wanted to say, or you can decide not to press the matter, which is what we did anyway, because it's easier to say, "That's okay, I'll come back and fix it!" than to say, "That was a nice love story, now let's go crush your soul." Especially because...okay, I'm getting ahead of myself.
Instead of talking about love like we wanted, they talk about birthdays! Melissa seemed a little unhappy about not sharing his feelings, but he cheered himself up by remembering that being human is so awesome, they even have a day to be thankful for having been born! How cool is that? And Yui was like, "Oh, birthdays! We can celebrate your birthday!" and he was like, "Really? Are you sure? I mean, I'm not technically human..." and she's like, "Of course you're human, silly!" So they grabbed hands and walked back to the dorms to celebrate Melissa's birthday. Melissa's hand was a little colder than Yui's, but she was sure there was some not-at-all-ominous reason for that. And that's why we're pretty sure that he's going to die at the end, and that it would have been cruel to do that to him after getting his romantic endings.
And that's it for the first half of Melissa's story. I'm really eager to see where it all leads.
Today I'm thankful for the delicious Tohato Caramel Corn snack we got from Tokyo Treat (a few months ago; we're not very quick to eat things), headache medicine, the hope that surely episode two of Welcome to the Ballroom is available today, finishing work on time, and Princess Principal getting positive reviews.