by Tejal Pendekanti
Time: 10:03 a.m.
Date: October 27, 2081
Name: Fera Pertinax
The faint hum of an email arriving in my inbox woke me up, a soft and mellow beep that could not be ignored. It was an email from Tueri.
I groaned in frustration as I realized that the Watcher had sent me another message. I turned over on my belly, still not welcoming the morning, and groaned. Rolling my eyes, I asked, “What’s my new fortune, oh Wise One?”
My PICTL, the means whereby Tueri communicated its predictions to their designated citizen, replied with a computerized laugh without any humor. “Haha, you’re so funny.”
Not amused, I scoffed. “Can you just tell me, PICTL?” I sighed, aggravation slowly becoming more apparent in my voice.
“Ok!” PICTL cheered. His cheeriness was slowly killing me. “On November 18, Joey is going to propose to you! Congratulations!”
I shot upright, my eyes widening in disbelief. The corners of my mouth slowly turned into my famous Cheshire smile. I covered my face with my satin blanket, giggling at the thought that I’m going to be engaged. I felt myself blushing and drew my knees in to bury my face, revealing only my crimson ears peeking through my black hair.
After the euphoria passed, I found myself staring at the wall. In ten solid minutes, the initial bliss of being a soon-to-be bride vanished. Just like that, it had gone.
My thoughts started to wander and finally landed upon the biggest question.
How should I act when he proposes?
Joey must know that the Watcher sent me the notification in advance of his decision; he’s smart enough to realize that he can’t hide anything now. The machine peered through our life, ensuring that we could not make a single step without a digital footprint.
Resentment flooded my every thought. How could the Watcher be as cruel as to spoil one of the biggest surprises in my life? In the old stories I’ve read, this life-changing event is supposed to be a shock, a wonderful shared excitement between the couple. This elation of being proposing to should have been a bombshell.
Angrily, I snatched the pillow next to me and flung it at the wall. All my pent up frustration suddenly released, I curled into a ball. I covered my head with my blanket, leaving fragments of my anger scattered.