The Rom-com App

Монтажная область 1

The slideshow for John’s wedding ends. His mother is weeping. His grandmother, doubly so, holds her. I head for the bar. John finds me.

“What’d you think?”

I pour myself a glass of something brown.

“Hm, yeah, it is was good.”

“Pour me one of those?”

“Yeah.” I do. I take mine down in one.

I begin pouring another.

“Okay, what’s wrong?”

“Nothing.”

John laughs. “You only drink like that when something is wrong.”

I take my next glass down in one. “No, I don’t.”

“Look, it’s okay to be upset.”

“Not upset.”

“You weren’t in the slideshow.”

I don’t say anything.

John nods; understanding, nauseating.

“Look, it’s just odd,” I mutter.

“What?”

“The best man somehow not being in a single photo. I could have sworn–it doesn’t matter. It’s your wedding, I’m being a child.”

I go to take the next glass down in one, pause. I take a sip.

“Look, it’s this app Karen used.”

I look sideways at him.

“What?”

“Look.”

He pulls out his phone, slides it over to me. I pick it up. It’s dead.

“Ah, shit.” He snatches it back. I take down the rest of my drink. This time, John pours my next.

“Anyways, it’s called the rom-com app.”

I choke on a laugh, cough on a sip. “What the shit is a rom-com app?”

John looks awkward.

“It just, well, anything you take a picture of, it just cuts out anything that might be negative. You know, so like, all your memories are perfect or whatever. I don’t know Karen explains it better. And well,” he pauses, looking for the right words.

He doesn’t find them.

“You have a sad face,” he decides.

This time the laugh comes out unhindered.

“A sad face?”

“A bit. I was furious when I saw it. I even called the company. They said fixing them could distort the pictures we already have and well–”

“Yeah, I get it.”

I take my drink down in one. It hits me in the back of the eyes. John pats me on the back.

“Boys!”

We both turn. Karen stands pointing her phone at us.

“Smile!”

John holds up his hand.

“Not now Karen,” he says, serious.

“Oh,” Karen holsters her phone. “You told him.”

She gives me a truly empathetic smile.

“Aw,” she says, walking up, slipping her arms around me.

“Don’t be sad.”

 

The Book of Fate

The Book of Fate launched at 00:01 on January 1st.

M had shown it to me. He’s always hip on new technology. I downloaded it. A cheesy little icon of a bible looking book.

“Did you put it in?” M finds me in the shower of confetti.

“What?”

“Your resolution.” He holds up his phone. The Book of Fate is open. The countdown is at 00:00. There is a place for text beneath it. I pull out my phone.

“Okay, what do I do?”

M leads me out of the noise. He takes my phone and opens the app.

“Right there,” he says, pointing at the text box. “You just write your name and your New Year’s resolution.”

“Okay.” I take a moment and type. I click the submit button at the bottom.

“It’s asking to access my contacts and social media information?” I frown.

M shrugs. “Just hit accept.”

“Alright.” I hit accept. A giant banner falls across the screen. “HAPPY NEW YEAR!” it says. There is a little party hat, crooked, on the “R”.

“What now?” I ask.

“Well, now it will happen.”

I frown. “What do you mean it will happen?”

M smiles. “A bunch of programmers computerized the book of fate. You know, like your destiny. So, they can change it so you actually have to fulfill your resolution.”

I laugh. “Bullshit.”

He shrugs. “Can’t hurt.”

M dashes off to take a shot of vodka with some friends. I light a cigarette by the window. The ash is long and the cherry low when my phone buzzes. An email.

From: admin@bookoffate.com

Dear valued customer,

A malfunction has occurred in our system. Your resolution has been randomly applied from the pool of our contributors, apologies.

Please click below to find your new, new year’s resolution.

Happy new year,

The Book of Fate Team

M walks in. He lights a cigarette. I turn my phone to him.

“M, what is this?”

He reads it with his cigarette half out his mouth.

“What?” he says.

“What do you mean what?”

“What’s wrong?”

“I got someone else’s new year’s resolution.”

“Did you click the link?”

“No.”

“Click it.”

I click the link in the email. It takes a minute to load. A white page with a line of text shows up.

Dear Valued Customer, you have been assigned the New Year’s resolution of Margaret Yards of Newcastle, England. As follows: I will talk to my Gran more. Happy New Year!

I turn the phone to M.

He shrugs. “What’s wrong with that?”

“It wasn’t my resolution!”

“Don’t you like your grandmother?”

“What? Of course, I do, that’s not the point! I—“

My phone buzzes. I look down.

Gma Calling…

I turn it to M. I try to make my best incredulous face. Eyes wide, jaw slacked. M smiles. He reaches over and pulls a bit of confetti from my hair. He tosses it out the window.

“You better get that,” he says, “don’t want to mess with fate.”