Jenny sat, tapping her fingers to keep from biting her nails. She was having trouble concentrating. She was having trouble being here and now, in this hot vinyl booth in the retro burger joint. The overlay contacts in Jenny’s eyes flashed red, all manner of cautionary metadata and concerned messages from her always networked friends streamed before her eyes. She could barely see through all the blinking, as the computers in her shoes fed info and communication in real time.
“Shit,” Jenny said, as a haptic tingle informed her that one of her parents had pulled her feed. It took five seconds of stillness before the message came. Like a cruise ship crashing through sail boats came all caps text from Mom. All the other streams shrunk and minimized before the alpha priority of parental communication.
YOUNG LADY, WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING???
Jenny thought about responding, had no idea what she could possibly say.
I WANT YOU TO GET UP AND LEAVE THAT PLACE RIGHT NOW.
Jenny bit her lips together, scared now. Robby lowered his head. He didn’t have to ping for information about her surging heart rate, even without being privy to the conversation he understood.
“Jenny…” he said. She was about to respond before being derailed by.
JENNIFER GENE DELANCY I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING AND YOU WILL COME HOME AT ONCE!
“I should just go.” He said as he gathered up his things and stood.
“No.” Jenny said. Slowly, as slowly as people ever did the inconceivable Jenny reached up and removed the contacts. She didn’t care about the warning tags, the negative reviews and other demerit marks that floated like shifting currents about Robby when she was wearing the overlay. She didn’t care about the admonishing of her friends. Jenny didn’t even care about what would happen when she got home.
Jenny rose and kissed Robby with as much force as she could. Caps messages and moms be damned.