Title: Soulmate Unit
Summary: In a world of automated living, Love has been calculated, preceded and effortlessly expected. Or is it?
It had been the third time his cellphone rang, right after he entered the company building with the other bustling workers. The ringing tone was something he didn’t set as and the number was unknown. But it was the same caller at 9:14 in the morning with two missed calls until 9:19. For almost three weeks the patterns were almost identical and he opted to visit his mobile provider the soonest to have his new phone checked. He didn’t want to answer his mobile so easily, no matter how many times it rang.
All because it was not a normal circumstance to have an unregistered number calling. With the modernization of telecommunication and internet, all persons living had a distinct code. A number. A serial combinations of digits and alphabets. One person, one code.
And this code calling him was neither of his friends’ nor his family’s. It was nowhere familiar to him to answer it. Business contact? Probably not. Registered codes were official and legit and would serve as an identification for the receiver. He did expect calls from clients and he got them without a hitch and doubt, because advanced technology proved swift and convenient and nothing was amiss when everything was registered and easily viewed.
He once overheard from a co-worker’s story about dangerous men using the same convenient technology to track accounts and overwrite identity, stealing assets and ruining organizations as quickly as within a day. The many times technology was hailed for its improvement, so did hackers, rivals and many more of the underground who got much wiser and thicker. Somehow man and technology were both in harmony and in battle, to see which one was truly “better” in existence and which one had the upper hand.
Nonetheless, despite all that, he was a modern man with modern needs and he won’t go away from not using the what was easy and quick. He got himself a new phone… but probably needed replacement if it didn’t stop ringing oddly, receiving suspicious callers at the end of the line. So he did visit the techno-store during his next day off, coming up to the store clerk to tell his problem. Instead of replacement, he got himself a different kind of information entirely.
“…But, sir, what you got there is the newest unit of Soulmate. Product number XXVIII.05.1-990-M.A.Y. — it’s the latest mobile design for users to find their lovers even before they know them.”
He almost dropped his cup of coffee at the glass table, “Say what?” He adjusted his glasses to stare at his phone, inspecting it closely for the first time after he bought it.
“And the unregistered number you have been receiving indicates that your lover” is nearby – a meter, perhaps within two or three – and is experiencing the same thing… provided they have the Soulmate unit too.”
He was an inexperienced man of twenty-four, still single and living alone. The thought that such small technology like his mobile phone had arranged him a lover even before he knew it made he baffled. Still blatantly interested nonetheless.
“So you’re saying that… my lover works at the same company as I do? Because it rings right after I get inside the doors. And it’d only stop until I was about to take the elevators.”
“Perhaps so, Sir. Soulmate units are never wrong. They are designed to find love easier and dating quicker after all. The unknown call registry is part of the perks of finding your partner personally.”
He left the store grinning ear to ear and his mobile phone untouched and unreplaced.
And so tomorrow was a Monday, start of a new week. Now all freshened up and donning a suit he rarely wore except during important meetings, he stepped into the company’s entrance door and waited with an excited heart in front of the elevators.
His phone rang again — the same unregistered caller… on the same time of the morning again. Determinedly he picked up, without saying anything at first while scanning the vicinity as unsuspiciously as he could.
He spoke a timid, “Hello…?” to see if the caller were to respond.
And just right after he heard a reply on other end, “Who’s this?” was spoken simultaneously through his mobile and from a hurrying man – seemingly a rookie from a different department – just passed by him. The same hurrying man quickly got into the lift, on his own phone and with a wondering expression.
The lift got full quickly and just as the door closed, the caller asked again, “Who’s this?”
He didn’t know what to reply next as he watched agape at the rookie inside the lift and was gone even before he could say anything. The connection was cut off and he almost dropped his own beeping mobile phone on the floor.
He couldn’t believe what just happened: his predicted lover, told and arranged by technology, was decidedly a man!?
To be continued…?