I didn’t mean to. Really, I didn’t. I was just day dreaming. That’s all.
I guess it doesn’t matter now. Since it is real. Transparency isn’t what it's cracked up to be.
Nobody should know everything about someone else. Heck, nobody should even know everything about themselves.
I did not.
And it cost me.
It started with Alexa. Then the 2nd generation algorithm could not only hear you and respond to your request, but also anticipate your request. By the third generation, well, you were more predictable than the scores on a Calculus test given to a bunch of pre-school children. By the Fourth generation…well, AI’s actually read your thoughts.
It was a small step from there to telepathy. Sure, at first it was “Computer Assisted.” Which was a misnomer, as it was actually Artificial Intelligence assisted. But it worked. All the guess work was out of relationships. No longer could you hide any feelings from anyone else. Nor any kinky, lewd, or lascivious thought one might have. A whole slew of new laws and customs had to be invented to keep Society from breaking into male and female compounds, with all the subsets that come with them both. Biology separated from chemistry. Chemistry from genetics. Genetics from emotion. You were, what you thought you were- and that could be anything.
But it lead to “Heart String Theory”…and that led to my demise.
I tugged at the wrong one.
I loved her. When your mind is an open book, so are your desires. I wanted to love her. She wanted to love me. We were matched. Our brain waves were in perfect synchronicity. The problem was simple. It shouldn’t have happened, but it did. For the first time since the discovery of Heart String Theory back in the 22nd Century- when Time was still counted in Years, Months, Days, Hours, Minutes and Seconds- instead of always NOW. Three people, that’s right, three people’s heartstrings matched. Mine, hers, and David’s.
I suppose if she had met me first, and David Second, It might have been a different outcome, for David is a much better person than I am. Kinder. More tolerant. If I am honest, and I have to be…more loving. Not an ounce of jealousy in his body, mind, or soul.
She loved us both. She had to. Her heart string hummed and strummed for both of us. She was pure harmony.
Dreams and wishes should never be outside the boundaries of your own mind. For so many of them would shock the folks around you. You can’t fantasize about a different lover, future, or career, when everyone can read your mind. Your heart strings will cause sympathetic harmony (or disharmony) in everyone around you. Like attracts like…and liking that, attracts even more. You bring into your life all the loving people who’s Heart String hums when you are around. Like hers, and Davids.
I didn’t mean it. I would have never done it on purpose. Had I thought about it, well, someone would have stopped me. It was just too quick. Sure, I helped find a loophole in Heart String Theory…one that opened up an entire new Field. Atonal Heart Strings. I was the first. I could skip Harmony for my own wishes. And I did.
I will never forget the look on her face. I saw David and her holding hands on a park bench. I saw both of them let go to wave me over with big smiles on their faces. Faces lit up with the joy of meeting a syncopated Heart String in perfect Harmony. I smiled back. But I thought, for only a second…I swear it was only a second. No matter. It was long enough.
“Go to Hell, David. She’s mine.”
That’s all it took. David melted in a mental pool of complete anguish. In a single second I had ripped not only her love for him, but mine too. His mind shattered. Her’s was only a step behind. Then she too, collapsed in a series of popping Heart Strings. I dropped to my knees and started to cry.
I wear a helmet now. I can’t participate in life. No longer can I stay in NOW with everyone else. Her and David were slowly rebuilt - like you would restore an old piano. All their Heart Strings in place. I see them now and again, in that very same park. They see my helmet and give me a wide berth. I wave. David gives me a slight nod. She gives me the saddest smile absent of all judgement and filled with pity. I don’t know what she is thinking.
I don’t know what anyone is thinking.
The Helmet makes sure of that.
In all the World, I am the only person left that needs a remote.
No one knows what I think, what I want, what I dream about, or what I wish.
I am disconnected. Like a smartphone with a dead battery. I can’t get a signal, or send one.
I thought it would stay that way…until…
It was her. With a helmet on. I must have looked like someone who saw God. Pure joy. Pure awe. Feeling totally unworthy.
She took me by my hand and walked me over to the bench in the Park where I had changed History. I didn’t say a word. I was afraid she wasn’t real. She was.
She took my hands in hers.
“I am going to take your helmet off first. Don’t think. Just listen. I am going to take mine off second. Just listen. Okay?”
I nodded. I hadn’t felt Hope in a long long time. I almost didn’t recognize it when I started feeling it. She unfastened my helmet. I didn’t think anyone could do that. She did. She asked me what I was thinking (her helmet was still on- so I had to say it out loud):
“I am sorry. Truly sorry.”
She smiled. A smile I couldn’t read the thoughts behind.
She reached up and took her helmet off.
I started to cry.
I had never experienced that emotion before…not like this. It was overpowering. It was Forgiveness.
Wave after wave of it restrung me like a finely tuned Piano. We left the helmets on the Park Bench. I didn’t need mine anymore. She only needed hers once.
We held hands as we went to meet David. It was heaven.