Joe had half-expected the app to retroactively give him every notification that had been suppressed by the Mute setting over the past few days. No such thing happened. He was sure that the app had kept plus-one’ing them in its list, nontheless.
Joe sent Claire another text, adding a thought he had forgot to mention before.
Sent +1. Back to normal. Joe wished that this didn’t have to be “normal”. He was still puzzled about why he’d be selected to be able to configure the app and also mute it if he wanted. What were the watchers up to? Were they giving him some kind of choice? He once again thought of the omniscient God granting humans free will.
Claire responded. “so these things are real… i went outside and looked everywhere, nothing!”
Joe was thankful she didn’t have to live with this curse.
Buzz. “HOW did watch do that to your eyes? when?? that’s insane! do they still hurt?”
Joe explained to Claire that there was still a little itchiness but he was okay. Sent +1. Joe also wondered when Watch had “installed” the eye hack. He tried to recall when his eyes had first started to permanently itch. Right before his grandmother’s funeral. Any major surgery would have scars and bruising associated with it afterwards. Joe had only experienced the uncomfortable itching (and the seering pain from the upgrade). He marveled at the eerily effective yet invasive technology.
Joe brought up his texting app. “What is Widen?” He stared at what he wrote and waited.
“Watching you +4; and your family 444 [Ok] [Go to Stats app]”
“****,” Joe said. Had he cursed his father as well by enabling that setting?
Joe couldn’t keep the idea off his mind. He grabbed his car keys.
He stepped outside. He stopped dead in his tracks halfway to his car at what he saw on the sidewalk.
It was the latter part of dusk. The sky was navy blue, with dim remnants of the setting sun to the west. Joe saw a woman walking on the sidewalk at the edge of his front lawn. A drone from above was emitting a bright translucent halo of white light around her. It coalesced from the electric pink light at the bottom of the drone into a wide cone ending on the sidewalk below her feet. The drone and its light followed her with silent purpose.
Joe blinked. He almost said something to her. He kept his mouth shut. Joe looked down at the ground.
There was a halo of light around him as well.
Joe got into his car and drove to his father’s house. Driven +1.