I am more than a pretty screen

On the occasion of Valentine's Day, the author makes us laugh with a parody of modern love.

Juan Ignacio Izquierdo Hübner-February 14, 2022-Reading time: 3 minutes
mobile valentine's day

I am sometimes envious when I see executives in suits prowling the street with an iPhone in front of them. That device can serve as an accessory that ennobles the presence, like a ring; or it can dissipate the embarrassment of the idler exposed to the public, like a cloak of invisibility. I, on the other hand, have a modest Huawei with 3 or 4 years of use, choked with an operating system that has been updated several times and that won't let me download WhatsApp videos because of the little memory it has left.

It was a sunny Valentine's Day morning. I was rushing off to the University while checking a message (a measly "haha"), when my cell phone fell to the ground. It landed on the side required by Murphy's law and shattered its screen. Fixing that, as you know, is almost as expensive as buying a new device; and the budget of a student like me can be severely resented with an unforeseen event of that caliber, so I was left hesitating whether to change it or wait. In the end I settled the matter with a vague but reassuring "I'll decide tomorrow".

That night I had a strange dream. I woke up in the darkness of the room with the urge to check the damage to my cell phone: I stretched out my arm to pick it up from the bedside table and hold it before my eyes. I would press the button on the side to turn it on, and then I would discover something unheard of: it had recovered, the glass was smooth again, shiny, like new! 

Then the dream got worse: the cell phone unlocked and the notes app opened by itself. I panicked: I tried to turn it off, it didn't respond; I thought about throwing it out the window, but curiosity held me back. I sat on the edge of the bed, resting my elbows on my knees, and squinted to follow the stream of words that were running across the screen: 

- Hi, Juan Ignacio, it's Wuawi... Happy Valentine's Day! I've been wanting to ask you something for years: Do you love me? 

I choked and coughed - what an impertinence! But I soon recovered and went back to reading.

- Because love manifests itself in deeds, you know? For example, when will you buy me a new case? Don't tell me you can't find one, there are now more stores for cell phones than pharmacies for humans. Besides, street vendors in the big cities have long since stopped offering souvenirs I have been able to get rid of tourists in order to dedicate myself to the much more lucrative business, of course, of gifts for my family... except when it rains, then umbrellas sprout like mushrooms. Yeah, yeah, don't play dumb.

I kept reading with wide eyes, like a rabbit dazzled by the headlights of a car.

- As for your strategy to unlock my screen, you are not very creative: after 3 years of swiping and swiping drawing the Z of Zorro with your finger, don't you think it would be smarter to vary the route? Anyone who steals from me will be able to see... no longer a small trace on the glass, but a whole groove you have dug for me! It's just that you're... yes, yes, keep reading, I'm not finished!

I stopped reading. So many strokes in a short time had made me dizzy. Why put up with this? I tapped the screen, the keyboard popped up and interjected a few words, "Don't worry, I'll change you and you can rest." 

- What are you saying, hey, have a little patience with me; Juanito (can I call you that?), don't be alarmed... it's not all criticism, I also want to thank you. For example, I feel safe in your pocket, do you remember the day we were on the bus and a lady shouted saying she had been robbed? Your first reaction was to check if I was still with you and only then did you check your back pocket to feel Wallet. Thanks for making me feel special.

That comforted me.

- I also like your gifts. While many friends are being tied to the end of a stick to be mercilessly exposed to the cold (with an instrument of torture they call "selfie stick"You gave me a beautiful metal plate to decorate my back, which also turned out to be perfect to anchor me on the heating grill of the car with a magnet. I love that wind massage, and even more that we can chat face to face on the road, like friends.

Then I laughed... but she said a few concluding words and then shut down:

- I know you well, Juani, and you need me. Despite my programmed obsolescence, I also want to continue with you. Just remember these two or three things I ask of you. I woke up, this time for real. I turned on the bedside lamp, jumped out of bed to check the integrity of my cell phone and saw with paradoxical relief that the crack in the screen was still there. However, it was true that I had been negligent with Wuawi: the Z on the glass and the rusty casing gave me away. And she's been good to me, I told myself. I smiled with glimpses of melancholy and, suddenly - I trust you won't take this as cheesyI had the intriguing feeling that the cut in the glass was the drawing of a heart. That helped me decide.

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