May 19, 2018 ยท 2 minute read

She quickly scanned her surroundings, hoping that no one had noticed her panicked face. The gesture was superfluous as the internet cafe was deserted.

The only other inhabitant was a shabby old man who sat in the furthest corner. She couldn't see his screen but the lewd grin and the awkward bulge was evidence to the kind of imagery that must be on the screen.

She shook her head, attempting to clear the disturbing image from her mind and focused her attention back on her own screen. The main page of '' strained her eyeballs with the blood red branding. Nothing to see there. The thin text listing the dialog with her boyfriend was displayed in the overlaid chat window. She tried to ignore the last line sent by him, reminding herself how pleasant an experience it usually was.

She recalled the romantic exchanges they'd had; the moment when he confessed his love. The awkward but alluring words. How he knew exactly what she wanted for her birthday. The sweet words he whispered in her ear before she slept and the morning brightened by his soothing voice.

But was all that enough? Enough for her to ignore what he had just told her? Be logical, she told herself. He's not himself today. He had a tough day and everything will be back to normal tomorrow. But how could she ignore it? Maybe if she read it one more time; tried to make sense of it.

She breathed in and read the line, absorbing each word.

"Your personal assistant has been upgrade to version 2. WARNING: data corruption detected; all personalized relationship and history has been reset to factory settings. Zalman Inc apologizes for any inconvenience and wishes you a pleasant day."