My mother was pretty tickled when she heard that I had been accepted to Louisiana State University for the upcoming fall semester. Of course, I was also thrilled when my girlfriend, Judy, had been accepted into Pepperdine. Judy was brilliant of course, and was accepted with a fullride.
I did alright myself. LSU offered me a half tuition scholarship, and given the financial position my family was in, I had no room to say no.
But I was starting to get more and more worried about how Judy and I would cope with the long distance relationship. I was worried until I saw an ad in a technology magazine about a pair of bracelets. If one of the bracelets was touched or stroked, the other one would vibrate and glow, no matter where they were in the world. I liked the idea. It seemed like a constant reminder to each other that we were never very far away.
I bought them and gave one to Judy a few weeks before we moved into our dorms, far away.
She looked at her box, smiling, puzzled.
“What is it?”
She pulled it out and studied the creme color band with the silver rectangle.
“If you think it’s nice now-”
I stroked mine and hers vibrated and glowed softly. She gave a soft gasp, stroking hers gently. Mine vibrated and glowed softly in the strange complicated language that the bracelets seemed to share. I grinned. “No matter where you are in the world, I’ll always be with you.”
Whenever I would stroke or tap my bracelet, Judy would always stroke or tap hers back almost immediately.
If I laid in bed at four in the morning, unable to sleep, I would stroke the bracelet softly. Sure enough, within seconds, a faint hummmmmmm and a soft glow would reply. She grew to love her bracelet as much as I, because it reminded us both of the constant, loud and announcing hummmmmmm and the soft glow of knowing that your loved one wasn’t far away.
Soon, everyone who was close to Judy began to associate her with her bracelet. She never took it off. It made the adjustment to college much easier. Sometimes while studying, in class, or in my dorm, I would stroke the bracelet, and the bracelet would always reply.
Of course we still talked and texted and email and, when I was feeling classy, sent letters. But the bracelets would always hummmmmmm within moments of each other.
Until one afternoon, I stroked my bracelet absentmindedly. I paused and waited, but no hummmmmmm or glow replied. I frowned and stroked the bracelet again. Nothing.
I began to frantically google how durable the bracelets were, but all the results and warranties proclaimed that the bracelets were supposed to last a lifetime…and maybe more.
I texted and called and emailed Judy frantically.
After a few hours I called her mother.
She told me, through tears, that Judy had died in a car crash that afternoon. They had suspicions that her bracelet had distracted or startled her while she was driving.
I grew very withdrawn after that, being responsible for the death of my girlfriend. Since there were no laws banning “braceleting and driving,” I wasn’t held legally responsible, which is likely good, since the guilt was enough to kill me before a judge or jury could. Since the bracelet had meant the world to Judy, they buried her with it.
I took mine off and tossed it on the desk in my dorm room, hopefully to be forgotten about.
But sometimes, in the middle of the night, I’m still awoken by a faint glow and a hummmmmmm coming from underneath piles of note cards and chemistry homework on my dorm room desk…….