Tech Support (March 2019, Week 2, Day 1)
She landed heavily in the chair after her fourth trip around the cramped apartment.
“Ok, Walker – just DO this already.” Addie shook her head. “And stop talking to yourself, for peet’s sake.”
Addie opened her laptop and waited for the machine to come to life. It hummed for a moment before its lights went out and the screen went blank. “Are you kidding me? Now?”
Muttering to herself, Addie went about the routine business of fiddling with the cables and slammed the laptop closed before opening it again.
“I only need you to work for, like, five minutes. Maybe ten. Then you can do whatever Satanic updating rituals you only seem to think you need WHEN I HAVE SOMETHING IMPORTANT TO DO!” The computer hummed again and seemed to come to life.
“Hey – you ok?”
Addie closed her eyes. “Not now, Arlin.”
“It just sounded like you were fighting with someone, and-”
“Not. Now. Arlin.” Addie turned around and glared at her roommate, her frustration serving as a nice cover for her embarrasment.
“Fine. Whatever.” Arlin slid down into a squat against the wall.
“Really? You’re going to- Urgh!” Addie stomped her foot before turning back to her computer. “AAARGH!”
“Sounds like you’re fighting with the computer.”
“No, Arlin. I’m fighting with my dear Aunt Sally.”
Arlin stood up and looked around the room. “I don’t see anyone here besides the two of us.”
Addie pressed both of her hands down on the top of her head. “Arlin, you don’t need to be SO literal.”
“So you are fighting with your computer?”
“Do you want me to fix it?”
Addie let her hands fall down to her sides. She gave Arlin a long look. He hadn’t been her pick to live with in the first place. If she’d had it her way she would have ended up with a place of her own. Being forced to share quarters with someone as challenging as Arlin was not how she’d envisioned her start in the real world. If he became unexpectedly useful that could make up for a lot. “Do you know how to fix it?”
“I’m good with computers.” When Addie gave him a look he grinned and said, “better than with people.”
“Fair enough. If you can get the damn thing to turn on and stay on long enough for me to send an email I’ll be in your debt.” Addie backed away from the computer.
Arlin gave a curt nod before becoming absorbed with the machine. Addie found herself mesmerized by his hands and how they explored the machine and pressed buttons in seemingly random patterns. She only used the computer for it’s barest capabilities so didn’t do much beyond powering it on and typing an email here and there.
“What do you think is wrong?” Addie had drifted back to the desk, too curious to stay on the other side of the room.
Arlin didn’t answer. He held up his left hand, palm almost in Addie’s face, as he pressed one final key combination with his right.