My Family on Facebook

My Family on Facebook

It wasn’t normal for her to be in one of these internet cafes, sure they were popping up everywhere, a thing from Europe apparently, but they weren’t her style. She was more a library kind of girl, or a from home kind of girl, if she was being completely honest. But the power was out at home, and it being a Monday the library was closed, so here she was, paying for the use of a computer with internet access. And why? That was the kicker, because she was bored.

She’d been in her apartment reading, a favorite pastime, knowing the power would be out at some point that day, and having already opened all the windows to keep the place from getting too hot, when there was suddenly a very loud and very unignorable sound which turned out to be a generator followed by an even worse noise, the cacophony of a jackhammer. At least they’re fixing that pothole, she thought as she put a slip of paper in the book to mark her spot.

Now what?

The options were limitless, really, living in a city as she did, but the power wouldn’t just be going out for her, it would affect much of her neighborhood. She could grab her book and head over the city park, that’d be far enough away from the jackhammer and the power situation would be irrelevant, it was a beautiful day after all, and she could use bit more vitamin D. But something about being interrupted had made her restless. Something about not being able to use her computer or the internet made her suddenly desperate to do so.

First things first, she thought, she had to get away from that noise. She grabbed a bag and shoved her book in, just in case. She also grabbed her water and keys, wallet and sunglasses. Slipping her sandals on at the door, out she went. A walk would help her settle her nerves and she’d be all ready for a good read by the time she got to the park.

It was only as she passed the coffee shop that she realized she was hungry. A coffee and a pastry for lunch would be just what she needed to get herself back on track and enjoying her day off. She debated briefly between a croissant and an eclaire but went with the croissant as she was feeling a bit touristy and thought dunking it in a large cup of coffee with milk would feel inspired. Taking her purchases outside to a bistro table and setting her book off to the side really completed the feeling, and she began dunking, nibbling, sipping. Fabulous.

It was about the time she was finishing her snack that she noticed the book store was gone, replaced by something that appeared to be a travel agency, a giant globe decal on the front window. She wiped a few crumbs from her lap, put her book back in her bag, and walked across the street. How disappointing, another book store gone. It was then she realized it wasn’t a travel agency at all but an internet cafe. She hadn’t seen one of these in ages, not since she went backpacking through Italy and they were all the rage.

On a whim, she went inside, paid her few dollars, and found the work station she’d been assigned. She had ten minutes. Whatever would she do for ten minutes on a computer that she couldn’t do on her smart phone? Unable to think of anything novel she logged in to Facebook. Scrolling through the many memes, pictures of lunches, and complaints about work she stumbled upon a face that looked terribly familiar.

There in the “people you may know” Facebook was trying to get her to befriend her grandmother, which would have been fine, nice really, except that her grandmother had died a few years ago and wouldn’t know the first thing about how to operate Facebook even if she wasn’t sitting on her mothers mantle, dust in a vase. What the hell, she thought to herself.

The picture was a bit grainy, as though it had been blown up too large, and it had, in fact, she recognized the picture as one that her mother had used as a profile pic once, but her mother was no longer in it. My mother has been hacked! she thought, before realizing the name associated with the photo was very much her grandmother’s.

Grabbing her phone from the desk she called her mom, she’d know what to do, mom always knew what to do, even though she probably wouldn’t know what to do here, I mean, what did her mom even know about Facebook aside from how to login and comment on people’s pictures. Even that was sometimes not so cut and dried as her mother would occasionally say things that were meant for a private message, but she clearly didn’t realize the difference or didn’t understand how to create one over the other. At any rate, the phone was ringing and then it wasn’t, only instead of a “hello” she was greeted with the familiar voice and spiel about leaving a message.

“Hey mom, so…just call me back…I think Grandma’s on Facebook.”

She hung up, instantly regretting having left a message at all.

What to do?

Unsure of herself, but knowing she had to do something, she clicked the little box, electronically sending a friend request to her dead grandmother.

Well, she thought, the day has certainly turned around.

This #writethirtyminutes session was prompted very loosely from “A Year of Writing Prompts” by Writer’s Digest, available here

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