Saturday, September 19

Disconnected

art by LORRAINE C. SUAREZ/ THE FLAME

“THE principles of—”

“not—“

“Everyone to—”

Reconnecting.

A familiar purple wheel emerges across the screen. It begins spinning as the voice of my professor fades.

No Internet connection. The screen darkens.

I disable my data and enable it again. Upon refreshing the page, I wait anxiously.

I catch sight of myself on the dark screen. My reflection looks even worse todaythe lines on my face are getting bigger and my frown is getting deeper. 

Why do I look so exhausted?

Reconnecting.

A data warning pops up but I swipe to dismiss it. If I plan well, I will still have enough data to attend tomorrow and pass the needed output.

The loading wheel continues to spin unceasingly. It is mocking me. With its every turn, I feel my patience diminish along with it. I drag the screen to refresh.

Joining Session.

A familiar voice fills the silence and I sigh in relief. As it drones on and on, I find that I am too exhausted to care. It is far easier to space out.

Where has all my enthusiasm gone?

“Share your thoughts—“

“Us—“

“Garcia.”

Reconnecting. The maddening purple icon appears again.

Dread settles into my stomach. With each passing second, I feel it grow. Desperately, I drag downwards the screen again and again.

I do not want to fail.

My pleas must have worked because the screen clears up, and I begin hearing my professor’s commanding tone. He calls me.

“Miss Ocampo, it is your turn.” F MHERYLL GIFFEN L. ALFORTE

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