Thursday, February 4, 2010

Love Calculator

No one could remember who invented it or why. No one questioned the results. Everyone, on their 28th birthday, simply registered their name with the Regional Counselor. Then they waited for the red card that would arrive by transport at an unknown date in the future. The card would have the official seal of the Love Calculator and inside would be a life partner's name.

Li Ving had received her card a week ago, at the age of 29 years and 2 months. It was the average wait. The name inside was Cho Zen. Per the process, they would meet in a week and begin to plan their Commitment Ceremony. The ceremony itself is traditionally held one year to the date of the Calculated response. It was suppose to be an exciting time for both of them.

But Li was having difficulties coming to terms with Cho Zen. She told other's her tears were joyful ones and her distractedness was daydreaming. The truth was she assumed Chew Zing would be her life partner. No one else made her smile as often, laugh as hard, feel as beautiful, and well enjoy life as much as she did. She wondered how Cho Zen could be a better match. But who was she to question a system that had been successful for thousands of years?

A week later, Li met Cho at the local Commitment Chamber. She learned he was a business man from the far north who was fastidious about order. She wondered how the mess of her art would affect each of them. He was conservative. She remembered joking with Chew that she could never commit to someone who couldn't see new possibilities. He was also pessimistic, planning for the worst scenario instead of expecting the best. It meant the planning process left her doubting the results even more.

Still, she questioned who she was not to believe in her future. She was nobody and she knew it. She met with Cho every other week for three months, each time feeling she must be mentally ill. It was after her last meeting when Cho made it clear that they would be living in the north that she told Chew that she could not see him anymore. It was simply to painful to know she would be leaving him.

Cho was alarmed. Li had changed so much over the last few months. She had never acted like she was depressed before. He realized that his support of Li's upcoming Commitment Ceremony was only surface deep. He was hurting as well. Cho did not accept her choice to struggle through the process alone. He questioned her to no end. Finally, she broke down and disclosed how the process was making her feel.

*** I'm sorry. I know where I want to go with this, but simply can't get there. So, I am leaving it as is. Just pretend she is the first to buck the system. I don't know if it would end happily or not. Generally I see Li and Cho running away together, but being forced to live very isolated from society at large. ***

1 comment:

  1. I like how this starts.
    It could be quite the short story.

    In your post script you say she runs away with Cho or do you mean Chew? I could see either happening in the end.