Sometimes, first meetings aren’t face to face. In fact, Jerrika Harper and Delmar Washington connect over the phone, and don’t actually meet face to face for several days.
The phone rang on the other end, sounding tinny in his ear. Staring at his computer screen, which was doing something he knew it shouldn’t be, he waited.
“Tech support, Jerrika speaking, how may I help you?”
“Hi, this is Delmar, Fifth Floor.”
“Hello, Delmar Fifth Floor. What seems to be your trouble?”
Her voice was bright and sparkly, somehow lightening the load he had on his shoulders.
“I’m hoping you can tell me. I’m staring at a black screen. Before you ask, yes, it’s all plugged in, the monitor is on, I’ve turned it off and on again, and it’s still black.”
“Hmm. Is there a cursor blinking?”
“So, we know it’s operational. Did you recently download anything?”
“You think it’s a virus?”
“Could be. Did you?”
“Just some files for a client.”
He heard keys clicking rapidly.
More keys clicked. Jerrika whistled. “Wow, Delmar. Do you ever clear out your inbox?”
“I thought I did. Why?”
“You’ve got over two thousand old e-mails here, love. Want I should purge this?”
“You can do that?”
“I am an Tech Goddess, I am omnipresent and omnipotent.”
“But are you omniscient? Because that’s my favorite.”
She giggled. “Only on Friday. You’re in luck! This might take a minute.”
He could still hear her breathing, and the sound of keys clicking, so he knew she hadn’t hung up. As he watched, his screen blinked blue, black and came back on.
“Whoa! What did you do?”
“I have solved your problem. The most recent e-mails are in a file marked Recent. The ones which were less than a month old are now in a file marked 30 days or less. I did a quick check of the spam folder, threw it all away, and cleared your deleted files. The rest you’ll have to decide about. I didn’t want to purge anything important.”
“Damn, girl! Will you marry me?”
“That’s just the relief talking.”
“True. But how can I thank you? That was amazing.”
“I’m fond of chocolate chip cookies,” she teased.
“I’ll send you some.”
There was a surprised pause. “You really would, wouldn’t you?”
“You bet. Hey, better yet, I’ll get you a gift card to Lucille’s Bakery on Sixteenth. They make the best chocolate chip cookies in the city. What’s your e-mail?”
“Jerrika Harper. That’s spelled J-E-R-R-I-K-A.” It wasn’t necessary to give the rest, they worked for Crossfire Sporting Goods, which had its own server.
His turn to tap keys.
“Oh, my God, you really did!”
“I was serious about that thank you. You have no idea how much I have to do before I can go home. You’re a life saver.”
“I live but to serve. Anything else I can help you with?”
“I’d love for you to keep talking to me, you have a beautiful voice.”
“Why, thank you. You’ve got a very nice voice, yourself. But if you’re that busy, I’ll distract you.”
“Also true. Much as I’d love to keep chatting, I gotta go. Thanks again.”
“You bet. That’s what I’m here for. Keep your e-mail cleared out,” she admonished playfully.
“Never gonna happen.”
Laughing, they said goodbye and hung up.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes