In a fairly clean bubble tea shop on Southwell Street in Brentwood City, a stunning young woman, who had a pair of sunglasses and bright lipstick on, threw her sun hat on the glass table and said sternly to the young man in front of her, “Christopher Yard, let’s break up!”
“Break up?” The man who went by Christopher immediately froze as he heard what the woman said and only came to his senses after some time before asking, “Why?”
“Why?” With a sneer, Tina Jones repeated what Christopher said sarcastically, “You have no car, no house, and no savings! How dare someone like you—who has nothing to your name—ask me why? Christopher, don’t you think this is ridiculous enough? A penniless wretch like yourself doesn’t deserve to have a girlfriend!”
After saying this, Tina pushed the sunglasses up the bridge of her nose again, and then continued, “I won't bother to waste any more of my time with you. Now, tell me—how are you going to compensate me?”
“Compensate?” Christopher asked with a confused expression.
“What do you think?” Tina squinted at Christopher and said, “I’ve been dating you for the past three years. Those are three years of my youth wasted on a good-for-nothing like you! Don’t you think I need some form of compensation? Or are you trying to run away from it? Huh?!”
“Stop trying to explain yourself.” Immediately, Tina interrupted Christopher’s sentence and stretched out her palm before asking, “Where’s my stuff?”
“W-What stuff?” Christopher fell into confusion once again.
“You told me you were going to buy me a Louis Vuitton handbag! So, where is it?” Tina raised her tone and continued, “I remember you said clearly that when you get your salary this month and save up to 20,000, you’d get me a designer bag. Well, today is the 15th, so it’s the day you get your salary!”
“Are you trying to get away with it?” As soon as this thought crossed her mind, Tina got even more worked up and said almost screamingly, “Let me tell you something—if you don’t get me the bag that you’ve promised, you’ll never hear the end of it!”
Louis Vuitton bag… Louis Vuitton bag? Suddenly, Christopher began to find this funny. The last thing he would have expected was for this woman to use up the last bit of his value before breaking up with him. I must have been blind in college to have fallen in love with someone like this, Christopher thought to himself. Designer bag, huh? Sure thing! From now on, we won’t have anything to do with each other anymore.
After a moment of silence, Christopher brought out the exquisitely crafted pink designer satchel from under the round table. Seeing that, Tina snatched the bag over at once and glared at Christopher while saying, “This is what you owe me!” As soon as she said that, she immediately left without even turning to look back.
It was the 27th of June, in the year 2016. Christopher was broken up with and kicked away like nothing by his girlfriend that he had devoted all his time and money. In addition to the sadness and pain, surprisingly, he also felt some relief—as if he was now able to put down some baggage he had been burdened with for a long time. Perhaps, the breakup was the right thing for him after all.
At night, Christopher came back to his rental room around 11 o’clock. After eating a bowl of instant noodles and taking a quick shower, he immediately dozed off on his bed.
Well, whether it was a disappointment or a fortunate occurrence, such was life. One would never know what would happen in the next second and one most definitely should not be too focused on the past. Instead, one should look forward—in fact, one can only look forward.
Deep in the night, the sky was full of stars. At this point, Christopher was completely knocked out, but it was at this exact time…
Buzz! Buzz! Buzz! His phone, which he had previously turned off, suddenly vibrated—a ghostly blue light shone from the screen, lighting up the room.
The next morning, Christopher was woken up by the sunlight that shone through his window and beamed on his face, causing him to squint and subconsciously block the ray of sunshine with his arms. At once, he sat up from his bed.
After a night of rearranging his emotions, Christopher seemed to have calmed down a lot. Although he was not yet able to move on from the sorrows of his broken love, he no longer had the depressing emotions from yesterday. After freshening up, he walked downstairs and headed to the bus stop.
It was probably too early so there was basically no one on the bus. Sitting by the window seat, Christoper turned on his phone and habitually went onto Twitter.
“Married couple Y allegedly divorced secretly?”
“Young celebrity W hooking up in Canada?”
“A Chinese-Korean couple have allegedly broken up?”
Looking at the topics on the trending search list, Christopher was speechless for a while and mumbled to himself, “How unscrupulous can these marketing accounts be! Always updating these good-for-nothing gossip topics… Can’t they include something that brings more positive energy? They’re the ones to blame for the current internet environment being so toxic and hostile!”
Saying that, Christopher shook his head helplessly and kept his phone away before closing his eyes to get some rest. However, just then, his attention fell on a new setting that he had never seen before on the upper right corner of his Twitter app.
“Thumbs-Up System?” Christopher was puzzled. “What is this? Is this Twitter’s newly developed feature?”
Curiosity took over Christopher—in the next second, he tapped onto the icon with his thumb.
As soon as his thumb came into contact with the screen—whoosh—a whooshing sound that seemed to come from a blower rang in his head. Just then, he felt as if the world was turning upside down and inside out; he also felt as if his sense of smell and hearing had completely disappeared for a brief moment. While he was still in a daze, he seemed to have heard a robotic voice saying something mechanical that he didn’t seem to recognize.
“Host selected. System binding! Host selected. System binding!”
Host? System? What the hell? Christopher felt really confused—what could have happened? It took him over ten minutes to come back to his senses from the ridiculous situation.
“What the hell happened?” After finally coming back to his senses, Christopher shook his head vigorously and muttered to himself, “Wait, could it be that I didn’t eat breakfast in the morning and had hallucinations from hypoglycemia? But this doesn’t make sense!”
Looking down on the interface of Twitter again, he found that the familiar interface has changed.
“Lucky Draw System? Thumbs-Up Online Mall?” As he saw those texts on his screen, Christopher frowned deeply. “Now, what on earth is this?”
“For every 100 thumbs-up spent, you will obtain an opportunity to draw a lottery?” While Christopher was figuring out the introduction of the lottery system, his brows furrowed even deeper. “Is this an April fools’ joke? But I doubt Twitter’s employees would go this far for a joke, though!”
“Well, should I just give it a try?” For some reason, as Christopher blinked, he tapped on the ‘spin’ button with a shake of his finger.
With the pointer turning at the upper right corner of the Twitter interface, Christopher’s total number of 321 likes had decreased to 221. At the same time, the golden roulette was also divided into one small and four large areas—five in total. The roulette wheel also showed some text options accordingly.
‘Fire Skill’, ‘Knife Skills’, ‘Tasting Skills’ and ‘Choosing Skills’. These words in the four large areas remained the same, but the smallest area was constantly changing to different words—the texts in the smallest area were changing too quickly and Christopher wasn’t able to make them out at all.