Chapter 44:

Alan Date Introduction: Part 2

New Leaf!

The front door opened and a voice rang out.Bookmark here

“Oi, Alan, hurry it up!”Bookmark here

“Y-Yeah, sorry, Lily.”Bookmark here

I started to walk towards the door to get the other furniture, but Alan stopped me.Bookmark here

“W-Wait, Camryn. Before we get back to work, let’s exchange contact info. You already posted your number in the staff room, but I didn’t get a chance to look yet.”Bookmark here

“Oh, sure.”Bookmark here

I took my phone out of my pocket.Bookmark here

“Oh, you have a Simsang, huh?”Bookmark here

“Huh? Oh, yeah. Do you have a Grapple phone?”Bookmark here

“Yeah… Oh well, it should still work.”Bookmark here

I tilted my head.Bookmark here

“It “should still work”? What do you mean?”Bookmark here

“Oh, well Simsang and Grapple are competing smartphone companies. In order to make people buy their products, they make it so their things are mainly compatible with things within their ecosystem and barely compatible with products of the other.”Bookmark here

Oh, what a smart business strategy. I suppose it can be a little inconvenient, but I don’t think these companies keep that in mind.Bookmark here

“I see…”Bookmark here

“Anyway, please open your contacts app.”Bookmark here

On the home screen, I tapped on the orange icon with a minimal picture of a person… The only thing on the list was a small icon of Ren — he was the only contact I had.Bookmark here

I told Alan my phone number.Bookmark here

“Oh, and look here Camryn.”Bookmark here

I looked up and saw Alan holding his phone in front of his face.Bookmark here

“Say ‘cheese.’”Bookmark here

“Huh? C-Cheese…”Bookmark here

I was surprised when a click sound came from his phone. But I was even more surprised when a bright light flashed in front of my eyes.Bookmark here

“Huh? A-Alan?”Bookmark here

“Sorry, I had the flash on.”Bookmark here

“Oh? D-Did you take a picture of me?”Bookmark here

“Yeah… You know, it makes it easier to identify people on my contact list…”Bookmark here

Alan took his eyes off his phone and looked at me. His regular expression was replaced with one full of concern.Bookmark here

“C-Camryn? Are you okay?”Bookmark here

I wasn’t… My eyes were downcast… I was sweating… My heart was beating quicker… My legs were slightly trembling… I… I don’t like getting my picture taken.Bookmark here

“N-No…”Bookmark here

“Oh… What’s wro-”Bookmark here

“Eh, s-sorry. N-No, I was just mumbling to myself… Yeah, I’m absolutely fine.”Bookmark here

I smiled to try and alleviate Alan’s worry — somehow, compared to my previous smile, this one felt odd…Bookmark here

“Hm? Are you sure?”Bookmark here

Did he sense the oddness?Bookmark here

Alan smiled assuredly.Bookmark here

“You know, as friends, we can tell each other if anything is wrong. And since we’re friends, we forgive each other. That means I won’t mull over it.”Bookmark here

I see…Bookmark here

“S-Sorry, um… I… I don’t really like getting my picture taken…”Bookmark here

“Oh? Sure, that’s fine. I’ll delete the picture and use an avatar…”Bookmark here

“T-Thanks…”Bookmark here

I don’t know what the problem was… Alan and I are friends, so why was I disturbed when he tried taking a picture of me? Was it… Was it because I don’t trust him?.. No, don’t think that way! I think the issue is that I don’t like getting my picture taken in general — I was glad that Ren didn’t ask for my picture when we were exchanging contact info. I think… I think I have a fear that malicious things will be done with a picture of me… And another thing is that… My identity is clear, so other things like my whereabouts can be tracked. But Alan and I are friends, so he would never do anything bad with a photo, right? I trust him! Or maybe the issue is that our friendship isn’t too strong yet… Hm…Bookmark here

“Anyway, you need my info. Just press that plus in the top right corner.”Bookmark here

I did so.Bookmark here

“Okay, so what’s your-”Bookmark here

I was interrupted when Alan tapped something on the back of my phone.Bookmark here

After a few seconds of watching a white light spin in a circle in the center of the screen, the words “Contact Added!” appeared on the bottom. Above Ren’s name was Alan’s, including a small picture of him beside it. Wait, His contact info was added? But why was it there? He didn’t tell me anything. Was it the thing he tapped?Bookmark here

“Woah! Alan, what happened?”Bookmark here

I looked up and saw a white card in Alan’s hand. It was just a bit smaller than my phone.Bookmark here

Alan looked a bit embarrassed.Bookmark here

“Oh, I gave you my contact info…”Bookmark here

“But I didn’t do anything!”Bookmark here

“See, it was this card I tapped on your phone. I thought it would be a bit quicker…”Bookmark here

I leaned towards Alan in excitement.Bookmark here

“Ah, that was so cool!”Bookmark here

“R-Really?”Bookmark here

I nodded.Bookmark here

“Yeah! Alan, please tell me more.”Bookmark here

Alan gasped. Oh, sorry, I’m invading her personal space, aren’t I?Bookmark here

I backed up and Alan nodded.Bookmark here

“Really! Oh, gladly!”Bookmark here

Alan widely again. But instead of his usually welcoming and polite smile, it seemed different — instead, it was a smile filled with excitement.Bookmark here

“You see, it’s something called NFC. That stands for near field-”Bookmark here

“Oi!”Bookmark here

We were interrupted when someone yelled at us from in front of the entrance. It was Elyssa.Bookmark here

“I’ll excuse Camryn because she’s new, but hurry it up! You can geek out over your nerd things after you match the work I’ve been doing to cover for you…”Bookmark here

“S-Sorry.”Bookmark here

When Elyssa left, Alan and I smiled guiltily at each other.Bookmark here

“Sorry, I’ll leave the explanation for later…”Bookmark here

“Yeah…”Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.