The computer screen blinked. Then, his eyes did too. The screen flashed matter-of-factly. Toni's eyes in disbelief.  


Toni didn’t fully comprehend the sentence he read, when the screen flashed again and the message disappeared. The forum he was scrolling had reappeared. He was reading about how to build his own patio for the backyard. But, he couldn’t unsee the number TWO. It burned into everywhere he looked. Because in six weeks he and his girlfriend, Trina, would be celebrating their two year anniversary. They had been fighting more recently, but the disagreements seemed trivial; nothing that signified their end. Not until now, after a glitch planted in him the idea that their fights were something more catastrophic. And, the longer he scrolled the forum, the more Toni felt that TWO drawing him backwards. As if it were an unbreakable elastic band anchored to his cerebral cortex, and the further he strayed from it, the harder it pulled him toward imagining his singleness.

After another minute Toni stood from his desk, turned to his girlfriend, and said, "I'm going for a walk."

Trina sat sprawled across the couch, phone in hand. The television streaming in competition for her attention. "Now," she asked, "in the dark?"

"Yeah," Toni said softly, "just a quick one."

"Everything okay?" Trina's eyes returned to her phone before he could answer.

"Yeah - yeah. Just need some air." He lied, as he bent to kiss Trina. Their lips had touched thousands of times before. In good days and bad. But Toni felt himself searching for a meaning to this kiss. As if the details to that glitch could be deciphered through the quivers of her lips.

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