Not sure yet where I am going to go with this one…
“Your new phone is installed Mrs. Wellworth,” the technician’s voice was clear and pleasant. Jane’s eyes fluttered open. She was expecting pain but there was none. She had a moment of dizziness as she looked through her new eyes and observed the world through a lens that now carried options in the peripherals. They drew her gaze like an eyelash stuck in the corner of her eyes.
“Now it’s normal that your body may take some time to adjust. You may feel an itching or tingling sensation from time to time.” the tech explained. “As stated in your training program, we recommend no driving or operating heavy equipment for at least two weeks. You may also want to refrain from high sensory input such as extreme sports or crowded areas for a short period. If you hear any persistent ringing in your ears, come back in to see us. Do you have someone to drive you home?”
“My husband is coming but I’m sure he is not here yet.” Jane went to look at her watch and realized it was unnecessary. The time was right there in the bottom left of her vision. “We didn’t think it would be so fast.”
“You can wait as long as you like in our lounge. One of our sales team can assist you if you need any help.” She pointed toward the partition wall and the door that led to the main floor. The girl was polite but obviously ready to move on to the next customer. Her lab coat made her look like a person of medicine but her job was a numbers game that ran on commission.
Jane stood, swayed, and then walked slowly out to the atrium. She knew certain apps came automatically downloaded including one called, “Wall to Wallpaper”. She twitched her vision to her left and focused on the playbook icon. Although she could see through the options, she still felt a wave of vertigo at the duel images sent to her brain and sat quickly in the nearest chair. She opened Wall to Wall and clicked/focused on the first icon she saw. Its title was Japanese Garden. She watched the small spinning rainbow wheel for a second or two and then her breath caught.
The entire room lit up from the bright outdoor sun. The customers, who had previously been sitting in orange plastic on metal chairs, now rested on thick wooden benches. At the farthest end of the room, a waterfall cascaded in silent awe, churning the water below it into thick foam before it flowed out through the room. Cherry Blossoms swayed in a breeze that Jane could neither feel nor hear. One of the sales reps walked by and even as she crossed the river flowing through the center of the floor, a tiny bridge began to form in front of her feet making the illusion more real than ever.
The sales clerk looked Jane’s way. “New to I-Vision” he asked.
“Yes,” she responded a little breathlessly. She could not stop smiling. She thought she must look like the world’s biggest fool but right now, she could care less. She was just so happy. It was just so beautiful.
“And this is only the beginning,” the man said as if reading her mind. “Wait until you try the games.”
“Huh” she asked staring as a teenager walked through a patch of Red Camellia flowers to show his mother a demo model. “Oh well, I’m not one for games. I think I mostly wanted the video stuff. Can you tell me how to take a picture?”
“Sure,” the man said. He asked Jane to look at her apps icon again and then gave her instruction on how to put her camera on the main page. He also had her switch her wallpaper to a customer favorite called, “Cabana”. Clear blue and green water stretched out before her. A sun-weathered deck with rope railings led toward a group of straw huts on stilts in the clear ocean. People from the waiting room were now sitting on floating porches or hung in hammocks attached to palm trees resting in pots above the water.
“How do I adjust the volume,” she asked and he shocked her by reaching to touch her cheek.
“It’s here,” he explained when he saw her flinch, “just in front of your ear.” His thumb brushed upward gently against the skin just in front of her earlobe. Gooseflesh prickled her arms. She blushed.
Noise slowly entered her world but not as she had ever experienced it before. It didn’t come from her ears but from somewhere inside her head. It was more a knowing feeling.
“Whoa,” she said and the salesman (boy) grinned.
“I know, right? You’ll be surprised how quickly you get used to it.”
It was like having sound telepathy. She sensed she was experiencing the slap of the waves rhythmically drumming on the deck or the whisper of the breeze but she did not receive this information through her ears. A Seagull cried out and Jane’s brain computed, not only the bird’s shriek, but also the distance and direction it came through as well. Yet somehow, she also knew she had not heard it. The information was just there, in her memory, like… “Sound telepathy,” she said aloud this time.
“That’s one way to put it,” he said, “would you excuse me please.” The dealer rushed off toward a couple looking over one of the more expensive implant models like Jane now had. Just then, her husband walked in.
“Well?” Ron raised an eyebrow and grinned. “Am I the greatest husband in the world?”
“Oh my God, Yes. This is the best Birthday gift ever!” Jane jumped into his arms for a hug.