ANGELLA AND ANDROID

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Broken Hearted Girl

BROKEN-HEARTED GIRL

1

It was a November Friday, on the night of a farewell beach bash at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). A finalist student of Bachelors of Science in Robotics Engineering (BSRE), Ms. Angella Yingyang, was lying on the couch in her studious hostel apartment to cool her aching heart. She mutely stared at her smartphone WhatsApp messages and pictures uploaded by a group at the evening finalist party organised at Charles River Basin Hotel. The group baptized “GOOD BYE COLLEGE” was sharing amazing selfies and video clips of MIT chicks and hunks having a good time together saying adieu to college.

At around eight in the night, Angella’s boyfriend Ronald Okwalinga hadn’t shown up. The party had begun already. Vexing on the sofa impatiently, she protested across the floor to the balcony facing Charles River Basin Hotel where the event was going on, looking at the barricaded yonder Hotel complex with her twinkling periscopic eyes imagining the fun going on inside. She couldn’t imagine what her closest friends Linda Stresspress and Malia Gates would think of her if she ever misses saying Goodbye to her fellow techies in style.

Leaning on the cold balcony railings she felt the vibration of an incoming call and swiftly pressed her tender hands in the hips pocket of her tight blue jeans shorts and pulled out a slick white flat phone hoping that it was Ronald only to see: Xing Ming calling—from Beijing. It was her cousin. She honestly rejected by swiping the screen and tapped on a for a WhatsApp app and looked for her Ronny. Her polite face was pale and suave.

“P’lse, it’s getting late plus, are you bringing the limo or Hammer?” She typed and pressed sent.

“Hammer, arriving in minutes, sweetheart” Ronny replied

“Have you left Vegas already? Where have you reached now?”

“Ah, still in the ghettos of Nevada; I had a flat tyre, am in a garage” “Seriously???”

“Sure”

“Make me believe” “How possible???”

“Let’s Skype now, want to know where you are”

“Please, please I beg you can you stop loathing in Las Vegas”

After an awkward hold of the flow of conversation, Ronny said:

“Am busy now, but I will call you after fixing it” “Liar,” Angella said. “I hate you right now”

“Screw you,” says Ronny “You think you are the most beautiful girl on earth?” “F**k you too,” Says Angella “You aren’t the only man in the world”

“Never call or text me again, to hell with you!” she added.

“Hahaha asshole” Ronny said and the conversation ended.

Angella tossed her phone on her two seater sofa and modeled like a heroine across the floor and craned her bums on the bathroom counter with her face turned against the mirror. ‘What have I just done?’ she began to ruminate about her messed up evening.

Her throbbing heart was telling her to go all alone, but the thought was perished immediately “how will I look among these proud party animals without a guy?” “Won’t I look stupid and hopeless? I will be the topic during the graduation assembly” and for that, she decided to remain in Chitra hostel which was as quiet as a haunted lone mansion.

Many thoughts crossed Angella’s mind on how to spend the lonely evening. Stress of books was over or and it was one of those right moments to do whatever one had wanted to do, but Angella had nothing to do. She was lonely and pissed with Ronald.

The desperate girl began to re-read the conversation with Ronny and then wondering how it suddenly ended badly. She deleted it together with his number from her phone, blacklisted him and swore never to meet such a stupid man again in her life. She also blocked him on social media. Afterwards, she walked to the dressing mirror, opened her wardrobe and glowered at a glistening-red dress hanging on a hanger. She had just ordered it online with an intension to charm her friends during the party.

She was furious and worried in her face. If she was like other girls, she would do some ameliorating drugs common at Chitra. Particularly, if she was one of her friends, Ms. Linda Stresspress she would have had a shot of heroine that fateful evening but she loathes such.

She simply picked her headphone and went and lay face up on the bed with her head resting on a white pillow. Her tender hands clenched tightly her teddy bear against her embryonic breasts, hoping that she could fall asleep and escape the world, but the more soft music she listened to, the more the thoughts of partying hit her. No one also disturbed her phone again.

It was close to ten in the night. At the Charles River Basin Hotel party, Ms. Linda’s eyes chanced on Malia Gates, dancing to her gently dressed guy named John Green. Linda felt an immediate urge to go and ask her to show her where Angella Yingyang was. So Linda stubbornly withdrew from the tight cuddling of her partner, her hand holding a small goblet of red wine and made her way to the podium of those of Malia and John.

“Where is Miss Angella Yingyang?”

Malia swiped her long hair and said “oh, I don’t think my eyes have chanced on that sweet girl anywhere around, maybe try the other corner,” then continued her dance to John.

“I haven’t seen her either,” John said.

“You haven’t, do you know her anyway?” Malia asked, surprised. “How can I fail to know that short curved Japanese?”

“She isn’t Japanese. She’s Chinese!”

“Whichever race she is, that little babe beats every guy in our stream in programming“

Meanwhile Linda had become so rowdily worried that she had not seen her friend. She weaved to the toilets to text her friend to ask her where she can be located.

“Hey, what’s your podium number again?”

No reply. Linda waited some two to three minutes inside the hotel toilet looking at herself in the mirror and pretending to dry her hands in the drier. She could wash again and dry again so that no one could suspect that she was long staying in the smelly place. After sometime when Angella was not replying her messages, she decided to give her a call.

“Hello?”

“What’s up you crazy girl?” answers Angella in a rough small voice.

“Oh, my God, you are in a quiet place! Where the hell are you girl?” asked Linda. “My room”

“Stop kidding?” “Seriously”

“I can’t imagine. Why have you done this to your friends?”

Angella hanged up and sat on the bed, thinking of what to do. In a short while, a text message came from Linda: “why haven’t you turned up?” “My guy never turned up?”

“And that stops you….please now come, many are still coming, plus there are many

Singles here like crazy”

“Aha, tell me more about that,” replies Angella in excitement.

“No, just come, there’s still time”

“No, please, nice partying,” Angella concluded the conversation and switched off her phone completely and put on a charger. She moved over to her reading counter where a slick green laptop is placed and is on sleep. Next to her laptop was a big coffee cup placed on a saucer of dry snacks. At least now Angella was feeling a little relieved because of Linda’s consoles that if she went she wouldn’t be the only single girl in the dancehall but her excuse was that it was already too late for her.

On her desk there was a silver-shining medal illustrating a human figure holding a laptop with one hand, an international award that Angella previously won during a robotics designing competition. She looked at the figure precisely and remembered she had a reason to be proud of her life even without a boyfriend. She took the thing in her hands and recalled the school principal’s words during the awarding ceremony of the Best Robotics Engineering Student of the year:

“Whenever facing a real world problem, always remember that we humans are like robots and we function according to instructions and commands we permit our brains to give her muscles—nothing less, nothing more. There’s no difference between real world and other worlds because each of them is contained within another,” Says Professor Hugges Frankenstein, a white-haired head of Robotics Engineering department. He used to wear delicate specs and carry a big briefcase full of books and an iPad. Then she recalled that her GPA is one of the highest in her class. She had 4.5 out of 5.

That man’s bizarre philosophies never had meant much to Angella more than now at the crucial moment she’s turning on every bit of theory to justify her loneliness at Chitra Hostel when her friends were partying like the world was ending.

If I was single throughout my campus life, I would be having a better grade than this,” she mumbled and jeered slowly, making her think she had always wasted her time doing the things that would not matter in the future and having friends that disappear

like clouds. As she idly browsed the internet asking Google stupid questions about how men think, she reflected clearly upon her life and how it would be awesome without those stress causers: men! But somehow, something was telling her it is not easy living a life of a nun, a life without a man.

2

The next day was Saturday. In the morning, Angella woke up very early as she used to, to be among the first student residents to breathe in the cool morning summer breeze of Massachusetts leafy ecosystem. She jogged around the campus main highway noticing and loving the diving cars of early bird lecturers overtaking her. When she came back to Chitra Hostel, she showered, took out warm cake from her kitchen oven and ate before sitting in a cross-legged posture in her elastic yoga pants for her routine meditation and stretching.

At about half past eight, she realised her phone had charged the whole night and she decided it was time to switch it on and see the ‘nonsense’ that transpired last night at the farewell party. The device automatically connected to the available Hostel Wi-Fi and all the WhatsApp messages, photos and videos of the last evening’s showed her that she had a lot of unread messages inbox. With a single swipe, she left the group to avoid ever seeing something that hurts her.

A few minutes later, a strange number sent her a message. It was Ronny using a new number.

“Hi Angella,” says the unsaved number.

“Hi, who’s this” replies Angella.

“Ronny, please, I am begging you to forgive me for the last night, I didn’t know what I was doing…I was damn stoned” he said.

She looked at it and first ignored it, and then she got an immediate urge to reply: “I will only beg one thing of you, do me a favour and stop wasting my time, tis as easy as a,b,c….”

“No, please…honey, so sorry” “Please…” he added in another message.

Ronny kept begging her. She turned off the message vibrations so that she could concentrate on something she was doing on the computer. However, she was feeling good inside her but she never wanted to admit the good feeling—that obvious feeling that someone needs you no matter what has happened in your past.

At this point, Angella thought of forgiving Ronny and forgetting about the whole outing disappointment. She thought of sticking to her gun and kicking him completely out of her life. She thought so hard and so long that the two choices became so hard for the finalist student to make. At about ten, she was very confused that she left whatever she was doing and rested her smart brain on her bed. Ronny never stopped sending apology messages with excuses that he was too drunk to drive.

During campus days whenever Angella could get confused this way while solving complex robotics matrices and logarithms, Professor Hugges Frankenstein would be the only solution. She would send him a text with a link to the problem. Now Angella’s problem was a different one. No one to help her go about relationship problems, no clear trusted friend around! So she rejuvenated three semesters-aged conversation with the hoary professor who used to lecture her class. She taps on his message portal on her phone. These last conversations possibly happened over a year ago while the professor was discussing with Angella about artificial intelligence something she only used it to pass the then coming exams.

“And humanoid can understand human languages just as humans can learn machine languages so the formula is 01=10,” the old conversations concluded.

“Hey, Professor, help me solve this problem,” she said in a new message. “I have some friend of mine here who doesn’t listen no matter how much I tell him I am no longer interested in him”

“Oh, my daughter,” Professor Frankenstein said. “This sounds like a very byzantine conundrum when they don’t listen, did you use speech or text?”

“It was a text,” Angella answered.

“Now try speech, because new programming softwares are more responsive to audio languages than text…try using Linux DMD6, works very efficiently,” advised the professor.

As Angella was still reading the professor’s baffling reply, she heard nippy noises of footsteps out in the hallways and suddenly a commanding but excited knocking and liberal laughter on the door. It sounded like the voices of Linda and Malia. But before she could verify with her voice-lock verification sound signature, she asked ’who are you?”

“Your beautiful friends Linda and Malia,” please open. “We got endless stories and gifts for you”

“Ah, am not interested,” she murmured while walking towards the door with a small remote controller that turns on the electric lock. She said: “Code confirmation: Angels- appartment-1212,” and the door began to swing open, revealing weary faces of Linda, then Malia’s shy face then two other classmates Angella had known as her acquaintance for all the four years of her study at MIT. Because of the boys, she welcomed them in a modest way and showed the four the small sofa which the boys immediately occupied. They looked tired and sleepy on their faces though the four were very talkative in slight drunken stupors and laughed unnecessarily at every joke they made. “Wow, wow,” this looks like the most organised room in the entire Chitra Hostel I have entered in the entire four years of MIT, I bet,” John Green, Malia’s guy said and then all the rest laughed incessantly until another joke replaced that. Angella did neither laugh nor talk much.

The two girls had plumbed their butts on the arms of the sofa, next to their respective guys smiling and swiping their hair in excitement of giving their friend an after-party

visit. Angella looked slightly uneasy and upset by their unforeseen appearance but she could do nothing but enjoy their confusion.

In her dwindled Chinese accent she said: “I love this amazing pairs,” tell me. “It seemed

you guys enjoyed the whole night.

“Of course, but we couldn’t enjoy much without our gorgeous friend: you!”

Angella on noticing the Professor’s message excused herself and isolated herself going towards the kitchen and said:

“Am not talking about a humanoid, Prof, I mean a human annoyed me”

“Oh, but it’s all one problem we can solve because both humans and humanoids annoy sometimes when they are not responding.”

“I mean my guy doesn’t understand,” she said in clarification.

“You can teach them to understand. Do you still remember Verbal Programming (VP)

very well?” “Somehow”

“Yes my daughter, master this VP technique and everything will be okay; VP has three pillars: Pitch—the higher…the better, Volume: the louder…the clearer, Noise: the lower…the higher the quality of output…”

Angella looked at the message and smiled a bit at the puzzlement of the ageing professor. She knew that was it, because in terms of robotics, they were never at different pages with the professor. Now she was even more unfortunate to have a brilliant professor who believes this is applicable in both humanoids and human world though Angella had never thought throughout her studies.

When she turned to see the friends at the sofa, the two pairs were all locked in one another’s mouths; kissing imperturbably and she felt a pouring outflow of jealousy and anger coming from inside of her stomach and walked straight to her bed at a position where she could only see the back of the sofa.

“Angel,” John, Malia’s guy, called out awkwardly. “Where are you? Please come over

for the after party.”

“Hahaha, I guess it is the right time for some three-some,” the other guy also said.

“Yah, Angel come over for an after-party tis going to be hot,” the two girls revealed their faces from the sofa and told their lonely friend who was lying on the bed with her face down the pillow. The silence of response they got would have been a clear indication to them all that Angella had own stress, if they were sober minded but they kept troubling her.

“You guys are drunk, leave me alone or leave my apartment,” Angella lifted her flat face from the pillow and told them slowly, then put her head down again. Either they heard her or not, because they kept saying “no, you can’t do this to your dear friends…please come, have some threesome.”

“Leave me alone you drunkards,” Angella yelled angrily. “And stop calling me Angel…Angel. My name is Angella Yingyang and I am not who you think I am and I can never be like you.”

Malia’s guy seemed to start understanding with each expression of anger and frustration on Angella’s livid face but the other people were not listening to her at all. “Guys, lets respect her,” John told the two girls pulling Linda by the hand to get back to the seat because she was already going for Angella who was squinting at them exasperatedly. She knew that what her friends wanted to involve her in isn’t right for her. So all she did was to endure through a humiliating kinky pair-pair moment taking place a few meters from her.

Three minutes later when it was too much for her to keep in her right mind, she reached her hand for headsets, her earphones and turned her face the walls.

Later when Linda Stresspress and Malia Gates and their guys had left, Angella began to clean her apartment. It was messy and her sofa was slightly relocated from

its original position, revealing a wrinkle of dust and dirt on the carpet. Her sofa looked flabby and stained. She first swept the entire room by the use of her automatic vacuum cleaner before mopping.

After mopping, she unclothed the sofa’s coverings starkly noticing the mess had gone deeper into the cushion. Angella felt so angry and immediately picked up her phone and dialed her best friend, Linda’s number walking forth and back on her floor:

“Sweet Angel, what’s up?” Linda answered.

“I shouldn’t have let you people mess with my sofa like this,” she said, and hanged up her mobile phone and continued with cleaning, pressing hard on the lenient cushion and wiping with a cloth dipped on liquid detergent. She then took its coverings to the washing machine and let it whirr for a longer time than usual as she prepares her lunch.

At sunset when she was feeling bored in her room, she went to the balcony and then began to observe the beautiful campus skyline and its green gardens, the summer birds hovering back and forth about the masts and satellite dishes atop tall buildings and the endless bouts of planes making their landings at a yonder Boston Massachusetts International Airport.

She saw other students biking and a thought came to her that she had a bike too. She loved to bike and decided to go. Her bike was a foldable and packed in a backpack and was sophiscated and portable, so Angella locked her door and packed up her black bike-bag and entered the elevator with her headsets on.

On the road on the biking ways, she noticed that a male biker was struggling to keep up with her speed and was struggling to stay at the lane next to hers then she made it inconvenient by pedaling fast and suddenly pedaling low again. She could see his intentions, and never liked it at all. So Angella made it so challenging for the stranger to get close to her.

“Slow down, come on! You beat all the men,” the stranger yelled, peddling to try to catch up with her.

Late in the evening when she was biking back to the hostel, she decided to fold the bike and backpack it. So Angella decided to pass through a shortcut leading from MIT lush gardens and park where students of MIT liked to meet their dates in the evening time. She paced alone quiet, and without looking at the other pairs of daters sprawled throughout the darkening park.

Her boyfriend Ronald kept sending Angella messages over the weeks but she couldn’t reply his calls or answer his messages. One day Ronald decided to come to her room to visit her but Angella refused to open the door on hearing his voice.

“I can’t be with someone like you,” Angella told him openly through the locked door and Ronald went back.

For months, she lived in her room alone, working on small projects and surfing the net as she waits to see her final grades. During this period, Angella came across a robot designing competition organised by a reputable global robotics firm in South Korea. The Robot Design Competition offered a lot of money to “young talented youth between 18 and 35 years old to develop domestic robot that can help run all household errands.” The competition also offered the overall winning team a very attractive prize of up to one million dollars, a fully funded trip to Seoul and a promise of a Job placement with a large affiliated tech firm. She signed up for the competition as individual rather than a team without hesitation.

Since that day, she kept working on the competition, developing a plan and calculating her things. She found out that it would be a very costly venture as she is required by the competition to purchase and assemble a complex humanoid that does complex work all together and responds to human verbal instructions. All MIT hostels allow final year students to continue renting campus accommodations until their graduation day, and

Angella was yet to graduate in the middle of the coming year, so she had about six months to continue renting the apartment.

Things got tight. Expenses in acquiring the needed soft and hardwares to design a robot was steepening and her bank balance was running low. She could log into her PayPalTM online bank account and wonder where she would get all the money. She tried to ring her relatives in China and asked them if they could borrow her some money for her project but they discouraged her from it saying “what if you lose?”

“Don’t worry,” she told her Uncle in an email. “I will try other sources.”

She researched and found out how to make money online and began to do affiliate marketing. This online money-making scheme enabled her to get enough money for the competition, including paying her rent and buying food. She worked day and night. In the mornings she did her project and in the evenings, she did her online marketing to get some few hundred dollars.

One day when Angella had gone to shop a certain chip she needed for her project, she met Ms. Linda and Malia going to a cinema. The two friends were dressed to kill and wore nice perfumes. Linda had tainted her hair red and Malia maintained her dark blonde hair but they all had new tattoos on their thighs. The two girls had both left MIT premises and were renting outside. Malia was living with her boyfriend John Green. When the two saw her, something shy in their looks showed that they were sorry for the after-party mess with their men at Angella’s couch. She was moving towards the parking lot of the shopping mall in Massachusetts.

“Look at you! Just appear at once like a computer simulator! “You scared us!” “Ah no!” Angella smiled.

Long time dear, you look so sexy!” Linda hugged her. “Are you going to a church or so? Rather temple?” Linda quickly corrected herself.

“Ah, no, just want to shop.” Angella said.

“We miss you! How is Ronny?” Malia asked.

“I haven’t heard from him for months now and I am less concerned” “I met him at the Airport last week,” Linda interrupted.

Angella looked uneasy to continue with the parking lot gossip but she couldn’t just walk away from her friends. She craftily stole her hand into her handbag and faked a call using an app used for faking ringtones, and then she said: “Sorry lovely friends, I have to go, someone is calling me urgently.”

“Okay, see you!”

3

When Angella got to her apartment, she grabbed a few pieces of biscuits from the oven and went straight to her work-desk to burn the midnight oil. She had been able to acquire a box of the required hardware accompanied with a 600-paged eBook instruction manual she had set to complete that night. As she read through the manual, she could remember Linda saying she saw Ronny at the airport and fought to repel the detracting thoughts again and again however she discovered that the thoughts were inhibiting her concentration.

She thought of swallowing for the first time a drug Modafinil or Adderall that her fellow classmates used to use to boost their brain’s concentration but she perished the thought and instead downloaded and began playing a brainwave audio for “concentration and harmony”.

The melodious tune reverberated softly throughout the four Home-theatre speakers of her living room as she reads her things and does her work. The next morning she wok

up with a compelling drive to call Linda and ask her if she really saw Ronny at the airport as she claims.

“Yes, I saw him. He was gently dressed and was pulling a suitcase towards the departures, and I am sorry to tell you this: he was moving with a White blonde,” Linda avowed unequivocally.

“Okay, thank you!” Angella replied.

“You are welcome dear, and I will see you soon one of these days,” Linda promises.

Angella was not herself that whole day. She tried to work on her project but she drifted from thoughts to thoughts. She thought that maybe Ronny had decided to leave her forever…that maybe he had gone back to his home country, Nigeria, and that perhaps he would not be able to see her again…that maybe he got another girlfriend because ’Linda had seen her with a White blonde...She grew so thoughtful as she underwent her natural monthly womanhood call and for nearly a week, she was weak and her thoughts were scattered from Lagos to Las Vegas and from Seoul to Beijing like a satellite in a galaxy.

She decided to give her cousin Xing Ming a video call from China and tell him that she had been sick. Xing Ming was seated on a plastic armed chair at the corner of an ill lit room of their grandmother’s old fortress eating a bowl of rice and boiled bamboo shoot.

She coldly went straight into telling her cousin the possible cause of her distress and illness: “since that day you called and I rejected your call, I haven’t been myself. She told him about Ronny.”

“Do you have his number?” I have deleted but I know in my head. “What about his Skype address?”

“I have but he is always offline.” “What about his Facebook?”

“He is never online and he made the last post on his wall 2 years ago,” Angella explained to her cousin in the video call.

She had fought all those online and physical temptations of meeting a mate that college women of her stage go through. She even resisted the temptation to be obsessed with Ronny. But there was no way she could resist the unhappiness caused Linda’s rumours.

4

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