January 29, 2011
January 1, 2011
Tim walked through the holiday crowd at the mall. He shuffled past a women’s clothing store. Inside he noticed a dress that his ex-girlfriend would wear on occasion. It was a black number, with vertical stripes along the wasteband. He was amazed it was there considering how fast women’s fashion turned over. Tim started to tear up a little. It had only been a month since they broke up.
In the crowd, a woman pushed her way toward Tim. Her name was Xeni and she was about thirty five. She saw him standing, looking in the window. She wasn’t sure what he was sad about, but she approached. Xeni aimed her phone at him, to make sure, and then she turned him around and gave Tim a great big hug.
Tim was surprised and totally derailed from his sadness. He did not know Xeni at all. She was a random person in the mall, but he knew why the hug had come. Small variations in his heart rate were transmitted to his phone. They were compared to a statistical base line of a communal historical heart rates. Then a program flagged him as having a high likelihood of sadness.
Xeni was a Universal Acceptor. This meant that she would hug anyone who needed it. Not everyone else was as kind as Xeni. Tim had already been passed by two Mutual Christians, who would only hug other people from their particular sect. Xeni didn’t care that Tim was an Atheist. She really didn’t care what anyone was, as long as they needed her help.
After a thirty second long hug, Tim wiped the tears from his eyes and looked into Xeni’s. He asked her if he could buy her some hot chocolate and she gladly accepted.