Are you coming tonight?
This phrase was repeated thousands of times and was written everyday in the chat between two computers, both located in empty rooms in opposite cities of the globe. Every time the question was answered almost immediately:
Of course, I will be with you tonight!
Those messages were only discovered a decade after the pandemic had started. Found only after the governments of each country allowed people to go outside again after millions of persons had been mandatorily confined during the years that the health emergency lasted for. Those who had made the discovery were shocked by the seemingly endless conversation that was repeated over and over again. But they were even more surprised when they discovered the rooms empty and yet, the messages kept being received and sent between the two computers.
Where had its occupants gone? The places had been surrounded by security guards this entire time and the doors and windows did not appear to be forced. If they had died, the corpses would have been found by now. Then, who wrote the messages? Who answered them?
During the confinement, every personal room had been previously prepared to cover all basic needs. There were also plenty of security measures in place to stop people from leaving and risking infection. They were constantly inspected by guards who made sure that the occupants were neither sick nor dead. All of them had a small bed, a toilet, a desk, and a computer. People received food three times a day, through a small window that could only be opened for this purpose. On weekends, they obtained a moderate supply of products that they requested for their physical and emotional well-being: non-prescription medicines, personal and household cleaning products, books, art supplies, clothing and makeup.
In one of the two mysterious rooms they found scattered tubes of oil paints and watercolors, colored chalks, charcoals and drawing pencils. But what caught their attention were the hundreds of canvases and papers showing a leafy woman performing the Dance of the Seven Veils. The walls and ceiling were splattered with paint of all colors that formed abstract designs.
In the other bedroom all kinds of makeup laid on the floor and the desk: eye paints, mascaras and lipsticks from different shades. There were also transparent silks, shiny satins, velvets of different texture, and jewelry in a thousand shapes. Everything remained static in both places and the only movement that was detected was that of the messages that did not stop appearing on the two screens.
Computers had been the only media during those years of isolation. Technology became sacred, altars were erected in its honor, and implausible and controversial creeds about the health tragedy were devised. But it also showed the noble side of it: broke borders and built bridges that amalgamated distant and different human beings. New forms of study and work, communication and identity were invented. Stories of love and pleasure were also born. Those that in other conditions would not be possible, such as that of Adam and Eve.
She was a woman in her 30s, divorced and childless. She was a kindergarten teacher and loved her job. She saw in children a desired motherhood that she instinctively knew would come soon. She lived alone in a small community, quiet and surrounded by nature, like many on the planet. Her hobby was their evening classes of Oriental Dance in the only school that existed in that small place. Her boyfriend was also a teacher at the same school, but he got infected by the virus and died in less than a week. The confinement, the uncertainty and the lack of her partner plunged her into a deep depression that she managed to control by browsing the web.
Adam was a young single man, a couple of years younger than Eve. He lived in a big city like so many in the world: overcrowded, polluted, noisy and dangerous. Since he was a child, his father taught him automotive mechanics and he worked in the workshop that he inherited from him when he died. He loved the variety of cars and always made time for his hobby: drawing his own models, dreaming of them coming to life. There were days when confinement drove him crazy and he felt that he was suffocating in surrounded by the same four walls. He calmed down by dabbling in the internet.
The meeting of Eve and Adam in the networks was fortuitous. It occurred by coincidence when they were sailing on a turbulent sea in which they found no anchor. Despite the coldness of the keyboard through which they spoke, an idyllic whirlwind was unleashed from the beginning that denied reason and summoned passion.
Their first virtual date took place on a warm summer night. She was cautious, but she became anything but modest the second time they met. She painted her cheeks pink, highlighted the contour of her eyes with black lines and her lips with a red tone like that of succulent apples. She dressed in transparent silks that discreetly revealed her voluptuous forms. As soon as she turned on the screen, she began to move her body sensually to the rhythm of the jingle of earrings made with fantasy stones. Her golden sequined belly swirled and with each turn, she released stars that pierced the screen with the mission of seducing her unknown lover.
The artist on the other side opted to remain anonymous so the female beauty could have all the attention. The glow in his eyes was so strong that at times it pierced the darkness of the screen that trembled with the arousal of masculinity. The slate creaked, tattooing the canvas with the figures that she traced with her dance. Ecstatic by the freedom of the muse he represented her as the goddess Aphrodite.
The ritual was repeated every night. She sweated, he compulsively painted, and in a shared trance, Eva contorted and lost consciousness and Adam threw his sketches into the air. She slumped dejectedly, while multicolored stains dotted the ceiling and walls of the artist's room. They were the perfect duality: the complementary opposites of light and dark, but at the same time the perfect oneness of creativity and eroticism. After all, confinement was a fictional world where there was no space for prejudices, and the past and the future did not matter.
They stopped caring about the outside reality. Their world became that screen, with just the two of them living in it. Eva used the web to learn new dance steps and Adam to improve his drawing and painting techniques. In their weekly orders to their guardians, they included makeup, fabrics, rhinestones, canvases, pencils, paints, and brushes. They only lived to wait for their date nights, which enjoyed until dawn. And it became a custom that daily, when the agreed time approached, they both sent an identical message and responded with the same phrase.
One day, the passion no longer fit in their bodies and it began to consume them until they disappeared. But that did not prevent that like every night, they arrived on time for their appointment in their new condition as intangible beings. Eve and Adam had become the first redeeming couple of the new humanity, living on an endless journey through virtuality.
Are you coming tonight?
Of course, I will be with you forever!
It was read once more in the chat.