Watching Christine

by Emma-Sunshine Mackereth

Watching Christine

I sit down at my computer, ready to watch Christine. The 24/7 livestream of her life on the platform “Viewer” feels like it’s consuming me these days. It started innocently: I just wanted to see what all the fuss over these livestreams was about, but it quickly grew into an obsession. I think I might be in love with Christine, at least as much as one can for someone they’ve never met. There’s something about seeing someone in their most intimate moments that makes you fall for them, even if they don’t know you can see them.

When I tune in, Christine is at work. She works at a grocery store, stocking shelves and helping customers. I am almost entranced by the way she organizes items on shelves, under the watchful eye of the security drones. Eventually those annoying government-sponsored nuisances fly out of frame, and Christine takes this moment of relative privacy to talk to her coworker.

I zone out from their conversation, until I hear her coworker mention the Video and Surveillance act. Of course, there was public outrage when it was first announced, but died down eventually. The knowledge that you could be recorded at any point just became a regular part of life. This coworker seems to be one of the detractors, speaking ill of Viewer. She suggests to Christine that either of them could be one of these livestream “victims,” but Christine laughs it off. I laugh too, but for a very different reason.

Christine’s demeanor changes from that point. She becomes more withdrawn, seeming deep in thought about something. Even in her 10 minutes of breaktime, she never relaxes. She even seems to be purposefully avoiding the surveillance drones, despite the fact that there are many other cameras watching her. If I was there with her, I would hold her, and assure her that she has nothing to worry about.

Christine comes home from work, which is my favorite part of the day. I imagine sitting with her, making her dinner, and letting her talk about work. She usually goes right for the TV, but not today. She sits down at her computer, and types “Viewer” into the search bar. My blood runs cold, wondering if she will find her livestream, but then I calm down again, realizing that it was entirely legal and there was nothing she could do about it.

What I didn’t count on, however, was that she would find a livestream of me, at my computer, watching her.

About the author

Emma-Sunshine Mackereth

Emma-Sunshine Mackereth is an eighteen-year-old student, best known for her horror works. Outside of the writing she does in her spare time, she studies psychology and creative writing at her school in Ontario, Canada.

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