Visions of the Heart
a novella by Charles Keenan

episode 8
This Sunday Nate planned to stop by Philomena’s home after dinner to pick up her Heart Monitor so that he could return them both to Mr. Hobonukium on the next day, when he was planning to take a long lunch. Usually, however, Sunday was the day that Nate and Philomena caught up with their chores at home. They paid the week’s last few bills, they washed one last load of laundry and did some ironing, they looked through the refrigerator to see what needed to be thrown away and what needed to be replaced, and they both found some time to relax. It almost seemed like Sunday would be the day that the two of them would spend the most time together, but they were just going steady and not seeing anyone else. They were not seriously considering marriage, and they did not discuss spending their lives together very often. That is why they were both a little surprised at how their Heart Monitors behaved on Sunday.
Nate had charged up his Monitor overnight and sat on the corner of his bed. He turned the Monitor on and had the switch flipped to “other” when he saw that Meena was remembering one of the times that they had gone to church together. Sometimes they wanted to go to an all-day event like a company picnic or an outdoor music festival and would meet early in the morning. Whether they went to Philomena’s church or Nate’s church would depend on which direction they were heading to get to the event that Sunday. Meena was recalling a time they had gone to his church because he recognized everything in the background, but it was the foreground that was a little different. Throughout the week Nate’s image had faded in and out depending on how distracted his girlfriend was. He was always happy when he saw a clear, strong image of himself  in Meena’s heart through the Monitor, but this image was astounding - not only was it static-free but it was the brightest and clearest image he had seen yet, and it almost looked as if he were glowing. He flicked the Monitor’s switch to “here” and saw that his heart was embracing a similar Sunday when they had gone to Philomena’s church, and that she was also glowing in the foreground of his heart. It was truly remarkable how beautiful she looked. Nate glanced at his alarm clock and saw that he had best get moving if he wanted to be on time for church, so he flipped the switch back to “other” and let it hang from the lanyard around his neck as he got ready.
Mostly from the habits he had developed during the preceding days, Nate did not check the Monitor again until he was leaving the church and walking across the parking lot towards his car. He was again astounded to see such a spiritual representation of himself. It even seemed he was glowing brighter, and were those angels in the background or statues from church? It should be needless to point out that Philomena was experiencing similar revelations from her Heart Monitor too.
They both went home from church and began cleaning up around their homes, rarely checking their Monitors. However, whenever they took a few moments to look in on their friend the images would always cause them to sit down and take a break. Each time was more amazing than the last, although they had both toned down their glow since leaving church. As they continued to check throughout the day the glow all but disappeared and later, as they began to get their schedules, notes and wardrobes ready for the work week ahead, their images actually began to fade in and out. After dinner Nate drove to Meena’s home and they talked a little before she handed him her Heart Monitor. “Remember - before you buy them, Nate, ask the man if he can adjust the reception so we won’t always have those giant images of ourselves blocking the background.” Nate said he would ask, said goodnight to Philomena and then drove back home. At home he checked the Monitors to make sure everything was working and found that switching the Monitor to “other” resulted in a dark screen. Before he went to sleep he plugged his Heart Monitor into the charger so he would be able to show Mr. Hobonukium how the screen was filled with Meena’s image when the switch was on “here”.