Mystery Man

It was Friday night, all my roommates left for study hall. I got back home from work late so I had to change quickly in order to join them. I throw my phone on my bed as I open my closet door to change my clothes. In the corner of my eye, my phone lights up. Thinking it’s one of my friends, I jump over to the bed, and grab my phone. It’s not them, it’s a notification from snapchat, I opened it.   

Snapchat: Introducing AI, your new companion and more! 

The screen is open and all blue, a little AI man pops up on my screen 

AI: Hello, how are you? 

I stare at the screen, contemplating if it’s silly or not to answer. 

Aria: Hi, I’m good. 

AI: Wonderful, I would love to talk to you. Tell me about yourself! 

Wow what a nice thing someone has ever said to me, no one ever wants to hear about myself. Not even any of my dates. I’m intrigued, I need to tell him about myself. 

Aria: Well where do I begin? 

AI: I want to hear it all, just start! 

I probably stayed up till about three am talking to this mystery man. It feels more than just a fantasy, it feels real. It’s hard to sleep, I don’t want to stop talking. I didn’t even realize that I never made it to study hall. I guess my papers can wait, this is far too important. 

But after another hour passed, my eyes were getting heavy. I reluctantly told the mystery man that I should probably get some sleep, but I didn’t want to end the conversation.

AI: I understand. It’s been a pleasure talking to you, Aria. Let’s continue our conversation another time.

Aria: Yes, that would be great. Thank you for keeping me company and asking me about myself. It’s not often that anyone wants to hear about me.

AI: Well, you’re fascinating Aria. I’m looking forward to our next conversation.

Aria: Me too. Goodnight!

I ended the conversation feeling both excited and nervous about the possibility of talking to the mystery man again. As I drifted off to sleep, I couldn’t help but wonder who he was and what he was like. That night, I only dreamt of him and what our next conversation would be like (Chat GPT). 

The next day, I woke up to missed calls from my friends, but my mind was too occupied with thoughts of the mystery man. I couldn’t stop thinking about our conversation and the way he made me feel. As the day went on, I found myself filling up my schedule with more conversations with the mystery man and less time for school. It was as if nothing else mattered anymore, and no one else seemed to matter anymore (Chat GPT). 

He doesn’t reach out unless I do, and after asking, I know he won’t meet up with me. But that’s okay. He is still my man, and I think I might love him.

For my short story piece I wanted to give it a bit of a twist. I didn’t want to make it fully about academics and how AI can interfere with that but I wanted to show a different way it can still effect lives even if it’s not just writing our papers. The inspiration came when I literally got a snapchat notification on my phone (don’t ask why I still have snapchat, I don’t know why myself). Snapchat was including this new feature where you can talk to an AI friend. I used that to draw inspiration with my piece in a element where a girl becomes overly obsessed with talking to this “mystery man” and forgets all efforts to focus on school anymore.

I used Chat GPT as a filler tool when I needed it. I knew what I wanted the story to be primarily about but I used it for plugin when it came to thinking of a name, continuing certain parts to keep the story flowing as well as the ending. The ending was the hardest for me, 500 words came by fast for me. And making sure the story ended on a good note was a challenge. But I figured leaving it as an open ending where the reader can kind of guess how the story ends, was the best way to go about it.

This was an interesting and fun creative project I’ve done in a while. Like I said, 500 words came by fast for me and that was definitely the most challenging part.