“Who is Estella?” she says calmly, sitting back down on the couch after pouring two more glasses of wine for us.
“Yeah, the one I checked my email with. The icon on the desktop says ‘Estella.'”
“That’s what I named the computer.”
“You named it after a woman?” Surface calm dissipating, trouble in 5… 4…
“She isn’t a real woman. Have you read Great Expectations?”
“Dickens? A long time ago. You named it after a fantasy woman?”
“I wouldn’t call Dickens a fantasy writer. Estella was the girl who broke Pip’s heart. I always build my own home PCs, and they always find a way to break my heart. Seemed fitting.” See, I’m not a psychopath. Cool it.
“Does your laptop have a name, too?
“Yeah. ‘Dementor’, from Harry Potter. Floats around, sucking the soul out of things.” Maybe I am a psychopath… it’s still a good name.
“You get to name all your computers?”
“Yeah, they all need names,” I say emphatically.
“Have you ever named one after someone you knew?”
“Well, I did name part of a storage array after someone once. Nothing anybody would see publicly, though.” …and it was because of a conversation just like this.
“Who?” Saw that coming.
“Ancient history. Nobody you’d know.”
“Will you name one of them after me?” Right on schedule.
“You may not meet the criteria. You’re a woman, no doubt, but are you dark, heart breaking, and fictional?”
“Have you ever wondered why you’re single?”
“Never really had to wonder, no.”