Àgnes’ first summer, living out her new life, was one of extraordinary coherence.
Mornings, afternoons and evenings were exclusively dedicated to her work. Her rise made meteorites appear sluggish.
The dawns, accompanied by the advent of the Internet, were spent visiting online dating sites.
From her desk, Àgnes had literally millions of drooling men, desperate or just dispersed, at her mercy.
In just a few weeks, she had created dozens of different user profiles with different names: Petra, Sabina, Nina, Tina, Anja, Kata.
She put several photos together: she was simultaneously a blond, brunette, and a redhead. And she seasoned her “personas” with individual tastes and personal data.
Àgnes had transformed herself into multiple persons, but all with the same aim: to discover herself, reflecting her deepest parts in the comments of strangers.
Everything was managed with a precision that paralleled her daily activity at Code Kft.
She loved coming home to find her inbox full of messages, many with softly suggestive titles, like, “I love you” or “You delightful piece of heaven”.
She was impressed at the ease with which some men, and also some women, could present themselves for a random date. Or for the chance at something more.
Her high point came when she managed to get the same person to exchange mails with two different versions of Àgnes.
The low point was realising how that person could say the same words — swearing unique, immaculate and timeless love — to both versions of Àgnes.
Before Christmas, she resolved to give herself a present. She cancelled all the accounts and profiles she had created on the numerous dating websites, and set up a new one: Àgnes Szement.
She knew the rules of the game and what she wanted to get from it. Every dog has its day. The difference was that now there was another hunter.
* Online dating (OD) or Internet dating is a personal introductory system whereby individuals can find and contact each other over the Internet to arrange a date, usually with the objective of developing a personal, romantic, or sexual relationship. Online dating services usually provide unmoderated matchmaking over the Internet, through the use of personal computers or cell phones.
She opened an Excel sheet and set up the columns that would help her make her choice.
The profile photo of the page should show a beautiful smile, but nothing too forced. The more photos she had the better.
His job should be manager of something at the very least, preferably a director.
He should like sport, but nothing too radical or popular, like football. Ideally, he would sail or ride horses.
She since did not want to “kiss an ashtray”, smokers need not reply. Not even occasional smokers.
Lastly, he should never have been married nor have any children.
Thus, her baselines were defined and in no time she had a short-list.
From an initial count of 50, she chose five that seemed most up for the task.
She suggested the same agenda to all the candidates. Dinner in District XIII, right in the centre of the city park, a walk along Heroes Square and a visit to the Vajdahunyad Castle.
At the end of the walk, when there was barely any light left in the sky, she sought out a park bench where she could easily lean her head on the shoulder of the candidate and watch the sunset.
She made mental notes of all the contestants’ comments, jokes and gestures. And, by the end of August, had chosen a suitor.
His name was indifferent, since his position of senior consultant was true, as well as the several years of windsurfing, the fact he was anti-smoking and above all he had never been married and did not have any children.
Out of convenience, she opted for her apartment. That way she knew what to expect. And because it was Saturday, the next day she could sleep until late.
What had worried her for years they had resolved together in a little less than 10 minutes. And the consultant, after all, did not prove quite as senior as he had made out.
On Sunday, she slept until late and after lunch she went out for a walk at the West End shopping centre in district VI. She felt taller while walking along the street.
And while it may have been just her impression, the men who crossed her path looked at her differently.
Àgnes was back.