Grey-green eyes met mine, a hint of panic in them.
My hands clenched around the cup of coffee I held, mouth tightening into a thin line. This was not how I expected my Saturday morning to go.
It's dead, Jim.
Okay, I didn't really say that, but those were the words that flashed through my brain as that awful sound continued.
Finally, Sam couldn't take it any more and turned Frank, his beloved computer built from scratch, off.
The silence was almost worse than the beeping.
"Let me go see what I can find out," Sam said, grim lines appearing at the corner of his eyes.
As he went into the other room to do some research, I closed my eyes, breathing in the soothing steam off my coffee.
It's going to be okay, I told myself. We've fixed Frank before, we can fix him again.
I don't know how long I sat that way before Sam finally returned.
"Well, from what I can tell, that particular sequence of beeps means the video is out. Whether that means the card or the motherboard...." Sam shrugged with one shoulder. "Let's hope it's the video card, because if the motherboard is out, well, if we have to replace the motherboard, we'll have to replace everything. Frank is too old..." Sam trailed off.
Taking a deep breath, he continued on, "...Frank's components are just old enough that they're incompatible with the newer motherboards."
Please, please let it be the video card.
* * * * *
"Just think, honey! You're going to have twice as much video memory. Photoshop'll work like a dream," Sam enthused as he set about switching out the video cards.
"That'll be nice," I agreed, not quite as enthusiastic. I had what felt like a band of Mexican jumping beans doing the Macarena in my stomach.
Sam chattered on as he switched out the cards, occasionally tapping out some upbeat rhythm on the table with his screwdriver.
I kept myself busy taking care of morning chores that'd been neglected in our mad dash to the city to fix Frank.
Finally, the moment of truth arrived.
Sam flipped the switch.
I held my breath.
What followed was a string of colorful metaphors, the like of which I care not to repeat in this setting.
Sam quickly turned Frank back off.
With a sigh he plopped down on the couch, head in his hands. I walked over and began absentmindedly rubbing the back of his neck.
"It's okay, darling. We can rebuild him. Faster. Better. You'll see," I said.
It's going to be a long couple of months.