The timer was counting down faster than the clock was progressing forward, seemingly bending the laws of physics. I would swear that it said I had 24 hours, just ten minutes ago. And now I’m down to one. But in moments like these I couldn’t trust myself to track the passage of time and at any rate, the only opinion that mattered was that of the timer. If it said I had an hour left, then I had an hour left.
Modern day suspense movies usually involve some fast-paced internet searching which looks, frankly, pretty boring on the screen. I’m here to tell you that in real life there is nothing mundane about it. I opened multiple tabs and started searching for solutions, never forgetting that if I chose the wrong answer, I would be partially responsible for the worst disaster any of us could imagine.
I’d like to think I chose a solution out of subconscious expertise, but the truth is that it was the first option that seemed vaguely feasible. As I followed the steps laid out by these so-called “experts” (though who really knows on the internet), I never forgot what was at stake. I shut down one part of the system after another, knowing full well what it meant not to have access to those files, but knowing even more acutely what it would mean if that timer ran out. And another. I set everything to the lowest possible . Finally as a Hail Mary pass, an act of desperation, I turned off the connection completely, hoping against all odds that this would put it into emergency mode and some functions might be saved. The silence was deafening, the countdown larger than life.
It was over. I had failed. It was probably inevitable- over before I had even started. I had let myself fall victim to false hope, but now even I know there was nothing left to do.
My iPhone battery was dead.