Study Guide

The Future of Us Part 1: Sunday / Chapter 1

By Asher, Jay and Mackler, Carolyn

Part 1: Sunday / Chapter 1

Emma

  • Emma is an average teenager. When we meet her, she's sitting in her room to avoid breaking up with her boyfriend.
  • She's setting up a new computer that her dad gave her. It's a gift because he moved away with his new wife, and it has a—gasp—color monitor. This is fancy for 1996.
  • Josh, a.k.a. the boy next door, rings the doorbell. He and Emma used to be best friends, but things have gotten "weird" lately.
  • Emma awkwardly greets Josh at the door. He hands her a CD-ROM that his mom is giving her; apparently it downloads a free trial of AOL Internet.
  • Emma returns to her room and starts downloading the CD, which will take almost two hours to download. Because guess what? In 1996 the Internet was slow.
  • She looks out the window and thinks about the summer weather, which is just starting; the fact that it's springtime could explain her restlessness.
  • Her thoughts turn back to her clingy boyfriend whom she needs to dump.
  • She thinks of avoiding the world, but decides to go jogging instead.
  • She runs into Josh again as she starts her run, pumping her favorite 90s tunes on her Discman (the ancestor of the iPod).
  • Dave Matthews makes her think of Cody, a dreamy guy from her school whom she says she would "reconsider" (1.39) the idea of true love for.
  • When she gets home, her CD is still downloading.
  • Emma starts studying biology, her best subject. She starts thinking about enrolling in a college bio course during her senior year next fall.
  • The download is now complete and she has to think of a password. Finally she choses "Millicent," which is an inside joke between her and Josh.
  • She's about to start typing an email when the screen freezes, and a blue and white sign pops up: Facebook.
  • But wait, this is years before Facebook has been invented… right? Yes, that's correct.
  • Emma scrolls through the notifications and is super confused about what they mean.
  • Now the weird part: She finds a picture of a thirty-year-old woman names Emma Nelson Jones, and she looks weirdly familiar. By the picture, it says that she went to the same high school as Emma and has the same birthday… It also says she married a guy named Jordan Jones Jr.
  • While Emma's in the middle of trying to figure this all out, Josh skates by outside. She calls for him to come inside and look.

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