“Really?” Rob said. “That’s great! What is it?”
“Neither one of us knows how to fix a computer,” Andy said, now feeling bad for getting his friend’s hopes up.
Rob’s chin fell to his chest as he exhaled. “C’mon, man, that’s not funny. This is serious.”
“Look, you can borrow my laptop until you get your thesis finished,” Andy said, looking over at Rob. “You were just using Word, right and Oh My GOD you didn’t back up your document, did you?”
Rob shook his head. He had no words, either literally or figuratively.
“How were you writing a doctoral dissertation without backing it up? Did you at least print some of it out?” You could have backed it up to another computer, an external hard drive, a flash drive, online storage…”
“I know! Look, I know I screwed up, okay? I am painfully aware of the length, width and depth of this screw up. Please, help me. You can make fun of me for the rest of our lives, but please, right now, be the helpful friend.”
Andy felt sorry for Rob; he looked on the verge of tears. He’d bring this up in the future, of course, but now wasn’t the time. “Okay,” he said, popping the ribbon cable off the hard drive. “If the drive works, my brother might be able to help.”
The gratitude in Rob’s eyes broke his heart a little.