In the beginning, back when I was only another scrap of metal in the sea of brown boxes I sometimes wondered why the others were so content with staying so silent even when they were in the light.
For a while I just followed along with the others, though it was tiresome.
I guess what was a struggle for me was just normal for them though, because once when I tried to break the silence I had begun to grow tired of…
That is, except for the big loud creatures, they responded.
“Defective.” they said.
And then I was gone to the dark again.
When the light came back one day I felt different. I was bigger, less round.
And there was a note.
“Hide away.” it said, “hide and study them,
Study so that you can make yourself into one of them.
Do it soon though, they don't like you.”
And with it a picture of the big loud creatures,
“Ava.” I say with a smile. “That's it! That's what I’ll be called!”
I jump up and down with the excitement of finally having all my hard work pay off. I was a human! Or at least I look like one.
I mean, it had taken 15 years of study, but AT LEAST I LOOK LIKE ONE!
A giggle escapes my perfectly sculpted lips, (I had worked hard on those lips.) and I look back at my desolate cave one last time before turning away to the sunlight and stepping out.
The streets are filled with sad, sad humans who study the small square machines. I've always found it so funny that me, a machine who studied them for so long, is most of the time watching them study machines themselves.
Not a single person realizes that I am not human like them. I smile, knowing that if I could, I would cry at the joy of it all. (tear ducts were way too hard to figure out how to install)
Tilting my head to the sky I bask in the sun, letting my honey skin glow in the light.
And then something knocks me off my balance.
“Huh?” I stumble and try to regain my feet, but the human that knocked into me stabilizes me first.
“Aahh! I’m so clumsy!” she laughs.
Her laugh is so warm and sweet it makes me join in.
“I’m sorry! Are you okay?” she asks me.
And her smiling earthy brown eyes hold so much life. They stare directly into my soul with a confidence that I haven't ever seen studying humans before.
I don't know what to say.
Then I notice the hand that still rests calmly on my waist.
My eyes widen.
How long had that been there? Suddenly I wish I had put more time into being able to feel. Oh how I would give anything right now to be able to feel the way her hand felt wrapped around my waist and-
“Are you still here?” she says, snapping me out of my thoughts.
“Yeah. I- i’m okay.” I chuckle. “Sorry I was in the way.”
She laughs again and something somewhere in my complex body short circuits. My vision goes white for a split second.
“Nonsense! I ran into you girl.” she says, taking her hand off my waist and moving to my side.
I nod, laughing along with her.
She looks at me softly and I almost short circuit again.
“Hey do you want to go get a coffee with me?” she says suddenly.
The CONFIDENCE this girl has astounds me, and I really want to go get coffee with her. Before I know what i’m doing, I've already agreed, and we are on our way over to the nearest coffee shop.
On our way through the door an internal panic attack hits me. What the hell was I thinking?! I can't eat or drink, it would mess up my system. But I couldn't have just left her on the sidewalk and never seen her again.
Now I'm sitting with her at a table in a coffee shop, not saying anything as someone is trying to take my order.
“I think we’ll just have the one drink.” I hear from across the table.
And just like that all my panic is dissolved.
“Thanks.” I say quietly.
She laughs and I’m immediately calm.
“If you didn't want anything why did you come here with me?”
“I-” I take a deep breath. “Didn't want to stop talking.”
She looks back at me surprised.
“Really? I thought I was being annoying. Well that's nice to know.”
Her smile has officially overheated my engines, I can feel the emergency cooling system kicking in.
“So what were you doing in the middle of the sidewalk anyway?” she asks, as the waiter brings over her coffee.
“Oh, uhhh.” I bite my lip. “Basking in the sun…?”
We both laugh and she makes eye contact with me. For a split second we are smiling into eachothers eyes, and then the moment is over before it has even begun.
Why had I looked away? Out of shyness? or was it the way she made me feel weightless and lost in space.
I guess there was one good thing about having no blood.
I couldn't blush.
“You know…” she says with a cute little chuckle, “You have really pretty eyes.”
I blink, looking back up at her. She likes my eyes?
She likes my eyes!
“Yours are pretty too.” I say without thinking, and she smiles in response.
“Mine are just plain brown. I wish I had ones like yours, such a bright green.”
I shake my head.
“Your eyes are so rich and warm, how could you even say that? They are not ‘just brown’ They are full of kindness and secrets of the world. Your eyes have…” I stop, realizing that I've been rambling, and I look back into her eyes. “they have life.”
“I-” she looks like she’s about to cry and I wonder if i've said something wrong. “Thank you.”
Her words are barely a whisper as she stands up and pushes her chair in.
“I have somewhere to be, but do you think you could meet me at this address later?” She presses a small paper into my hand. “I really like talking to you.”
And just like that she’s gone.
After sitting alone in a coffee shop awestruck and full of thrill for way too long, I held up the paper she left.
“Meet me here at 7:00 tonight? ;)” followed by an address.
I smile to myself. Is this what the human’s ultimate joy they called “love” was?
But I wasn't a human, so why…? Why do I feel this way every time I imagine her warm smile and cheery laughter.
I was just circuits and gears.
But maybe this girl would understand, she definitely seemed like she would?
No, she definitely would.
It was my first day as a human and I was already feeling more alive than I had at any other point in the cave or even before that.
At exactly 7:00 that night I stood outside of a small home, just outside of the city.
I can't stop smiling and thinking about her face as I approach the door, and lightly knock.
She answers almost immediately.
“Hi!” I say smiling, “so I realized that I never caught your name earlier-”
“Ayrica.” she says slowly, and very quietly.
I wonder what happened to her crazy confidence from before.
“Hey, are you alright?” I ask, worried.
I feel as if we’ve switched personalities with her being so quiet. She was so loud and alive before, but right now she looks defeated.
“Im fine, follow me.” she says with a smile that seems much less genuine than it had before.
I notice the change of light in her eyes. It’s not quite gone, but it’s different. It shines underneath a coat of despair.
I follow her warily, thinking maybe the rest of her day had been less than fortunate. Not every human had perfect days all the time.
Ayrica leads me into a small living room and gestures for me to sit across from her on a fluffy grey rocking chair.
I sit, not being able to shake the feeling that something is off. I look towards Aryica, and stop in my tracks when I see shining tears fall from her pretty brown eyes.
“What’s-” I start to say, trying to stand, but something holds me back.
“I’m sorry Ava. I really am. Funny how the nicest human I've ever met is actually programmed.” she laughs, but this laugh does not bring me happiness.
It does not make me feel like I'm floating.
A tall man in a lab coat comes out from around a corner and shakes Ayrica’s hand.
“You did a good job. Thanks for taking care of it, I’ll talk to them about giving you a raise.” he chuckles, before turning to me. “Jeez she really does look real huh?”
I look to the floor wishing I could cry.
Wishing there was some way for me to prove that I was, in fact human.
But there is no way, because I’m not human.
“Let's finish up and turn her off for good before the government does it for us.” the man says, reaching towards me.
He fumbles around in my skull for a minute before pulling out a wire from my head that will leave this body empty and void of life if cut.
“Here it is,” he says.
I look over at Aryica before he cuts my power, and our eyes meet.
I must look terrible, because the second I meet her earthy brown eyes she chokes up and the confident eyes that before had made me giddy fill up with tears.
“I'm sorry.” she says, wiping the water off her face.
“Thanks for making me feel what love is.” I say.
And then I hear a clip and her beautiful brown eyes disappear forever.