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Don't let the title mislead you. This story is my story. I am Zeze. And I am still friends with Mary and Julia.

The title alludes to the fact that Mary was born in April, around Easter in fact, and Julia was born in May. And when they were in their early teens, Mary at 14 and Julia at 13, they were in a beauty pageant to find the most beautiful girl born in the USA, 'Spring's Teen'. They were co-winners, and now they were preparing for the final countdown, the final hurrah on Freedom Day. For Mary had been accepted by 'New Haven University' and Julia was preparing to finish her two year vocational training for Massage Therapy. From that day forward they would be friends only through the services of the 'United Postal Service' (UPS) and their local telephone companies. Letters wouldn't be quite the same but they would help ease the pain of being apart nonetheless. So Mary, Julia and myself were spending the afternoon before that night's fireworks display in Julia's tree house, for possibly the very last time.

#

"Julia? Why'd you pick massage therapy? Won't that be a little too, as they say, 'hands-on'?" I was shocked to see the tears of laughter stream down Julia's face.

"No, Zeze, it won't be. I'm doing clothed massage. Since applying pressure to the muscles is how massage works, I needn't get naked nor need my clients. Therefore, I can stay moral and still serve." I was pleased by this response and turned my next question to Mary.

"What are you planning to study at New Haven, Mary?"

"I'm not sure, Zeze. I'm thinking of Majoring in Journalism and Minoring in Creative Writing. I want to tell the news but in a clever way." I laughed, yes, laughed. On Julia's 16th birthday I received an emo-chip in my positronic matrix, and I've had the usual roller coaster of emotions since. But I'm very glad that I got it, as it was Julia's birthday request. "Let me ask you, Zeze; when are you going to upgrade to a fully adult body?" I blushed, as much as I could through my silvery skin, and slightly shivered. I knew what Mary meant by 'fully adult'. 5 years previous Trans-Allied Robotics had invented a sex-worker synthoid, and now the bodies were available to every synthoid who wished to upgrade.

"I might upgrade to the fashion doll body, but never the SW one." Mary seemed disappointed by this but Julia seemed pleased. This didn't surprise me one bit as Julia was very strong in her faith. She was an assistant Sunday School teacher at the 1st Wisslerite Meetinghouse of North Vernon and she was in line to become the wife of Ezra Yoder, who was himself studying to show himself approved as a shepherd, the Wisslerite term for pastor. I was thankful, though, for both Mary and Julia. They were truly 'Best Friends 4-ever', which is what the tattoo they both had said. This tattoo was received by both after a wild night of debauchery. Julia hadn't wanted to go to the party at Ball State, but Mary had insisted and so, after a night of vodka shots and questionable behavior, Mary and Julia awoke the next day in the same bed, sans clothing, and with said tattoos. They were both satisfied that neither of them had seduced the other, and they figured the nudity was because they'd had no pajamas. However, though both have had the opportunity, the experience made both swear off drinking ever again and since that night no alcohol has touched their lips.

"Mary," Julia asked, "are you ready for college?" I leaned in, intent on Mary's answer, as I too wondered if she were ready.

"As ready as I'll ever be, I reckon. It's a different world from where you've come from, or so I've heard. I know one thing, if I go to parties, it's ginger ales all the way."

"For sure! And why not? Getting drunk does nothing but wipe out the memories you were attempting to create in the first place." I had to add my two cents worth into the conversation.

"What does drinking and eating feel like?" Julia and Mary looked my way with hints of sadness in their eyes.

"Zeze, I guess we never thought that while we were stuffing our faces at 'Art's Pizza' you were completely lost as to why." Mary looked genuinely about to cry. I put out my hand and patted hers gently.

"Mary, don't cry. I know why humans have to, as you say, 'stuff their faces'. I just wish I could taste food and drink. There are some major drawbacks to being a synthoid." Julia and Mary embraced me and, as three dear friends, we held each other close, desperate to keep it all from ending too soon. But dusk was approaching and it would soon be fireworks time. So, we packed up our blankets, the radio and our cooler and prepared to head to the Freedom Day display, Mary the scholar, Julia the massage therapist and myself, soon to have my positronic matrix downloaded into a fashion doll body. But before we left Julia made one request that neither Mary nor I could argue with.

"Could I pray for you? Both of you?" I inwardly laughed at that last part as I was created in a factory by Bob, Worker 662. But, Julia was so sweet to ask, and include me, that I shook my head yes just like Mary did. And so, Julia began. "Father God, I lift up to you now my friends, Mary and Zeze. They're beginning a new chapter in their lives, Dear Lord, as am I. And I ask, Dear Lord, that you watch over each one. Keep Mary safe in New Haven and keep Zeze safe as she begins the change of bodies. Let her positronic matrix be intact through it all so her memories of Mary and I stay with her in her new form. Let no evil befall either one, God, and let none of us ever forget what we mean to each other until our dying day. Lord, we thank You for all You do for us and we pray that we never fail to stay true to You and to Your Son, Jesus. It's in His Name we pray, now and always, Amen." I swear to you, if I had tear ducts, they'd have been working overtime right then. We hugged again and headed out, three friends for life.

July 14, 2020 01:55

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2 comments

Jubilee Forbess
05:17 Jul 14, 2020

VERY interesting story, Scott. Lots of creative thinking going on here, lots of imaginative energy around this writing. :)

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Scott Smock
12:57 Jul 14, 2020

Thank you so much! This whole writing thing is a way to celebrate my mother who wrote well as well and who passed her talent onto me.

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