If I Had a Robot
The doorbell sounded through the empty house loudly, solemnly. It was dark and dismal inside, the shades drawn to a close to prevent the winter from creeping in, but winter had long melted away to bring forth birds with their song and flowers with their scent, but alas, the windows stayed firmly shut. The doors were hardly opened, the lights hardly flicked on, instead darkness ravaged the house. It was the primary residence of the small abode, not the main caretaker, she, in and of herself, would seem like someone who would order every window thrown open at the first sight of sunlight. But she didn’t and hadn’t for quite a while, allowing the darkness to swallow up her small house.
The facade was simple enough. Not too ostentatious to draw much attention, but still glamorous enough to warrant raised eyes and curious glances. But once the story of the caretaker and her house got around, people stopped raising their eyebrows, stopped shooting curious glances around the windows in hopes to see the once beautiful girl.
Myths and legends arose around her, about her and the house, but it didn’t bother her. She was fine–at least this is what she told herself and the darkness every morning and every evening. She was fine.
The doorbell sounded again, this time tentatively. The delivery man contemplated forging the signature, leaving the seriously heavy package on the cement porch, and fleeing to the safety of his truck, away from the accursed house and whomever was going to answer the door.
When the knob finally turned, slowly, he glanced down at it, preparing himself mentally for whatever lay behind it. He was mistakenly surprised by the small young adult before him, ashy, but blonde all the same, hair messy on her small head. Her eyes were full of blue sadness, but showed curiosity that gleamed from their pools as she stared intently at him. He almost forgot his purpose of being there.
Without a word she signed the handheld device and pointed to a spot near the open door inside for the box to be set down. He chuckled at the thought of her opening it seeing as when he set it down next to her, it was longer than she.
Their interaction lasted fifteen or so seconds and then he fled to his truck, confused more than before about the mysterious girl.
Back inside, she had drawn out a small knife and carefully sliced fully through the clear packaging tape. The cardboard gave slightly and she eagerly flipped the flaps upward, revealing the contents inside.
A robot man lay before her in his cardboard bed.
She pilfered around the sides of his body, excitement raging inside of her, locating the instructions to her new possession.
She read aloud to no own in particular. “Please ensure that everything is as you ordered,” she read, eyes flickering from white paper to white man below her, “One male; medium height and build, curly brown hair,” her hand floated to his hair, yes it was curly and brown and luscious she thought, “green eyes,” she laughed as she folded his eyelid open gently, allowing her to stare thoughtfully for one second into the startling green eye before letting his eyelid snap shut, “excessive hair,” she had to fully laugh at this one, peering down behind the papers as she blushed at his fuzzy chin and neck, leading down to his robust chest, full of deep brown curls, even going lower; but she refrained herself from being distracted. “One dimple, straight teeth but crooked smile, mild freckles, large hands, perfect butt,” She laughed again, flipping the pages.
“Next, please read through the personality traits you have ordered: quiet, technologically-savvy, tender, intellectual, driven, sweet.” She nodded with each word, as if she could see it forming in front of her. “Continue on to hobbies: Photography, philanthropy, reading, movies, snuggling, exploring, eating.” She agreed with each of these too.
“Next read through the extra modifications you want your robot to have: understand, accept, and forgive past differences; find the positives in the negatives (clarified: what are the good things that happened because I left?); allow me to be sad about problems I have and in turn, try to comfort whenever possible, regardless of reason for sadness; always be there, physically, forever; will only photograph me, but will not ruin a date with a camera; will not spend too much time on the internet; will do his work, including homework; will find ways to make round two much better than round one; will love me forever, unconditionally, and without notion of the past.”
“To turn on your robot, simply give it a name and say ‘Hello!'” She sat there in shock.
A name? Everything is in a name. It can’t be something pretentious, or a previous male friend from eons ago. It had to fit him just right, but it can never be changed, so it had to be perfect the first time.
After many quiet minutes, she stared down at his soft face, the ever so slightly red beard, and it came to her.