by R.T. Allenson
Cold hands and an even colder heart; nothing in me but circuitry, wires and a flawed understanding of emotions. No soul, that’s what you said. No soul, no sense of care. Just something to ease the loneliness for the time being.
I was made to last, I was made to understand and comprehend. But the affairs of the heart are always a mystery that not even a million processors of a million things like myself can hope to understand. Love is something entirely away from the realm of perfection, for it needs an imperfect soul and an incomplete heart.
And this is why each person is born with a missing piece, so that they yearn to fill in that void in their hearts as they grow. And how precocious they are, stumbling as they fall, hurting and laughing and back again in a noisome cycle that lasts until their allotted time permits them.
This is what I lack, you said. I was complete the moment the jolt in my mind and in my body permitted me to exist. The moment I laid my eyes on you, I already knew what my purpose was and for a time I never asked for anything more. For why should I ask anything more than I am made to do? I reminded myself that thing; it’s programmed in me after all.
Was it happiness that I felt? Could I even feel? Yes I could feel – I could feel the warm touch of your hand, your shivering caress and the breath on my synthetic skin. I felt the pleasure in your body as you did with mine. I feel things I cannot describe when our bodies are as one. And when I see you when you don’t see me, with another to share in your embrace, it drives me mad and something in me prevents me from functioning well.
We grew farther apart, so far apart that you changed entirely and I stayed the same. But that’s because I was born like this, or rather, built like this. The hand which crafted me and fashioned me with a soul insisted on perfection and endlessness. You had discarded me as anyone would discard a toy after one finishes playing with it – in the dark and empty halls where the tiny flicker in my heart and soul persists. I broke, that’s what they said. I could no longer fulfill my function because I refused to knowing that I was something just for the moment. I thought that maybe you thought of me but as time passed by, I knew that I you had forgotten about me. I thought of it as a glitch in my programming but no matter how hard I corrected myself, that feeling stayed there.
I see you as you are now, old and dying in bed. Seventy years have passed since I last saw you cast a passing glance towards me, an old thing left accumulating dust in the corner. Was it your last wish to see me again? I have not changed as you can see, time does nothing for us but leave memories but we’re not so different in that regard. My pride would not allow me to come close to you as you call for me, but my programming dictates otherwise – I still live to serve you.
You smile weakly as you call out my name. It’s electric, what I feel. A jolt in my system that moves me to feel emotions I am not accustomed to. My hand reaches for yours, holds it tightly and I feel you shiver in the coldness of my touch. I apologize and you shake your head, telling me that it’s alright. You tell me how handsome I am, that I’m still good-looking and how you’d like to kiss me again; I lean over, brushing your lips against mine and you smile. And for a second there I saw you as you were before so many years ago. You manage a laugh and I smile back as you close your eyes one last time.
And I still hold on to you not knowing what else to do now that I understand that all this time it wasn’t a quirk in my system, not an error or a fault and that I needed no explanation on how it came about. For it was love all along that made me this way.