A man cannot be moral without power, and when that power is awakened in a woman, weakness cannot save you. -Intellectual Shaman

I was desperate for something I couldn’t define. My peers wanted to be called “doctor.” I wanted to know who I was.

“You won’t be able to love people in the same way,” my mother said. “It’s your autism that gets in the way of your feelings.” Whether or not this was true, was impossible for me to know. Did everyone love in the same way?

Medical school wasn’t working out. It wasn’t for a lack of scientific ability; it was… How did my professor put it? “No bedside manner.”

I struck out.

And I was striking out with women too, ever since I realized they weren’t annoying, or maybe they were, but I was willing to overlook that. They let me help them with their homework, but when I asked them out, they always had boyfriends, or boy problems.

I did have friends though, but they were all stranger than me. Not in a bad way; just unable to interact with “normal” people, successfully.

Society is ordered, just like me, but their rules are invisible, and I don’t understand them, in the same way I don’t understand women.

I asked my professor about this and he said, “Don’t try.”

Molly was the girl I had my eyes on. She was cute and intelligent in a girlish way, but Brian was always horning in. He was still in medical school. They let him do research, just as long as he didn’t interact with the patients. How did my professor describe him? “Creepy,” I think. I agree on this point. Brian was working on a PhD while completing his medical degree.

He was doing research on human skin, “the largest organ of the body,” he said frequently, “and the most important.”

“What about the human heart?” I asked.

“Overrated; they can transplant a heart, but living growing skin is another matter.”

“I’ve seen it done.”

“What you’ve seen is like paper mâché, compared to the skin I invented. I’m going to patent it, and make a billion dollars.”

“Can I see it?”

“Sure, but you have to look at it under infrared. It’s still sensitive to sunlight.” His darkroom was like a dungeon. There were nude photographs hanging on the walls, but they weren’t erotic; instead, they were scientific, still creepy though.

“I feed it vitamin D. Look at it under the microscope; you can see it growing. With the right nutrients, it will grow into any form.”

“Really?” I asked.

“Really.”

“What can it be used for?”

“Burn victims, robotic limbs, maybe you could build yourself a girlfriend? AI is nearly there—a robot girlfriend in the flesh.”

I thought about what he said. It was so creepy, but I was in engineering school, and some of my friends would be willing to work night and day for a good woman. It was better than ordering one overseas. They usually showed up, got married, got divorced, and got with another guy. That wasn’t going to happen to me, so I got to work.

Jerry was taking drama. He had a flare for making masks, and he began to sculpt her face.

“And remember… she needs to be blonde, think Pamela Anderson.” Brian was working on her legs, and kept losing focus. “Her ass; it’s so beautiful.”

I was working on her bone structure, connecting her neurons, playing with her feelings. “She will be sad and somewhat suicidal; the only person who can make her feel good is me.”

“God, you’re a narcissist,” Brian said.

“Look who’s talking…”

“How long until she’s done?” Jerry asked.

“Are you in a hurry?” Brian laughed.

“Guys with girls get more respect.”

“Just patent something and make a billion dollars.”

“Money isn’t power. How many so called ‘powerful guys’ get disrespected behind their backs?”

“Like who?”

“Bill Gates, for one.”

“Good point.”

“Okay, Jerry wants respect, and I want to get laid; what do you want Andy?”

“Power.”

“Women will steal your power; don’t you want to fall in love.”

“I used to. Now I want revenge.”

“Oh, there’s plenty of guys who get that; they usually buy a gun first.

“No, those guys are outcasts, and they remain outcasts. I need to beat “normal people” at their own game.

“How do you plan to accomplish that?”

“By having the perfect girlfriend.”

6 months later I was still trying to get her knobby knees right. I consulted with Japanese engineers who were further along in the process. Apparently, a perfect wife is desperately needed in Japan; for that matter, a perfect wife is desperately needed everywhere.

I’m not sure why I wanted to make her unfaithful, neurotic, and a feminist. It could be due to my upbringing in the West. The last feature I installed was the most important. It was a memory-wipe, brain explosion button. It was big and red and I carried it in my pocket all the time, just in case she started thinking for herself.

I was eating my hamburger next to the fountain when Jerry and Brian showed up.

“Come on, it’s been over six months. You work slower than a construction worker.”

“You know what they say about engineers?”

“No, what?”

“They took six days to create the universe, and on the seventh, they took it apart again.”

“That’s pretty good…”

“Not as good as that.”

I looked where Brian was staring. She had milky white legs and an iron chest, a perfect mouth, and tattoos that ran down her arms, into her black nails. Her blonde hair was cut short, and parted to the side; she was hotter and smarter than any man.

She looked at me, and I stared at her. We were speaking the same body language. Finally, someone understood me. She walked over, swaying her hips, rubbing against me.

“Who’s your friend?” Jerry asked.

“Don’t you know? Look at her face…”

“My god. You finished her? When do I get to take her out on a date? What’s her name?”

“Emma, and hold on. Hold on. I don’t want her soiled or tainted in any way. I need my revenge.”

“Why do you persist with that? You know what Confucius said?”

“No.”

“Man who plots revenge digs two graves.”

“No one will die.” I pulled out my iPad. Flirt with the football boys. She did. Go to the sorority party. She did.

Ten days later, I gave her a checkup. She was all red down there. “Jerry, I’m sorry, sex is out of the question, unless you want an STD. Her feminist tendencies are extreme, and she’s been crying for the last five days. She keeps telling me that she wants to die. I’ll need to hook her up to the computer psychiatrist for at least five days.”

“What’s wrong with you? Why did you make her that way?”

“It’s the only woman I’ve ever known. I wanted her to be real, not fake.”

“You’ve got a screw loose, man.”

“You’re right. Several.”

After her therapy, she joined me in my PE class. It was the best humanities class—where I could show her off properly. The guys got her number; some of them didn’t. She worked the room like a pro, in her butt shorts and halter top.

“Go on 10 dates, Saturday night,” I said. She did. It was a world record. She had such stamina. One guy dated her at two in the morning. She broke all their hearts.

The next day, I gave Emma a check-up. Her skin was stained red.

“Is that blood?”

“No,” she said.

I taught her to lie, but I couldn’t tell if she was lying. I checked the program. She was. I watched the video from Saturday night through green night-vision goggles; the horror, as she snuffed out each man.

I had created a monster.

“Your heart’s beating faster,” she said.

I reached for the red button.

“Looking for this?”

She severed my chest, holding my heart in her hands. Then she squeezed.

“This must be what it feels like to have your heart broken…” I said.

The End

7 thoughts on “Robot Girlfriend

  1. That was actually pretty good. I’ve sensed some Hemingway and Bradbury vibes in your writing. With a little edge, of course. I have to admit, the metaphor was good. I don’t know if you intended it, but it seems like the metaphor is that Feminists are going to rip your heart out, but a certain kind of man wants that kind of chick.

    It was very horror like. Using a foil for the protagonist was a good choice because it sets the moral tone that a certain kind of person wants a robot girlfriend.

    It’s very Sci-fi from the 1950s. It’s a good story. If you can create a collection of about 50 of these with this level of quality and command of metaphor, you’d easily have a book worth selling.

    Liked by 1 person

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