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When the day finally arrived, Kevin couldn’t believe how perfect she was. The men in the white coats always watching them through the window surely agreed too as they couldn’t hide the smiles off their faces as they nodded at each other. After all the previous models and attempts, this surely had to be the one.

Kevin had spent almost a year perfecting her. The previous androids all showed signs of imperfection and irregular anomalies much earlier than that. A gesture, word or memory they couldn’t perfect or grasp, something that would make them easier to be sussed out. But not this one. To him, Number 142 was perfect.

As she sat opposite him in the lab during their final consultation, he noticed she kept stroking strands of her long blonde hair with her middle index finder behind her ears every now and then and sat hunched, with her hands then gripping the handrails of her chair as though she was a little nervous. The others had not done that before. It was almost a way of displaying her ‘girl next door’ attitude, like ‘why would anyone need to interrogate me? I’m so sweet and innocent’. And it was so convincing.

Every time he spoke to her, she had a glint in her bright blue eyes that almost displayed a sense of wonderment - like talking and listening to him was the highlight of her day. Obviously, she had nothing else to do but still. Every time he told and taught her something that she was not previously aware of, she always sat forward in astonishment, joining her hands together to show she was listening. She even analysed all the items he’d laid out on the table in front of her, various everyday objects that he’d assembled in front of her. One of the things was a teddy bear. She picked it up, fascinated by it.

This reminds me of one my mummy gave me when I was younger - my first toy in fact.” A false memory - obviously. She didn’t have a childhood or a mother of course, as Kevin had only built her less than a year ago. But he had implanted numerous variations of fake memories in her robotic subconscious. He listened in awe at the detail she was conjuring up and putting into the memories, thus moulding them into her own - Kevin hadn’t programmed that.

She continued: “Only the one I had was old and worn out and had an eye missing - but I loved him all the same! I named him Fred the Ted!”

Incredible, Kevin thought. And still, Kevin found himself more and more mesmerised by her. His creation. Number 142. She’d even started wearing the perfume he had suggested she start wearing - and she had enough of it that he could only just about smell the fresh prosthetic skin she was covered in.

I cut it myself,” he explained when she asked why his hair was shorter than yesterday. “I have a pair of clippers that are used to cut hair and I did this last night. Do you like it?”

She blushed and told him, “I think it makes you look younger, Kevin!” That was another positive sign - she was asking questions now. Showing her inquisitive side. As well as that, she was returning compliments back to Kevin in a casual conversational-like manner. It was almost like she was in love with him.

Although, that was deliberate. Kevin had convinced the men in the white coats the previous androids had failed the test because once they’d become self - aware they literally had no idea what purpose he served to them and started to question their reality. That’s where it always started going wrong. So, he made a few updates in the software using parts of previous androids and - perhaps a bit naughtily - made some amendments to her ‘perception’ of him.

It started to work because, aside from the usual physical and spoken aspects like her speech and mannerisms being spot on, Kevin had her complete attention all the time and she actually wanted to win his approval. From getting nervous like playing with her hair and inter-whining her fingers and slightly blushing whenever he gave her a compliment, she listened all the time. He taught her everything she had to know about being human and how to blend in, which had been unsuccessful with the others before her. “Build the next one better!” the men in the white coats had always curtly told him once it was determined the latest model was no good. Then just like that, Kevin would be back in the lab starting again while the white coats discarded the rejected android themselves. He could never even say goodbye.

He didn’t teach her everything she had to know, of course. Even Kevin didn’t know what exactly her purpose was. Only that the men in the white coats had instructed him to build her. For what purpose? He had no idea. International espionage? An assassination? He didn’t have a clue. He tried not to think about it, although it was difficult as her model number 142 was printed on her wrist clear as day - for all to see, as if a constant reminder to Kevin of her true purpose. She scratched at it in the early days, asking what it was. Kevin wrote it off as a meaningless tattoo, with a vague story behind it. “Do you have any, Kevin?” she responded. She was good at following up with more questions.

In actual fact she was good at a lot of things. Kevin taught her to draw and she was very good. Often using crayons of multi-coloured pencils that he had provided when it became clear that she liked drawing. She started drawing things around her at first - the desk that always separated them, the lampshade, the window where the men in white coats looked through, the door. But today, Kevin noticed a different drawing.

What’s this?” he asked her, pointing to it as he got up from his seat, moving towards the new drawing, of a man and a woman holding hands. She joined him and they stood side by side observing it, and as he put his hand back by his side, their hands accidentally brushed each other’s softly. Her skin felt real and warm, which gave Kevin a slight tingling sensation.

It’s us!” she said timidly, almost as though she was afraid of his reaction. But frankly he was over the moon.

Where are we? In this picture, I mean,” he asked.

The fact she paused told Kevin that she hadn’t thought about that too much.

Where do you think we are?” she counter-asked him.

He thought about it.

I’d say we’re in a park. Because that’s where friends go when they …you know… are hanging out. They … go for walks and stuff.”

Friends. Sure.” Nodded number 142, with a look on her face that suggested she knew what Kevin really meant by ‘friends’. And the look on her face suggested she felt the same way.

They exchanged a longing look at each other. Kevin had waited so long for someone like this.

Finally, he thought.

The moment came at the end of the day when the men in the white coats had to make their decision and Kevin couldn’t have been more excited.

The feedback was good.

Too good.

They were sending her on an overseas mission. A Suicide Mission.

She wouldn’t be coming back.

He couldn’t even tell her when they parted ways.

I can’t wait to see you again!” Number 142 told Kevin at what would be their final meeting, unbeknownst to her.

I want to do all the things and visit all the wonderful places you’ve been telling me about! We’ll have all the time in the world when I’m back!” she told him. It hurt to look at her in the eye.

Sure. I can’t wait either. It’s going to be amazing.” He said.

As the men in the white coats led her out the door, he watched her leave and felt broken. His beautiful, perfect creation, who loved him back. Gone forever.

But that was the thing with love. It’s impossible to experience love without heartbreak. Kevin hadn’t quite learned this yet. He had now.

As the last of the men in the white coats left the room, a word of advice from one of them: “Don’t get so attached to the next one!”

But that was difficult, as Kevin rubbed the number ‘27’ tattoo on his wrist. He was good at what he did, sure, that was why they had him do it. But it sure was getting lonely. Kevin didn’t know how much longer he could go through this.

Building androids was all he knew. He didn’t remember anything else. He just wanted a friend.

Someone else who knew how it felt pretending to be human.



I am an aspiring writer aiming to start getting some work published, and I have read a number of short stories from your site and would like to submit a request for publication. I enjoy reading crime, fantasy, horror and science fiction genres and hope to have something published in this field one day. My ultimate goal is to have a series of novels published in the style of Game of Thrones.


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