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Last Week’s SS:  Lonely No More


“Do you like him?” Victoria asked.

I turned to the doorway and saw her standing there. I hadn’t heard her come in. I’d later learn from that momentary lack of vigilance. But in that moment, I was too elated to have my new lion friend. I smiled wide, then ran to her, wrapped my arms tight around, and hugged. She gave me a gentle pat on the head. 

“I’ll take that as a yes.”

I nodded vigorously.

“He’s not just a pet, you realize. He’s a protector. He’s also a responsibility. Mechanical or not, he will only add to the list of things you must do everyday. Every morning he needs to be polished. I don’t want to see any tarnish on him. You must take him outside to and run him around to keep his gears agile. You must train him. Whether you want to write code or do it the old fashioned way, that’s up to you. But I won’t have him being disobedient because his training isn’t sufficient. You know that I don’t run my house that way. I also don’t want him to just stand about, blocking my path. He is an intelligent machine. You must treat him as one.”

I nodded my understanding once more.

“Good. Then, let’s go have breakfast. We’ve got a late start this morning, which is, understandable considering. But we still have a lot to do today.”

She turned to the door. I returned my attention to the lion, staring deep into his blue eyes, and felt his steamy simulated breath on my skin. Only after a moment did I realize Victoria hadn’t left yet.

“I’m coming,” I said.

“It’s not that,” she said.

She was hesitant to talk in a way I hadn’t heard her be before.

“What is it?” I asked.

She breathed in deep and held it. She took a step through the doorway. Without turning back, she spoke.

“Happy birthday.”