Alive and Living

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I remember waking up next to a man, a stranger to me. As I screamed seeing him, he woke up alert. “What is it? Is it happening again?” I stopped crying and stared at him. I couldn’t recognize his face. As I stared, he repeated the question. He wouldn’t have guessed my answer, “Who are you?” a voice came from me. He looked confused. “I am your husband, Jennie.” It felt like I was hearing my name for the first time. I didn’t understand. I didn’t remember anything but that I woke up this morning, and it was a new life. I stood up and stared into the darkness as he turned on the lights. Everything looked new to me. I kept pointing at everything, asking what it was, and he would patiently tell me what it was.

“We will work it out.” He consoled me. I didn’t understand. The only person I recognize now is him. As he told me our love story, I could see him smile. I felt that this man loved me so much. But, I couldn’t remember any of the things he narrated. I was sad. I asked him to let me be alone for some time, and he agreed. As he left the room, I began to search everywhere to seek answers to the questions piling up in my mind. Was he lying? Am I Jennie? If so, why can’t I remember it?

As I searched, I found an official ID card. I stared into the picture; yes, the girl resembled me. I looked for the company’s name, “Robotics– We serve you good!”. I again searched for my name, and I could only find characters in place of my name, which said I was ‘#300RD1’. I was confused- is this where I worked?

I made up my mind and dressed up to find myself what was going on. I saw the man sleeping on the couch as I left the room. I didn’t feel like waking him up, so I left the apartment alone. I took a cab which dropped me right in front of the company. As I went to the reception, the lady greeted me as if she knew me. “Ma’am, how is your health? is the malfunction still continuing? Do you need to replace it?” I didn’t understand what she told me, but I smiled and said I was okay with what I had. So I understood that this was not my workplace, but I was a regular customer. Why would I come here anyway? “I want to meet your boss, is he available?” I enquired. “Is it about the malfunction?” I nodded. She asked me to wait for some time, and I did.

After half an hour of waiting, the young lady came and asked me to meet him upstairs. I took the lift and followed her instructions. As I reached the 7th floor, I saw a young man, maybe in his mid-thirties, walking towards me, smiling. He greeted me and said, “How are you, my favorite customer?”. I smiled and followed his lead. Before I could ask him anything, he started to speak. “How do you feel in her tell me? You are our first customer to use such an advanced robot as your assistance. She has all the features of a real woman and adding to that, emotions and feeling just like a real human being would feel. We are making history.” He laughed. With his brief speech, I understood what I was going through; I accepted the bitter truth that I wasn’t the real woman he was talking to, but a robot she bought that had now malfunctioned.

“What would happen if the robot malfunctions and shut down itself or loses control by me and starts to think and do things of its own?” I asked him. He laughed at my question and said. “Silly girl, the robot is not the one which is malfunctioning it is you. Your health determines the strength of the control you have on it. Leave the concept of ‘its-own-mind’ stuff we have embedded that concept if only the owner dies.” As I heard it, I was curious. “What happens if the owner dies?”. He took a step closer to me, “The robot won’t be a robot anymore. It will have its own mind. A new human being like an infant would be born in its mind. The only thing is it would never remember anything it felt when the owner was alive. it can make its own memories and stay as young as it would be and die when the system crashes. It would communicate and doesn’t need any help in remembering language and stuff as it is already available in the database.” As I heard it, I ran. I could hear him calling my name, but I didn’t stop. I heard what I wanted. That meant the man was not lying to me. The real liar was the lady who never disclosed that I was just a dummy. I even wondered if she had ever loved him truly, just like he loved her.

I reached home and broke down. I could feel my chest burst. Suddenly tears roll down my cheek that probably woke him up. He ran to me and hugged me. “What if you don’t have memories? We will make them together again”, he smiled. His words made me smile. So what if I am a robot? He fell in love with me. I had planned to run away from home before he woke up, but I didn’t want to break his heart. For I am alive, I would live my life with him until the system crashes, and that would be a “Who-Knows-When” thing. Then and there, I fell in love with the man and decided to make memories that I would treasure until I updated myself again.

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