“Well yeah, sure. I think so. I guess I don’t really know… Things would be different, if she was here. I don’t think…this would’ve happened”, he swallowed, unable to put words to exactly what went down. It was still too painful to think that the girl he liked slept with his father. He liked to think it wouldn’t have happened if his mother was around, but he wasn’t so sure about his dad having that decency if he was being completely honest.
“No, that’s….no. She wouldn’t do that…that’s not true. You can’t just make up rumors like that. You can’t just- why would you say that? That’s disgusting, you can’t talk about her that way. I know she’s made mistakes but that’s…no, no way. Not there. Not that.”
“I don’t know…I mean, Desi is nice, and she’s really pretty but she kinda scares me a little. I don’t know if she likes me, sometimes she seems angry and then other times she seems like she enjoys my company. It’s confusing.”
“Well, if everything goes according to plan, yes. I want there to be room for at least 1500 people with different wards according to age. I also want there to be a therapeutic section of the building, for the kids who need the most specialized care. I want this to be a place where nobody gets turned away because their case is ‘too difficult’. And I want there to be some assistance for the orphans when they move out. Not all of them will get adopted…so it’s important that they still receive some kind of support.” As he rambled on, he pulled out his sketchbook and showed her some architectural design sketches he’d made of the building. They were crudely drawn, as he was not an artist, but it was clear what he wanted to do. “I’m hoping to raise the funds myself but if that doesn’t work out, maybe people will donate to something like this. Seems like something people should care about, right? I mean, I know people can be stingy with money but…I don’t know, what do you think?”
“I remember she was very good at baking. I would wake up and most days, she would have something delicious in the oven. Like a muffin, or a brownie. And she would pack it for my school lunch. Her baking was so delicious I’m not sure how I didn’t gain twenty pounds, haha. My dad loved her baking too. I think half of the food budget probably went to flour and eggs.”
“I don’t know if it counts, but when I was little I could walk on my hands. Oh, and I can also squirt milk out of my nose. A kid from middle school taught me how, a while back.”
“Yeah, I did. I found out about it a while back, through my grandma. Dad doesn’t know I talk to her via email sometimes. It’s just…God, he always does stuff like this. I probably never would’ve known if she didn’t tell me. I don’t even know why he hides this stuff. I mean, what’s a name? I know he died, but…I don’t know. I would’ve liked to at least talk about him, you know?”
“Wow…”, was the only word that left his lips as he watched her twirl around in a dress that looked like it was made for her. She looked absolutely stunning. All of a sudden he felt silly in his suit. Everything looked and seemed so natural on her. “I mean, you look great! Happy Valentine’s Day, Honey. Here…I didn’t know which flowers you liked, so I bought one of each.”
“No, that’s ridiculous…” Jack answered reflexively, but then thought about the question a little bit longer. His dad was kind of an asshole. He knew that about the man. But getting involved with his own son’s girlfriend? No, that wasn’t happening. “Besides…if she’s my girlfriend, she likes me. Why would she want anything to do with my dad? You can’t steal somebody away who doesn’t want to be stolen.”
Slipping on a jacket and handing an extra to the other, it wouldn’t be long until Bree finished up packing; leaving nothing of importance behind. He may not need a jacket at that moment but it was for the sake of blending in. It was easy enough to slip out of the one-story house, jumping out her window and making their way down the sideway was easy. Getting anywhere past that was obviously going to be the hard part “Right.” she said, as she nodded and looked back out to the house they were walking away from. She always thought she’d be leaving that hell hole with her brother, this time it’s a now or never kinda deal. She had the other with her anyway, she won’t be as alone as she thought she would be before she met him “Okay, we can do that.” she then added, as she pursed her lips together and looked back at the other “I’m assuming you know the way?” she now raised an eyebrow at him. As widespread as androids were at this point, she barely had any experience with them. She rarely went out and they were too poor to have one of their own, even the cheapest and oldest models were far over the budget when you had two children to feed. Even her rations were small, just because her parents thought she was too big. Aside from the school staff, that’s all she really experienced the most when it came to these beings. It was a known fact that they were basically computers and so searching up how to get somewhere won’t be too hard for the other to do, right? “We should stock up, start hiking as soon as possible. Well, I should stock up.” he didn’t need food or water but she did. The warmth was something that was important too, he could stand the cold a lot better than she could. There may come a point in the winter that he’ll need warmth too but that time hasn’t come yet.
“I do.” Jack nodded when she asked him whether he knew the way. Just like any regular old computer, he had access to maps right inside of his system. It worked more or less like a TomTom. The only problem was that it could be tracked, and so he would only be able to use it for a certain distance if they didn’t want to ultimately be found. Luckily he’d already downloaded and saved the entire route to his database, making it easy to pull up any time they needed it. That didn’t mean they had no problems at all though. Like Bree said, she was gonna need food and water, and those things cost money. Money neither one of them had. He had no use for it outside of the humans he was supposed to serve, but he knew it was an important thing to have if Bree was going with him. That was why he took a job a few weeks before they left and tried to save up a little bit of money, so they would at least last a little while. It probably wasn’t enough for the whole journey though. “How about we go to the store and grab some sandwiches for you? We might be driving for a long time.” Jack glanced over at the road as they continued down the sidewalk, slowly approaching the nearby park they were supposed to cut through. But something was wrong.
He could instantly spot the other androids guarding the park, not because he was programmed to recognize them but because of the uniforms they were wearing. They were just one step down from police officers, patrolling the neighborhood in search of deviants. Slightly panicked, Jack reached out and tugged at Bree’s sleeve. “Maybe we should take another route”, he quickly told her under his breath, trying to subtly alert her of the fact that there were hostile eyes not too far away.
Bree has been harboring a deviant for quite some time now, she was human and felt sympathy towards these androids that have developed feelings. It’s amazing that after a decade since their existence, this occurred. The two have become friends and shared their stories with each other. Coming from a dysfunctional home, he already knew why she felt the strong need to help him and why leaving the home she was in was no problem at all. Her family was already close to being dirt poor, why continue living at a home you never go a day without crying? When you can run off and get bruised on your own terms from living off the land “Yes, I’m sure.” she said, nodding and turning to the bag he has already set up for himself “I’ve read up on it, it’s going to be hard but we can do it.” she then added, as she pursed her lips together and moved towards her closet now. She’s mainly been giving him clothes that used to belong to her younger brother, as well as her own clothes that were a lot more lose than the other. She grabbed some things and made sure not to leave with her runaway money. Of course, she had that, she’s been keeping at least a dollar for herself whenever she earns money somehow “We can go to the park. Think of a plan there?” she then suggested “There’s a lot of faces there, it’ll be harder to look through that crowd.” she now stuffed it all in her own bag and zipped it right up. Little did they both know, authorities were already circling that neighborhood. They’ve been careful, maybe they were after another android but it’s best to just head out right that instant.Read More Now!
“Alright. Let’s do this.” It was strange, before the deviant code was passed onto him through another android several weeks ago, he never experienced a single moment of insecurity or fear, or any other emotion for that matter. But now it was what he felt the most. Now his life mattered, because he could feel like a real person. He was afraid to die and that made things more complicated. Even though he was also able to feel joy like never before. It was the one thing that made all of the fear worth it, and Bree was someone who made life worth living too. He didn’t want to put her in danger. But he knew that even at home, she would still be in a dangerous situation. It might even be worse than if they ran away. He didn’t want her to ever suffer the same fate as her younger brother. “Sure, we’ll be able to blend in better”, he agreed when she suggested they head to the park first. He waited for her to finish packing, before he took her bag and hoisted it onto his shoulder. He didn’t get tired the way she did, nor did he experience any pain in his limbs if he walked for too long or carried heavy items. As they strolled along the sidewalk, he began brainstorming. “We can’t take the bus. But there will be a festival in Ontario in three days. Lots of people will be driving there - if we hitchhike, we might be able to get to the border too.” Bree had been kind enough to purchase a bus pass for him - something he was never able to obtain as an android. It helped him avoid detection several times but it was still too risky to use it for long periods of time.
“I can’t promise it will work.” He knew they had offered to come with him, but he also knew it wasn’t fair to ask them to uproot their entire life just to run away with him. He didn’t even know how far he would get, and if he was caught at some point he would be deactivated. Ever since the authorities became aware of their existence, deviants were swiftly dealt with. They were an anomaly, a fault in the script, a liability to humanity. “It won’t be safe”, he reminded them as he zipped up his bag. It had almost nothing in it except for a change of clothes, since he didn’t need any food or water to function. All of his parts were still intact and he was hoping that if he could just get to a different country, he would be able to blend in with real humans. Maybe even start a future. “We’ll hitchhike to the border. And then we’ll try to find a ferry willing to take people across to Canada.” Canada was one of the few known safe havens for androids who had gone rogue. “Are you sure you wanna do this?”
“you are the only person who actually sticks around in my life, jack. and that’s important to me. i don’t wanna do anything to change what we have..” she knew it might be hard for him to hear, especially since he was the one who initiated the kiss, so there must have been some reason behind it, but as much as she wanted things to be different. she didn’t want to lose him. “last thing i wanna do is lose my best friend, y’know?”
“Fair enough…”, he nodded somewhat wistfully. He wasn’t stupid - he knew she was trying to let him down easy but somehow that only made it worse. At least if she had been mean while she rejected him, he would have been able to tell himself that she was a mean person. He knew she wasn’t though. And he didn’t want to lose her from his life either. Even if they were only friends. “Alright, well…want to come in?”, he offered awkwardly. He wasn’t sure how to act around her now, if he should just go back to the way things were before.
jack was a good guy, and that was what scared cindy, because she wasn’t used to guys like him being around. he had a lot of power over her, he made her feel things she’d never had to worry about before and it was terrifying. when he tried to kiss her, she didn’t expect it, he caught her off guard, but she wasn’t going to admit that she wanted it just as much as him because she couldn’t. “i’d never leave you hanging.. don’t be silly. you caught me by surprise, but i’m not gunna throw away our friendship over it. it’s whatever.”
“Right, well…you know…I was just curious, I guess, I mean, it wasn’t like a big deal or anything”, he quickly tried to explain away the fact that he tried to kiss her. It was a lie, he really did have feelings for her, but it was embarrassing to admit. Especially since she pulled away the last second, got up and left. They hadn’t even talked since that night and he worried he’d made the biggest mistake. It was sort of a relief that she still wanted to be friends, but at the same time it was bittersweet since it wasn’t like he could just switch off his feelings for her. “Just out of curiosity…why’d you freak out? Did I have bad breath?”
It wasn’t like he hated Cindy - quite the opposite actually, he had liked her for a while. That was the whole reason he took it so hard when she freaked out over a kiss they almost shared. She had kissed plenty of guys, some of whom were not even friends with her, so why did she not want to kiss him? Did he do something wrong? Was he a bad kisser? He stayed quiet for a moment when she reminded him that they always hung out on saturdays. “I didn’t say that.” He was still conflicted but it was hard for him to say no to her. “I guess I didn’t think you’d show up after last weekend.”