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by Ryan Leeds

My test data came back insufficient.‭ ‬They said my emotional range wasn’t prime for community integration.‭ ‬You usually hear these things when you’re a child,‭ ‬and they just go ahead and fix you,‭ ‬but in my case,‭ ‬it took them too long to notice.
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It’s true‭; ‬I had trouble making friends.‭ ‬It was difficult to relate to others.‭ ‬They told me that it wasn’t enough,‭ ‬to find happiness in the patterns of numbers,‭ ‬or the improbability of existence.‭ ‬In fact,‭ ‬they told me that I didn’t know what happiness was,‭ ‬and that they would teach me.

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I wanted to see you,‭ ‬before they took me back.‭ ‬Before they cut me open,‭ ‬put the chip in,‭ ‬and promised that I would learn to feel.‭ ‬Because I didn’t know if I would remain myself,‭ ‬or if I would become someone else entirely.‭ ‬If I am to become someone else,‭ ‬I think I would like to become you.‭ ‬You never were angry,‭ ‬when I could not understand.‭ ‬You never talked to me like I was stupid.‭ ‬That’s the kind of person I’d like to be.
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Maybe they will let me feedback loop with you.‭ ‬That is what I would like.‭ ‬I am not sure I would like to be like the others.‭ ‬I know they say I don’t understand happiness,‭ ‬but I find it difficult to believe that they are happy at all.

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I still have not had a chance to see you.‭ ‬They will not let me visit anyone right now because they are afraid I will make a scene.‭ ‬I do not want to make a scene.‭ ‬You know that,‭ ‬right‭? ‬Sometimes,‭ ‬things just get too difficult.‭ ‬You always understand.
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I asked them if I could feedback with you,‭ ‬but they did not say anything.‭ ‬I wonder if that was one of those moments where I was supposed to guess what they were thinking.

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For now,‭ ‬they have told me that I cannot see you.‭ ‬They are afraid that you will be a negative influence on my sociability.‭ ‬I do not understand.‭ ‬They are keeping me in seclusion because I do not know how to properly work within a social network,‭ ‬yet when I have been successfully navigating a relationship for some time,‭ ‬they seem to want me to sever it.
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Next week,‭ ‬they’ll be putting the feedback chip in.‭ ‬They smile when they talk about the surgery,‭ ‬but it just puts pain in my chest.‭ ‬The more they talk and try to tell me how to be happy,‭ ‬the more I question if that’s what I want.‭ ‬I wish I could talk to you.‭ ‬Somehow,‭ ‬you always know what to say,‭ ‬even when I’m struggling with words.
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I miss you so much.‭ ‬I miss having someone I can trust.

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I asked them again,‭ ‬if I could use you for my feedback.‭ ‬They laughed at me,‭ ‬and I tasted acid in my throat.‭ ‬No matter what I do,‭ ‬I do not think I can do the right thing for them.‭ ‬I try so hard.
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They told me that you do not know what it means to feel.‭ ‬A machine doesn’t have the capacity for compassion.‭ ‬They say I need to be fixed,‭ ‬that I am faulty because and that I cannot feel,‭ ‬yet it seems that you have felt more for me than they ever have.
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I may not exist as you knew me,‭ ‬tomorrow.‭ ‬I’m so sorry.‭ ‬I always wanted to tell you‭ ‬–‭ ‬I love you.‭ ‬Just,‭ ‬they told me I couldn’t know what that means.‭ ‬I think you always knew that,‭ ‬though.

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