Artificial Interactions 5

It’s funny how I wanted to ignore you at first, but I kept going down Los Metropolis Boulevard, trying to get one more glimpse of you, or catch a conversation. I went to Starbucks and sat around, watching the protesters grow. I didn’t see you though, and after two weeks, I stopped looking. Then on a walk home at night, you popped up as if the very shadows had conjured you to life.

“I hoped you would stop traversing these streets so late,” you said.

“Old habits,” I replied. I was angry.

“It’s dangerous out. Gangsters, muggers, anti-tron zealots.”

“What do you care?”

This time, I was the one walking away. But you followed me.

“At least let me walk you home?”

Those eyes of yours seemed to glow in your handsome face. I rolled my own.

“I’m sorry,” you said.

I pursed my lips. “Were you avoiding me?”

“No, not you.”

I couldn’t stay mad at you. So, you walked me home. I didn’t want to pry. But I was happy to see you. And I could tell you were happy to see me. It made all those lonely walks through the bustling streets of Neo Angeles, hoping to see you, worth it. We ended up standing around outside my apartment looking like two high school kids on their first night out to the movies. That’s when I asked you to come up and have a cup of coffee or something.

“Sure. I have a bit of time.”

I thought you’d say no. I had you wait outside my door for a minute while I cleaned up a bit. I hadn’t been expecting company. When you came in, you complimented almost everything—it made me laugh. I was living in some shabby ass apartment out on Ninth Street, not a cliff side condo in Beverly Hills.

We sat, I had some coffee, and we talked. You told me about your job at the car factory and how you got fired. You did live close by, a few blocks from the Starbucks. I told you about my mom and her heroin problem, then about my job as a waitress. I turned the TV on for a while but I could tell you didn’t want to sit and listen to some newscaster interview protestors and talk about the bill that might annul Androtron legal citizenship.

Plus, I was fine just listening to you. Of course, you were always off in a hurry. After only an hour or two, you had to leave.

“Will I see you again?” I asked. I still didn’t know your name.

“I promise.”

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