Jim had been saving up for years, and he finally had enough for the sex robot of his dreams. Six feet tall, blond, Quad AI processing, the strength of three men. In the long run, the thing would pay for itself. It would do his laundry, install the air conditioner for him, clean behind the refrigerator, and fulfill all of his shameful, disgusting fantasies.
He went online to place the order and there was a problem. Out of stock? Basic models only? Every time he clicked, he got a different error message, so he finally decided to call. After three hours on hold, he chose the option to be called back.
Two days later, Jim awoke to his phone buzzing and scrambled out of bed. If he missed this call, they might never call him again, and where did he leave his phone? He saw movement on top of his refrigerator and leapt to it.
“Hi. Is this Gyum Alfererer?”
“Yes, this is Jim.”
“I call from sex robot factory. $5,000 only good for basic now.”
“What? What’s basic?”
But he was already at his computer looking it up. Basic was basic. No Quad AI. No strength of three men. He could still get it in blonde, but only up to 5’2”, which seemed kind of arbitrary. And the thing barely had an a-cup, it could probably get by with a training bra.
“What is Dual Core? Compared to Quad AI?”
“Still very good. Not as good Quad AI, Quad AI much better. But Dual Core still very good.”
Jim groaned. He was checking the specs, but they meant nothing to him.
“Could you give me a comparison?”
Quad AI was supposed to be like a real human, except smarter. More capable. It could download muffin recipes and follow the instructions flawlessly. If there was a problem with your oven or toilet, it could diagnose it and even fix it if you had basic tools.
“Quad AI very good. Like sexy Einstein. Dual Core, still very good.”
“So not sexy Einstein, but still good.”
The ‘sir’ made Jim suspicious.
“How good? Like a little slow? Or Forrest Gump slow?
“Is better than Forrest Gump. Especially with sex stuff.”
It had been ten years since Jim had gotten laid. According to his brief mental calculations, he would be able to afford the version he wanted in about seven years, so in reality, probably never.
“Fuck it. Send it to me in blonde.”
Three weeks later she arrived as a brunette, and she was 5’0” tall maximum. The thing, Lucy, looked like a child.
“Did you have trouble finding my apartment?”
“Yes. Many problems. But now I am in your apartment. What sex acts would you like me to perform?”
Lucy tried to hang up her coat and missed the hook, then spent a good 30 seconds swiveling as her eyes focused on the coat and she maneuvered to retrieve it. Jim felt sorry for her, which made her attractive in a way.
“Well since you’re already down there.”
A minute into his blowjob there was a loud pounding on his door.
“Mr. Allen? It’s the police. Open the door now!”
He pushed Lucy away and pulled his pants up.
“Your neighbors say you have a child prostitute up there.”
What the hell was wrong with his neighbors? They were a bunch of dirty-minded cretins.
“It isn’t what you think.”
“We’ll be the judge of that.”
Jim opened the door and two large cops pushed past him into his apartment. The second they saw Lucy, they both relaxed and started laughing. The fatter cop, Byrson, looked at him.
“That fucking company. They bait and switch you with the blonde, and then a month later . . .” He tilted his head toward Lucy.
“My advice,” said the slightly slimmer cop, “keep her inside.” He cocked his head at her. “She isn’t bad. I’d hit that. But walking around on the street, it looks like a 14 year old girl.”
“Every guy’s fantasy” said Bryson, and they both laughed as they left.
Jim moved to his couch and sat down, and Lucy followed and sat with him. She stared at his face for a few seconds, then around at his apartment.
“Do not be sad. You live in a dirty studio apartment. I will clean it for you.”
She started to stand and Jim motioned for her to stay.
“It’s alright. Maybe you could just sit with me for awhile?”
Lucy settled back down and Jim rested his head on her shoulder. It felt like the end of a five-pound dumbbell covered in an inch of foam. He took her hand and felt her squeeze back, and for the first time in his adult life for as long as he could remember, started to cry.