Year 2026. Advances in modern day technology has allowed for the completion of a robot not only able to move by itself, but also think by itself. Currently in testing stages, it is inserted into the brains of comatose patients with the purpose of 'bringing them back to life'. This is the story of a nameless robot programmed to live as sixteen year-old car accident victim Sandra.
Why don't they love me?
Since the beginning of my existence, since the day I opened my eyelids to white-wash walls of a hospital and medical staff fluttering around in pale blue coats, the emotion in their eyes were not of love, but of apprehension.
"Look! She's moving!" Mother cried when I had awoken, tears streaming down her face and arms flinging around my neck. She sobbed into my shoulder, muttering the word sorry over and over again as if that one word had the power to make everything alright.
I had felt happy then, hopeful. A new existence; someone that loved me. You couldn't ask for anything more.
I know what I am. I know very well; I am a small chip, a small consciousness inserted into the body of a girl who in reality is all dead. Only her body remains alive. And yet, somehow I am expected to keep her whole being alive, cater to the whims of a family that can't accept the loss of their beloved daughter.
I'm mostly the same as her. My personality is programmed to match hers; what she likes, what she doesn't like, favourite food, bad habits. I can move like her, control the body that was once hers. The only muscles that I have trouble controlling, are the facial muscles. I can't smile, or frown, or cry.
It all spiralled downhill soon enough. I'd hear mother and father talking about me in secret from time to time. "You have to understand, honey", father said one night, "That's not Sandra. She may act like Sandra, she may look like Sandra… but she's not. It's just a robot with emotions and actions that aren't real."
"I know," mother sobbed back, with a voice that sounded like she didn't.
I knew that this heart didn't belong to me, but in that moment it ached all the same.
The night after, mother had a breakdown. I had been getting ready for bed when she offered to read a bedtime story for me. I was so elated.
"Yes please," I'd said, and couldn't smile but hoped it would show in my eyes.
"Sandra used to hate bedtime stories," she whispered, "She hated them! You're not Sandra!" Her voice rose in a crescendo, and I just stood there not knowing what to do. "Why can't you be Sandra!" She slammed the picture book down to the floor and stormed out.
What did I do wrong?
Soon, the days started to drag by and mother lost herself piece by heartbroken piece.
Today though, I'm determined to make her love me. "Let's go shopping now." I tell her after a particularly silent dinner. "I want new clothes."
"But it's dark outside, and pouring." She tells me, but there's a smile lighting up her face nonetheless. "You have always made such unreasonable requests."
We make our way outside. She's right; outside it is totally pouring. We share one umbrella between the two of us.
"Quick, the shops are going to close soon!" Mother says, and we start to run; past the park, past the grey old shops, ignoring the traffic lights as we cross the small pedestrian crossing.
Suddenly there's a screeching sound, and bright white headlights; too bright. I shout, and even without my faster-than-human-fast reactions I know the car's going to hit us. So I push her, out of the way.
The world turns black for one moment.
Opening my eyes just a crack, I stare up at the face of mother. "Sandra, Sandra!" she cries, and it makes me so happy; she's never called me by that name before. I look down, and see blood everywhere, blood belonging to the girl named Sandra, blood belonging to me. "Not again! The exact same thing can't be happening again!" mother sobs and I don't get what she means.
But I don't care. Because in this brief and fleeting moment I am so happy. I am happy because, for the first time ever I am real. Because…for the first time since my existence, I am alive.
For the first time ever I smile.
Story/speech written for english class, appropriation of a fairytale into a modern setting. This story is loosely adapted from Pinocchio. Done under a 800 word word limit.