How they met…a short story
“You’re different,” she said, standing next to the small table where he was sitting. “I don’t know what’s it is, but you’re not human.”
“You can see me?” he asked, surprised.
“Well, duh!” she said, rolling her eyes. “Why would I be talking to you if I couldn’t see you?”
“Maybe in your own mind,” she chuckled. “So, what’s your story? What are you? Where are you from and what are you doing sitting in the Laughing Lizard all by yourself?”
“I can’t believe you can see me,” he said frowning. “You’re not supposed to be able to do that.”
“Maybe you didn’t hear all of my questions. I think we’re past the, I can’s see you, bit, don’t you agree?”
“People are watching you talk to yourself,” he said.
She looked to her left and sure enough, people were staring at her. She held up her hand and smiled. “Drama student. We are doing a new version of The Invisible Man, and I’m practicing for a role. I didn’t mean to disturb anyone.”
“You’re pretty good,” said an old man, munching on a carrot. “Hope you get the part.”
“Thank you,” she said, bowing to him.
She turned back to the invisible person and whispered, “Meet me out in front.” Then she picked up her backpack, her sunglasses and coffee, and exited the cafe. He followed her. She started walking.
“So? What are you?”
“I’m an recorder.”
“I want to know what you are. I mean are you an AI? Like in the Terminator? Exoskeleton, I’LL BE BACK! kind of thing, or are you just a different form of human from the future.”
“What do you mean, what?” she said, stopping on the sidewalk to stare at him.
“I’ll be back? From where? What are you talking about? You think I’m here to terminate humans?”
“I have no idea why you’re here, that’s what I’m trying to find out. What are you? What purpose do you serve and why are you here?”
“I can ask you the same questions, can’t I.”
She glared at him and started walking again.
“I can and you know it. No one knows anything about what they are, what purpose, if any, they serve and they sure don’t know why they’re here.”
“That’s mean,” she said.
“No it’s not. It’s the truth.”
“I know,” she sighed. “Can you make yourself visible? I don’t want to be seen talking to myself again.”
“Is this okay?” he asked.
She bit her bottom lip and said, “Definitely,” as she took in his torn jeans and Aerosmith t-shirt. He wore battered boots and his hair… “Hey, you look different than you did in The Lizard.”
“This is what you like, so I just thought…”
“Why did you look the way you did before?”
“That was my traveling look. Nondescript, boring, forgettable. If someone was able to see me they wouldn’t remember me at all.”
“I saw you.”
“I know. You shouldn’t have been able to do that.”
“Like your fantasy.”
“How do you know?”
“I can read your heart and this is what you want.”
“I might hate you.”
He laughed. “Hardly.”
“Are you going to answer my questions?”
He shrugged. “None of the answers matter.”
“What if they matter to me.”
“What if they do?”
“I know why you’re here.”
He laughed again. “Do tell.”
“Seriously man, who talks like that? Do tell?”
“Whatever,” he said. “Tell me why you think I’m here.”
She sighed and stopped walking again. “You’re here for the same reason I am. Why do you think I can see you. You’re here to see life on earth before The Third World War destroys everything. Before this way of life is gone.”
“Where are you from?” he asked.
“Not important,” she said.
He nodded. “It’s a shame they let things get this far.”
“Tell me about it,” she said. “It could have been a wonderful planet, filled with life, beauty and harmony.”
“Once humans were here, all chances of those things were lost,” he said.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with them.”
“No one does.”
“They had so many chances,” she said, watching a squirrel run up a tree.
“Only one voice. The voice of male violence, wealth, fear and again, greed.”
“Well,” she said. “Let’s hope that if any of them survive, they do a better job next time.”
“They won’t. They’ve had two world wars and a million smaller ones. They never learn. They are simply a destructive and deadly species.”
“Want to get some ice cream?” she asked.
“Sure. What’s your name?”
“When I’m here, it’s Kitty.”
“When I’m here, it’s Eddie. Are you going to get a cone, a sundae, malt or….”
“Yes,” she snickered. “All of the above.
“Me too,” he said. “I think I like you Kitty.”
“Like I care,” she said, pushing him off the sidewalk.
“When I look like this you do,” he smiled.
“So unfair,” she said, grabbing his hand. “Just so unfair.”