"Okay, I’ll tell you what happened. What I remember, anyway. Give me a second to search through my memories..."
This is about the day I lost me.
I’m waiting for my final exam results, the moment I will finally become a cop. Or, well, not exactly a cop but - due to my personality - a robo cop. I take a deep breath, forcing myself to relax. I’ve learned how to look calm on the outside, although my head is buzzing with thoughts.
No one needs to know that deep down I’m concerned that all these years of learning won’t really help much... No, I shouldn’t think like that. I should be positive. Now that my lifelong dream is at my fingertips... I can’t fail
"You failed." I blink, slowly
"We’re sorry, you are a good psychologist, a good fighter, a good student... a good robot with a good heart. But you’re not... very good overall. You need to be very good to become a police officer. A very good psychologist, and fighter, and..." I stop listening, mind racing. I am failing, and falling, and my whole reality is crumbling around me. What am I doing, if not pursuing my dream? I don’t even know any more.
This is about the day I met M.
I am sick of waiting for a miracle. I am sick of drinking my sorrow away. But drinking is what gives me the idea, or actually one of the many people I tell my story to does. Hey, if you want to become very good, you must be good enough to make yourself better. I’m laughing, spilling my drink. But those words still echo in my head.
I start with my old psychology and science books. I don’t laugh any more, I’m rather excited by this crazy idea - or am I the crazy one for trying it? Maybe I am. Increasing my brain capacity is not easy, and it’s a dangerous thing to do. But it’s my only choice to prove that I’m very good at whatever they need me to do, and maybe my dream is not dead yet, or maybe I’ll die trying. Three, two, one...
I am still alive though, after performing surgery on my own brain - or well, central processing unit. Alive but very tired. Hey, wake up. I look around, just to see the stranger from the bar again. You did it. You survived.
Me and M - just M - soon become so close that we start shaping the plan for achieving my dream together. I realise I learn everything so quickly, that at this pace I can not only become a very good robo cop, but the best robo cop in town.
Why do you want to become that though? A police officer?! M is looking at me thoughtfully, but then starts laughing and opens another beer. I mean, if it’s just for the fights and having people scared of you, then why be very good when you can be... very bad? After hearing this I decide it’s best to stop listening to M for today.
But maybe M’s right though... Why show them I’m more than good enough, when they don’t deserve having me back?...
I’m calling M. I knew we’re in this together.
M suggests a cyber attack, pointing out that since I’m a robot, the ultimate challenge for me would be to connect my mind to the police academy servers, and hack the network. They wouldn’t expect a robot to do that - which is exactly what I want to prove: I’m smarter now, but not on their side.
This is about the day I lost M.
We are going to do it, just as we discussed. I know the plan, I am ready for this, but... something doesn’t feel right. Maybe I’m just tired. Maybe I’m thinking of failure. I walk to the sink to rinse my face with water; the eyes watching me from the mirror have dark circles, the forehead is full of wrinkles. Who have I become?... This is your true form. I look at M in the mirror and M looks back at me. Are you ready to show them who’s the very best? I hesitate, then my head shakes in the mirror. I am not.
M’s head is shaking as well, disapproving, and looking as tired as I do... Maybe we should postpone this? No. M’s head keeps shaking, and I sink my own head in the basin full of ice cold water - one, two, three - until the shock makes me jump straight again.
My eyes gaze back at me in the mirror, water drops falling all over my face, all over me...
M’s eyes gaze back at me in the mirror, water drops falling all over M’s face, all over me...
I punch the mirror, breaking it into pieces and cutting my skin open. I can’t see anyone’s reflection in it now. Not mine, not M’s... I’m suddenly alone in the room, and I do wonder for a second where M is, before it hits me again. eM doesn’t stand for Miracle;
Me in the mirror.
What have I become?! I can’t think straight, my head starts spinning and I am falling down, a sharp pain in my forehead- and darkness.
This is about the day I met me.
The silence in the hospital is so calming, now the voice in my head has gone silent.
"Wait, so you’re sure you don’t hear anyone else talking in your head now?" "Nothing." "Then the surgery was a success. Thank you very much, Rob738, however we’re afraid we cannot let you go yet... we need to erase your memory in order to prevent this desire from spreading amongst other young robots like you." "I understand." I smile shyly. Of course I still have the backup, so after I get rid of my weaker self I can go back to being very... me.
Written on: 30 November 2016
Note: This story was submitted for a "1000 word challenge" competition on the theme: "Very".