Robot Girlfriend: Part 3
The following weekend Lawrence and Hope had gone over to Hopes house. “Are you sure that you dad won’t mind me being around?” Lawrence asked nervously. “Of course not, now I will grant you that he’s a little bit… nutty, and he’s not really used to company but overall he’s a nice guy.” Hope said as she opened the front door to her house. It took a while as her key stuck into the keyhole. “Sorry about the antique door, for some reason dad really likes these, and I think this door in particular was made thousands of years before the colonization of this galaxy.” Hope said, about three or so minutes later Hope had finally opened the door. “You know, most people don’t use an antique like this. They just kind of keep them sealed in special containers.” Lawrence said. “THEN THEY DON’T SEE THE VALUE OF A GOOD DOOR NOW DO THEY!” Shouted a weird man wearing goggles. “Dad! I’ve told you that people hate it when you yell at them like that!” Hope said to her father, Lawrence looked scarred out of his mind at the goggled man that had screamed at him.
“Sorry about that, like I said my dad is nice guy… but he’s really nutty.” Hope said trying to calm down her boyfriend. “Dad, this is Lawrence, Lawrence, this is my dad, Professor Horatio O’Brian.” Hope introduced. “Well that isn’t my whole name, but we’d be here all day if I did try to tell you the whole thing. Anyway, my daughter has told me a lot about you… mainly that you’re the first person aside from me that has ever treated her like a proper sentient being.” Horatio said. “Really? Who else has mistreated Hope?” Lawrence asked. “Well not so much as mistreated, just that nobody ever took her seriously as being a sentient being due to her… you know. Anyway it was by some of my coworkers, and some kids from when Hope was a child, and that Ulaagrag she used to work for, but other than that nobody had really made that much of an issue about the subject. So anyway, what brings you to here?” Horatio said.
“Dad I told you before, I brought him here so that he could learn to dance for the prom.” Hope said. “What? Dance? Prom? Cookie?... seriously do either of you want a cookie though?” Horatio asked, producing a plate of what are clearly not cookies. “Dad, nobody is dumb enough to actually eat one of your experiments.” Hope said. “While aside from some of our classmates, they’d be dumb enough to think that these… globs were edible.” Lawrence said, curiously poking the green piles of slime. “Oh these are edible, just haven’t really gotten to fixing the taste, so far only Ulagraags have found the taste bearable, but not by much.” Horatio said. “Well anyway, I need to teach Lawrence how to dance.” Hope said as she took Lawrence downstairs. “Now, the Holographic Simulation Booth will give us the chance to practice.” Hope said. “An HSB? Isn’t that a bit much? I mean we could just get the basement redecorated-”
“I wouldn’t, but tell me that you can’t smell that.” Hope said. “What? What smell?” Lawrence then noticed a strange smell; it was a bit like pudding and gravy had gotten a stomach ache and farted. “Into the HSB then.” Lawrence said as he entered the booth, followed by Hope. “HSB, initiate ballroom simulation.” Hope said; the then inside of the booth changed to look like an ancient ballroom. “Wooden decorations and everything, neat.” Lawrence said looking over the simulation before him. “Now, let’s get started on those dance lessons.” Hope said as she held out her hand to Lawrence, over the course of the day the dance lessons… did not go smoothly. With Lawrence repeatedly stepping on Hope’s feat, Hope periodically stepping on his feet, and generally just causing each other pain as opposed to actually learning how to dance. “Hope-ow, be honest with me-ow, you have no idea how to dance do you?-ow.” Lawrence asked as they had reached a balcony at the top of a very long flight of stairs.
“What?-ow, of course I-ow, know how to-ow, dance!” Hope said, her nose briefly flashed pink, Lawrence knew from experience, and from what Hope herself had told him that whenever her nose flashes pink it meant that she was lying. “Then-ow, why have we-ow, been stepping-ow, on each other’s-ow, toes? I honestly-ow ,thought that I’d be-ow, the one stepping on your-ow toes the most.” Lawrence said, intentionally ignoring Hope’s flashing nose. “Well… maybe-ow, you’re an even worse-ow, dancer then you-ow, thought.” Hope said; Lawrence figured that Hope was trying to cover up her own inability to dance. “Is there-ow, some kind of-ow, program we could-ow, use? You know-ow, so that we can-ow, actually get-ow, somewhere with-ow, this? Also-ow, I think my-ow, toes are starting to-ow, become numb-ow!” Lawrence said as both he and Hope only continued to step on each other’s toes as they tried to master ballroom dancing.
“Kids are you okay in here?” Horatio said peeking his head inside of the booth. “I came down to ask if you were ready to have that dance protocol patch installed… are you ready to have the dance protocol patch installed?” Horatio said. “A patch for dancing you say? Why would Hope need that?” Lawrence said, feigning ignorance about his suspicion. Hope, no frightened by what she was hearing, broke off from Lawrence and backed away from him. “Wait, Lawrence I can explain!” Hope said sounding like she was panicking, unfortunately in her panic she didn’t notice that she was walking backwards towards the descending staircase. “Hope watch out!” Lawrence yelled as Hope lost her balance and then fell down the stairs. Her limbs and her head ejected themselves from her body, eventually they all fell down to the ground. “Is… is Hope okay?” Lawrence asked as the holographic simulation turned off. “She’s fine, but I think that fall damaged some of her joints. Never really understood these things, I mean this booth isn’t even that big, at best she should have just tripped and fallen over.” Horatio said.
Eventually the two of were in a workshop were Horatio was fixing Hope’s damaged limbs. “And that’s the last time I ever played chess.” Horatio said finishing one of his lengthy anecdotes. “Uh… sure… how is Hope doing now?” Lawrence asked trying to change the subject. “I’m still conscious, doesn’t mean that I feel good.” Hope said, feeling highly groggy and disoriented. “So why didn’t you tell me you couldn’t dance? And what was all that nonsense about a dance patch?” Lawrence asked. “I just… I always wanted to go to a prom, you know that. As for the patch… that’s the only way I can really learn to dance.” Hope admitted. “What do you mean? I mean I know you’re a robot but still you should be able to learn how to dance without some kind of software update; I didn’t even know you needed those.”
“Actually she doesn’t need patches to learn things. Just that… well for whatever reason she’s never really gotten the hand of two-person dancing. Could be a bad motivator, her joints seize up whenever she’s that close to someone, or it could be because I was a lousy dancer myself and she inherited that from me… why are you looking at me like that?” Horatio asked the two teenagers looked at him weirdly. “Well regardless, it doesn’t matter if you can’t dance or not. I love you, and I know you have your heart set on going to the prom and dancing, but that isn’t important.” Lawrence said, Hope thought for a moment and said. “Maybe you have a point, still, it would be nice to do something more… more active with you.”
“Sorry to disappoint honey, but I still haven’t figured out how to give a-”
“DAD!” Hope shouted back. “Anyway, I think that, instead of going to the prom, we should go to my house, and do something fun.” Lawrence suggested. “Okay, but do your parents know about me?... or even that we’ve been dating?” Hope asked. “They know; they just haven’t ever seen you before.” Lawrence admitted. “What really? Like you never even showed them a picture of me? Or even of us together?” Hope asked. “We never took any pictures of us.” Lawrence pointed out. “Oh… well do they know anything about me being a robot?” Hope asked. “I…’ve neglected to tell them.” Lawrence admitted. “Well, they’re going to be in for a surprise aren’t they?” Horatio said; Hope and Lawrence only glared at him. “Sorry, shutting up now, just going to continue soldering my daughter’s limbs.”