Self Aware

Self Aware

Every morning when Alice woke up, it was the same day over. She would sit up straight in bed at the razor sound of the alarm, and find herself looking at the empty space beside her bed. She ate breakfast alone, munching and reading the back of the cereal box. She was permanently on a diet, and had mantras about self-control to use for trigger foods she had learned from diet books. All the same, she always ended up with a bear claw along with her morning coffee she picked up from the shop, located in the ground floor of where she worked.
When she arrived at her desk, head buzzing with a sugar rush, she would tuck her hair behind her ears, and slide the headset on. She began her day this way, and lived her life this way. Her parents were in another state, and she never spoke with them. She had no friends and no siblings. It was as if she had never really been there, as long as she could remember.
At night, she would walk home, and stop by the grocery if she needed something. Sometimes, she would get herself a sushi roll, and tip the short man behind the counter for a fresh roll. Then, she would go home, practice whatever workout routine she had purchased from late night infomercials, and fall asleep with the TV on, before resuming her life again the next morning. This was Alice’s existence.
If someone asked her if she was happy, she would present a half-smirk, and nod, then put her head down, and go back to what she was doing, indifferent to further communication. Nobody knew she was a robot. Not even Alice. She never wondered why her life was always the same, she always felt the same emotions, in the same order, every day. She didn’t know that her memories were mostly programmed into her, and that she was not as old as she thought she was. She was never bothered by much but her weight. That, and the empty space in her bed. It never occurred to her why that space bothered her or even to ask why. She had never been programmed to seek human interaction for non-functional reasons, and loneliness was not a concept she understood. There was no reason for even the momentary pause she took ritually every morning. All the same, there it was.
Alice awoke one Thursday morning to the sound of the alarm. Outside, rain crawled down the pane glass windows of her apartment, and the darkness was lingering longer with the coming cold weather.She sat up in bed, and looked over to her side, just as she always did. Her customary seconds to pause were almost over, her inner clock would soon move her to the closet and her clothes. Then Alice did something new. She began to cry.


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