“They walk, they talk! They look just like real humans, but can do so much more!” The announcer proclaimed. His voice projected clear words but the audio itself was muffled like an old fashioned radio. My Proyo was old and hadn’t been cleaned in months, so the projected images came up electric blue and blurry, while the audio was just understandable. I glanced back at the Proyo from under my glasses and set my pencil down.
“Choose from a wide variety, or customize your own!” The Proyo then projected a 6 inch tall, 3d image of female robot onto my coffee table. The projection looked up at me, smiled, and waved, as it walked on a loop. “Pause,” I said aloud. The audio stopped, but the projection continued. I shivered as its lifeless eyes followed mine, endlessly smiling and waving at me.
“Hey, Cyril, you there?” I turned back to my papers and pressed my glasses up to rest on my nose. The sound of someone approaching their mic echoed in the room. “Yeah, pretty good commercial, huh?” Cyril replied. I made a face of disagreement he could probably picture over the phone. “The prototype is a bit....unnerving. The menacing smile may scare off clients.”
“Menacing smile?” A chuckle came from over Cyril's end of the call. “Well, we’re still working out the kinks. It’s in the work’s, you know?” I scribbled down part of an equation I had just remembered onto my papers, then turned to switch off the Proyo. I subconsciously nodded even though Cyril couldn’t see me, and muttered “Yeah.”
Shuffling my papers, I stood up and carefully walked to the drapes on the other side of the room. My condo was small but spacious enough to house it’s modern victorian interior design. Large, cream colored drapes concealed the moonlight shining in through oblong windows, causing the victorian chandelier to be the main source of light. It’s warm glow quickly filled the dark room automatically at the absence of light.
“By the way, did you consider our offer?” Cyril asked. I peeled back one of the drapes and peeked outside. The moon was full that night, large and hanging low, outshining the small stars speckling the royal purple night. “I have....” I said eventually. Cyril could hear the hesitation in my voice and sighed. “ It won’t be a replacement for Nally, Ez.”
Nothing could replace Nally, my ex wife. I had been more passionate about her then for my passion for science, and for awhile, I thought likewise. I was still a robotics engineer at the time she began her work with quantum mechanics. She had made breakthroughs with shrinking atoms, which had never before been thought of as possible. By gaining control over the spin of electrons in atoms, she was able to control their density, and in the end, size.
After successfully shrinking our pet cat, she decided to test the procedure on herself and her lab assistant. Contrary to my protests and the Councilmen of Human Sciences, she secretly conducted the experiment in her lab. The following morning, I discovered a note by a telescope that read:
I decided to go on with the experiment. No matter what you and the councilmen claim, this procedure is safe, and for the betterment of mankind. You’ll find this note next to a telescope with a slide on it. I selected our target destination (after being shrunk) to this slide. If the experiment is successful, you’ll be able to view us once magnified to x2,000,000. I realize I may be killed from this, or I may never be normal size again. I just want you to know: I love, and will always love you.
I paused at the last sentence and looked over at the slide. If she truly loved me, why hadn’t she listened to me? Was her love for science greater than her love for me? I grabbed the note and rushed to the TEM microscope. Before looking inside it, however, I frantically unfolded the letter and continued to read for further instructions:
But, in the case that this experiment somehow fails, I need to tell you a few things. In the lower left drawer of the desk by the door I’ve locked most of my scientific discoveries and notes in various cards. The key is beside the microscope.
I’ve also not been very faithful, Ez, and I feel that you deserve to know that.
My heartbeat quickened as my hands trembled and tried to hold onto the paper as I scanned the rest. An aching pain grew in my chest as it became hard to breath; I could feel the veins in my forehead swell as a headache formed. A burning sensation stung my eyes, a single tear escaped my tear ducts.
The letter went on to say how she had cheated on me with her lab assistant. For a few moments, I simply was shocked, almost to the point where I couldn’t believe I’d read those words. After a few seconds, however, reality sunk in and transformed my innocent confusion to blinding rage. How could she betray me like this? I had given her everything she had ever wanted, yet she rejected me for a young scrub of a boy?
Mindlessly I crumpled up the paper, neglecting to read the rest of the letter. I had no interest in reading an explanation for her actions, so instead I took revenge. Without a second thought I grabbed the slide, not looking to see if my wife was indeed on it, and broke it in two. I ripped the note to shreds and discarded the evidence on my way out.
My wife, the only one whom I had truly trusted, instead created an empty void in my chest; the feeling of sorrow would always remain. Literally, my wife was dead to me. After the incident, I hadn’t told anyone about the letter and she and her lab partner where deemed dead from the “failed” experiment.
“I know,” I answered. “It’s not that....” I dropped the curtain from my fingers and walked towards the mini-bar beside the window. I poured myself a drink, and sat down on my red, fainting sofa.
“Then what is it?” Cyril asked. Placing a hand in my pocket, I swirled my drink around, the ice clinking against the glass. “The whole thing seems...unnatural, I suppose. Who’s to say these machines won’t malfunction?”
“Every machine malfunctions, Ez. That’s why it’s your job to make a note of any problems.”
Yes I remembered. It’s my job and the only thing PAX still needs me for. I had been retired from robotics for almost 5 years, moving on to become a Chemist. Cyril's company, PAX, needed someone to test their newest robot. Model EL-3 was due to hit the market in a month or so, and they needed to test it in a home environment-last thing PAX wanted was a major lawsuit because of a minor mistake in EL-3’s build. Given I had some extensive knowledge with robots, Cyril recommended me.
I personally hadn’t work with robotics on that level, creating whole, human-like machines. I had constructed and designed robotic arms for factories, and helped invent the Proyo, a home projection screen. I was totally uncomfortable working with such advanced machinery, but the compensation was good, and it was for science. Like my wife once said, it was for the betterment of mankind.
“Right....so when are you dropping the model by?” I took a sip of my drink, then spoke to the room’s speaker phone. The wall’s trembled as Cyril shuffled papers on the other side of the line. He cleared his throat and settled back into his seat a moment later. “Tomorrow? Fill out the form I sent you, and we’ll create it based off of your preferences.”
“Okay. ‘Til tomorrow.” I raised my glass to the walls in a toasting gesture, imagining Cyril doing the same, and hung up. “Desktop.” I said aloud to the room. In an instant, a bright flash filled the room and a projection of my desktop appeared before me. The desktop was a flat square about 9 inches in length and 1/2 cm in width, a bit transparent but I could still see icons. I selected the form that Cyril sent me, a ping! noise bouncing around the silent room.
The first part of the form was simple, asking only personal information like my name, age, and address. Getting to the details about the actual robot was the difficult part. The section “Appearance” projected a robot without an exo-skeleton below the desktop. Quickly, I selected female, with fair skin. The projection updated to a female robot, bald, with no eyes. After finishing up in the appearance department, came “Personality”. I paused at this section. This robot wasn’t truly mine, and I hadn’t even wanted it in the first place, but here was an opportunity to make it everything Nally wasn’t.
She wouldn’t be a replacement, I told myself, simply an experiment.
The shrill sound of an alarm went off, making me jump out of bed. “Damn,” I muttered, rubbing my face. “Forgot Cyril’s coming early.” I looked at the time displayed above my bedroom door, it was 9, and rushed to put pants on. Then, with toothbrush in mouth, I pulled on a simple white blouse and black vest. After brushing my teeth, I rubbed my chin, scratching my the stubble. I contemplated shaving, but decided against it. It was just Cyril arriving, so my appearance for the moment didn’t matter. 5 minutes later, my Proyo announced “Cyril Bodkin is at the door, Ezra.” Briskly I walked to my apartment door, my cat Noral treading closely behind.
“Ez! Was wondering if you were awake...” Cyril greeted me, as I opened the door. He was a bit too enthusiastic for 9 in the morning, so I simply grumbled a reply. I was still a bit dazed, as my brain was transitioning from peaceful dreaming to the complicated consequences of being awake. Cyril, on the other hand, always seemed avid. Even though he was an old time friend, I still was adapting to his eagerness and fashion. His clothes often reflected his mood- he would always sport extravagant victorian jackets or vests, tight pants, with tall buckled boots. I rarely saw him without a pair of brown leather goggles that rested on his forehead.
I rubbed sleep from my eyes, and invited Cyril inside. That’s when I noticed his companion. I heard it before I saw it, it’s parts softly humming and squeaking as they rubbed together. EL-3 awkwardly jerked it’s way into my living room, stumbling about like a fawn just learning to walk. I shot a look of disbelief at Cyril, who shrugged in reply. “She’s fresh off the belt, so she’s still getting used to walking.”
“Getting used to walking?” I asked, stepping back as the robot jerked some more. “I thought this was a robot, designed for immediate use? That’s how it works, isn’t it?” I turned to examine EL-3, who at this point had stopped walking. Unlike traditional steam powered robots, who looked like......., this one looked extremely human like. It’s skin was made of pig’s skin, a pigmentation similar to a fair-skinned young woman. It’s hair was thick and a chocolate color, and was pulled back into an elegant bun. EL-3’s face was almond shaped with thick eyebrows to follow its frame, while her bubblegum pink cheeks matched the color of her full lips. I paused for a moment as we locked eyes. EL-3’s appeared to be unrealistic, yet intriguing. They were large and doe like, a light hazel color. It had a tall, slender body. Surprisingly, it came up to my chest- I was a fairly tall man.
It cocked it’s head to the side, likely trying to pin-point face recognition, and blinked 2 times. Strangely, it was able to make a face of innocent confusion, which I couldn’t help but stare at. It was dressed like any other young woman, in a nude colored corset dress and brown buckled heel boots. It held a small cream purse in it’s hands, it’s fingers creepy moving around it.
“It’s an adaptive bot, Ez. It learns as it lives, like you and me.” I glanced at Cyril and frowned. “No, I wouldn’t say like us. These things will never be us.” The mere idea of these machines seemed like an abomination, as humans tried to play god and create a daugther species. Instead, PAX had created a monstrosity of metal and gears, dubbing it a perfect creation. The problem with humans playing god, was they themselves were imperfect. Anything they could make would only be a reminder of their imperfections and limitations.
EL-3 blinked as I said this, but it’s face remained emotionless as it cocked it’s head to the opposite side. I shivered and placed my hands in my pockets, trying to ignore it’s unnerving stare. “Well, anyway,” Cyril said, turning to the robot. “This is EL-3, or Ellie, for short.” I couldn’t help but chuckle at the idea that Cyril had actually named the thing. It was pathetic but cute; he was acting like a parent naming their child.
“EL-3,” I held out my hand to it, waiting for a returning hand shake. Instead, EL-3 stared at my hand for a second or two, and began to extend it’s arm. Clumsy, it dropped it’s purse onto the floor, and jerked back, startled. “Oh,” It said in a feminine voice that had a slight echo to it. I bent down to pick up the purse just as EL-3 did, and ended up hitting heads with the thing on the way back up. “Shit...” I snapped, rubbing the back of my head. The robot frowned, and stepped back, realizing it had made a mistake. It eye’s met mine as it appeared to nervously twitch it’s fingers by it’s side’s.
“Sorry sir,” It managed to say after quickly blinking twice. I shot EL-3 a look and sighed. “Here.” I reached out to hand the purse back to the robot, who seemed tense. It looked back at Cyril, who was finding the whole situation amusing, and gave him a worried face. It’s facial expressions were extremely human like, perhaps the result of having artificial muscles linked and laid under it’s skin. Hesitantly, it took the purse from my hand and held it close to it’s chest, protectively. “Thank you, sir.”
“Yeah, whatever. Think I already found a problem with it, Cyril.” I chuckled. Cyril laughed as well, before placing his hands in his vest pocket and taking out a pocket watch. “ I should get going, you two have fun.” I walked Cyril back to the door, as EL-3 stood silently watching us from the living room.
“How long does it have to stay?” I asked Cyril softly. He opened the front door but paused to answer. “5 weeks should do it. We have 7 until the release date, let’s hope all goes accordingly.”
I nodded and leaned on the door, looking outside. “Oh,” He added, placing his watch back into his pocket. “If you anything goes wrong, call.” He then grabbed the doorknob and closed the door behind him.
I walked back into the living room to find EL-3 staring down at Noral. Noral returned it’s gaze, cautiously trying to sniff it’s foot. Slightly bending it’s knees, it reached out to touch him, but froze when it heard me approaching.
“What’s this?” I said, walking over to pick Noral up. He nestled deep into my arm and turned to stare back at EL-3. He was a tiny black cat, that was almost concealed by my muscular arms and vest, yet his tiny head still peeked out from over my shoulder.
“Sir?” EL-3 said, standing up. I glanced down at Noral, who began licking my ear, and stroked his back. “Cat, EL-3, it’s a cat.” It cocked it’s head to the side like before, it’s large eyes locked onto Noral. Slowly, it leaned forward to touch him, as if unsure whether I’d permit it to touch him or not. I turned so that it could reach him, and its long, feminine fingers gently stroked in a line. The vibrations of Noral’s purring traveled down my arm.
“Cat.” EL-3 repeated. The corners of it’s mouths lifted slightly, and for a moment, I thought it smiled. I chased this notion out of my mind and pulled away to set Noral down. EL-3 stopped mid stroke, confused, but then turned it’s attention to some old frames by the window. Jerkily, it walked over to them, and silently stared. As Noral scampered away, I turned to notice EL-3 looking curiously at a photo of my wife.
“That’s my wife,” I said approaching it from behind, hands in pockets. “Well, ex-wife.” I couldn’t help but look away as the feeling of despair returned to my chest. It was as if a heavy weight was being balanced on top of my ribs and lungs that would at any moment crush me. EL-3 didn’t notice my distress, but continued to look at the photos across the dresser. “Wife?” It eventually asked, turning to look at me. I shrugged, and looked down into it’s eyes.“Yeah, you know...a wife’s someone a man cares for and loves.”
“Did that... ‘wife’....love you?” EL-3 struggled to say, in a chilling voice. I paused, a bit taken aback by this question. Why would EL-3 want, or need, to know that? What had caused it to ask such a question? I looked at it suspiciously until I realized it’s question was one I had asked myself countless times before. Had Nally ever truly loved me? Had I been so blind that even a robot could see it just by looking at her?
“That doesn’t matter, EL-3. Clean up around here, would you?” I rubbed my hand across my face and started to walk away for a drink. A soft humming sound came from behind as EL-3’s part’s slid across one another, and it opened it’s mouth to say something. “Right away,” It paused, as if trying to continue, but couldn’t develop the words. I raised a brow and waited for it to finish, as it blinked at me. “ Call me Ellie, sir.” It eventually said. A bit confused as to why it named itself, I realized it must have caught onto Cyril’s pet name for it.
“Alright, Ellie.” I sighed. Ellie’s eyes squinted as the corners of her lips pushed up her cheeks once again. This time, I was certain, Ellie smiled.
It had been almost 3 weeks since Ellie’s arrival, and she was showing noticeable progress. She had gotten used to using her legs, and walked much more gracefully. Her parts made less noise as she glided and strutted across the apartment silently. She began showing more emotion and expression, and had gotten into a habit of calling me ‘Ezra’ instead of the programmed ‘Sir’. At first I hadn’t picked up on this glitch, put it soon began to bother me after a conversation one evening.
“Do you have a ‘wife’ now, Ezra?” Ellie randomly asked, setting the food she had cooked onto the table. She had made grilled salmon, my favorite, which was also a step up from the simple pasta dinners she had been serving when she first arrived. Distracted by the food’s aroma, I didn’t answer at first. We hadn’t discussed that topic in weeks, so I had mostly forgotten it.
“What?” I said finally, just as I was about to put my fork into my mouth. The question had finally reached my brain and I froze, not knowing how to react to such randomness. “ Do you have a wife?” Ellie repeated. She sat across the table and looked down at an imaginary plate. Ellie didn’t need to eat food to get energy. Instead, I plugged her into a powersource every night in the living room, while I slept in the next room.
“No,” I said abruptly. “I don’t, and I don’t intend to have one anytime soon.” I set my fork down and examined Ellie. Her head hung after this answer, and she stared at the cotton table cloth, as if searching for words. I watched her silently as I ate, expected her to clean, play with Noral, or just do something. But she remained quiet, mindlessly getting lost in the black patterns before her.
“I,” She softly said, slowly looking up at me. “I see.” Not expecting much more of a conversation, I began to stand up to leave the dining room. The curtains were drawn, so the room was dimly lit, shadow’s dancing across Ellie’s face. “Have you...thought about offspring?” She asked timidly, the echo in her robotic voice bouncing off the walls of her metallic throat.
I knew where this was going. Tired, annoyed, and a bit vexed, I angrily crossed my arms and glared at Ellie. “What? No... of course not. Why is that a concern of yours anyway? You’re a robot, nothing more.”
She scrunched her face up as if hurt, and looked down at her feet. Her eyes seemed to be glazed over, but no tears came out. She blinked twice, distraught about something. “But,” She said, her voice shaky. “Isn’t that the same thing as you? You take commands from others, you often repeat the same task everyday, we both want to be something we’re not.”
I gasped, surprised by EL-3’s sudden display of consciousness. Had she known about Nally after all? It was true, I wanted to be everything Nally wanted me to be, I just wasn’t. Ellie wanted to be everything I wanted her to be also, but she just wasn't.
Ellie waited for my response, but I simply scowled at her and walked to the next room. She stood, staring at me as I walked away and whispered:
“We’re made for each other, Ezra. We are the same.”
That night, I had numerous nightmares. My body felt like it was being cooked inside an oven, my muscles became tense and a headache formed. I endured the unusual pain until morning, waking up in a cold sweat.
“What...” I murmured, as I gasped for air. My breathing gradually slowed as I looked around the room. No one was there, but it felt like someone was watching me. Cautiously, I leaned over to the side of the bed.
“Agghhkk!” I cried as I leaned on my arm. A sharp burning sensation jetted through my arms and jolted my body, and I swung my arm around to see the damage. Below my shoulder, on my upper forearm, was a large, blue-ish purple bruise. Looking closer I noticed the center of the bruise had a tiny hole the size of a pinhead. It appeared to be from the sting of a bug or maybe even a needle. I touched the skin around the sting mark and winced. It was soft like a rotten orange, my fingers leaving indentations after pressing too hard.
Applying cold cream on the bruise did soothe the pain a bit, but I was more worried about how I’d gotten it. It wasn’t there last night, and I was sure I hadn’t left my room. As I wound the bruise in a bandage, Ellie watched quietly. The eerie silence of the room chilled me. It was rare that Ellie hadn’t spoken to me yet; she normally at least greeted me with a “Good morning, Ezra. How did you sleep?” But that morning she just observed my arm while cooking breakfast.
Her strange behavior only pointed at the fact that she had made the bruise. By trying to act conspicuous, she was making herself look obviously suspicious- oddly enough, a human characteristic. As I wrapped the bandage around my arm a final time, I pondered on whether to ask her about it.
No, I thought. She won’t admit to hurting me.
Instead, to act as if I wasn’t on to her, I sat at the table as she served breakfast, my thoughts racing around my head. I had to keep a calm composure or else Ellie would lose it. Why’d she hurt me? Is she dangerous now?
I looked down at the food in front of me, my fork covered in eggs and hashbrowns. What if she poisoned my food? Ellie stood near the kitchen arch, her arms folded and eyes glued to me. I swallowed, goose bumps forming across my body.
“I’ve... got to make a call.” I stood up suddenly, the chair screeching as the legs rubbed across the floor. Ellie cocked her head to the side, something she hadn’t done for weeks, and glowered at me. “Aren’t you going to finish your breakfast?” She said in her signature metallic voice. Her spindly fingers twitched by her sides.
“In a moment. I forgot I had to make an important...uh, business call.” I replied, not trying to sound nervous. Ellie didn’t bother to ask what the business call was or to who, but a look of suspicion grew on her face as she watched me exit the kitchen.
“Call Cyril,” I said to the walls, locking myself into my study. The room was sound proof (no sound escaping in or out) so I was safe to converse without Ellie eavesdropping. A low dial tone made the room tremble until there was a quick click! and a “Hello?” on the other side.
“Cyril, it’s Ez.” The heels of my boots clacked against the wooden floor. “I think it’s time you come get Ellie.”
“What’s wrong with it?” Cyril asked, as he walked into the living room and set his top hat onto an arm chair. Ellie was in the other room dusting, not aware that her creator was here to take her away. I gestured to the coffee machine, to which Cyril politely shook his head no.
“It’s been...asking things about Nally....and if I want kid’s.”
“That’s interesting...” He placed a hand over his clean shaven face and furrowed his brow, pondering. “Sounds like our EL-3’s developing a crush on you.”
Mortified by his joke, I turned away and crossed my arms. My cheeks burned from embarrassment as I broke eye contact with Cyril and looked at the ground. “That’s disgusting, Cyril. You know how I feel about those things.”
“I guess, but is that it? Otherwise those are just a side effect of EL-3 adapting to it’s environment.” Cyril explained. I fingered the bandage on my arm and turned to look back at Cyril. Slowly, I unpeeled the bandage to reveal the bruise. “I think Ellie did this.”
His eyes grew wide, and he slowly inhaled. He gently unpeeled more of the bandage and examined it closely, his burly fingers somehow massaging the skin. “That’s not good. We’ll have to take you in to get you checked. As for EL-3,”
“What about EL-3?” Came a softer voice from behind. I glanced behind my shoulder to see Ellie, duster in hand, with a face that looked betrayed. Her parts softly whistled as she looked from Me, to Cyril, then back to me. For some reason I felt the feeling of guilt rising up from my stomach, as if I had just been caught in the act of cheating. Had Nally felt like this?
“EL-3,” Cyril sighed, acknowledging her presence. “I’m taking you back for dismantlement.”
Something that sounded like a soft whimper came from Ellie, as her eyebrows shot upwards. She stepped back a bit, her arms defensively placed in front of her. “I’m afraid I can’t do that.”
Cyril and I exchanged confused looks as I rubbed the bandage material between my fingers. “And why is that?” Cyril asked, slowly stepping forward. I readied myself as well, in case I had to tackle Ellie.
Ellie herself seemed distressed, as she struggled to answer. Her fingers twitched more then before, her eyes dancing across the floor. “I’ve successfully conceived Ezra’s offspring.” She whispered.
Cyril paused, horrified, then turned to look at me. I choked on some air, placing a hand on my forehead. “You what?” Cyril seemed like he was about to faint, so he leaned onto the arm of an arm chair. “She’s pregnant?” I jerked my head to look at Cyril. “Is that even possible?”
Ellie folded her hands together, and stared at her buckled boots. Cyril placed a hand over his head as well, gasping up at the ceiling. “Yes,” He managed. “ Female EL-3’s are built with artificial wombs.” My brain just couldn’t seem to understand what was happening. It was if I were outside of the situation, looking in through a cloudy window. I wish that was the case- I’d do anything to be the neutral bystander. I didn’t want anything to do with this.
“Couples who can’t conceive put their DNA into EL-3. They create the baby, El-3 carries it.” Cyril took out a hanky from his pocket, his watch noisily falling to the floor. Ellie started to bend down to pick it up, but retreated when I shot her a look of disgust. “There’s two problems with this. One: Ellie needs a females DNA to create the baby. Where did she get that DNA? And two: You actually had sex with the thing?”
The burning sensation returned to my cheeks, this time the result of anger. “Of course not!” We both turned to Ellie simultaneously. “Well? How’d you do it?” I barked. Ellie flinched in response and batted her eyes innocently. “For the past week I’ve drugged your food.” She admitted. I swallowed, realizing that that was why I couldn’t sleep. “Then, when you slept, I would take your DNA through injections and stimulation.”
She’s gotten out of control I repeated over and over. But Ellie continued, as Cyril wiped his face with his hanky. “ I reverse engineered your DNA to create a female version, then combined the two. The result has taken up nearly 10,000 gb on my 1,000,000,000 gb drive. I have been able to speed up the pregnancy process by 3 times. I am currently 2 months, 16 days pregnant.”
“Do you know what this means, Ez?” Cyril peered at me, bug eyed. I shook my head, still in shock. My brain just wouldn’t accept the news, but I knew the shock would settle in soon. A numb feeling had enveloped my body, as if preparing it for the blow from the announcement. For this, I was grateful.
“EL-3’s has been able to create life without female DNA apparent. EL-3 created life on it’s own.” Cyril wobbly stood up, and gently grabbed Ellie’s arm. I stood a safe distance away, retaining a disgusted look on my face. “I’ll have to take some tests to see if all of this is true, but still. The result of this union would create a perfect human.” I knew this to be true. Ellie, who was a robot made to remove errors, would have removed all “imperfections” in my DNA. This child would never be sick, this child would never die.
“It will have blue eyes, black hair.” Ellie announced, as Cyril lead us out of the apartment. “Just like you, Ezra.” She offered a strange and familiar smile, and I froze. For some reason, this robot’s reminded me of Nally’s.
Would I accept this hybrid baby? Would society accept it? What would become of Ellie, the rogue robot? As we stepped out into the daylight of day, the warmth washed over my skin and washed these fears out of my head.
“Two imperfections make an perfection.” Ellie whispered.