They met on the train. It was dark outside. He was on his way home. She caught his eye with her golden hair. For a moment he actually thought it was gold, glinting in the light of the fluorescent tubes. She noticed his look and returned it with a smile. He wondered if she could see it. Most unlikely. His skin looked completely lifelike. It even felt like human skin, if rather dry since he did not produce any moisture. Most humans would not notice even if they touched him.
He asked her what the time was, though he already knew it was 7.37 pm. A clock was coded into his brain. She answered him, and they chatted for a while about this and that. Nothing important. Many times he found himself thinking:
‘Would she mind? If I told her, would she mind?’ But why? She was just a stranger.
He got her number when her stop came. He noticed it was only three stops after his own. His detour was not long, and he soon arrived at his home. Just before he put himself in hibernation mode that night, he had a vivid picture of her delicate features crowned by her radiant locks.
He called her two days later. He did not want to seem too eager. She would love to go to the amusement park with him. Since he could not eat, he did not invite her to lunch.
When they meet at the entrance her smile almost made him short-circuit. He asked her later if she wanted an ice-cream. She said thanks but no, she was on a diet. Of course she was. How else could she maintain that magnificent figure? He found her charming, sweet, intelligent and funny. Often they burst out laughing with no reason at all, other than the obvious. She told him afterwards how much fun she had had.
In the following month they met almost weekly. After that it became two times a week. Soon almost daily.
‘Would she mind,’ he kept asking himself, ‘if she knew, would she mind.’
He asked her once what she thought of cyborgs. She frowned for a while.
‘I don’t really know,’ she said. They never returned to the subject.
The day came when they went for a walk in the park. The artificial plants were lighted with a dim red light, which was supposed to give the impression of a sunset. There were many couples here, some even holding hands. He had bought a ring for her more than a week ago.
They sat on a bench, almost touching. He said her name and looked deep into her eyes. He reached out his hand, she reached out hers. They touched. Her hand was neither warm nor cold. It felt just like a human hand, only rather dry. Completely dry. They both yanked their hands away and stood up.
They turned their backs on each other and left the park through different exits.