But, this is my third attempt. My last chance. I can’t afford another time adjustment device. And with that last mod, I can feel my thought patterns shifting. New codes being written. If I can’t convince her this time, it won’t be long before I lose all desire to change our future, my present.
They used to say, the third time’s the charm. Oh Eleanor, I still have hope!
I went back to before the first time I purged. Formaggio’s. Deep Fried Shrimp Pasta and cheesy bread. I remember feeling polluted. The longer it was in my body, the more agitated I felt. I found her, me, the week before, and managed a heart to heart, even as a stranger.
I thought I had connected, that I understood what to say to convince her not to mod. How could I not know exactly what to tell myself, what I needed to hear?
But here I am, still, more metal than human. I want to cry, but I no longer have that capacity.
The second attempt, I tried to flee. I mean, she did. We did? She had been so young, frightened. She hadn’t even thought of purging yet. A little maneuvering and she never met Mattie, my best friend who had poisoned my head with thoughts of low worth and false ideals. I thought I had broken through our obsession. Aborted it, before it even began.
There had been good times with Mattie too. I loved her. I sacrificed my friend, for nothing.
Serge convinced me to go back further, to try to talk to my parents, after our birth. To tell them our secrets, to get us help.
I had my first mod when I was fifteen. Saved for two years for the black market taste bud removal, olfactory adjustment, and appetite controller. Mattie drove. Outpatient. My parents never even suspected. No one did.
Food was easier after that. Except for the dreams.
The mods were never enough.
At eighteen, the same shady surgeon replaced my stomach with a high efficiency artificial regulator. I couldn’t afford the whole system, but I went through with the mod anyway, despite the warnings.
It was all a mistake. Everything.
And not just because that cheap, recycled mod broke down my entire system over such a short time. I’m not even sure it mattered. Once I had a taste for modding, I wouldn’t have been able to stop anyway.
And here we are. I feel such regret. Regret and hope, the two emotions I have left to keep me going. Thanks to Serge. He helped me write the code to protect those. He loves me enough to let me sacrifice him too.
I see her!
My mother. Our mother, Eleanor. I see her. And I will give anything to convince her to look after us. And Dad too.
Things will be different this time! I promise.
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Wordage: cyborg, flee
Image: Gynoid by Jeremiah Torrevillas