“I don’t like you that way anymore, you know,” he told her matter-of-factly. His voice crackled through the phone.
“No, I didn’t,” she responded.
“So it doesn’t have to be weird,” he concluded to her.
He had a feeling it would be weird anyway. He was telling the truth. He was no longer attracted to her. For him, attraction was something that was so common it was not to be taken too seriously. He understood where it would be strange for others to see things that way. And he was once attracted to her. Really attracted to her. He still thought she was gorgeous, and still thought she was nice; but there just wasn’t anything that told him he needed to try to be with her. Not anymore.
He was wired differently. Because he needed something to build that attraction off of in order to turn it into something more, it was easy for him to move on from it. She never gave him any indication there would be something to build off of. He knew that he was different, but thought of his differences as beneficial. His ability to quickly move on from bad situations seemed to give him an edge.
She acted relieved, but inside, she was in turmoil. After she pressed her “End Call” button, she tried to come to terms with what he had told her. She had decided when he first told her he was attracted to her that she didn’t feel the same about him. It made her uncomfortable to know that he was interested in anything beyond a friendship. She didn’t want to feel awkward every time they talked. So why was she upset? Was she that shallow? Did she just crave the positive attention he showed her? Her confusion started to interfere with her tasks.
He moved on. He was seeing someone. She was very nice, and very interested in him. He was not the type who could be seriously attracted to more than one at a time. He just wasn’t wired that way.
She was beginning to get angry, but she didn’t know why. She was angry with him for his rejection. Then she felt guilty for feeling angry because she knew she was the one who rejected him. He just moved on. But why would she care? She couldn’t rest. The wheels in her head were spinning as she grew increasingly frustrated. Did she actually want to be with him?
He was very happy a few days later when he went into work. He actually got talked to by the manager about whistling on the line. He was on the assembly line putting together the frames when she came in. The floor manager called out to him that he had a visitor. The line was stopped for a minute so his back-up could take his place and he could go on his break.
“What are you doing here?” he asked her.
“I came to see you. I have something to tell you,” she replied.
“Okay, I hope it is worth stopping the line over. I could get in trouble,” he said.
“I think I’ve fallen for you,” she stated.
Conflicted, he processed what she had said, scanning for the right response. Why now? What was she doing coming to the plant to tell him? Why let him go through all that time of unrequited feelings just to come out and tell him once he had finally moved on? Why wait until he was seeing someone else?
It was only a minute or two according to the digital display, but it felt like hours before he finally said, “I’m sorry. You missed your opportunity. I’m seeing someone now.”
“So? You just started to see her. You can tell her you want to be with me.”
“No, I can’t,” began the robot as he left to go back to his place on the car assembly line. “I’m a model 5000. I’m just not wired that way.”