The sun hit my eyes way too soon. Reluctantly, I sat up on the edge of the bed, letting my feet dangle. The cobwebs were still on my brain, and I wasn’t certain at all why I was awake.
Oh, right. The sun. I closed my eyes and started to lean a little bit to the right. Just a little bit further, and my head would be back on its pillow.
“You are running 15 minutes late.”
“There is no need to be rude.”
Fuck, my brain had farted that out of my mouth before I could stop it.
“Today is the 13th. It is birth control day.”
“It has been 1,323 days since you last had sexual intercourse. Are you sure you want to keep taking your birth control?”
I gritted my teeth. It took all my willpower not to pick him up and throw him across the room. It was bad enough he was male, but he’d also cost me 2,030Cr (Credits), and replacing him would cost a fortune I didn’t want to spend. I dug my fingernails into the palms of my hands and closed my eyes.
“You are now 20 minutes late.”
“I should not have to work in these hostile conditions.”
Fuuuuuuuuuuck my brain. and my mouth. and fuck him too.
I was actually shaking, I was so annoyed. I glared at him with impotent rage. I’d named him Alfred when I’d first brought him home, thinking it was funny and disrespectful, but, later, I learned that “Alfred” was actually Batman’s butler and quite distinguished -and with his posh accent, every time he reminded me of something, he never let me forget it.
“It has been 47 days since you last emailed Karen Müeller. Would you like to move her to the top of your queue?”
No, I grimaced. I’d moved her to the bottom of the queue for a reason.
“She is friends with the illustrator you want for your next project.”
“If you insist on being abusive, perhaps you would rather I stop giving you these updates -that I am merely providing per. your. request.”
I’d nearly forgotten that I had been digging my fingernails into the palms of my hands the entire time; I was reminded as I clenched my fists even tighter.
“Ouch!” I cried.
He remained silent. I knew he was thinking, “I told you so,” but he wasn’t going to say it. His circumspection just made me hate him all the more.
Why had I ever wanted him so badly? All my friends had had one -that’s how it had started... I think. How had one of my friends described it? “I don’t know how lived before!” My brain snorted. I know how I had lived before -with a lot less aggravation, but, now, he was as indispensable as he was despised.
I sighed, and finally moved from the bed.
“You are out of toothpaste, facial cleanser, and tissues.”
[there was a long, uncomfortable pause]
“I have reminded you three times already this week.”
“Yes, yes, okay?! Goddammit!” I knew it was embarrassing to lose my cool, but I couldn’t help it. I’d brought this thing into my home; I’d brought this down on myself. Every time he pissed me off, it was really just me being pissed off with... well, me.
With the close of my eyes, I sighed. Then I opened them. Before he said it, I already knew I was running 30 minutes late.
“Yes, yes, I know,” I agreed with him, the resignation stuck deep in my throat. I looked out the window, at the belligerent sun, and then -finally -stretched to the morning. Then, I picked him up. At 2.4 ounces, Alfred wasn’t the lightest apparatus on the market, but he was the best -and his was the only brand that didn’t bother to call itself a “phone.”