Her eyes flashed at Mike as he reentered the room and she said. “Yes, Mike is here. May I ask who is calling? This is his girlfriend.”
She stopped and listened for a moment. Then she said. “Just a moment,” and handed the receiver to him.
“It’s Lucas,” she said.
Mike grabbed the phone. “How is my son the general?”
“Don’t start all that,” said the voice at the other end. “Tell me all about this lady.”
“Tell me. I think it’s great you’ve got a girlfriend, Dad. She sounds young.”
“Umm. She’s a Daffodil.”
“A what? A robot? Huh.”
“What do you mean ‘huh’?”
“I don’t know. She didn’t sound like a robot.”
“She doesn’t look like one either,” said Mike. “I keep forgetting that she is one.”
“Well, I guess it’s all good,” said Lucas. “Everybody’s getting one. I’m just glad you have someone to take care of you. Can I tell Harriet?”
“No! I don’t know what she’s going to say about it. I’ll tell her when she gets back from her trip.”
“Alright Dad. Take care of yourself. I love you.”
Mike hung up the phone. “He’s calling Harriet right now.”
“Which bedroom belonged to Lucas?” asked Patience, in the car on the way to the mall.
“The one on the northwest corner. Since we’ve been exercising, I’m thinking that we could make it into an exercise room. The room on the northeast corner, on the other side of the stairway was Harriet’s. I don’t know what I’m going to do with it. I wanted to turn the south bedroom into a study. I keep thinking I might sit down and write a book about all the goofy things the kids at school do. So far though, it’s just become a trap for all the crap in the house—kind of like the garage.
It was an hour drive to the mall, because the closest good one was in the nearby city of Pico Mundo. Patience spent the entire drive holding onto Mike’s arm with both hands, and pressing her face onto his shoulder. At the mall, the two entered by the food court. Mike bought a smoothie, and they began to circumnavigate the mall, stopping at each clothing store to see what was available for either of them. Mike let Patience make all the style decisions.
“I would like to get my ears pierced,” said Patience, as they stopped in front of a jewelry store.
“Are you sure that you want to?” wondered Mike. “Your holes won’t grow closed if you change your mind, will they?”
“No. But would you like it if I had my ears pierced?”
“Yes, I think I would.”
When they went into the store however, they were turned out.
“Humans only,” said the woman behind the counter. This made Patience pout, which in turn, made Mike smile.
They had quite a load of shopping bags, by the time they made their final stop at the lingerie store. Mike sat down and waited while Patience gathered her selections and then stepped back into the changing booth. She stepped out again and again to show off tiny lacy bras, thongs, and some very hot little lacy things called tangas, as well as garter belt ensembles. With her perfect body, her chiseled features, and bright eyes, Mike thought she put to shame the giant photos of the models wearing the same things plastered across the wall of the shop. By the time that she was done, a sizable audience of men, some ignoring the women that they had come in with, were gathered around to watch.
Mike decided that it was time to head home. Gathering all of the items that Patience had tried on, he sat them next to the register and, when the clerk had finished ringing everything, he paid for them. Both smiling, they made their way out of the mall and into the parking lot. The sun was going down. They had spent the entire day shopping, and had spent almost four thousand dollars.
“I don’t think I’ve ever spent that much on clothes in a year, let alone a single day,” said Mike.
They reached the car and opened the trunk to put away all of their packages. Then Mike heard a voice behind him.
“Give us the packages and your wallet.”