Helpmate

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Imagination Station
“The One”, as it is coined in romance novels, can be found much more easily through new technology; those with a Helpmate implant can track and locate where their soulmate is in the world by the assistance and help of a glowing blue light.

Submitted: August 20, 2019

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Submitted: August 20, 2019

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She wasn’t very far. Just a few miles into Philadelphia.

It surprised me that the blue light was on maps; my previous knowledge led me to believe it only worked in real life. After finding it on a world map, it wasn’t very difficult to zoom in on google to locate more specifically where they were. At the time when I left my house, their location was a building along an unfamiliar street.

I decided to use public transportation rather than driving, knowing the difficulty of parallel parking along the constantly busy streets of South Philly. Endless traffic wasn’t necessarily what I was searching for. On this particular day with the rain, and because I left around midday, I presumed that services like Lyft wouldn’t be awfully busy and that I’d be able to catch a ride relatively easily. I didn’t mind walking; I don’t think anybody would mind the steps to meet their perfect match.

I fumbled together an appropriate outfit of black leggings and a light hoodie to shield me from the rain when needed. I wasn’t trying to impress, I was just trying to meet. The quiet of the solitary car ride accelerated my nerves a bit. My car was a much older model that still required me to drive it - I was mostly adjusted to new cars driving themselves now, but I wasn’t adjusted to not having somebody in the car to help relieve my stress. I knew I’d be accepted by whoever it was that I was going to meet. I’d have to be, if they were perfect for me - my struggles with self-confidence skewed that perception, however. I braved through the silence and scratched the already-irritable area where I had gotten the implant until I reached the city.

I bounded out of the car and shivered while walking along the pavement, allowing my feet to splash in the freshly formed puddles on the sidewalks. The distinct smell of rain during warm weather permeated the air and calmed me as I moved from block to block, getting closer to the glow of the blue light. I counted the clouds in the sky, watching them roll past in the direction I was walking. The sounds of cars flying past me, rain against roof tiles, and brief chatter amongst passing friends filled my ears and dulled the pounding of my heart against my chest. Each step caused me to grow with anticipation and fear and brought me closer to the inevitable. The walk lasted about 20 minutes from where the Lyft dropped me off.

When I had finally approached the house they were in, I was met with some confusion.

I had never really been interested in the same sex, but the glowing blue outline of the person in the building was the outline of a girl.

There had always been an interest, but never a true sexual desire. I had always wanted to try; I wanted to experiment, but only with someone I felt safe around. That someone never really came. My mind started to stir with thoughts of my middle school sleepovers where I’d play innocent games with female classmates. I recalled memories of childhood friends and wondered if the girl in that building could be one of those memories.

I caught myself smiling and took shelter near the entrance of the building, shaking off the rainwater and miscellaneous ideas that infected my brain. I wanted to enter this situation with a clear head, leaving nothing for imagination. She had seen my blue light and I had seen hers - the only difference was that I was the one that came to meet her. I heard the hum of live music coming from inside, with the door to the building being half-open. I denied the thought that I might be coming off as desperate, and with nobody there to stop me, I entered the building. 

*

The scent shifted from the wet grass after a recent downpour to heavy marijuana usage as I descended into the basement to get closer to the blue light. My eyes immediately scanned the breathing mass of people squeezed into such a small, dimly-lit basement. The amps boomed and reverberated within the wooden boards of the staircase steps I stood on, bringing my attention to the glowing blue light I saw on the stage.

My soulmate was the lead singer of the performing band.

Her flaming red hair, tied into a ponytail, flung around as she strummed the guitar in her hands and shouted into the microphone. The studded black jacket she wore complimented the white cropped shirt she had underneath. My eyes trailed down the ripped jeans on her legs to her muddied shoes, as one of the laces was untied. The blue glow around her was blinding. Her prominence was breathtaking and her beauty caught me off-guard.

…beauty? I was even more caught off-guard by how attracted I was to this woman.

Her voiced surged through my body as it echoed into the misty air and bounced against the frail walls of the basement. Her eyes locked with mine for the final notes of the song she and her band were performing; I heard her voice quiver slightly and worried that I might’ve caused her sudden nervousness.

As the song ceased and the band gave their genuine thanks to the audience, I wandered over to a table against the staircase. Snacks and drinks were spread along the surface, but I dared not to touch them. Crackers with cheese rested on plates, along with varying dips and pretzel rods in bowls.

“Hit?” a man with a woman said to me, holding out a blunt for me to take. I politely declined his offer and tapped my fingers along the edge of the table until I felt a hand clutch my shoulder.

My eyes met hers as I turned around, and the glow faded, signaling that I had officially met my soulmate. Her hand retreated into her jean pocket.

“You enjoy the set?” she asked.

I found myself lost in her eyes before forcing a response. “Yeah, it was awesome. What is this, exactly?”

“A house show. They have tons of these in Philly every weekend.”

“Ahh,” I nodded, finding myself tapping on the table again. Eye contact felt awkward, yet mandatory.

“You just get this?” she questioned, nonchalantly tapping the implant on my forehead. Her touch sent chills down my back and shot a whiff of marijuana my way. She was high.

“Yeah. I got it the other day.”

“It looks new. Looks good on you.”

A warm smile grew on her face, contrasting the devious look in her reddened eyes as she darted down my body and back up to my implant. Her eyes were feasting off of my looks with a severe case of the munchies, and I didn’t mind. I reciprocated. I didn’t realize my failure to continue the conversation until she suggested we sit down and get to know each other.

The conversation flowed beautifully. She and I passed a blunt back and forth, causing her to talk more about herself and causing me to become an even better listener. Her energy felt intertwined with mine, almost as if her heart overlapped mine, allowing them to beat in unison. I hung onto each of her words and grasped to learn everything I could about her. Her name was Haley. She was 21. A Scorpio. She liked to sing but preferred to play guitar. Did both for the money. Loved punk rock and alternative music. Into astrology. Played house shows every Friday. Her parents struggled with accepting her, so she lived alone in the city. Hardworking. Smart. Intuitive. Incredibly Compassionate.

Wildly beautiful.

I was enthralled.

It was so sudden, so pure, and so fervent that I didn’t even realize we were kissing in front of everyone until I opened my eyes and saw the stares. She wanted me so badly and I wanted her just as much. I restrained myself only because I had to. I pushed her off of me and heard her audible grunt when her body detached from mine.

Before Haley had the chance to speak, I interrupted her silence. “Let’s go back to my place.”

She cleared her throat and nodded, walking away to let her bandmates know she wasn’t staying with them for the night. Watching her visibly squirm expelled any previous fear I might’ve had. She trusted me, I could tell. I could see the happiness on the bandmates’ faces as she told them what was happening, knowing she was as excited as I was. She wasted no time in grabbing my arm tightly after she finished talking to them and leading me out of the building, intent on fully getting her hands on me.

*

The rain had dispelled and only the darkness of night remained in the desolate sky above Philadelphia. Stars came out of hiding behind the still moving clouds. The moon replaced the brightness of the sun. The city was just as busy as before, being only slightly quieter. The Lyft arrived very quickly.

My previous thoughts about disliking the quietness of Lyfts with no driver were forgotten when Haley shoved me onto the backseat and began to aggressively clutch my face. Her lips were warm and gentle when locked onto mine, leaving me always wanting more. As she gently tugged my hair between kisses, she also recognized the need of waiting until we got to my house to do anything serious. The connection I had with her was immediate and the passion between us was extreme. We spent the ride home talking a bit more and listening to some of my favorite songs. A smile beamed across both of our faces.

After reaching our destination and paying the Lyft fee, Haley and I entered my house and immediately began the action. I pushed her towards my bedroom door as we were embraced in a vigorous kiss, both grabbing at each others' clothes.

Stumbling into the dark bedroom, I switched the light on, but not before Haley tripped over one of the bodies on the ground.

Her face immediately lit up, consumed by fear, confusion, and some kind of horrific realization. My hand went for the knife in my back pocket as she slid her leg against my ankle, knocking me to the floor. She put up quite the fight, compared to the rest. I eventually managed to plunge the knife deep into her side and watched as she bled out against the carpet, squirming for some kind of assistance. Her screams turned to whimpers, her breaths grew short, and she eventually stopped moving completely. I smiled, noticing that the dulled blue glow around her was gone.

I unscrewed the implant from my forehead and tossed it into my endlessly growing collection of used Helpmate chips, not needing the soulmate it was tracking any longer. I then unscrewed Haley’s implant and twisted it into my forehead. With some maneuvering, it fit like a glove. The Helpmate chips require some time to recalibrate when connecting to a new host, so I spent the recalibration period finding a convenient place to prop Haley up.

She looked nice next to the rest of the bodies. Finally got a girl, I thought. About time!

I settled myself down in front of my laptop and pulled up the google map.

As a new blue glowing light came into view, I prepared myself to meet my next soulmate.

 


© Copyright 2019 Hanorbi. All rights reserved.

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