I can remember the day perfectly…the day my stepsister left for boarding school. She was wearing a short skirt, unbuttoned top, and she was yelling at Mom. Oh, she was pissed. My mom and dad didn’t know how to handle her anymore. My stepsister just found out that she was being sent away, and she was cussing, throwing a huge fit.
If her clothes weren’t bad enough, dark lipstick lined her lips, and her hair swayed out of control…just like her personality. That’s why my family chose to send her away. I even remember being insulted as Mom shoved her out the door. I felt bad that Mom and Dad had to deal with her being that way. They were good parents.
Years went by, and I wasn’t sure how she was doing. To be honest, I didn’t really miss her yelling. It was so much quieter around the house. That is until I heard the doorbell ring one day. I opened the door to see my stepsister, and she looked completely different. Her hair was tied in a perfect bun, her clothes were prim and proper, and she stared straight ahead. Maybe boarding school had changed her for the better.
Nonetheless, I was actually excited to see her. It had been far too long. When I asked her about school, she answered in a monotone, emotionless voice–almost robotic, for lack of a better word. I told her that we needed to catch up, and she looked at me with wide eyes. “Yes, stepbrother…let’s hang out. Battery low. Yes, stepbrother…let’s catch up.” Her head fell down between words, and it confused me. Did she just say battery low? Maybe I was hearing things.
It had been hours since she came out of her room. I really wanted to catch up, but I knew she had to get settled in first. I went looking for her, but didn’t see her. While I was in her room, I saw an odd cord that ran inside the closet. I didn’t remember that being there. I opened the closet door to find that the cord actually ran to…my stepsister?!
She was just standing there in the closet with her head down and eyes closed. I traced the cord to her back and yanked it out. She immediately lifted her head and opened her eyes. “Hello, stepbrother. I was just recharging. I was very tired from such a long travel, travel.” Wait…what? Recharging?
Her head tilted in the most unnatural ways, and something seemed off. She continued, “…so very tired-tired-tired-tired from such a long travel. Yes, stepbrother. Should we catch up now?” What. The. Fuck? Why was she stuttering her words like that?
She kept reassuring me that she was okay, but when I asked her about the cord, she said it was nothing. It was like she was hiding something. Was she feeling okay? “I’m feeling outstanding, stepbrother. I feel 100%,” her head went down, “99%, 98%. Stepbrother, did you want to catch up now?”
She even mentioned cooking dinner with the family. She would have NEVER done that before, let alone mentioned it. Her arms raised and locked as she talked, and her movements were stiff. I was scared. What happened to her at that school?
“I’ve changed for the better, stepbrother. I am a brand new model for parents, stepbrother. That’s what they-they-they-they wanted.” My parents wanted this? Holy . My stepsister didn’t even seem human anymore. Her head went back down, “97%,” and then raised.
She tried to remember my favorite meal, raising her stiff hands to her temples, and then stuttered it out. It’s almost as if she was trying to load the information in her head. “I’m not feeling very hungry as you can understand-stand-stand-stand-stttttand from a long travel.” I hadn’t seen her eat anything all day.
Her head continued to twitch uncontrollably, her speech vibrated and stuttered, and she started to say things that didn’t make sense. “Model-model. New model for you and the parents to enjoy.” She continued, “Now did you want me to cook you dinner, or I can be programmed to do plenty of other outstanding things around the house for you-you-you-youuuuu and the parents.” Programmed?
I mean, okay, I guess. She turned and stopped, moving in all sorts of odd ways and shifting at the waist. It’s like her body was going crazy, and there was nothing she could do about it. She continued to offer to do other chores if I wasn’t happy with the idea of her cooking. She used to go out partying, and now all she wanted to do was cook and clean.
She walked stiffly towards the door, eager to make me some food, and for some reason had trouble opening it. Her body slammed over and over into the door as if she didn’t know any better. “Powering down. Battery insufficient. Not properly charrrrrrrrrrgged.” She stopped in place, and her head went down.
I had no idea what was going on. I looked around for the cord, picked it up, and plugged it back into my stepsister. Her head raised as she started charging and powered back on.
Fuck. Is my stepsister a….robot? Did my parents send her to circuit boarding school?