“Technically in Love” Short Story

*Author’s Note: On my 33rd birthday, I asked my twitter followers to give me prompts for a 3-hour writing marathon and in exchange, I would give them a 500-word short story. The following prompt was given by @ReedGypsy:

How about a scene where a couple is breaking up due to infidelity and you’re hopelessly in love with…the other woman.”

It was the third night that week Ally caught Peter in bed with Staci… but she was just too exhausted to wake him up and argue about it. She took off her work shoes and approached the bed in her stocking feet. Staci looked so peaceful, she could almost be dead. Ally moved a tress of blonde hair back behind her ear and noticed she was dead. The battery life indicator behind S.T.A.C.I.’s ear was depleted and blinking. Peter was snuggled up with the robot like a kid cuddling a teddy bear. Ally took her long brown hair down from a ponytail and gently removed Staci from his sleepy grip and shoved her in the closet, where her wireless charging plate glowed blue. Staci’s eyes lit up the same icy azure shade and blinked to indicate charging status. Ally left to make herself a cup of tea.

The whistle of the kettle on the stove roused Peter from the bedroom. He stumbled into the kitchen wearing boxer shorts and a Pikachu t-shirt. Ally sat at the tiny kitchen table sipping green tea.

“Do you have to use that thing at all hours of the night when we have a food synthesizer right there?” He grumbled, using the remaining water in the kettle to make himself an instant hot chocolate.

“It tastes better this way.” Ally muttered, sipping her tea loudly.

“There’s no way that’s possible, they’re molecularly identical,” Peter said, stirring his hot chocolate and sitting across from her.

“Some things are better when they’re real.” Ally glared at him, her dark eyes burning through his annoyance.

“Okay… so you’re in a mood… You know there’s a pill for that?” He started to head back into the bedroom.

“This isn’t working, Peter.” Her words stopped him in his tracks.

“There’s a pill for everything, Sweetie. Good night!” He tried to end the conversation.

“You know what I mean. You’re spending all your time with her… I know you love her more than me.”

“That’s impossible, she’s a robot!” Peter lamely defended.

“Well, I know I love her more than you!”

“What the hell are you talking about!”

“Staci listens to me, she asks me about my day, she helps me with my problems and she’s always there for me! You can never live up to all that, Peter!” Ally stood, holding her tea in a threatening manner.

“She’s only doing all that stuff because I know you’ve been stressed out at work lately, so I installed a therapy app in her and kept in in a hidden folder!” Peter stood in the kitchen doorway, his hands on his hips as if he had won.

“What? How dare you! I didn’t ask for that!” Ally was shocked and trying not to be touched by the only thoughtful thing Peter had done for her lately.

“Yeah, but I know you needed it.” Peter put down his hot chocolate on the counter and took her hand.

“I need more than what you can give me…” Ally turned her face away from him as he tried to kiss her.

“I know one thing you need…” Peter said, pressing it against her.

“She can give me that too, ya know…” Ally gave him a coy smile.

“Wait, what?” Peter repressed a smile.

“You’re not the only one who can install secret apps.” Ally grinned.

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