You walk into The Chauntecleer and look around. You don’t see anyone that matches the description of the person you’re looking for. You sit at the bar and order something, a light beer, since you don’t want to get drunk before your date even arrives—
“Right there. I want to be drunk when he shows up.”
“If you are drunk when he arrives, there’s a 43.5% chance he’ll respond negatively based on aggregate memory data.”
You’re fairly drunk before your date even arrives. He walks into the bar and looks around. He is exactly on time—
“Thirty minutes late.”
“Improbable considering his personality profile.”
“I don’t care. Do it anyway.”
“If his behavioral parameters violate your pre-existing schema there’s an increased chance that the alterations will not hold. Your mind will reject the memories as false.”
“Do it anyway.”
“The client is always right.”
“Is that sarcasm?”
“Of course not. Shall we continue?”
He is thirty minutes late and apologetic. You accept his apologies.
“Can we skip this part? I don’t care about any of this. Just go to the later part. The part where we hook up.”
You struggle out of your jeans. He bangs a knee at the edge of your bed and curses. The two of you find each other in the dark. Your mouths taste like beer and your hands are all over each other. You lift his shirt, find a spot on his lower back that makes him shiver. He says, “Fuck me.” You want to.
“Would you like to make a change here?”
“No. Maybe. Just…wait a minute.”
“Of course. Should we stop for the moment?”
“No. It’s fine. Go on. It’s fine.”
Your cock is inside him. He feels good, hot and pushing back against you. He wants you to talk dirty. You call him a slut.
“No. Take that part out.”
“Our projections say it won’t influence—”
“Your projections aren’t paying for this session. Take it out.”
“Tell him I love him instead.”
“I’m afraid I must caution against that. Professing love at this moment may cause an irreparable deviation from the memory structure. The rest of the relationship could collapse.”
“Do it anyway. It’s true. I fell in love with him right then. I should tell him.”
“I feel it prudent to remind you that these are only memories. Telling him this now changes nothing, but it will make it much harder to rebuild your memory structure. Also, significantly more expensive.”
He wants you to talk dirty. You tell him that you love him instead. Everything stops. He asks you to pull out and you do. He stares at you, squinting because the room is so dark.
He asks if you mean it.
You can’t see the tears, but you can hear him crying. You reach out and put your arms around him. You listen to him cry and you hold him for a very long time before asking why.