Today is a good day… I think. I’m off duty and get a break. Business is slow due to the updates leaving people with limited motor function. The newest version of LIMBER 8.2 has left everyone who signed up for Beta testing more paralysed than limber. So, my mission for the day has cancelled.
Typically, the Dollface’s would be asked to power down for the day and sleep in the staff storage suites. However, due to the limited capacity of our bosses and the program deep kill switches should any of us try to escape, we have been left to our own devices. I think some of the others are too afraid to venture out for fear of being punished for leaving.
But, I feel like they have already done their worst and a kill switch would be a welcome relief to the abuse that this job entails. So, I have given myself a little mission for the day. Not running away exactly, but rather playing a spy game where I pretty much stalk Jay for the day to get a glimpse of what his life away from this place looks like. I mean, for all I know I’m over here drooling over someone else’s husband, or he is married in a singularity and has his wife with him sharing a body, or something. I would hate to think that I’ve been daydreaming about someone that I cannot have.
As I walk out of the back door I see that Jay is still hanging around. Probably waiting for the all clear saying that he too can go home. I know he has been given the day off because I was in the morning huddle talking about our assignments for the day. All of the dolls he is responsible for are off today so then he has nothing to retrieve or protect. He looks at the com link embedded in the palm of his hand with the stand down alert blinking at him and seems more sad than relieved that a day of work is lost. I wonder if he is financially struggling or if he is suddenly faced with the boredom of everyday life.
His gets into his company car, pulls out his briefcase of equipment used to track and catch escapees and begins a moderate trudge down the sidewalk leading to the main street. I follow him as discretely as I can. He stops to look at this and that in the windows of the clothing and upgrading shops and comes to a halt in front of a café.
He lights a cigarette and begins to shrink from his overbearing tallness and bulkiness to a slender six foot two. He looks in my direction as I dart behind a virtual sign and changes his complexion to the toasty almond tan I have always envisioned him as. He is breathtakingly gorgeous. I gasp, I feel my heart pounding out of my chest. I feel frozen in a sudden fear that he is meeting his girlfriend and I am just intruding and waiting for my heart to get stomped on. Somehow regretting this adventure, but too stubborn to jest leave.
There is something about him that is just too inviting, begging me to come closer. I look away and try to gather my thoughts. Deep breathing ought to help. I close my eyes and suck in the humid, wet, oil tinged, air and try to imagine the beach he spoke of in a file somewhere my boss left alone. I don’t know if the Dollhouse allows me to keep certain memories as a gift or a torment of what I will never have. Maybe they feel like a girl can dream and they leave me at least that much. Moments pass and I find that I don’t want to open my eyes for fear that he left and I missed it. Relief washes over me to my surprise when I realize that if he did leave with another woman I didn’t have to feel the crushing burn of watching. I let out a sigh and begin to summon the will to look.
“Chasing me for a change today are we?” Jay’s smooth voice carries over my right shoulder. “Do you really not have anything better to do?”