If 2B Were Your Girlfriend

This piece originally appeared as part of Zam or ReadySet, Fanbyte’s predecessors. Images may have been changed from the original published piece.

If 2B were your girlfriend, she would wait for you to wear out your shirts until the exact point of maximum softness, and then request you pass them off to her. Excited, you will oblige. Then she will notice that your shirts have a suboptimum armor rating and send them to the incinerator. You are running out of shirts.

If 2B were your girlfriend, every day would be leg day. Unfortunately, it is not as sexy as it sounds. The ankle couplings in 2B’s production line go through considerable wear-and-tear over the course of a mission and when you signed on as her personal mechanic you had no idea there’d be so many gooey rubber cables involved.

She still assents to step on you while you run your diagnostics, though, so it’s not all bad.

If 2B were your girlfriend, you would prepare her favorite salad for her every day. She will look down at it as you set it in front of her and ask, deadpan, “What is this?” When you explain it is her favorite salad, she will frown. “Salads are forbidden,” she will say, and send it to the incinerator.

If 2B were your girlfriend, she would paint your nails with micron’s-width precision, holding your fingers still in a velvet-soft but impossibly strong vyse-like grip making any hope for escape fleeting at best. She will paint them in light-devouring ultrablack ending in razor-sharp french tips. She will do this whether or not you actually wanted your nails done. It is your fault for introducing the concept of manicures to her, and now you must own your mistakes.

If 2B were your girlfriend, she would oblige the occasional selfie, but decline to look at them.

If 2B were your girlfriend, the two of you would scale a disintegrating skyscraper and muse philosophically about the cruelty of god and the meaning of duty as you look out across a crumbling, post-humanity wasteland. You would edge one centimeter closer to her, then two. You extend your pinky finger to brush against hers. When at last you are about to touch, 2B notices something glinting many miles away in the wreckage of an office building. She leaps from the rooftop and you are forced to follow. The moment is lost forever.

If 2B were your girlfriend, she will always let you choose what to listen to, because musical preferences are a human affectation not befitting androids. When you put on Emmy the Great’s “First Love,” you will notice her posture adjusting almost imperceptibly, and so you decide to play it more often. She will never comment on this.

If 2B were your girlfriend, she would tolerate your extensive fanart collection with its meticulously organized subfolders so long as you never, ever mention it to her.

If 2B were your girlfriend, you would eventually work up to getting her to step on you for non-maintenance-related reasons. It’s an important milestone in your relationship and you feel her trust in you as she tests the load-bearing capacity of your spinal column.

If 2B were your girlfriend, you would discover a hidden cache of remarkably well-preserved magnetized plastic film spooled in tiny cassettes. Taking these back to headquarters, you retrofit a 3D printer to write encoded soundwaves onto the thin film, including a reproduction of Emmy the Great’s “First Love.” When you present the finished product to 2B, she sends it to the incinerator. “Mixtapes are forbidden,” she whispers.

If 2B were your girlfriend, after the above incident you will manage to suppress your disappointment, reasoning to yourself that you can always make another when she is feeling better. Even — you think, as an uncategorized pain begins to well in your chest, hopefully not the result of an electrical fire — if she will insist she does not have feelings. You know better. You know.

If 2B were your girlfriend, the next time you reemerge at HQ in a freshly manufactured body, 2B will be standoffish and you won’t know why. You will not notice the damp streaks down her cheeks, or think much of what must have occurred in that gap of time between your memory backups, until much later when it will fail to matter. When she insists on taking point during the next mission, you do not question why.

If 2B were your girlfriend, the mixtape you had thought incinerated will be found later in her quarters, hidden between two facsimiles of hardcover books. The progression of the tape spools will indicate she has at least partly listened to it, and that the section with Emmy the Great’s “First Love” is worn down. You never mention it to her.

If 2B were your girlfriend, after everything is over you would buy her a t-shirt of her very own. She will not incinerate it, even when its armor rating becomes suboptimal.

This article draws its influence from The Toast’s If X Were Your Y series, to which we here at Zam owe a huge debt! Previously: If Soldier 76 Were Your Dad.