i met her on an on line dating site and we agreed to meet for coffee.
she semed slightly nervous when we met but after a few minutes chatting she seemed to relax into a very attractive woman who said she was in her mid-forties but seemed younger.
she was tall, probably five ten or so and thin but muscular like a rower or a javelin thrower and she liked to laugh.
she liked to laugh and smile and look deep into my eyes as we talked and i wanted to know more.
and so i did.
we talked for hours and went to dinner and walked along the lake and talked and laughed.
it seemed as if we had always been together.
so we sat on the side of the lake where the city was beginning to build a new jetty and even though the concrete was uncomfortable i didn`t want to move for fear of breaking this warm wonderful spell that i was under.
"take me home" she said suddenly, and that jolted me out of my dream......
"i don`t know where you live" i replied.
"no, your home."
i was so suprised at what she said that i barely responded except to say "what?" in total suprise.
"please" was the last thing i remembered her saying.
as we lay there together in my apartment time had left us behind. the sun was beginning to rise and birds were singing in the trees below the window and i felt as if this moment could go on forever.
"i`m scared" she quietly said, her eyes bright and impossibly green in the new light of dawn, darting and searching for something she needed from me now.
"scared, why?" i answered, thinking of many reasons why a woman should be scared in this situation, none of which made me want to hear the answer.
"i am scared of the people who built me". she said as if it were the most normal thing in the world. " i am afraid that they will find me and hurt you and switch me off".
"what?" i said in absolute disbelief. you are joking, right?"
"no, i`m not. i was built as a prototype for a medical android to test psychological processes and new psychotrophic drugs, and i escaped three weeks ago. i needed to find someone to look after me.
i got lonely."
my jaw just fell open and i stood staring at this woman as she said these things and i couldn`t speak or move or even blink.
"i`m sorry". she said.
i laughed outloud at that.
"my god, woman, sorry isn`t going to do it............i still don`t know if you are joking or not and if you are it`s not funny anymore and if you are serious you have to give me some proof."
"the proof is that i`m going to stop soon. my internal energy supply is limited and i re-charge electro-magnetically in a charging vessel at the labs in maryland."
"unless i go back in the next few days i won`t be able to function any longer. my data will be stored on stand-by, but i won`t run any longer."
"great, so now what?"
"i want to stay with you until that happens".
"when my energy cell depletes a beacon is triggered and there is a signal uplinked to a satelite that tells them where i am."
"why doesn`t that beacon run now?"
"i turned it off before i left the facility but i didn`t have time to find the code to switch off the fuel cell beacon, i suppose if i find a way to re-charge my fuel cell then the alarm won`t be triggered and they will never find me if i`m careful enough."
"i`m still finding this hard to believe..........won`t they be looking for you, or something.......i, um, this is crazy, i`m going crazy or something......and you seem so real."
"so do you, so we are even."
so i decided to play the game with this beautiful woman, and she has lived with me for........well forever actually.
for some reason her batteries never did run down.
we have to move occasionally because i age and she doesn`t. robots don`t.
i am 87 now and she is now playing my grand-daughter for everyone at this party in my honour. it is my birthday and a few of my new friends are gathered here to have a drink and welcome me to the faculty of the psychology department of the school where i have begun to guest lecture.
on artificial intelligence.