“It is a pleasure to meet you. I will run as fast as I can to wherever my customer desires. I am the Auto Memories Doll”, I say looking up, staring in amazement unable to finish what I have to say.
Finding out he was dead made my world slowly vanishing into nothingness. But now he’s here, alive and well.
“What happened, Major?”
“Please call me Gilbert”, he says “Just Gilbert”.
“What happened… Gilbert?”.
The green in his only visible eye is just as beautiful as I remembered. After months of living with him I began to fall in love with his eyes, those eyes talked about suffering and sacrifice, but also compassion and kindness. I am able to understand what I felt the first time he hugged me. ‘Safe’, this is how I felt. In his arms I felt safe for the first time in my life.
“I know what they told you”, he says “I can’t undo what you went through in those months, but I just wanted you to have a life worth living”.
“Even though I accepted your fate, deep down a part of me still hoped you were alive somewhere”
“I am alive, maybe not in one piece, but I’m still here”.
“When you told me to live and to be free, I didn’t understand what you meant. I was never free, never understood what it meant to live as a person. I’ve always thought that my only purpose was being a killing machine. They treated me like a weapon, so I lived as one”
“You were never a weapon”.
“I was, and I’ve never understood that my actions made other people suffer. The people I killed, their loved one's left at home, letters that never reached them. Many people are mourning because of me”.
“All soldiers are forced to bear the weight of that sin”, he murmurs.
“Yeah, I know”, I respond “But I’ve never thought about that and only when I began to empathize with other people I understood the weight of what I’ve done, but being an Automatic Doll wasn’t only suffering, I meet so many people, and I was able to understand their feelings and mine too, and I have a life now”.
“I am glad”
“Even though at the beginning I just wanted to understand what you said to me, but in the end it turned out to be so much more”
He smiles at me “Yes”.
“I fulfilled your desire?”, I ask looking at him.
Suddenly he grabs my wrist pushing me against his chest, hugging me tightly. Gilbert means so much to me, not only because he was the first person to treat me like a human being, he also gave me a name and in some ways he was the one who gave me a voice… and a purpose.
“I’m sorry”, he whispers “I just want you to be happy...”.
“I am happy”, I reply “Gilbert?”
“I understand now”.
“What?”, he asks.
“What ‘I love you’ means”, I whisper hugging him tightly thinking that I might love him just as much as he loves me.