About a month later, one morning, I was making breakfast in the kitchen when I received an e-mail from my aunt Emma.
I sat on a couch in the living room, and read the mail.
How's it going? I hope you're fine. Sorry for not visiting you more often, it's just that I've been busy with work here in Vancouver.
I've heard that you adopted a child, a boy...his name is David, isn't it? I hope to meet him soon, and that he's as adorable as you said in your last letter.
I promise I'll visit you in 2 weeks, and some of your cousins are coming with me when I visit you, hope you don't mind.
Well, send my regards to that little boy, and I hope you'll be fine.
Hugs and kisses,
When I finished reading, I smiled. Of course all my aunt's letters were short, but they cheered me to no end. At least she let me know that she cared about me. And I was happy to see her and the rest of my family.
"David?" I called him, who was in his room watching some morning cartoons. He ran to me, and I sat him by my side.
"What is it, Mommy?" he asked. He always called me Mommy, although I was pretty young to be his mom. But I didn't mind.
"David, some members of my family are coming over in two weeks, and they want to meet you" I said, and his face lit up with happiness.
"Yes, and I hope you'll be nice and kind to them"
"Okay" he smiled again.
I gave him a hug, and he joined me to the kitchen to serve the breakfast.
At night, I was putting on my pyjama when David was closing the curtains. When he walked through the hallway, I called him.
"David?" I said, and he stopped in front of my room.
"Um...I know I don't do this very often, but...would you like to sleep in my bed tonight?" I asked him. I felt kinda lonely, and I wanted company. David seemed to understand that, because his face showed a big smile.
"Sure!" he answered, and came close to my bed.
I set the bed and lied down.
"Come here, honey" I called him, and he obeyed. He lied down next to me, and I pulled him into a hug. I put the blankets over us, and turned off the lights.
"Goodnight, David" I said, and I kissed his forehead.
"Goodnight, Mommy" he answered.
I pulled him close to me and nestled my cheek against his head, caressing his soft hair. He moved a little bit, and huddled himself closer to me. Although he didn't close his eyes, I knew that it was the way he slept. And even sleeping, he seemed to be a real kid. His body was warm, and his simulated breathing seemed so genuine...I knew I was holding a little, helpless child into my arms...
Before I closed my eyes, I remembered something. I told my aunt Emma that I had adopted a child. But I didn't mention that it was a Mecha-child...
Two weeks passed, and in Sunday afternoon, my aunt and my cousins came to my house. David and me were setting up the table when I heard the doorbell ringing.
"It's them" I said.
"I'll open the door, Mommy" David offered.
"David, you don't have to. Look, why don't you finish with the table while I open the door, honey?" I suggested, because I wanted to surprise my relatives.
"Okay" he agreed.
I opened the door, and there was aunt Emma with 2 of my big cousins, Michael (26 years old) and Anna (24 years old), with 3 children: my 10-year-old cousin Brian and two 8-year-old girls, Arlene and Clarice, who were twins. They entered in the house, and aunt Emma hugged me.
"Oh, my little girl!" she said in that silly voice of hers. And she hugged me so tight that I was afraid she would break me a rib.
"Aunt Emma...I can't breathe!" I whispered. She understood and let me go. Then she turned her glance to David, who was in front of us.
"So this little young man is David" she said. David stepped forward, and took out his right hand.
"I'm David. Pleased to meet you, aunt Emma" he said with a sweet smile.
"He's sooooo adorable! Come and give a hug to your aunt!" she squealed, and he gave her a hug. David definitively won my aunt.
We all were at the table, and David was helping me to serve the food. All I could hear from my aunt and my older cousins was:
"What a little angel!"
"He's so adorable!"
"Would you mind if I kidnap him some day?"
David and I smiled. I was happy they liked him. But what would happen when they found out what he really was? This really worried me.
As we sat in the table to eat, I noticed David wasn't eating as the rest of us. Of course I knew he didn't eat, but he said he wanted to join me at the table. I was okay with that, and nobody seemed to mind until my cousin Arlene, who was besides David, started talking to him.
"Hey, David, why don't you eat?" she asked him. David looked at her.
"I can't. I'll break" he answered, and then he stared at his empty plate.
"Break? Like a toy?" Brian asked. David couldn't answer.
"Tell me, do you have a birthday?" Clarice asked.
"No, I've never had one" David answered.
"Umm...what's the first thing you do remember?" Brian asked.
"A bird...a peacock" he answered.
"Like this one?" Clarice asked, showing him a card with the Cybertronics logo on it. David nodded, and the three kids gasped.
"That's why he doesn't eat! He's not a real boy, HE'S A MECHA!!" Arlene yelled.
"Yes, a Mecha!" Clarice said.
All my relatives looked at me, shocked.
"Emily, how could you??" Michael asked.
"Didn't you hate those things?" Anna said.
"I will not answer any questions" I said, trying to stand up, but aunt Emma stopped me.
"Wait a minute, miss! You tell me you adopted a child, and I was happy for that. I knew you missed your brother, and I understand that. But...adopting a robot?!" she asked.
"Are you insane?!" Anna said.
"He isn't real! Can't you understand that?!" Michael yelled.
I felt so hurt that they didn't understand me. How could they treat David as if he was a toy? I felt so sad, so angry...
"No...it's you who don't understand anything at all!" I yelled, hugging David close to me "David's not a toy, and just because he's neither flesh nor blood like us, that doesn't mean he's not a person. He loves me, and I love him. He's real to me, and I don't care if you don't get it, but I'll never leave him!"
They must have seen the tears in my eyes and how angry I was, because they just remained silent for a second, that is, until Michael spoke.
"Well, I guess we've nothing else to talk about" he said, and my relatives stayed silent during lunch, and they left quickly.
I ran to my room and threw myself in my bed, crying. I was so sad that my family didn't understand me, that I really loved David...this feeling was so beautiful...why couldn't they understand?!
I kept crying until I felt some footsteps coming close to me, and a soft voice called me.
"Mommy?" I looked up, and there he was. David was in front of me, with a concerned look on his face.
"David...come here, sweetie" I said, and he sat down in my bed, next to me. I hugged him very tight, and started crying again.
"Mommy, why are you crying?" he asked innocently.
"Oh, David...it's just...my cousins...aunt Emma..." I sobbed.
"They didn't like me" he said, sadly.
I looked up to him, and stroke his cheek.
"Don't say that. They just don't understand" I said, to comfort him.
"They can't understand how much I love you"
"You do?" he asked, surprised.
"Of course I do. And very much. I'll never leave you" I said.
"And what about your family?" he asked me.
I took his face between my hands, and kissed his forehead, before whispering into his ear "You're my family"
David smiled at me, and hugged me with all his heart and soul.
It's been a year since I imprinted David. And my family has finally accepted him, even Arlene and Clarice play with him sometimes. Aunt Emma always brings him some presents every time she comes to my house. And David returns to her with his caring, gentle personality. He's conquered all my relatives.
He's always been with me, and his innocence and his pure, genuine love has helped me to recover from Robbie's death. Although I still miss him, Robbie will always have an special place in my heart. As for David, well... I guess I have nothing else to say but that he is, and he will always be part of my family.
"Not...not an android...I'm real...real like Teddy...like you, Mommy...only you don't love me...my program...never loved me..."
"I am human, Mommy. I love you and I feel sad just like real people, so I must be human...Mustn't I?"
-- David Swinton. Supertoys When Winter Comes.