XJ-10

II.

There's this thing called generosity I always believed in up until recently. Very recently, in fact. It took me a whole twenty minutes after I met June before I wanted to erase the word from my data bank. It started when Mom said that we should sleep in the same room, at least for one night.

It was useless to argue with her, so I grumpily relented and showed my new sister to my bedroom. As soon as we entered, she didn't hesitate to run to my bed and fling herself on it, giggling as she bounced.

"That's my bed." I said, annoyance in my voice, "You can sleep on the floor."

"Sure, I don't mind," she responded with buoyancy that I would soon come to realize was part of her personality. However, she still didn't remove herself from my bed, but instead flipped to her stomach. I couldn't help but be envious of her when her long hair flipped from side to side, the waves complimenting her face nicely.

"Whatever…" I mumbled.

"So Jenny," she began, laying her head down on her arms with her feet in the air, "I can't wait for school tomorrow when I begin intermingling with humans. Mom said you can introduce me to a few people."

I shot her a look of anger that she obviously ignored or didn't notice in the first place, "I can…I should…but I'm not."

When her expression changed to one of shock, I inwardly smiled. Good, she knows I don't want to be her friend…or her sister for that matter! It's good to know she's not as stupid as she acts.

"But…why not?" she asked, watching me closely as I walked around my room, getting my things ready for school tomorrow.

"Because!" I couldn't believe I was being this edgy. I was surprised at myself for not even giving June the benefit of the doubt. After all, I'm a robot of reason and it's not like she asked to be here to make my life complicated. Mom made her for her own reasons…reasons I'm almost afraid to ask about. Even so, I couldn't bring myself to feel friendly towards her.

June flipped herself around so she was sitting properly. Her legs dangled over the side, "Because why?"

I sighed, quickly glancing at her, "Because I had to make my own friends, now you make your own."

She thought about this for a moment, "I suppose I could do that. But wouldn't it be fun to have the same friends so we can all hang out together?"

"Why would that be fun?" I went around to the other side of my bed before I lay down. When my head hit the pillow, I was hoping she would get the hint and stand up, but she didn't. Instead, she actually had the nerve to lie down beside me.

"That's a silly question, Jenny," she commented, "Groups of people always have fun together. I bet you have tons of friends, huh?"

I felt my metal heat up when I blushed at her comment. Oh sure…tons of friends. Let's see…Brad, Tuck, Sheldon…the list goes on and on.

But instead of explaining this to her, I closed my eyes and mumbled, "Yeah, sure."

"Do you and your girl friends go shopping a lot?"

Before I could stop myself, I blurted out, "I don't have any girl friends."

I felt myself sadden when the words were out in the open. I loved the friends I had greatly and wouldn't trade them for anything, but I still couldn't help wishing that the girls would accept me. Although I felt I could tell Brad almost anything, there were just some things girls wanted to tell other girls. I told Brad this before and he said it was natural.

"You do have one girl friend," she said suddenly, causing me to snap my eyes open. She was smiling gently, "You have me."

The first thought that came to mind was: Why is this girl so nice? So far, even though we just met, I've been harsh to her. Since she's one of Mom's creations, I knew she couldn't be stupid. She had to have picked up bad vibes.

For a brief moment, I wanted to be friends with her. What would be the harm anyway? We would, after all, be living together and going to school together. And I had a feeling that Brad, Tuck, and Sheldon would like to meet her.

"Whatever," I murmured, though without as much firmness as I would have liked. I rolled over so I was facing away from her. She continued to lie beside me for a few minutes before she whispered goodnight and stood up. I don't know how she managed to find blankets, but I heard her shuffling around to make a bed for herself. She turned off the light before she settled down. I was surprised at myself for falling asleep as fast as I did.

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

The next day came quickly, my built in alarm clock waking me at exactly seven o'clock. My first initial thought was hoping that yesterday was just a bad dream, but I knew it wasn't. As soon as I rolled over, I saw her sleeping on my floor, the blankets tangled around her.

I watched in amazement as her chest rose and fell softly, her hair swaying slightly with each breath she took. Her eyes moved under her closed lids, probably due to the feeling of being watched.

That girl's luckier than she'll ever know, just by those things alone.

Sighing lowly, I got up, planning on getting ready to go to school. On my way past the bathroom, something on the sink caught my eye. Doing a double take, I peeked in to see a brush, a comb, some light makeup that I was never permitted to handle, a couple hairclips, and a few other things I didn't bother to think about. Seeing all that there for June was the perfect way to get me annoyed for the day.

"Good morning, Jenny," Mom exclaimed when I entered the kitchen.

"Hardly," I shot back dryly, grabbing my backpack off the table and heading for the front door.

"You're leaving quite early," she commented, but I didn't respond. "Did you wake June?" she asked as soon as I opened the door.

"No." Before she could ask me anything else, I slammed the door behind me and began walking to Brad's house. The last thing I wanted at the moment was for June to follow me so the three of us could walk to school together.

About time I reached Brad's house, he was just leaving to meet me half way. His eyes widened in surprise when he saw me standing there, "Whoa, you that anxious to get to school today?"

I sighed, "I was actually hoping we could skip today."

"Skip?" He laughed and walked toward me, "Since when do you want to just skip? Your day's usually cut short due to some disaster anyway."

"I know, it's just…last night, something really did happen, Brad. And because of it, I dread going to school." I know I was making it sound a lot worse than what it really was, especially to someone else.

He simply stared at me for a long moment before grabbing my arm and walking me forward, "How about you tell me everything once and for all on our way to school."

I looked to him before averting my gaze to the ground. I didn't really want to say anything, but I knew he would find out one way or another. In the end, I decided that it would be better to tell him beforehand instead of waiting to explain after he found out.

"My mom created a new model," I began, keeping my eyes down, "called XJ-10, or June for short. I guess she's everything like me…but better."

When I paused for a long moment, I could feel his curiosity and anxiousness. Even when he said, "Don't put yourself down like that. I'm sure you're over exaggerating," it didn't sound that confident. After all, he knew how my mom was with each new model she made. She had to continue getting as close to perfect as possible.

"Thanks for trying to help, Brad, but it is true. She looks exactly like a human…a pretty human."

"So? And you're a pretty robot. You don't see that everyday, right?" The tone in his voice made me shoot my eyes over to him. His voice radiated sincerity and confidence. So much so that it actually made me blush.

"Thanks Brad…" I said lowly, the comment only making me feel embarrassed.

"I mean it, Jenny," he touched my shoulder to stop me from walking any further, since I accidentally began walking at a faster pace. "You still are one of a kind. Probably always will be. You'd be the perfect girl if—if—," he stressed, "you'd just have a little more confidence in yourself."

When I didn't say anything, he was about to go on, but I stopped him with a smile, "Brad, stop it. You really are embarrassing me now."

He laughed, "Just trying to make you feel better."

"Yeah, well…it would have worked better under any other situation," I said, which immediately put a frown on his face. I regretted saying it soon after. It was obvious that he really was trying to help, and I wasn't accepting it all that well. Apologizing quickly, I stepped forward and wrapped my arms around him.

It had been awhile since I actually hugged him, not that I ever thought too much of it before. This time felt a little different, if that's a word that could possibly describe it. Usually it was quick and for a stupid reason, but I was really looking for comfort this time.

I hid my face in the crook of his neck, my computerized nerves zapping slightly when he embraced me.

Just as I was beginning to really enjoy it, I heard my name being called.

"Jenny! Jenny, I've been looking for you!"

I groaned and clung onto Brad harder. I thought that if I focused my mind on something else, the voice would disappear.

It was silly of me to even consider this option. It didn't take June long to come up beside us.

"Jenny, hi! Is this one of your friends?" I pulled away from Brad, but before I could answer her, she continued, "Or is he your boyfriend? You didn't mention you had a boyfriend. Wouldn't that be cool if I got a boyfriend too, so we could go on a double date?"

Brad and I both stared at her for a long moment, wondering if her smile would ever lessen. I blinked, "How do you know so much already?"

"Everything you know, I know," she explained, walking beside me when we began moving again, "Mom made a copy of one of your chips and put it in me, so I wouldn't start so far behind."

"She what!" I screamed in her face, "What do you mean by everything? Like…everything, everything, or just a lot of stuff?"

June laughed, flipping her hair over her shoulder. This made me look over her quickly, noticing how she was wearing a denim skirt with a dark red blouse. Her black slip on shoes were a perfect match.

"So this is your evil sister?" Brad asked with a hint of amusement. He leaned over so he could see her on the other side of me.

I clenched my fists, "I never said evil sister, Brad."

"Either way, that's how you made her out to be." He jogged around me to stand beside her, a huge smile lighting up his face, "I should properly introduce myself. My name's Brad, and from what I've heard, your name is June."

"That's right," June nodded, looking very proud suddenly, "In other words, I'm XJ-Perfect-10."

I rolled my eyes and muttered, "Lame…"

"Hey," Brad began, glaring over at me. I instantly blushed and looked away. I crossed my arms stubbornly, knowing full well how immature and childish I was acting.

We reached the school, a lot of other kids already there, despite the early time. Most, if not all of them looked our way, surely curious about the new girl.

"Wow…" June began, her eyes widening with amazement, "There's so many people to meet."

"Heh, and this isn't even half of 'em." Brad commented, looking to me for extra output. When I did nothing but look down again, I felt him scowl at me. He stopped walking, making me instinctively stop as well. "Hey June, why don't you go on ahead and introduce yourself to some kids. We'll catch up with you later."

Without even bothering to look unsure about just going up to random people, she simply nodded and walked toward the first group of girls.

I watched her begin talking immediately, earning the attention of all five of them. They smiled at her before long, making me turn away with a glare. I happened to catch Brad giving me the same look.

We stared at each other for a long moment before I couldn't take it anymore, "What!"

"How come you're acting like this, Jen? June seems like no big deal to me. She's nice, and she just wants to make friends."

"Now you sound like you're preaching," I mumbled under my breath before speaking up, "I don't think she deserves to have any friends."

I was even surprised at myself for saying such a thing. I'm not sure if it was Brad or me that was shocked more. He looked disappointed, the gaze going straight to my circuitry. I broke the stare to look at the ground again.

"That's really selfish of you, Jenny. Don't you remember back before you met me? How much you wanted to have friends and just hang out? She's going through the same thing," he stopped to see if any of his words were having an effect on me. I kept my face blank.

I heard him sigh, "Listen, I'm not saying you have to talk to her every minute of the day, but don't discourage her. You of all people should know how it feels to be discouraged."

And with that, he walked toward the school, leaving me standing on the now busy sidewalk.

He was right. I had been thinking the same things before he said them. I just didn't want to come to reality with them. I looked over at June again, watching as a bigger crowd formed around her, laughing at something she just said. She was beaming with happiness. I'm sure fitting in with a large crowd was a wonderful feeling.

Too bad I'll never be able to experience that.

It was my turn to sigh as I reluctantly made my way to the school also. Not only did I have to be decent to June, I now had to apologize to Brad.