He read the diary. She did nothing to stop him. She was no longer alive.

“May 18th – He is sweet. Better than I hoped for. He said he would always have my heart. Maybe he’s right, though I’m not sure that kind of thing would ever work out between he and I. We’re just too different.”

She loved me, he thought. He read on.

“June 12th – For various reasons, I have to leave Jerry. He has been erratic and strange for several weeks. When I tried to approach him about it, and offer to help him, he threw an orchid at me. This was odd for two reasons.

First of all, it is certainly an unusual choice for an object to throw. Of course, throwing anything is unusual to begin with, but an indoor plant?

Second, though, is the dealbreaker. We don’t have an orchid, or any other flowers or indoor plants of any kind. So where did he get it? He manifested it, or teleported it from the garden center we went to two years ago. I suppose it could have been from any of the superstores we’ve been to numerous times. After all, I didn’t check to see if it was a live plant or an artificial one. I was too busy ducking.

I was also freaking out.”

Interesting, he thought. He turned the page.

“June 13th – He pledged his eternal love to me today. That was the scariest thing anyone has ever said. It was especially scary coming from him, considering how much longer he is likely to live than I am. Not just because I’m a lot older, but because of his unique nature.

I sent him to get me food from the Italian street place. It’s 30 minutes away, and it usually takes 20 minutes, so I have an hour and 10 minutes, including a safety buffer, to pack a few things and leave. I can’t really believe I’m doing this, but I have to. I created this situation. I tried to fix it. But I couldn’t. He wouldn’t let me get close. And he destroyed all the easy fixes.

Well, this is it. I now have an hour.

It’s been 45 minutes. I’ve packed the few things that matter. I’m leaving early, just in case. I’m also taking a cab, which is right outside. I’m leaving.”

So she never knew. Never suspected he had called a cab himself, parked around the corner, taken the cab to the restaurant while he called ahead. Rode back immediately, urging the cabbie to speed. Arriving home early, knowing she would try to leave that way.

And she never would.

He opened an internal compartment in his torso next to his central servos. He placed his memory, his small piece of her, inside for safe keeping. He would always have her heart. Always.

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