When I emerged from the wreckage there was little external evidence of injury except for some dampness on the cheeks and redness around the eyes. But inside the damage was profound.
I heard a voice in my head.
“We can rebuild him. We have the technology.”
My heart was was irreparably weakened, bruised, broken. It was replaced with a mechanical pump that would keep me alive, stronger, emotionally invulnerable.
Directional controls and advanced focus in my new eyes enabled me to see things with an extra degree of sharpness while easily avoiding any romantically unpleasant images.
I was ready again to face the world. I felt better…faster…stronger. In fact, I felt super.
For months, I was unstoppable. I socialized fearlessly with no concern about forming dangerous attachments. Women were just part of the scenery. And I rarely thought about…her.
Until she appeared. I tried to avoid seeing her, wildly rotating my bionic eyes. It didn’t work. They became fixed, stuck, staring directly at her from across the street.
The voice in my head spoke.
“Flight com, I’m breaking up! Repeat, breaking up!”
My replacement heart began pumping powerfully, my eyes lost focus and water welled up around them. My bionic knees buckled and I fell.
She turned and saw me—and began crossing the street, smiling. I pretended to tie my shoe. I wanted to escape but my legs refused to move. I did manage to stand.
“Hello, stranger! If I didn’t know better, I’d swear you were avoiding me.”
Elaine’s words cut deep destroyed what little defenses I had left.
“Hello! I didn’t see you there,” I said. “What a pleasant surprise.”
“Hmmm,” said Elaine. “I could swear you were looking right at me. I was wondering why you didn’t say anything.”
“Yeah,” I said. “Well. What’s new?” I smiled weakly.
“Look!” Elaine said, lifting her hand to show a ring. “I’m getting married!” She beamed.
The voice in my head cried “mayday!” But I had no time for that.
“That’s wonderful!” I lied. “Who’s the lucky guy?” I croaked as my knees began to buckle yet again.
At this point she began to describe the ring her new fiancé, and how he proposed. It was all very romantic. I could hardly breathe.
Just as I was ready to pass out, I felt some strength return to my bionic legs. She turned for a moment and I leapt. When she looked up, she saw no one. I peered at her from atop a building across the street.