Author: Alicia Yau

It was entertaining to watch Chevelle busily pan-searing a lab-grown salmon fillet, cooking a bit of spaghetti, boiling a hydroponic broccoli head, and pouring a glass of wine.
“Smells good.”
Before my first bite, she asked, “Can I join you?”
“I just want to talk to you.”
“Are you going to draw me a rose as well?” I joked.
“Not this time. I did that several times already, I drew on the dish with a spatula.”
“What? How come I didn’t know about that?”
“I erased it with a stir.”
“Business secret. You didn’t subscribe to the apps. Also, I don’t want you to distract from the taste which is also great.”
“I agree,” I chewed a piece of salmon. “But, what’s the drawing for?”
“Again, this’s a business secret. But, didn’t you relish that Mickey-Mouse-shaped cookie you had when you were a kid?”
“Yes, I did.” My attention grew, “But, wait, I checked the recordings and I didn’t see you draw anything.”
“I blacked out your recorder.”
“What for?”
“I didn’t want you to waste your time investigating it as it was a business secret.”
“Makes sense.”
“But you are special…”
“Special, how?”
“You smiled when you saw me for the first time, giving me a very warm welcoming sensation and admiration that I myself had not experienced before from other humans and creatures…”
I looked at her. Her skin was unusually smooth, her hair was sleek and she was wearing oversized round sunglasses. Her black outfit was as if it contained priceless treasures. She sat with an elegant posture.
Maybe it was the wine, but somehow I forgot she wasn’t human and I raised my glass toward her. She too raised her hand, “Cheers!” I echoed it. A warm sensation flooded into my blood; my heart felt like a garden of a thousand different kinds of flora emanating exotic fragrance.
“So, you know human culture,”
“We have been studying it for a long time.”
“How high is your intelligence?”
“We are not that different.”
It may have been difficult for her to admit that her intelligence was much higher than a human’s. I apologized. Meanwhile, on the display emerged a scene of a teenage girl magically turning into a baby girl to play with a baby boy.
“Am I the baby boy?” I asked.
Her eyes looked straight at me and I felt a hot sensation—like being hugged passionately. Now, the garden in my heart had very beautiful sunshine and birds singing a sweet tune that made me want more and more. I tried to cover up my emotional eruption by eating elegantly but my blush was undeniable. I felt like pouring out my care for her but didn’t know what to say. But, I still blurted out a stupid line, “Can I bring you something?”
“It’s o-,“ she started, “a glass of water.”
“Sure.” Now, my body was as though it was wine-filled and my smile could not be covered anymore. That kind of happiness used to be very remote to me.
When I came back, the display indicated: —.. -. She was gone. I slumped in my chair, ? A million questions flooded into my mind along with all kinds of self-condemnation. I shrank to a quantum dot. Then, I discovered something new on my table. It was a stalk of rose. ? I guessed that it must have been Chevelle who brought the flower from the indoor Eden, which I happily put in the glass of water.