Author: Fatemah Albader

“When you install a family of your own, you’ll understand,” I said, though I wasn’t convinced she ever would truly understand. She’s 30, successful, wonderful life, but still acts out like a child, even though we took her back to the adoption agency for her adult update decades ago. You’d think she’d get it by now.

“I need to leave this prison,” she yelled back. This prison is where we practically do everything for her. The robo-maids clean her room. The self-driving car drives her around. She pays no bills. She lives in her high castle on the 233rd floor, all on her own. She just sits there and recharges, day after day, while everything gets done for her. This prison is five-star living. This prison is home.

“Maybe I will just permanently shut down,” she continued. There she goes with the theatrics. We should have put her in acting when she was an infant. We tried. They said she had the looks, but not the humanity. Though, she’d cry out all the time.

“And how would that reflect in the news?” I asked, sarcastically. “Rich robot-heiress kills herself because her creator asked her how many gigabytes she spends on manufactured dreams.” She insists we’re prying, but really, we’re just making conversation. She barely sits with us. We try to show interest, but when we do, she plasters us with labels like “helicopter mom” or “grinchy dad.” Perhaps we installed her with too much independence.

“You know how you’re always afraid to let Graffiti out of your sight, it’s the same thing for us,” I said, trying to reason with her unreasonable, already made-up mind.

“That’s different. Graffiti is a cat,” she said. “He’s a forever baby.”

“Well, it’s the same for us,” I tried again. “You’re our forever baby.”


That’s what the adoption agency said. “Forever babies now available for sale. Won’t grow up unless you choose to update.” I wish we never did.