Cyberpunk Challenge: Menoko Boi 8

I’m dating a man, a man, a man.

What does that say about me?

It’s not an ordinary man that I see,

But the reflection of a woman,

Long lost, yet still there,

Skimming the surface

From underneath.

Staring at me, wide-eyed,

Through the surface tension

Of two different worlds.

Varriano had never dated a man before, much less a man that had once been a woman. He got home at four-thirty, showered, and spent the next half hour trying to figure out what to wear. In the end, he chose a black vest over a long-sleeve button shirt in white, and blue denim pants. He thought he looked like one of those ancient cowboys he sometimes saw in the movies. All he needed was a big hat. Thank goodness he didn’t have one.

At five-ten, he’d looked out the window, and again at five-twenty. Both times, he saw a white sedan parked out on the street, with a woman sitting in it. At five-thirty, Racine called and said he was waiting for him in his white car. Varriano went out, looking for a different white car until Racine waved at him. Puzzled, Varriano went to the car’s window and looked in. The woman he’d seen from the window was Racine.

“You changed your look.” Varriano said.

“Because you said you don’t date men.” Racine reminded him. “I hope you’re okay with me looking like this.”

“Sure.” Varriano replied, going around to get in the passenger seat. He had to give Racine a full visual inspection because he couldn’t get over how much the man looked like a woman. “A little while ago you were a guy.”

“All I did was put a wig and a blouse on.” Racine smiled. “Well, plus some make-up and a padded bra. It won’t matter when the lights go down. It’s still me under all this.” He sounded nervous. “Do you still want to go to the movies with me?”

“Yeah, yeah, we’re still on for the movies.”

“I can pass for a woman, right?”

Varriano looked him over again. “Wait a minute! Did you change your eye color? You’ve got black hair, blue eyes, C cups… This morning I asked you to describe a woman, and that’s exactly the description you gave me!”

“I thought that’s what you wanted.” Racine said.

“What? When did I say that?”

“You said you wanted to surprise me, and you wanted me to come up with the appearance of my ideal woman. I thought you wanted me to dress up like that. I thought you were playing a game with me because you couldn’t say it to me directly.”

“Oh, shit!” Varriano burst out.

“Did I do something wrong?”

“I forgot all about the surprise!”

Racine wiggled his shoulders and smiled. “I’m the surprise!”

“No! I mean, yes! You did surprise me, but there’s a whole other surprise that I totally forgot about! I have to make a phone call!”

“Can I listen?”

“Yeah, yeah, you can listen to this one.” Varriano called the Y.N. rep. “The guy I need is not answering. Maybe he went home already. Let me try the main number. By the way, how long were you parked out here on the street?”

“Since five.”

“Five? Why didn’t you call me and tell me you were out here?”

“I like watching where people live.” Racine shrugged. “Maybe it was all those long and boring stake-outs I used to do. I got used to it. I’m not a stalker!”

Varriano didn’t reply because he heard his phone call being answered. “Hello?”

“Hello!” A bright and cheery Asian voice replied. “Yuni Novelties, how can I help you?”

For a second, Varriano thought he might be calling Japan. “I’m calling about a delivery. It’s for tonight. It’s under the name Rickard Varriano. Are you in Stem City?”

“Yes we are!” The voice replied. “Ah, yes. Mr. Varriano, your delivery is scheduled for seven-thirty tonight.”

“Can I change the delivery date?” Varriano asked. “I made plans… I’m on a date right now and I forgot about the delivery.”

“I see. If you’re worried that the delivery might be stolen, rest assured that it will not. The delivery comes secured. If it does not scan your ID chip in proximity, it will emit a high-pitched alarm that is sure to deter any potential porch pirates. If someone tries to move the box without your ID in proximity, the police will be called right away. Don’t worry, Mr. Varriano. Your delivery will be safe and sound on your porch when you arrive.”

“It will?”

“Of course. None of our deliveries have ever been stolen. They are much too valuable! Enjoy your date, and enjoy your delivery later on tonight. Goodbye.”

That curt farewell didn’t sit well with Varriano. He started thinking that maybe the person he’d spoken to was actually an Artificial Intelligence module that sounded Japanese.

“You’re expecting a delivery?” Racine asked.

“Yeah, from Yuni.”

“Really?” Racine made a face. “Eww!”

“It’s not a Tweenie.” Varriano explained. “It’s an adult model. I guess they’re doing some kind of free promotion with their newest models or something. The guy said I was eligible because I was on the website yesterday.”

“I was on the website and I didn’t get called for any free promotion. How long were you on there, all day?”

“Uh, an hour, maybe?”

“An hour? You stayed on there that long?”

“I was doing my investigation!” Varriano answered. “I was writing down names and addresses, and models and prices. That’s the reason I called you in the morning, when I asked you to give me a woman’s description. I couldn’t decide what kind of sex doll I wanted. That was supposed to be the big surprise.”

“You mean the sex doll you ordered is going to look the way I look now?”

“Yes.” Varriano said. “I mean, not exactly, but generally speaking. And no, I did not order a sex doll. The company offered to lend me one for a week. I thought I should take the chance on it since I started having my suspicions about the company.”

“And you called me crazy?”

“How was I supposed to know you were going to dress up like that?”

“Because you were hinting at it!” Racine snapped at him. “Are we still going to the movies or not?”

“The rep said the delivery will arrive on schedule.”

“Is that a yes or no?”

“Do you want to?”

“Well, yes, now that you got me interested in this move from the last century!”

“Let me calm down for a second.” Varriano said. “Let me meditate. Why don’t you start driving? I should be golden by the time we get there. You look great, by the way. I still can’t believe you’re so, so womanly right now.”

“I’m always womanly.” Racine replied. “I’m just extra womanly around you. How are the three of us going to fit into your little cube-place?”

“You’re coming into my place later?”

“You’d better let me in!” Racine told him. “I like you, and you like me, and that’s it! This sex doll of yours will just have to wait until we’re done with each other!”

To be continued.

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