I haven’t written anything for a while and I’m gonna try to get back to it.
Graham and Oliver have returned to school. I still have not gone with them because I do not need the social interaction and secondary education like human teenagers. I sit at home. I clean the house and I skim over Matthew’s novel collection; I still do not know what he and Annie do for work. Matthew’s study is filled with books that range from medical journals to instruction manuals and I flip through a dew of them, scanning every page. Annie does not have a study to herself, but she does have a desk in the same room.
Oliver’s room is immaculate and I don’t stay in it long. Finally, I make my way to the room Graham and I share; my side is unused, but Graham does not keep his side in order. His bed is unkempt and he has left discarded clothes on the floor. There are food wrappers and crumbs on his desk. His computer is open and the cursor is blinking in a message box. I think for a second and proceed to sit in the desk chair.
Graham’s username is ‘grahamcracker42’ and he was typing a message to an ‘XMarksTheSpot’ about his holiday and I am unsure if I want to read it. I don’t want to lose Graham’s trust in me, so I don’t. I close the computer and I leave his things alone. Wandering eyes get humans in trouble. Before I leave, I take my new scarf off of the hooks by our door and I tie it around my throat. I don’t see the reason to wear a coat outdoors, but the scarf feels soft on me.
As I dig my feet into the snow, Annie’s car slowly makes its way into the driveway. She steps out of the driver’s side and she smiles and waves at me.
“Would you mind helping me with these bags?” she asks and opens the door to the backseat.
I help and she thanks me, but she continues to bring bags into the house. She smiles at me as we load food into the refrigerator; they buy so much food.
“I got you something today,” Annie says. She holds up a thick and oversized burgundy sweater. “I got one for Graham and Oliver, but I like yours the best. I’d like to see it on you.”
She pulls the sweater over my head and helps in rolling up the sleeves and she ruffles my hair.
“You look very handsome,” she says.
“Thank you,” I reply. She turns back to the refrigerator. “Would you like any assistance with dinner?”
Annie beams at me. “Thank you very much, Aaron.”
She shows me the recipe cards that are handwritten in blue ink and they’re yellowed from age. She says that they’re from her grandmother and she’ll pass them to one of her grandchildren. She shows me the kitchen tools and how I should start helping her. I chop onions and tomatoes to add to a hot pan; she’s showing me how to make spaghetti.
“How was your day?” I ask her.
“Things were fine. Short. I only went to work to picks the cover art for a couple of books and send a few emails. Matthew came to work with some of the other editors I work with. He’s almost done with his book. And then I went shopping and now I’m here with you. And how are you?”
“I would like to be able to eat and taste food.”
She stops what she’s doing and looks at me with wide eyes.
“I want it. I want to become more human. It seems that I am difficult to connect with.”
“I’d have to talk with Matt about it, Aaron. Then we’d have to talk with Doctor Carpenter. What brought this on?”
“I would like to be more likeable.”
Annie looks at me with sympathetic eyes. She scrunches up her lips and her nose and she tells me that I am liked. She’s happy to see me every day and the sons like me. This does not sound like she wants me to change. I am the one who wants to change. We finish preparing the meal and she suggests that I go upstairs and wait for dinner; I will wait for Graham.
I sit in the dark of the room and wait in my desk chair. I don’t use the computer and I don’t move. I watch videos of families eating daily dinners, even celebrating Thanksgiving. I do understand that I don’t have a stomach or intestines. I search for possibilities that could change me and I don’t notice that Graham has come home until he turns the light on.
“What are you doing in the dark here?” he asks.
I can’t see him, my eyes are displaying images and graphics, but I tell him what I am doing. He huffs and sits on his bed.
“Will you give me paper, please? And a pencil?”
I feel Graham close my hands around a notebook and a mechanical pencil. I sketch my body and a track that runs through it. I somehow find myself on a website educating people on coal energy and I think to myself, what if there was a way for the food I ingest to be burned into chemical energy? I make notes to give to Leo.
“So, what’s inspired you to eat like a real boy?” Graham asks. “The Blue Fairy didn’t do enough for you?”
“I don’t know of any fairies, Graham.”
“You don’t know Pinocchio?”
“I do not. Is it a book? A movie?”
“This really, really, old kids movie. The puppet wants to be a real boy and he spends his days hoping the Blue Fairy will change him. We can try to find it on the Internet or something. I’ll watch it with you; I always enjoy animated movies.”
“That sounds nice, Graham. Thank you.”
After I finish my sketch, we meet with everyone else at the dinner table where Annie places a pot of spaghetti in the middle and she announces that I made dinner with her and that I worked very hard. She looks me over and smiles before she sits down.