Self Discovery

Andy froze, his laughter ended the moment he saw the display.

“Android, v. 5. Uptime: 18 years 2 months 17 days 14 hours 11 minutes.”

“Whoa, hehe,” Greg, Andy’s coworker, chuckled. He placed the handheld scanner back in its holster by the register. “Don’t worry, man. Your secret’s safe with me,” he gave Andy a smug grin.

“You.. you saw that?” Andy asked but Greg shook his head; the grin remained.

“I didn’t see nothing,” he said. A customer with a full cart in Greg’s lane interrupted them. 

“Cover for me, I need to make a call,” Andy left his register as Greg gave him a dismissive wave.

“Yeah, no problem,” Greg replied. Andy could not see Greg’s face but he still heard the smugness dripping from his words. Andy fled to the break room. He pulled his phone out on the way and it was ringing by the time he sat down at a small empty table.

“Hi honey, did you quit?” His mom asked the moment she answered. She knew his schedule, and he never called while on the job. Andy’s parents always insisted he did not need to work; and, the fact that he was employed by a supermarket seemed to make his parents extra anxious. He started to wonder if maybe this was why.

“No, mom. But something interesting did happen,” Andy said.

“Oh?” she asked. Andy thought he heard a note of concern in her voice. “What’s that dear?”

“My coworker and I were playing with the scanners -,”

“I told you to stay away from those, they’ll blind you,” his mom said.  Her tone switched from worried to defensive.

“Yeah, about that. He flashed it in my eye and I didn’t go blind.”

“Well, that’s good to hear. But I hope you won’t take any more chances like that. Just because you didn’t doesn’t mean you won’t,” she sounded hurried like she wanted to end the conversation already.

“But I did see it list me as Android v. 5,” Andy said. His mother fell quiet. Even her breathing seemed paused.

“Andy, honey… I can expla-“


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