Steven (part 2 of 4)

“I wanna take Steven.” Sara said.

“Light of my life, sweet sweet child, no. We told you from the beginning he could not leave his tank.” Sara stomped her feet, displeased. Her parents raised their eyebrows in surprise. This was a new side of their daughter they had never seen. Sara and Steven bonded over a month’s time, spending almost every waking minute together and even some sleeping; a dream for them. But when it came time for Sara to head overseas again for school she refused to leave her friend behind.

She shipped out the next day without him. Saying goodbye was unfortunately one way as Steven still couldn’t speak coherently. Instead he looked sorrowfully on as Sara left the room, knowing she wouldn’t return for some months. Her parents cheered him, promising that while she busily studied so would he, and by the time she saw him again he would be able to welcome her home personally.

The next few weeks dragged. It never occurred to Sara to be lonely before, but since meeting Steven she found herself feeling restless when not at his side. Every time she looked through a window it only served as reminder of looking into Steven’s glass tank. Steven on the other hand was determined to make the best of the separation. Unlike Sara’s loneliness he felt almost palpable pain in his heart. Being so distant from the reason you were created can wear on one’s mind. So he threw himself into studies, hoping to hold meaningful conversations with Sara once she returned. Steven progressed while Sara fell behind; her grades slipped and her prestige fell to the wayside.

She soon found herself called to the dean’s office. All sorts of moody she stared at the floor while he begged for an explanation. “Why have your grades slip?” He asked kindly. “Is it a teacher? We can move you to a different tutor if that’s -“

“It’s not that,” she interrupted. “I just miss someone.”

“Miss… Your parents you miss?” The dean blinked at the oddity. Though still a young child never before had Sara shown any signs of homesickness.

“Not them…” She trailed off and refused to say more. 

The dean jumped on the phone to her parents, who more than displeased were troubled their only child was unhappy. After much discussion Sara was home by the end of the week.  Bursting into the laboratory directly from the airport she felt her heart swell at the sight of the giant fish tank. Climbing the metal steps leading to the top she clanked down a platform running along its curves.

Steven emerged from the water with a grin. “Hello Sara,” he greeted. Sara almost fell back in surprise. Steven had learned to talk. He spoke perfectly save a slight watery accent. Ecstatic she leapt forward, wrapping her arms around his neck. Taken aback Steven lost all train of thought but instinctively hugged back, careful to keep her from falling into the water.

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