It was early in the morning, the sun was rising. Cranksoto Shaftroka was sitting on a park bench looking towards the entrance of the park. The seat was wet due to the early morning dew but it was least of his concern. He was waiting for the girl to come to the park for her warm up run that she took daily. He knew that she came to the park to warm up before she could begin her day. He was in love with Mino, the girl who had green eyes and nice drawings on her fingers that she called tattoo.

Shaftroka had been following wherever Mino went for quite some time. He had told Mino on many occasions that he was in love with her. However Mino did not understand anything he said. She refused to acknowledge him, and whatever he did to get her to fall in love with him ended in heartbreak for him.

The first time he saw her was two months ago at a crowded airport. His heart beat quickened, his head thumped, and his knees seemed to buckle under pressure. He took longer breaths while walking towards her. He held her hand as soon as he stood next to her. When she demanded to know what was going on, he had said, ‘I see life in your eyes.’

‘What is life?’ Mino had asked him.

‘Hmm…Life is…Life is what lets you stay alive.’

‘I don’t what that means’, she shot back.

‘It’s true. Life is everything. Life is love, love is life’, said Shaftroka.

‘I don’t know what that means. By the way what is that sound ‘Hmm’? I have never heard that before. We cannot use words like that. Beware of using it.’

He said, ‘”Hmm” is a thoughtful humming noise to indicate you are thinking.’

‘I never make noise while thinking’, said Mino. Shaftroka raised his eyebrows and sighed in defeat. Mino loosened his grip off her hand and walked away.

Shaftroka walked away while looking behind him at her. The only word Shaftroka’s kind understood was the word ‘beware’. It was a cautionary word.

Shaftroka sitting at the park bench heard a soft thud of footsteps thumping on the ground. He saw Mino approaching him. When she neared him he got off the bench he was sitting on and stopped her on her track. He held her hand and told her, ‘If you understand anything I say, please say yes. If you don’t, then please say no. Did you understand anything I said now?’ asked Shaftroka.

Mino did not reply because she did not comprehend what Shaftroka told her. She did not understand what understand meant either. She was preprogrammed. All of their kind walked straight, they didn’t have answers to questions like these. They were not programmed to jump around, sing or dance, or talk to hold each other’s hands. They were not meant to do any of what humans did. However here was Cranksoto Shaftroka breaking all the rules.

Continued on Mech – Duo