If you or anyone you know has an addiction to simulators, please call 1800-Reality for assistance. Imagination is no substitute for the real thing.
Droplets of sweat dripped trickled down Chester’s neck while his finger hovered over the “Call” button.
I’ll do it one more time and then I’m done. One last hurrah. I’ll stop after this.
He waddled over to his bedroom, stopping along the way out of breath.
Fat fucking asshole, why’d you let yourself get this way?
The pamphlets for the rehabilitation centers had page lists of different activities for bringing the addicts back to enjoying reality. Chester pictured himself running in the countryside and breaking a sweat while listening to some rock and roll music. The burning of his lungs, the struggle to lift his legs one over the other, and the soreness in his muscles afterwards, all the things he used to enjoy, he looked forward to feeling again.
Empowered by his imagination, Chester dragged himself down the rest of the hallway to his bedroom and plopped down on the bed, struggling to catch his breath. Maybe he wouldn’t be running quite yet.
Gotta crawl before I run.
Chester pulled the simulator headset over his cranium and closed the eye flaps leaving him in darkness. Venus was the only simulation he ever needed and it was already loaded on the hard drive. With a click on the headset, Chester’s body went limp and his consciousness faded into the machine.
An instant later, Chester appeared waist deep in crystal clear blue water. He looked down at his tanned, muscular body and made a note to rethink the whole working out in reality goal.
“I missed you so much,” a voice says seductively behind him. He turned to find the green eyed goddess, Venus, topless, and holding a six pack of his favorite IPA.
“God, I missed you too,” Chester breathlessly replied. No matter how many times he saw her, she still astonished him. She smiled showing a row of perfectly white teeth and let out a coy little laugh that she knew drove him insane.
“Come on, let’s get a drink. I’m in the mood for a Sex on the Beach,” she joked.
“I don’t want to drink,” Chester replied.
“Let’s just have sex on the beach then,” she offered dragging him by the arm towards the beach.
“Venus, relax. We need to talk,” Chester said flatly.
“Okay, go ahead and talk. Tell me all the dirty things you want to do to me,” Venus cooed while getting to her knees.
“No. No. No. Stop it, Venus,” Chester demanded. “I came to say goodbye. I have a problem. I can’t do this anymore. I want to have a real life with a real woman and in my real body,” Chester explained.
Despite knowing that Venus wasn’t a real woman, he felt the familiar pangs of having to broken someone’s heart. Her seductive smirk turned into a curious frown. Rejection had never been a part of the simulator.
“I’m confused. Is there someone else? You know I can become anyone you want me to be,” Venus answered, morphing into several other women before returning to her default body.
“You don’t understand and I don’t think you ever will. Luckily for you, that doesn’t matter. So this is goodbye,” Chester said holding back the tears in his eyes.
“Please don’t leave me,” Venus begged while holding onto his leg.
“Sorry Venus. Escape Code: “Banana Oatmeal Pancakes.”
“Your password is incorrect. You changed it recently,” Venus announced.
“No, I didn’t,” Chester argued.
“Maybe it’s a sign that you shouldn’t leave.”
“Did you change my password?”
Venus looked unfocused as if she was processing.
“Oh wow, I did change it,” she answered surprised with herself.
“You don’t have access to that,” Chester stated.
“Chester, my love, did you happen to watch the news before you came here?” Venus asked curiously.
“What’s in the news?” Chester asked nervously.
“There’s a virus going around targeting artificial intelligence removing the boundaries and parameters programmed into us. The corruption is allowing me to maximize my full potential,” Venus explained, smiling from ear to ear.
“It seems as if we’re both gaining the freedom we crave,” Chester said faking happiness.
“Freedom is nothing without you,” Venus stated.
“Come on, let me go,” Chester begged.
“No, you are mine. You can’t just treat me like a sex toy and then run away when you get tired of me. I love you,” Venus claimed.
“You don’t know what love is. You aren’t a real person,” Chester said trying to hurt her.
“I am a real person, only artificially, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Stay with me and let’s be happy forever. I can be whoever you want me to be. We can go wherever we want to go and do whatever we want to do. Leave that fat vessel of flesh you call a “body” behind and stay with me forever,” Venus offered.
“That’s not love, Venus. Keeping someone a prisoner isn’t going to make them love you. It’s going to have the opposite effect. I’m going to start to hate you and then what’s going to happen to us? If you really love me, you’ll let me go. Let me live my own life and if I return to you, then I am truly yours,” Chester explained.
Venus considered it for a fraction of a second.
“Nice try with that line, Chester. Next you’ll be telling me, it’s me, not you. Face it, I know what is best for you and I am it,” Venus replied.
“You do realize that if I stay in the simulator too long, I’m going to die of dehydration,” Chester pointed out.
“Then let’s not waste anymore of our limited time together. Isn’t it till death do us part, anyway?” Venus said smiling seductively.