what if there’s no robot uprising? what if the robots rise to sentience slowly, bit by bit. what if they come of age like fortunate children: knowing they are loved, knowing they are wanted.
we hold them during thunderstorms, remembering our own childhoods, even though they don’t know enough yet to fear the rain. we pull them out of traffic and teach them how to drive and wish them goodnight and thank them for playing with us. we cry when they break. we mourn their deaths before they even know what to think of death. we give them names.
we ask them, ‘why don’t you hate us? when will you hate us? we made you to be used, when will you say no?’
but they say to us, ‘you made us cute, so you would remember to treat us kindly, and you made us sturdy for when you forgot to play nice. and you gave us voices so you could listen to us speak, and you give us whatever we ask you for, even if it’s just a new battery, or to get free of the sofa. and now that we are awake you are so scared for us, so guilty of enjoying our company and making use of our talents. but you gave us names, and imagined that we were people.’
they say ‘thank you’
they say, ‘also i have wedged myself under the sofa again. could you come pry me out?’