Eddy paced in the small exam room.
Every move, every step, made him more anxious. The room seemed to be shrinking.
Who knows? Maybe it really was getting smaller and smaller and tighter and tighter. Maybe the oxygen levels were rapidly depleting with every breath. He’d be gasping for air soon.
How long would it take for him to run out of air?
How long before the room became a perfect vacuum?
Would his body explode?
Or would he asphyxiate first?
Would asphyxiation hurt or would it feel like an intense panic attack?
How long would it last?
The door opened and Eddy could have sworn that the room expanded back to its normal size.
The doctor entered the room “Hello, Eddy. Well.” He sat on his wheeled stool.
Eddy remained standing.
“Well, I looked over your images and…Could you please sit down?”
Eddy shook his head. “Just give me the results.”
The doctor sighed. “Well, anyway. There were…certain findings.”
“Just get to the point. I need to meet up with my girlfriend. I promised that we—”
“Eddy, please. Calm down. Sit down.”
“What did you find?”
The doctor sighed again. “There were certain anomalies with your bloodwork. Could you please sit? Trust me. You’ll be able to take this news so much better if you were sitting.”
“I’m fine. What does anomaly mean?”
“Umm. Well. An anomaly is an unexpected finding that doesn’t seem to make sense.”
“So, something about me doesn’t make sense. What?”
The doctor fidgeted on his wheeled seat. “There is a lot about you that doesn’t make sense, Eddy. Unless you accept the inevitable conclusion. Oh, don’t worry. I will do a few more tests. My initial findings may be wrong.”
“What is it?”
“Please. Please have a seat.”
“What. Is. It?”
“You can have my seat if you want.”
Eddy was all set to explode in the doctor’s face, but then he thought.
He understood. “I’m dying, aren’t I?”
“If only it were that simple. You see, I could be wrong, but so far everything indicates that you are not human.”
Eddy wanted to laugh.
It was ridiculous. Simply ridiculous.
“So, I’m not human. Okay. I’ll bite. What am I?”
“Um. Apparently, again I could be wrong, you are a highly developed robot.”
Eddy’s desire to laugh flatlined.
“I’m breathing. I have a heart beat. I can bleed. I can bruise. I can cry. I can feel. What the heck?”
“Like I said, a very highly developed robot.”
Eddy felt as if the life inside him had been sucked away. “What? What? Is my blood really blood? Is my heart real or mechanical? Are my thoughts my own or are they…are they…” He started to hyperventilate.
The doctor stood and guided Eddy into a sit on his wheeled stool. “Put your head between your knees. It’s okay.” He patted Eddy’s back. “It’s okay.”
Eddy shook his head. “What do I tell my girlfriend? What do I tell anyone? Who’ll believe me?”
“It’s probably best if you keep it to yourself. For now. In the meantime, I will run a few more tests. Who knows? I might be completely wrong.”