The whirring of the electric drill juxtaposed against the Utada Hikaru’s classic from the radio might have sounded jarring to anyone’s ears, but not to Ryukei Takada. Whistling along to the the tune, Takada swiftly switched his drill tip and put the final screw into his masterpiece, just as Utada belted out the climatic bridge of “First Love”.
“You are always gonna be my love, itsuka—” he sang as he held up the hands of his one true love, spinning her around the room in delight.
When the song came to an end, he also came to a breathless stop, collapsing down onto his swivel chair. Looking up at her, he burst out into loud guffaws of laughter, clapping his hands together in glee. After toiling over Eve for an entire year, she was finally standing before him looking exactly like how he had imagined—long, black hair, large doe-like eyes and those tiny rosebud lips. Standing up, he leaned in and gave her a peck on the lips, bursting out into more peals of laughter.
“Not long now, my love,” he said, gently stroking her cheeks.
Bending over his work station, he fumbled around for the blueprints for the mechanical heart, the final piece of the jigsaw that he needed in order to complete Eve. Before he found it though, his phone started vibrating on his desk.
“What is it?” he answered irritably.
“Takada, could you come up for a moment? There’s a new colleague here that boss wants to introduce to everyone.”
“Two minutes.” Rolling his eyes, Takada slipped his phone into his pocket and turned back to Eve, saying, “I’ll be right back, alright? Wait for me.”
All the employees of Shinra Mechanical had been gathered at the main office on the tenth floor of their rather humble building, each one carefully sizing up the newcomer that was standing beside the boss.
“Everyone, I’d like you to meet Mika Negishi. She’ll be joining us as a senior mechanical engineer and she’ll be sharing the same office space as—” he looked around the sea of faces “—ah, there he is—Takada. I hope all of you can give her your fullest support.”
Takada balked, staring in disbelief at the girlthat was to be his new neighbour. Takada loved women—he truly did—but it didn’t extend to women at the workplace who shared the same rank as he did.
“Hello! It’s Takada, isn’t it? Nice to meet you!” Mika said to him with a smile on her face.
Clearing his throat awkwardly, Takada mumbled something unintelligible and rushed back down to his cave—one that would soon have an additional occupant.
The next few days were torturous.
Even though the space was large enough for two, Takada still felt as if his personal space was being invaded—constantly. Mika was far too chatty for his liking and she also liked Utada Hikaru (how dare she!), but most of all she actually seemed semi-decent at her job.
“Hey Takada,” Mika called out. “What’s that over there?” She was about to yank off the white cloth he had covered Eve with, but Takada got there first.
Letting out a shriek, he hugged his arms around his creation, glaring murderously at Mika. “Don’t you dare touch that,” he hissed.
“What’s the big deal? I just thought I could help you with that, that’s all,” Mika replied, pulling a face. “Is it a new robot model? I’ve been working on something—”
“It’s none of your business,” Takada interjected, narrowing his eyes suspiciously. Was she trying to fish information out of him? Steal his ideas? Or worse—what if she tried to steal Eve?
“But I think it might help.” Mika rushed back to her desk and raised up a blueprint she had been working on, saying, “Look, if we follow this, we could make a—”
“I said no!” Takada yelled.
Mika froze, the spark in her eye suddenly fading away. “Oh, ok then,” she mumbled, sitting back down on her chair and continuing with her own work.
The next morning, when Takada came in to the office, he found something unexpected lying on his table. Picking it up, he studied it in his hand, eyes slowly widening when he realised what it could be.
Rushing over to Eve, he threw off the cloth and carefully fitted the mechanical heart into her chest, holding his breath as he flipped the switch, listening to the mechanics whir to life.
“Good morning, master,” an angelic voice emerged from Eve’s lips.
“Yes!” he exclaimed, jumping up and down in excitement. After being stuck at the final puzzle piece for the longest time, he had finally gotten it to work! Or actually—he turned towards Mika’s desk, staring at her empty chair.
The door to the office swung open and the owner of said chair walked in with her coffee in hand, greeting him with a cheery “good morning”. Snapping out of his daze, Takada looked at Mika, then at Eve, then back at Mika again.
Was his heart actually beating faster now? It sure was, but the question was—who was it beating for now?
Something else I wrote for creative writing. It was meant to be a one-shot, but I eventually wrote a second part as a continuation—will share that at a later date 🙂