Felix had been given a chance to relive an entire day of his life. Unfortunately it was his birthday, April 1st. How he hated April Fool’s. The pranks were at best annoying and at worst dangerous. The entire concept was ridiculous.
He had spent the entirety of the previous night reading a novel, but he couldn’t remember it’s title or it’s plot. He had then spent the night tossing and turning in his comfortable bed. His mind replayed every event with Miss Amanda Eris.
The adventure had been frightening, dangerous, and dirty. He’d loved every moment of it. Tucked in his bed, the city lights shining through his curtains, he couldn’t lie to himself. He’d liked her and could see himself falling in love with her. He didn’t care if she was a robot. She was just as human as he was.
Finally at six am he decided to wake up. He prepared himself an elaborate breakfast and showered. When he got out of the shower he saw that he’d missed a call from the office. It was Margery, his cubical mate. “Hey Felix. Your ten o’clock just called to cancel and Mister McMahon says you can take the whole day off. Have fun and happy birthday!”
“That woman is way too cheerful,” he said. Somehow he didn’t hate it as much as he remembered. It was nice of her to remember his birthday.
It wasn’t even eight yet and he had nothing to do for the day. Traditionally, he’d stay at home and read or watch television. As he stood there, half dressed, his apartment’s walls seemed to shrink and if felt much too small.
The cartoon dinosaur calendar stared at him from the kitchen. His niece Sonia had given it to him for Christmas. It was a sweet, if odd, gift for a man who preferred a mixture of modern and books for decoration.
He picked up the telephone and called his brother, “Dean. How are you today?”
“Hey bro. Happy Birthday.” He paused probably wanting to ask why Felix was calling.
“Does Sonia have the day off?” Felix asked.
“She does. I was going to drop her off at Sam’s mom’s house while I got to work. Why?”
“I think it’s time I try something different for my birthday. I was thinking of taking her to that play place that she likes and maybe to a toy store.”
“She’d love that Felix. Are you ok?” Dean sounded concerned.
“I don’t know, but spending time with my niece will help, I’m sure.”
* * *
At the age of five it was easy to understand Sonia. She wanted to run around, play, and loved anything that had bright colours. After a few hours at a play place, they had picked up lunch from a grilled cheese food truck and sat down in the park. It was an unusually warm day and as they ate he told her the story of what had happened to him.
When he was done she said, “Wow. Did you kiss her? Do you love her?”
“No. We just met. It takes time to fall in love.”
“No it doesn’t. I knew I loved Tommy the first day of school.”
Felix laughed and asked, “Do your fathers know about this?”
She nodded, “Uh huh.” Her faced twisted in concentration and she asked, “Uncle Felix. You said the dinosaurs had green skin, right?” he nodded, unsure what she meant. “My teacher says that dinosaurs had feathers and we just found out. How could the bad guys in your story be dinosaurs?”
“There are a lot of dinosaurs,” he answered. “Just like there are a lot of different kinds of horses. Maybe the ones in my story are like alligators and don’t have feathers?”
“Maybe, but I don’t understand why you had to blow up their ship. Couldn’t you just talk to them?”
He considered how he could answer the question but he wasn’t sure himself. He’d just sort of let himself be pushed and pulled. Why had it been necessary? “Do you want me to push you on the swings?” he asked to divert both their attentions.
From the swings, Felix could see an electronics store across the street. He glimpsed occasional pieces of news on the televisions. It wasn’t long before he saw the familiar video of his apartment building in flames. They showed a picture of Leonardo da Vinci in modern clothing as the main suspect.
“Sonia, sweetie. I’m going to drop you off at Grandma’s, ok? I have to go do something.”
“You’re going to see Amanda? Your girlfriend?” Sonia chanted several times as they walked to her grandmother’s.
* * *
The only place he could think of looking for Amanda Eris, the time travelling robot, was the McDonald’s that they’d first stopped at after escaping his work building.
When he walked in, he turned to where they had sat and saw her sitting there licking an ice-cream cone.
“It really is better with real dairy,” she said as a greeting.
“I thought you said I didn’t have to worry about the bomb?” he asked in an accusing whisper as he sat across from her.
Her forehead crinkled and there was sadness her in eyes when she said, “I thought you were. They told me you were.”
“The robot high counsel. They’re the ones who sent me. You were estimated to be one of the people that had the least influence on history so you were chosen to fight the dinosaurs.”
Her words stung, “Why did you need me, or anyone then?”
“We were programmed with safeguards preventing us from hurting any living beings. We needed someone who could pull the trigger.”
“Aren’t there any humans in your time?”
“No. They were all killed.”
“But the museum?”
“Not humans. Just other sentient species.”
“So you tricked me into doing your dirty work and then tried to kill me?”
“I had no idea about the bomb. When I found out, I came straight here.” Her free hand reached out for his. “Please believe me; I don’t want anything bad to happen to you.”
He took her hand and enjoyed its softness and warmth, “But the news says that da Vinci planted the bomb that was supposed to kill me. Isn’t that harming a living creature?”
“Yes. My fellow robots seem to have found a way to bypass their programming. I don’t know how.”
“What happens now?”
“I think the robots have been manipulating time to try and alter their programming. I need your help to set things right.”
“You want me to help you put time back into its proper order?” Felix smiled. “You’ve found the right man.”
They stood up together and she pulled him towards her with her red lips almost touching his, she said, “Your organization skills will be useful but I want you around for much more.”
With that she kissed him and his world melted away and there was nothing but her lips and the warmth of her body.