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Confronting Natural Phenomena

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Confronting Natural Phenomena.
"A scientist in his laboratory is not a mere technician: he is also a child confronting natural phenomena that impress him as though they were fairy tales."
Marie Curie

Antonia is wearing her favorite summer dress, a pearl gray cotton dress that leaves her back bare, so she picked up her hair. She thinks that, maybe, she's getting too old for this dress, something that she bought in one of her most romantic moments, thinking of ball dresses she would never have an opportunity to wear and crystal slippers that would be impossible to walk in much less dance, but she doesn't care at the moment, because when J sees her, he smiles.

"Antonia," J says, and Antonia knows that there were required approximately five hundred mechanisms to make that movement seem lifelike enough and she doesn't care at all. "You look like a beautiful rose."

"Thank you very much, J. You are so kind," she answers, because it's the truth. Yes, she had been the one to make J's AI program but she hadn't been the one to make J say that. J said that because he's polite, and he knew from his own experiences that a compliment would make her happy.

"Shall we go?" J says. He offers her his arm, and that, she never taught, never wrote in his AI nor any of his files. When she was young, Antonia used to dream of a handsome prince that would come for her, just like the few stories her father had the time to tell her, and then he died and she forgot about them.

She's not a child and she doesn't need a prince to come and save her. She's not expecting a fairytale romance anymore.

"Yes, thank you, J," Antonia smiles at him, taking his arm. "Would you mind if we walked through the park?"

"Any man would be honored to walk with a beautiful woman like you, Antonia." J says with a nod.

Antonia leans her head against J's arm.

She might have her happily ever after and her prince anyway.