Regret in Reverse

She looked around the cluttered room, and down at my sorry state. I held my breath.
“This is not…an optimal result”, she said after the longest pause.
Books and sketchpads littered the tiny one bed, one bath, pet-free, no smoking apartment with the lilac wallpapers and rusty piping.

I said nothing and looked into her eyes. She looked just like her, which was the whole point of the service I had carefully researched and paid for.

She extended her hand.
“There’s no going back, you know”, she said in a warning tone.
“That’s the point, isn’t it?” I replied.

Slowly, she crouched down to my level and looked me in the eye. I could hear the servos working to keep her balanced.
“It’ll just be an illusion. You won’t actually be there.”
“That’s the point, isn’t it?” I said again.

She looked human for a split second. Just a split second.
I felt the cold needle insert itself into my arm, and everything went black.

I awoke fourteen years earlier, a girl in my arms.

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