“So uh, 225, is it?” he asked uncertainly.
“You remembered my number!” she exclaimed happily. None of the scientists at the Genesis Lab had ever gotten her identifying number right. It felt strange but good at the same time.
“Yeah, I did,” he said quickly. “So about your number. I really don’t like referring to you by it?”
“Why not?” Clone 225 asked sharply.
“Well, it just doesn’t fit you,” Jason explained quickly. “I’d much rather refer to you by an actual name. Like mine.”
“I’ve never had a name before,” Clone 225 said. “What’s my name then?”
“Well, uh,” Jason was at a loss. He hadn’t thought of one yet. Then his gaze fell on the sunflower and he had an idea. “I was thinking of calling you, Sun. You know, short for Sunflower.”
He felt sheepish now. What a dumb idea. Or so he thought.
“I love it!” Sun exclaimed. “I have a name now! Thank you, Jason.”
Sun was no longer Clone 225. She had a real name now. Sun. Sun. Sun. She tried the name out a few more times in her mind. She couldn’t have come up with a better name if she had tried.
“So since it is getting late, we’ll just go through a drive through.” Jason saw the confused expression on Sun’s face almost immediately. “You’ll see.”
“Okay,” Sun replied. She couldn’t wait to see what a drive through was.
Jason pulled into a Burger King. “So I’m going to get you a hamburger and fries. Is that okay?”
“What’s a hamburger?” Sun asked. She had never heard of one.
Jason took another deep breath. “I guess you’ll just have to find out. They’re my favorite so hopefully you’ll like it as well.”
“Okay. Whatever you say.”
Jason ordered two hamburgers and two medium fries and then pulled up to the second window. After he gave the cashier the money, a paper bag was handed to him through the window. He handed it to Sun who took the bag gingerly.
As soon as they pulled away, Sun was back to chattering. “That was really neat. You just order and the food came right away. Can I eat it now?”
“Let’s wait until we stop.” He paused, mentally cringing before he asked his next question. “Do you have a place to stay tonight like a hotel or the home of a relative?”
“Well, no. Am I supposed to have a hotel? What’s a relative?” Sun was so confused. Everything was strange to her and she was having trouble keeping up with all the new information that she was learning.
“Right, of course you don’t.” Of course, Jason knew that he couldn’t just leave her so he did the only thing that he could do. “You can stay at my place tonight,” he offered. “But only tonight, okay?”
“Really? Thank you so much!” Sun exclaimed.
“Don’t mention it,” Jason replied. “Really.”
Sun was so happy that she had met Jason. He was so nice. Without him, she would have gotten lost in this big city for sure.
Sun gazed out the window, enjoying the view of the city lights and the bustling activity all around her. “So why is it dark outside right now?” Sun asked.
“Because it is night time.” Jason was getting used to answering Sun’s outlandish questions.
“I read somewhere that the moon and stars come out at night,” Sun mused. “Why can’t I see them?”
“Well, as you can see, it’s still raining and when it rains, clouds block the moon and stars from our view.” Jason hoped that he had explained that right. It wasn’t like he had ever had to before.
“Will it ever stop raining?” she asked.
“Sure it will,” Jason replied. “Just give it some time.”
“I hope that the clouds go away soon. I’ve always wanted to see the moon and the stars. It’s my dream.”
“Your dream, huh?” Jason said.
“Well, the stars aren’t really visible here because of all the light pollution from the city lights, but,” Jason had a crazy idea, “there is a place that I know of where you can see the moon and the stars really clearly. Tell you what, Sun. I’ll take you there tomorrow and you can see the stars.”
“You’d do that for me?” Sun asked. “That would be the nicest thing that anybody has ever done for me my whole life!”
“Sure.” Jason shrugged. “No big deal.”
“This is a huge deal! You’ll be making my dream come true!”
Jason pulled into a parking space in front of his apartment complex. After placing the car in park, he reached back and pulled out an umbrella.
“What’s that?” Sun asked.
“It’s an umbrella. It’ll shield us from the rain,” he explained.
“How?” Sun pressed. “It’s not very big.”
“Watch this,” Jason replied. He opened the car door and flicked the umbrella open.
Sun jumped back in surprise. “How did you do that?”
“It’s just how an umbrella works.”
What? He didn’t know how to explain how an umbrella functioned. It just worked because that’s the way that it was made.
He got out of his old jeep and walked over to Sun’s door and opened it. “If you want to stay dry, stay under the umbrella.”
“Your umbrella looks like a yellow dome on a short stick,” Sun commented as she slid out of the car, food in hand.
“Well, last time that I checked, umbrellas weren’t meant to look impressive!” Jason huffed.
Jason led Sun to his apartment on the first floor of the five-story building. It was after he opened the door to his place that he realized just how messy it was. He felt embarrassed, but luckily Sun didn’t seem to mind. Nothing ever seemed to faze her. She was just…happy. All the time.
“Is this space all yours?” Sun asked incredulously.
She couldn’t believe how spacious the apartment was. All her life, she had shared a small room with four other women, but Jason had this whole – was it an apartment? – to himself.
Jason looked around the small living room and kitchen. He had always thought that this was space was so small. Now Sun was acting like he owned a mansion or something.
“It’s not much,” he replied with a shrug.
“Are you kidding? It’s awesome!” Sun twirled around in the living room happily.
Jason cleared his throat. “Are you hungry?”
“Oh right,” Sun replied. “I forgot all about the food.”
Jason grabbed the bag from the floor where Sun had dropped it in her excitement and carried it over to a small circular table. He placed her burger and fries on one side and his on the other.
Sun sat down and carefully unwrapped her burger. It smelled delicious! Without wasting another minute, she took a large bite and chewed. The juicy meat of the burger flooded her mouth. How had she lived all her life without these things? She took another bite before she had even swallowed her first.
“Mmmmm,” she mumbled. It didn’t take her long to finish the whole thing. “That was the best thing that I have ever eaten,” she tells Jason. “What is it called again?”
“A hamburger?” Jason still couldn’t understand how she didn’t know what the simplest of things were.
“Right, that’s it!” Sun smiled before starting on her fries. They were just as good as the hamburger.
After she finished eating, Sun got up to explore the apartment.
“Where are you going?” Jason asked.
“I want to see the rest of your place.”
“Well, uh, could you stay out of my room. It’s the room on the right.”
“Okay,” Sun replied even though she didn’t quite understand why he didn’t want her to go in that particular room.
She walked into the room on the left and was greeted by a room full of colors. The walls were painted a pretty baby blue and the floor was a clean white with little brown specks that felt amazing underfoot. Sun didn’t even know that floors could be soft like this. It felt like walking on a pillow. On the left was a small bed with a bright green comforter decorated with multi-colored butterflies. A white dresser lined the wall on the right.
Sun ran her pale hand over the comforter. It had a silky texture that was smooth to the touch. She was about to go over to the dresser when an antique box decorated with intricate designs peeked her interest.
Hope you enjoyed my third update. Feedback is appreciated! My next update will be on Sunday so stay tuned.