Rebecca was lying on the sofa lazily. She already activated the cooking and cleaning robots, so nothing else was to be busied with. Billy would come home from school in twenty minutes, and he could enjoy a fresh and delicious meal right away. Being a housewife was not that bad with the help of technology, she thought. She couldn’t even imagine the life of women before 2050---no cooking robots, no cleaning robots, no serving robots, and some clothes even needed to be hand-washed. She laughed out loud because she still remembered the clothes people wore in the past---like potato bags, and the fabrics looked so heavy for people to wear.
The room was so warm that Rebecca sweated a bit. She blamed Villa, her serving robot, who immediately adjusted the room temperature. She took a short shower, and her pajamas melted like bath bombs in the water. Villa already put five clothes bottles on the chair for her to choose. Rebecca sprayed the bottle “Milky way” on her body, and a dark blue dress with shiny stars began to form and come together.
There were noises downstairs, which meant Billy was back. She quickly washed off her messy make-up and told Villa to serve Billy a marshmallow taco. She didn’t really know why her son was so obsessed with this strange, ancient desert that people ate hundreds of years ago, but that didn’t matter if he liked it. Billy was busy eating when Rebecca walked downstairs. He finished his marshmallow taco and began gulping down some watermelon waffles.
“Mom, why was watermelon red in the past? That’s so weird!” Billy looked up and asked.
Rebecca was thought for a second. Fortunately, she still remembered the article Villa showed her few weeks ago, “Watermelons were originally red, and their seeds were large and black. However, after World War Three, people thought that the color red meant blood and violence, thus they changed watermelon’s color to blue.”
“Oh. Our history teacher gave us a research assignment for the time period 2000 to 2020. Call her over, Mom.”
Rebecca pressed the red button at the end of the table. Villa quickly showed up.
“Yes, Mrs. Rebecca?” Villa said. She looked just like a human with dark eyes and hair, but she sounded a bit unnatural.
“My son has some questions to ask you,” Rebecca stared at Villa’s face. Her eyes slowly sharpened.
Billy liked Villa. He didn’t have a sibling, so Villa was like his smart pretty sister.
“Uh, Villa, can you tell me any interesting facts from 2000 to 2020?”
Villa did a quick scan and answered, “Well, I found many.”
“What is it, Villa? Tell me!” Billy ordered. He already tapped the table twice, which promptly became a big screen, and opened the assignment document.
“Between the years 2000 and 2020, humans thought that they could visit the whole galaxy, but now we know better because the 20r9e/394 twin rovers have reached the oort cloud and we’ve found that they are instantly vaporized as they try to pass the invisible barrier between our bubble and the outside. From that, we concluded that there is a bubble universe that traps the intelligent organisms inside by a mysterious force and causes light that reflects off our retinas to not be able to leave. Therefore, we will never be able to see the other bubble universe and they will not see us. Scientists theorized that we might live in a black hole but so little is known about black holes. Since we cannot reach one, we cannot test the theory.”
The document Billy just accessed, recorded down what Villa said. Billy was frowning. He didn’t understand a word of the whole thing and was obviously not interested in it either.
“Oh...Villa, that was a lame one,” Exclaimed Billy who was trying to act cool, “Say something fun please!”
Villa smiled, and spoke again, “I guess this one sounds more interesting to you: during the years 2000 and 2020, students often stayed in their homerooms at the beginning of the school, and walked to different classrooms to have classes. In addition, teaching was actually a job at that time.”
“What? Wait, what’s homeroom? A room at your home? And why did they have different classrooms? Why didn’t they just sit in the same spot and wait for teachers to come to teach them? Plus, only robots can teach! Human beings make mistakes and teach the wrong stuff to students! That’s not responsible!”
While Billy was asking thousands of questions and jumping up and down on his feet, Villa already sneaked away and began ordering the cooking robot to prepare some watermelon juice for him. She shook her head and smiled sarcastically, but no one would know what she was thinking.
After dinner, Billy directly submitted his research assignment to his history teacher’s website without checking the rubric. Then the alarm rang. Villa came over to help Billy dress into a blue uniform.
“Social mission?” Rebecca asked. She was on computer watching some romantic movies.
Villa nodded while she was putting the spray on Billy’s naked body.
Rebecca frowned, “Billy, you already ten, should know how to wear clothes!”
Before Billy could answer, Villa smiled and said, “That’s okay. His peers don’t wear clothes by theirselves, either.”
Then there was an awkward silence. Rebecca was thinking and Billy was nodding.
Finally Billy was ready for the social missions. He reluctantly walked outdoors and joined the large group of kids in the middle of the square. He met Paul, who was his partner in the last social mission.
“Hello Billy.” Paul waved at him. He was blond and skinny.
To be honest, Billy didn’t like him at all, but after they became partners and did the mission together, he somehow liked him. Billy heard that the control center made the partners in social missions friends, no matter they liked each other or not. He sighed and put on his ear phones.
A cold and robotic voice came through. It said, “Find the boy named John, and go to the basketball field with him.”
Billy was a bit shocked. How did the control center know that he was secretly in love with basketball? He told no one but Villa, whom was super nice and won’t tell anybody else. Oh well, it was probably a coincidence.
When Billy came home, it was already evening. The athletic boy John taught him how to play basketball in real life, and they played for such a long time. He happily hopped around and then opened his computer to check his homework grade.
“C? What!” Billy screamed when he saw his history homework grade. There was a small comment at the bottom, which said “At least two events!”
Oh well, he only wrote the one of weird school thingy. He reluctantly clicked on the document again and called Villa over.
“Apparently I need one more event…” Billy lied lazily on the sofa and stared at the computer screen, waiting for Villa’s answer.
“Okay then. Since you seem interested in students during that period of time, I found this one—-there were popular and unpopular kids in school. People made friends by theirselves, and as a result, they had different amount of friends.”
Billy looked up.
“Oh cool. Does that imply that everyone has the same amount of friends nowadays?” He asked. There was some realization in his eyes.
“Yes, silly. Remember social missions? You make a friend every week!”
“So social missions make friends for us…” Billy blinked his eyes, “Villa, I wanna make friends by myself.”
Villa smiled, “You? No.”
"Oh..." He answered without doubt or protest, and immediately forgot about what he just said.