Self Image

Friday, November 11, 2011

There is two ways to look at things: life as a simbot is incredibly easy, or incredibly difficult.


Today was bordering on the 'incredibly easy' side of things. Her energy capacitors had finished recharging at exactly 6am; she was oiled and cleaned by 6:30, at which point she moved to the main house to manage her nanny and maid duties until Alesha arrived home at 2. Mr. Norman didn't need her at the auto shop until 6pm, so unforunately, she had gotten herself into a bit of a pickle.

"I'm too efficient," she sighed as she counted the 439th spot on her ceiling.


When she had first been created, everything in the world was new and exciting for Lil, but there was only so much information to absorb before there simply was nothing else... and for a machine as curious and adventurous as Lil, it meant life was becoming awfully dull. Even her online RPGs and mounding stash of books couldn't keep her occupied. now.

So, she set herself to the task she still hadn't conquered: becoming human.

There was a reason this was her last resort, though: it was hard. Try as she might to learn how to act human, there was one unpassable fact she couldn't get around: The fact that she didn't even look human.


Everywhere she went, it was the same old tale. Though many people in town had gotten used to seeing a simbot walking around, there were still many that had not--and often times all she had to do was walk into a building for everyone to immediately exit. All she wanted was a night out dancing, but nothing cleared the Steel Stallion like a steel woman walking through it's front doors.

Ironic.


The strength, efficiency, and speed of her shell that many envied was nothing more than a burden to her. Many craved her nigh invincibility, but she craved to know what it was like to float along the surface of water. To feel the sting of a passing bee. To pick out her own clothes in the morning. To sweat after a brisk morning jog... To taste her first kiss.


She had tried everything to seem more human. She had learned the language, the mannerisms, the emotions... but it all meant nothing, to her, because of her face. Lilobot had tried all sorts of things to try to hide it, to change it, but in the end, it was no use.

No one could fall in love with a metal smile. Especially not Tanner Grey.





Margo slobbed some more paint onto her brush, then wiped it slowly across the canvas in front of her. She scrunched up her nose when she saw the result; yeah... that didn't look right.


"Aww, your sun looks really pretty, Margo!" Veronica blurted out excitedly as she finished her drawing and snuck up behind her friend.

"Oh... it's supposed to be my mom..." Margo turned a rather rosy shade of red as she looked at what she'd painted. "Guess I shouldn'ta made her so lellow, huh."


Meredith tried not to chuckle at her granddaughter--instead, she turned to Lil to look at her progress. "I really am so glad you and the girls were able to make it, today," she said idly as she inspected Lil's work. "Feels like it's been ages since I've gotten to see any of my grandchildren. I hope you're enjoying yourself, at least?"

"I am not entirely certain," Lilobot responded after a brief pause. "I am endeavoring to master the art of 'creativity', but I am finding it quite difficult."

"Well, what seems to be the problem?"

"I started this picture, but... I hit this point, and now I don't know how to finish it. I'm--stuck."


"Well... I think I might know what your problem is," Meredith said with a weak smile, resting her hand on Lil's elbow. "You're not creating from--how do you put it--within."

"What do you mean?"

"Sweetheart..." Meredith said as gently as she could. "Look at the painting behind me."


It took a few moments for Meredith's stiff old limbs to catch up after Lil, who had quickly fled the room out of embarrassment. "Lil--wait up, will you?"

"I am sorry, I just... want to be alone."

"Codswallop. Lil, you have nothing to be ashamed of. Why are you so upset?"

Lilobot's head hung from her shoulders. "I am hopeless. How could someone ever love me, if I am so in-human I cannot even create anything remotely unique?"


Meredith snorted. "Oh that's a load of hooie. There are millions of humans who can't make art of any kind on this planet--and they all still manage to find someone to love them. Besides... You are loved, missy."

"Yes, but--"

"You see this? Look at this, Lil," Mere stated proudly as she whipped out her wallet, dangling her photos in front of her. "Tell me who's in these pictures."

"That is... Owen, Sally, and Gracie--and that is Margo... Korva... wait--me? Why am--"

"Because you're my granddaughter, you silly girl. Maybe not the typical sort, but my son put just as much love into making you as he did into making my other two girls--certainly put more brains into it. But you're part of this family, whether you like it or not--so stop actin' like no one will love you, because we've already proved you wrong."

"But--"

"Hush! Hush hush hush! Now go back in there and play with those girls--I don't wanna hear one more peep outta you until you realize what art is really about: fun!"


Several hours later, the Kane's outdated clunker pulled back into the driveway, and all the girls erupted loudly from the garage with laughter and squeals.

"You can't catch meeee, you can't catch me!" Kenzie hollered as Veronica followed in hot pursuit, trying not to bump into Lilobot on their way out into the yard. "Bet I can beat you to the treehouse!"

"Nu uuuhhh!"


"You can put me down now," Margo said softly from her spot atop Lilobot's shoulders. "Thank you for carryin' me, though."

"You are welcome, Margo--it really is no trouble."

"I know, butcha dinnit have to... And you didn't have to take us to Gramma's studio. It was real sweet of you!" Margo slowly began to move one of her legs off to the side, but as she bent lower she leaned in close to Lilobot's 'ear'. "Ya know... If it makes ya feel any better--I can't paint, either."

"I--oh. ... Thank you, Margo."


Before Lil could finish lifting Margo off her shoulders, though, Bradley emerged from the undergrowth around the garden--quite obviously furious.

"Where have you been all morning, I needed your help aligning the emission coils!"

"I'm sorry, Mr. Kane, your mother called and offered us private room at the studio, and Alesha said it would be good for us to--"

"I don't care, Lilobot! I expect you not to neglect your duties just so you can go off and pretend to slosh paint around on some sort of impromptu play-date with my mother!"


"Mr. Kane, I really am sorry--it won't happen again... I just wanted to... experiment."

"And what do you  have to show for it? Your chassis is practically ruined. You're going to need a full detail before I can let you back in my lab. What did you do, fall into a paint bucket?!"


"No, Daddy--it was my fault," Margo whispered sheepishly from behind her. "I-I... I tripped, and bumped into a shelf Gramma had some paint on. I'll help her clean it off--I promise."


"I--well. Fine." Even Brad didn't have it in him to rebuke Margo for her natural clumsiness, especially in front of her friends. With an irritable sigh, he waved his hand and turned to leave. "Just get it done before you girls go off to play, I need Lilobot's help before she goes to work--understood?!"

"Y-yes Daddy," Margo whimpered behind her clasped hands. As she cowered, both of her friends put their hands on Margo's shoulders; but no one looked as surprised and grateful as Lil, whose face fell as it turned to gaze at her little 'sister'.

For whatever reason, Margo had lied. Perhaps out of love, perhaps out of sympathy--but either way, Lil knew one thing for certain. She would never see Margo as a coward, again.






"But as she pieced the puzzle together," Alesha said slowly as she looked down at the huddled children by the fire. "She realized, to her astonishment, that the image that was formed was the very room in which she was sitting. And the figure in the center of the puzzle, as she completed it, was herself. With trembling hands, she placed the last four pieces and stared in horror at the puzzle."


Below her, all three girls sat, transfixed-- but none so much as Margo, who looked as if she was going to disappear and hide in the tent at any moment.

"What was it?!" Kenzie uttered, her eyes wide.


"In the picture, she saw herself sitting at the kitchen table--and in the window behind her was the face of a crazed madman, grinning and holding an axe poised to swing just above her head! Terrified, the lady didn’t dare to turn around."

... "The last thing that the young lady ever heard... was the sound of breaking glass."

GASP!

"... Alright--goodnight, girls! Sleep tiiiight!"


"Ha.. Hahaha! That was... that was great... Real scary, huh?" Margo watched her mother disappear into the house with a tremble on her lip. She found the urge to chase after her, since she didn't want to seem like a pansy in front of her friends.

"Eeeh, not really," Veronica responded with a shrug. "My dad has a book of mummy stories from Egypt--they're so much scarier."


Kenzie let out a small giggle of excitement. "Ooh, you mean Beneath the Pharoah's tomb?! I love that book! It's soooo freaky!"

"Ooh, you've read it?! Ah man, it's the best!!"

Margo slowly began to sulk as she listened; she tried to hide it, but after hearing the tale about the puzzle killer, it was hard to put on a fake brave face.


"Oh man, you want to borrow it Margo?!" Veronica suddenly asked, turning to Margo with bright eyes. "I don't think Penny would mind if I lent it out--"

"Noo, that's okay..."

"Margo, you should totally read it!" Kenzie exclaimed. "It's scary, but it's a good scary! Besides, we're like, thousands of miles from Egypt, so there's nothing to be afraid of!"

"Well..." Margo hesitated. "I guess I could get my mom to read it to me..."

"Aww, but it's so much better if you read it when you're by yourse--"


"I can't."

Everyone froze for a moment. Margo rarely spoke with that kind of firmness, let alone cut anyone else off, so both Veronica and Kenzie sat and stared at her with wide eyes until Margo got the courage to continue.

"I... I-I can't read."


Veronica was the first to speak up. "You can't? But... I see you do it in class all the time!"

"I was jus' pretending," Margo mumbled, her chin hanging to her chest. "I knew errybody would look at me if I asked for help, so I dinnit. I fine-ly told my mom, though, and we went to the doctor's--he thinks I'm dykslezzic. Means my brain doesn't see the words right, I guess."

After a few more moments of silence, Kenzie reached out a hand to pat Margo on the shoulder. "Why didn't you tell us after class or something, then? We would have helped you!"


"I-I-I..." Margo's words fell into stutters, and then into sobs; she quickly stood from the ground to try and escape, but both other girls were right there with her, preventing it. "I jus' don' want you guys feeling more sorry for me than you already do."

"What do you mean?"

"Th-that's why you guys are friends with me, innit? That's what errybody else says... That you guys are just nice to me because you feel bad for me."

Kenzie and Veronica sent each other a confused look. "That's not why we're friends with you," Kenzie finally said firmly.


"Th-then why? Y-you both are so much smarter, and braver, an-and everything than I am--"

"You're smarter and braver than you think you are," Kenzie put her foot down. "Besides, who cares?!"

"We like you because of who you are, Margo, not what you're good at," Veronica said with her eyes averted away. "You never ask for anything, you're so nice to everybody... I mean, it's not like we're popular, and you still like us."

Kenzie nodded. "Everybody just sees me for my glasses and my... weight," she said, then bit her lip.

"And everybody just tries to copy off my quizzes, but the second I help them, they just turn around and talk bad about me behind my back. My sister told me," Veronica sighed.

"But you don't care about any of that stuff, Margo. You've just liked us for... us. I mean, look what you did for Lilobot--you lied to your Dad so she wouldn't get in trouble, and I know how much that scares you. Who wouldn't want a friend willing to do that for them?!"


Margo was taken aback.  "I just... didn't wanna see her get hurt..." she mumbled and shrugged.

"Exactly. And we know... you'd do the same for us." Kenzie smiled shyly as she tried to catch Margo's fallen gaze. "We don't want to see you hurt either. We're gonna help you with your reading."

"Y-you really don't have to... my mom is th-thinking about getting me a tutor..."


"So?" Ronnie said earnestly. "Nothing says we can't help, too. I bet we know what would help you more than some tutor would."

"Unless you don't want us to," Kenzie added.

"No, I do," Margo said with a sheepish shrug. As hard as it was to see how easy it was for her friends to read compared to her, she'd rather they helped her than someone she'd never met before. "As long as you're patient.. My mum said it's gonna be hard, 'cause my brain's workin' against me the whole time."


"Hard, shmard," Kenzie smiled as she tackled Margo with a hug. "You work harder at everything than anybody I know--if anybody can do it, it's you."


Several hours later, Margo scrunched her nose at the morning dew that seeped into her socks while she walked across the lawn. It was the closest she'd ever been to being barefoot on the grass, and with no rubber boots to shield her from pointy rocks or hungry centipedes she couldn't help but squirm at what a strange sensation it was.

And yet, as the day dawned and she recalled what her friends had said before they'd fallen asleep, Margo had never felt more brave.


She looked over the sleepy town with curious eyes. Every day, she had looked out the window from this hill, thinking only of how small she was in such a big world. Today, though, it was the town that seemed small--everything finally seemed just as it was. No tricks, no illusions.

Just like she was finally starting to see herself.


"I know you can't hear me," she said softly as she looked out across the clear sky, unsure of what she was expecting to see. "It's prolly better that way, anyways. There's just sumfing I wanna tell you, just in case you're listening, somehow."

She didn't know why she wanted to say it this much, but it felt important; and somehow--she believed--they would know what she said. She would never stop believing in what magic could do. "I know you feel alone, but if I can find someone who likes me for who I am, then so can you."

"And even if you can't," she finished, her fingers clasped tightly. "You'll always have me."

Yaaaay auto posting! Thank you for making my life easier. ^^ I hope all you future-selves are doing well, and if not, I hope things get better! Hopefully NaNoWriMo is going well for all you participants--if you even have time to read this, hehe. (Oh, and happy 11-11-11, lol.)

As for this post--no, I can't say who Margo is talking 'at'. Yes, it is someone specific, in my mind... But I felt it was better to leave it ambiguous because there are so many people it could be. Feel free to guess, but I'm not saying exactly who--for now, it's an open letter to all who need to hear it. :)

14 comments:

Sheyla November 11, 2011 at 7:55 PM  

Love this so much!

Margo standing up for Lil was so sweet. I may have cried.

Also, is that Liesl Jarvis I spy in the Steel Stallion? ^^ (If not, my bad. XD )

Sarah Young,  November 11, 2011 at 11:32 PM  

Phwew, caught up :3...

I didn't expect Margo to stand up for Lil, and when she did :D.

Take a chill pill Bradley..jeeze..that's just plain rude, SHOW YOUR LOVE, now I'm certain there's something wrong with him.

I don't blame Margo for getting scared at that story when the others didn't...I know I would.

I'm not gonna guess who she's talking to, 'cause I hate being wrong, and I probably will be, but I have ideas.

Anyway can't wait until your all settled down again in a wubbly new home :3

Sarah Young,  November 11, 2011 at 11:34 PM  

Wrong account..that's annoying...tssh

Kaleeko,  November 12, 2011 at 12:09 AM  

<3333 Thank you, doll!!

T_T I have to say, I cried a little too. Margo may be a coward, but her love is stronger than her fear. I wish I could be that strong, sometimes.

And it's totally Liesl. There was actually all sorts of recognizable sims from other peeps in the Stallion at the time, but those screens turned out pretty bad.

Oh, and--I dunno if you knew, but Lil's boyfriend is that one sim you made for me. ^^ I dunno if you ever noticed!

Kaleeko,  November 12, 2011 at 12:14 AM  

Wahoo!!!

As much as a wimp as Margo is, every now and then she shows a surprising bit of courage. It's just too bad she can't lasso onto it and hold onto it all the time. :(

Something wrong with Brad? Mm... *whistle* lol

Awww, thank you so much dear! <3 I can't wait, either. I'm so happy you're all caught up, regardless!! That is so awesome, totally puts the cherry on the cake of my night. C: <33

Kaleeko,  November 12, 2011 at 12:15 AM  

lol! Yeah, Disqus is a little annoying like that at times. D: Sorry!

Altheaquin,  November 12, 2011 at 2:54 AM  

STUNNING! Oh Margo I'm so proud of her. And her friends <333 man I wish I had friends like that at her age (I do now *hugs*). Poor Lilbot though T_T That is unlike a pain that anyone would have ever faced and I don't know how she is going to get through it!

Jennifer November 12, 2011 at 4:31 AM  

Awww, this was the sweetest update!

Poor Lil, she seems so unhappy with who she is. It's so sad and I really feel for her. It's great on the other hand that Margo stuck up for her in front of Bradley. Oh gosh he is workin' himself into da ground! Soooo not good.

The more I read about Margo the more I love her. Glad to see that this was a happy post for her--even though she did shed a few tears to get to that part, lol--because she deserves it. And her two besties, wow, they are so sweet and cute! Agh, the cuteness factor is way off the charts. lol
Seriously though it's awesome to see that Margo is supported by her two besties. ;)

Auto post, cool! lol Never done one, I'm too much of a control freak, haha! Hope everything is going smoothly for you atm. I know your busy busy but remember to rest up every now & then, you don't want to wear yourself out! <3

Callie,  November 12, 2011 at 8:32 AM  

Drooling over your pictures right now!!! Especially those last ones with the lovely lighting and that adorable shot of Margo on Lil's shoulders!

Lilobot's struggle to be human both crushes and swells my heart at the same time. I think you do some of your best writing when you go into "robot-mode". This bit: "nothing cleared the Steel Stallion like a steel woman walking through it's front doors". Oh so awesome!! ^_^

Margo's transforming right before our very eyes, and so far I like what I see! She's brilliant :D

Hope the move is going okay and not being too stressful atm. Relaaax, have a cup of tea, nap. Rinse and repeat :]

Catlover800 November 12, 2011 at 1:00 PM  

I really like the story being told by a Simbot's point of view!! That was really creative!! ^_^

Also, I can't get over how good your photography skills are. Loved this update!

Seaweedy,  November 19, 2011 at 6:56 AM  

What good friends Margo has. I am glad she is feeling more confident.

Tender Wolf,  November 20, 2011 at 6:15 PM  

Hurray, new chapter! Poor Lil, she wants to become human! I wonder if that's even possible...I really don't know if it actually is in the game. lol But that would be interesting to see! Or perhaps she'll remain the same and Tanner, or someone else, will love her for who she truly is. I still enjoy seeing Kenzie in your stories, and you've really got her personality nailed down! Great job! I'm keeping my finger crossed for Margo and her reading! I wonder who she's talking about...I'm guessing it's Lil but I could be wrong. Can't wait to find out!

Amelia_Bedelia,  November 20, 2011 at 7:00 PM  

Aw, sweet post! Short but good. It's getting really hard to decide my favorite character, but Lilo is definitely a front-runner.

Nicarra November 23, 2011 at 11:57 PM  

Poor poor Lilobot. Becoming human may be the greatest challenge ever but - for a machine, it's just not possible. like the Steel Stallion clearing out when she enters it.

I love her with the hat and specs. Good look kiddo.

Nice to see Mere and that she enjoyed having her granddaughters over for some art practice. And I love Mere showing Lil that she is just as much a member of the family as the born grandchildren.

Kenzie and Veronica - it's so nice that Margo has such good friends.

what did happen to Lil though, that was a lot of paint on her. :)

Brad, what the devil is wrong with you? Touchy touchy and for no good reason. So proud of Margo for lying for Lil. Good girl.

Such a cute sleepover. And so sweet of the girls to offer their help. I'm so glad that Veronica is her friend.

Oh brave child, no boots. I have no clue who she is talking to though.

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