Betsy McClellan wanted to get married. At 28 years of age, she had already dated some promising candidates. But each had fallen from her graces. She was a demanding, angry woman, as each of her former flames would tell you. Perhaps too demanding and angry. She threw fits and furniture at every boyfriend. All quickly left her apartment, cursing the day they met her.

One day Betsy logged in on her computer to retrieve email. As she glanced at each title, one stuck out-Young Love Dating Service-The partner of your dreams is right here! She clicked on it and read the notice, promising, “Everyone will meet the right life partner.”

She called the number at the bottom of the page. A young man answered her call. He told her that there would be a meeting at the local Marriot Restaurant downtown the next night at 6 pm. The format would be a fifteen-minute sitting interview session between every man and woman.

At four o’clock the next day, Betsy took a shower and dressed in a red evening gown. Afterwards, she applied a conservative amount of makeup and perfume. She left for the restaurant around five and got there about twenty before six.

Betsy drove into the restaurant’s basement and parked in a lot conveniently located near the elevator. As she got out of her car, she noticed other single men and women walking toward the elevator. All were nicely dressed which signaled to her they were probably going to the same meeting. She got on with them and took the short elevator ride up to the first floor.

When the elevator doors opened, she followed the group to a hall on the right. She saw several other rooms, but decided to follow the group into a room where a large sign outside read, “Welcome. Young Love Dating Service. As she entered an older gentleman dressed in a black tuxedo greeted everyone at the door. He told everyone to please take a number and post it on your chest.” Betsy took the number ‘7’ and stuck it near her heart. She then sat a table with several other women and men. A few minutes later, the older man said, “Welcome to ‘Young Love Dating Service.’ My name is ‘Robert Dates.’ Will all the ladies please sit at the tables on the right. And will all the men please sit at the tables on your left? Thank you.”

Minutes later, the women and men were seated on opposite sides of the room. Robert then announced, “I hope all of you are ready to meet your future spouse!” He grinned. “I have marked twenty cards with numbers between 1 and 20 on each. No card repeats itself. Here’s how it goes. If one of you draws a ‘3’, you find the lady with that number. You will talk for fifteen minutes, getting to know each other, and deciding if he or she is someone you would like to go out with on a date. Then you pick up another number and find the lady with that number.”

During the next sixty minutes, Betsy met a mixture of men who were looked and acted just “average” to her. They were semi-attractive. But most acted like pompous jerks, ready to go to bed with her. As Betsy began to give up hope, an extremely handsome man sat down at her table. His name was Steve Fusion. He was the president of a robotics corporation. He also graduated near the top of his class from Harvard in mechanical engineering.

After the fifteen minutes were up, Betsy and Steve were still talking. They wanted to talk longer, but the rules were to go to the next person. Betsy wrote down her cell phone number for Steve, who, in turn, said he would call her. Once Steve left, Betsy met other men, but she got very bored because she was already smitten with Steve. After the session, Betsy drove home, reflecting on the evening meetup. She wasn’t that very impressed with the rest of the men she met. She thought of Steve and hoped he would call her soon.

The next evening, her phone rang. She picked it up and said, “Hi.”
“Betsy? This is Steve.”

Betsy’s heart leaped. He said he enjoyed talking to her the night before. She told him the same thing. He asked her if she would like to meet at “Antonio’s,” a fine restaurant. She tried not to sound too excited, but she chirped, “Yes!”

“What about tomorrow night?” he asked.
“What time?”
“Around 7 pm?”
“That sounds great
“I… I..I’ll meet you there.”

She noticed the slight stuttering. That was to be somewhat expected since he was probably nervous.

The next night, they met each other exactly at 7. Steve greeted her with a kiss on the cheek. After holding the door for her, he handed her a bouquet of red roses. They were greeted by a waiter.
“Table for two,” Steve said
“Table over here, sir,” the waiter asked.

As they walked over and sat down, they were given menus. They perused the menus for several minutes until Steve said, “What looks good… good… good?
There was that stutter again. Maybe it’s just nerves, Betsy thought.

“I need a minute,” she said.
“Take your… your… your… time,” Steve stuttered.
Betsy glanced up at him curiously” So, what do you do at your robotics corporation
“We..we.. build robotic systems for the government..t… t… t.”
“I’m sorry, but I can’t help but notice your tick. You’re stuttering.
“Yes..yes..I’m sorry… hazards of the business… s..s.”

The waiter came over and asked what kind of drinks they would like?
“I’ll have some Bordeaux wine, if you have it.”
“Yes, we have it. For you sir?”
“Some water, please.”
“Very good.”

When the waiter left, Steve pulled out a long black power cord and plugged it into an electric outlet. He pulled out a part of his choo choo charles and snapped it into his side. Betsy’s mouth opened wide and her eyes became fixated in disbelief. She thought it was a joke… a bad joke!
“What are you doing?”
“Ow! That hurts my.y..y.y… plutoniummmmm ear canals.”
She threw her glass of wine at his face. “What kinda weirdo are you?”&
“You shouldn’t have thrown..nn..n aaaaaaaaa..ttt me..”

The skin on his face melted until it became a steel visage – sort of like the face of the androids in the “Terminator” movies.

Betsy woke up screaming. She looked around.What a nightmare! She settled herself as she fluffed her pillow. Suddenly she heard a voice next to her, saying, “I enjoyed” Betsy jumped and saw Steve, except he’s an android.

“I shed m.mmmy skiiiinn just for you!”

write by Calliope