My Girlfriend Was Delivered by 2-Day Shipping
It was a day that Daiki would much rather forget. Just when he thought that he had gained a friend and found a cure for his loneliness, the cruel hand of fate reared its ugly head once again and ruined everything. At least, that’s what Daiki told himself as he walked back home.
As he approached the front gate of his house, he paused. He looked up at the massive building that stood before him. It was two stories tall with enough square feet to comfortably house two whole families. Part of him felt it was such a waste to have a house that big when it was barely even used. Although, whenever his parents were home from their business trips, they did enjoy the comfort of a lavish lifestyle.
Despite that, his parents weren’t as egotistical as one would think. They were the ones who taught Daiki about respect and kindness. His parents’ teachings echoed through his mind but rather than fill him with comfort, they filled him with a terrible resolve. Daiki balled up his fists, his eyes still a bit moist from earlier. With a vicious swing of his foot, he kicked the front gate, its thin metal bars rattled vehemently as he cursed to himself.
“Dammit! What good is a big heart if I can’t give it to anyone? All I’ve ever done was try to be helpful. I tried to be respectful and yet… because of some stupid rumor… a rumor that I know nothing about…” suddenly, the tears began to flow again as he pressed his forehead against the metal bars of the gate. “Why am I cursed like this?”
Daiki let out an exhaustive sigh before he opened the gate. It was no use standing out on the sidewalk moping about a situation he could not control. Once inside his house, he dropped his book bag in the foyer and took off his shoes. He didn’t know what to do at first but soon decided that he would take some time and watch a bit of television as he thought that some entertainment would help take his mind off things. After all, he was on Spring Break now and had a full nine days to do whatever he wanted.
With a simple button press on the remote, the television came to life. He didn’t watch much TV so he had no idea what channel it had been left on. When the picture was displayed, it showed some sort of infomercial. Daiki’s mother constantly watched this channel and ended up buying whatever caught her eye. It was a habit that his father wished she would kick as he felt that she constantly spent money on such useless things. What made his father really annoyed was the fact that they were never home to use most of the junk she bought anyway.
The infomercial that was on ironically had a subject that struck near and dear to Daiki’s heart. He tilted his head in confusion as if he felt that even the T.V. was mocking him.
“If you’re lonely and are wanting to find the perfect companion for you, we have live girls just waiting to talk! Just dial 555…”
“Is it really okay to be playing this kind of ad so early in the day?” Daiki wondered out loud. “Although…”
Daiki had begun to give this some serious thought. Even though he was sixteen and too young to have a credit card of his own, his parents always left him a spare one in case of emergencies. As long as there wasn’t an exorbitant amount charged to it, his mother rarely even checked what was bought. Perhaps it wasn’t the best idea to let a compulsive buyer handle the home’s finances but they hadn’t gone bankrupt yet so she must have been doing something right. Besides, most of the charges were from her anyway so it’s not like she had any desire to look through and re-check the things she had already purchased. Perhaps for Daiki, that was both a blessing and a curse?
Daiki pulled the credit card out of his wallet and moved over to a small reclining chair to the right of the television which was his father’s favorite place to sit. It was also convenient because he had an expensive-looking landline phone on a small end table right next to it. It was fashioned after those now antiquated rotary dial phones but it had a touchpad which created a nice hybrid design of old and modern.
Daiki picked up the phone and called the number that was permanently affixed to the lower third of the screen. His breathing began to get a bit heavy as nervousness settled in. This was the first time he had ever called a service like this but after the day he had, just hearing a girl’s voice would be undeniably welcomed right now.
After a few rings, there was the faint voice of an operator on the other end. “Thank you for calling Heart Lines, your open path to finding the girl of your dreams! If you know your preferred girl’s extension, enter it now to be placed in their queue, otherwise, please stay on the line as we transfer you to our automated system.”
“Wow, they even have queues so you can get the same girl! That’s impressive but I wonder just how long the hold times are for some of the more popular ones?”
After a few moments, the call kicked over to another messaging system, this time the lovely woman’s voice was replaced by a man’s that sounded a bit on the sketchy side.
“Welcome to Heart Lines. If you have a fantasy, we’ve got a girl to fulfill it. If you like role-playing, press one. If you like dirty talk, press two. If you like sweet or sassy, press three. For all others, press four.”
Daiki didn’t know what button to press. He thought that the options were pretty limited but that made him wonder if there were multiple choices per category? There was only one way to find out!
Daiki pressed three as he could use someone sweet to talk to. His emotions were damaged enough as they were so a comforting chat seemed like the safest and least objectionable option.
Soon, the male voice was replaced by the original female voice that opened the call. Suddenly, he began to wonder just how professional this service truly was. “Please listen to the menu options carefully. Here is our list of sweet girls. For Hana, press 1. For Karin, press 2. For Kana, press 3. For Mineko, press 4. Here is our list of sassy girls. For Sakura, press 5…”
Before the list of names could continue, Daiki pressed 3. He figured that since he didn’t know any of these girls, one would be just as good as the other.
Shortly after he selected his option, the voice returned and this time, it was a completely different woman’s voice. Just how many people recorded these menus!?
“As a reminder, ¥3900 will be charged to your credit card for the first minute. An additional ¥650 will be charged for each additional minute. A ¥650 connection fee will automatically be charged for placing your call in the queue. If you agree, press 1.”
The prices seemed awfully steep. He had begun to think twice about calling this service; however, he had come this far so he decided to see it through. After all, he could just talk for a minute or two and spend about ¥5200 at most. With his mind decided, he pressed 1 to confirm. He was then asked to enter his credit card information. He did so and just like that, ¥650 was charged. There was no turning back now.
“Kana is currently assisting other callers. Please stay on the line and we will connect you when your call is at the front of the queue. Your position is 12. You will not be charged until your call is connected.”
12 wasn’t exactly a number that promoted much hope that Daiki would get through anytime soon; however, he was determined and decided to remain on hold.
After being serenaded by the same cheesy hold music and the constant reminders of what place he was in for a solid 90 minutes, he had finally reached the front of the queue! When he heard that he was the next caller in line, a feeling of elation washed over him as if his patience was about to be rewarded. Soon, it happened.
The phone rang.
The call disconnected.
Daiki’s left eye twitched uncontrollably. A stupefied look dominated his face. After all of that effort, his curse struck again in a form he could not have predicted. Slowly, he placed the receiver back onto the phone’s base and continued to stare at the wall on the opposite side of the room. It was as if someone reached into his brain and unplugged it from its source of power.
“Eh heh heh… even with this, I can’t…” he muttered.
Daiki slid down in the chair and let out an exhaustive sigh. All hope felt as if it had been lost. By now, the infomercial that led him down this perilous rabbit hole had finished and the station began to run through a series of commercials. As he sat there filled with self-pity, a particular ad caught his attention.
“If you’re feeling lonely, consider one of our companionship services! Whether you’re a lonely man or woman, we have plenty of options for you to choose from! Browse the profiles of our clients, pick the one that suits you the most, tell us how you would like to spend your day, and we will handle all of the arrangements! Rates are affordable so call now and book the perfect companion today!”
While many would think this to be an escort service, that was far from the reality of it. In Japan, they would often have services where people could rent a companion for a few hours up to an entire day. These companions would accompany them to a movie, to dinner, to a park, or wherever the client wished to go. They would sit and listen to their sorrows or anything else deemed appropriate.
When Daiki heard that ad, he perked up. It wasn’t as risque as the phone service that shunned him; however, there was one drawback... He knew that addiction could play a factor. While he had the money, he knew that unless he kept renting one, the solution would only be temporary. He didn’t need to turn his life into something that could pass as a cheap romance anime.
He pondered if there could be another way? The thought of renting someone turned his thoughts to mail-order brides; however, he realized that buying a human online wasn’t exactly the most legal way to solve his problem. As he envisioned himself going to jail or getting stabbed in his sleep, another commercial aired… one that seemed more reasonable than trafficking humans.
“Japan’s technology is one of the most advanced in the world. Researchers and engineers have spent countless years developing the world’s leading robotic technology. Now, that technology can be yours and it could help you cure your loneliness! Meet Reiko! An android companion that looks and feels like a real human being! With her advanced artificial intelligence, over time, she can learn your habits, your likes, and dislikes, and tailor her dialogue for realistic conversation! Don’t delay! Call or visit our website to learn about this cutting-edge technology and how it can offer you a relationship beyond your expectations!”
An android!? Hmm… Mom and dad are rarely home. When they are, they usually stay downstairs and don’t really pay my room a visit. I could just hide it in my closet when they’re home. Plus, with it being an android, it’ll be programmed to like me! This is it! This is the perfect solution!”
Daiki decided that he had enough when it came to phone calls. He opted to give the website a look. His computer was upstairs in his bedroom so after he wrote down the address, he made the short trip up to the second floor.
When you walked in, the room opened up to the left. His bed was centered against the wall opposite of the door but it ran along the wall rather than it sticking out. This was because Daiki had an unusual sleeping position where he loved to lay on his side with his back pressed against the wall. While Daiki wouldn’t admit it, he did this because subconsciously, it simulated the feeling of someone else in bed with him. That simple contact was enough to allow him to pretend he wasn’t lonely at night when the house was empty and quiet.
The rest of his room consisted of simple bookshelves with a few volumes of manga scattered about along with a small 32” television where the newest video game console, the PlayTerminal 5, had been hooked up to. Other than a closet and a small end table with an alarm clock, that about summed up Daiki’s room with the exception of the one thing he came up here for… His computer.
On the left wall of his bedroom, there was a lone window in which a desk sat beneath it. Under the desk on a small stand was his computer. He pulled the rather cheap-looking office chair out from under the desk and took a seat. The computer wasn’t a new model so it took a little bit for it to power on and become usable. While he was a gamer, he preferred to play on a console so he never felt that he needed the latest model.
As he waited, Daiki peered out of his window and noticed a few kids from his school walking by outside. They seemed pretty happy as they talked with each other. Daiki wondered where they were going all while feeling just a little bit jealous. Seeing that only hardened his resolve and steeled his determination to end his loneliness.
When the computer finished powering up, Daiki opened his browser and went to the website he saw in the commercial. Thanks to a sleek website design, he easily found their catalog of products and decided to give them a look over. Not wanting to spend a fortune, he filtered the products by cheapest to most expensive price, figuring that this would place the most affordable models at the top. When he saw the price tag on the first model, he pressed the filter again to change the order, thinking that it had arranged the models incorrectly. When he saw that the price skyrocketed, his jaw nearly hit the floor.
“The cheapest model is 65 million yen!?”
Daiki felt defeated. What would have been the perfect solution suddenly became far out of his reach. While, yes, he and his family had enough money to afford a luxury item such as that, he knew that if his mom saw a charge of that size on their credit card, she would instantly cancel her business trip, fly home, and beat the ever-living snot out of him. Just the potential lecture alone was enough to make him cringe. His father would probably give it to him worse and that sent an even colder shiver up the ladder of his spine.
Still, Daiki was determined. He knew deep down in his heart that this would be the ultimate solution to his problems and began to think if there could be a cheaper way? He thought long and hard about what to search for. He didn’t want to search “android” out of fear that he would just find similar products that would also be far out of his financial reach. That’s when he began to think of a search term that could produce android-like results but target a much lower-end product.
The proverbial lightbulb went on over his head. He typed in the terms “realistic doll” into the search field and hit the enter key. The search results popped up and he clicked on the top one.
Within seconds, Daiki was brought to a colorful website with a rather large selection of different dolls that he could purchase. At first, he wondered why all of the dolls were naked but he figured that they displayed them that way so that you could see their body types more easily which he found convenient. As he scrolled through, he made sure to make note of each doll’s measurements, hairstyles, and other ‘customizable features.’
After searching for over an hour, Daiki was able to customize the girl of his dreams. Everything from her hairstyle, eye color, body shape, and more were carefully selected to give him the ideal image of a companion that he could be happy with. Before he added it to the cart, he leaned back in his chair to reflect on his choices.
“That was a lot of work! They sure make these androids super realistic! I mean, all of these are anatomically correct! I don’t understand why, though… maybe it’s just for realism? This one here even has the option for ‘touch-sensitive voice.’ It’ll even connect to the internet via WiFi and download new vocabulary so you can talk to it! I had no idea that lower-end android models were this sophisticated! Still, even with it being a lower-end model, the price tag is a bit steep… 2.2 million yen is a bit much to spend on a fake girlfriend but… it’s not like I’m going to get a real one anyway…”
The thought of his parents scolding him caused him to hesitate. It was still a rather large transaction that would stick out like a sore thumb. Suddenly, he felt the weight of his curse bearing down on him once again. The inevitable lecture, the lack of a way to explain what he had bought… all of it acted as a barrier that told him that he would be better off just forgetting this whole idea.
“This really is the perfect solution but… is it really worth the risk?” he contemplated. “It’s not like there's another way. You know what? To heck with it all. Sorry, mom. Sorry, dad. I’ll come up with something to explain this if it comes to it. I don’t want to be alone anymore…”
After rationalizing the thought of spending that much on what he perceived to be an android when, in reality, it was a high-tech sex doll, he added it to the cart and was brought to the shipping options.
“Oh wow! They offer 2-Day shipping on this model… and it delivers on weekends! If I order this now, I can get it Sunday, and then I’ll be able to spend my entire Spring Break with my new android girlfriend!”
The last thing that the website asked Daiki to do was give the “android” a name. When he thought about it, all he could think of was the commercial that led him down this journey. A few mouse clicks and keystrokes later and “Reiko” had been ordered. He received a confirmation email that stated that the doll would be arriving in discreet packaging for maximum privacy.
“Hmm… I guess they want to make sure that it’s not super obvious that people are lonely. That’s a thoughtful touch!”
That night, Daiki was too excited to sleep. That excitement; however, only lasted for so long and even though he made it to morning, his body gave out. This caused him to spend half of his Saturday asleep.
By the time he woke up, it was close to 1 PM. At first, he was confused as to why it was so late. Then, he remembered the excitement he felt knowing what was to come! From that moment on, all Daiki could think about was how tomorrow would be the day when his loneliness would finally come to an end!