A somber figure entered the room. The salesman sat down at the desk, opposite a distracted-looking man and an eager young woman. He jogged the papers in his hand and looked over them at the couple before him. The woman leaned forward, smiling expectantly.
“Ah, before we discuss your premiums, perhaps it would be best if we first talked a little about why you’re here today,” he monotoned.
“Well, it’s just the smart thing to do,” the woman explained. “When you have something as valuable as true love, you want to protect it. We insure our house and our car, and they’re not nearly so important. I just don’t know what I would do if anything happened to James and I.”
The man stirred in his chair somewhat. “I agree with Stephanie. It’s the logical thing to do.”
“Why are you asking us this? Is something wrong?” Stephanie inquired.
“No, no, not as such.”
“What is it, then?”
The sound of a sigh came from the far end of the desk. The man put down the papers and turned them towards the couple so they could read the circled number. The two looked from the man to the numbers and back. “But…that can’t be right,” Stephanie protested. “Why is it so high?”
“You have to understand. We’re not a charity, ma’am. We have to set our premiums to match the risk being asked of us. When there’s a very high risk, we need to set high premiums.”
“Risk? What risk?!”
“Ma’am, please. It’s just the statistics,” he explained. “The odds just aren’t good for…mixed marriages.”
Stephanie stood up as James tried to calm her down. He had seen this before. “So that’s what this is about! I can’t believe that such prejudice still exists in this day and age!”
“Darling, it’s fine. Let’s just go,” James pled.
“No, James! It’s not right that he gets to sit there and tell us that our love won’t last!” she yelled, slamming her fist into the desk.
“Please calm down, ma’am. That’s not what we’re saying.”
“So what, then? Are you just against mixed marriages?”
“We’re not against android-human marriages. It’s nothing personal…it’s just business-“
“Oh, it’s just business! I guess it’s alright to discriminate against us if it’s just business! Come on, James, we’re leaving!” She grabbed him by the wrist and dragged him out behind him, his lips mouthing “I’m sorry,” as they disappeared out the door.
The office door squeaked open after a brief pause. An actuary walked in and stood next to the salesman.
“Heard everything, huh?”
“Hard not to. She was pretty loud.” The actuary felt the dent she had left behind in the steel desk and whistled. “Angry, too. But the facts don’t lie. The odds are worse than 10:1 they’re still in love in two years. If they are now, that is. There’s just no such thing as true love between man and machine. Only infatuations.”
“It’s a shame. Girl like that could be with any android she wants,” the salesman muttered with a tinge of bitter envy.
“Takes all types. Can’t imagine what she sees in a human, though. Fickle, dumb, short-lived…and that smell… I have to disable my sensors whenever I’m around them. I guess some things just can’t be understood. Was that your last appointment today?”
“Come on, let’s recharge, then. I’ll treat.”
“Thanks, Nick. I’d like that.”
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