Their footsteps echoed on the steel floor beneath them, a metal clang swallowed by the empty streets. It was morning yet, the sun barely risen, the pinks and oranges reflected back from the galvanized walkway.
It’s a fine morning, they think, all the better for its silence.
Even the shopkeepers kept their signs on ‘closed’ this time of day, no need for morning services. With biological immortality, the need for breakfast and early morning jogs had become a matter of choice rather than an imperative, a notion that shopkeepers were less and less willing to cater to.
But that was okay with the traveler. They liked the peace and quiet.
They slowed in front of a two-story building, coated in two-toned checkered steel. Despite the sun’s rays, the metal siding was cool to the touch as they tapped the voice box next to the doorway. There was a delay, then the door opened up to the sight of their mother, still in their nightclothes.
“I brought you some food, mother, for the party tonight,” they said, knowing not to expect much in the way of conversation this early in the day.
Mother nodded and reached for the canvas bags, set them inside the doorway before turning to their child with a frown. “And what of your date?” she asked with trepidation. “How did it go?” It was an old conversation they’d had many times on their mother’s doorstep.
“There was no such date,” they reply. “And there never will be.”
Their mother shakes her head and rubs at her crusted eyes. “I don’t understand. You’ve been given their name, why would you not want happiness?”
They shrug and refuse to meet their mother’s gaze. “I’m happy enough. I’ve heard enough about love.”
Mother sighs and leans forward to give their child a warm hug. “I just want you to be happy,” their mother says, but they know not how to explain.
Later, nestled in blankets in front of a multimedia screen, their thirteen-year-old dog on their lap, they smile remembering.
An end to death. An end to war. An end to famine, sickness, persecution, and the most important of them all, an end to heartbreak. That is what the future of humanity promised. All it took was a fingerprint, and your soulmate could be found.
Their mother had tricked them into providing the fingerprint, but no trick could make them contact their other half.
“What have you against love?” their friend had asked before kissing her boyfriend. They’d separated after a moment, and she’d asked, “Why wouldn’t you want to be happy?”
“I’ve heard enough about love,” they’d replied in their quiet way, smile still soft.
Because the promise of humanity was a lie, but not one they would mourn.
There had been no other half.
There is only the love they have, and what they choose to do with it.
After all, they have enough love.