‘Beep,’ said XL-270 as he rolled up to table 5 with a tray.
It was the year 2176 and XL-270 was the newest, most modern robot available. He was green with blue eyebrows and antennae. The children that chased him playfully around the restaurant lovingly called him Robbie.
‘I love you, Robbie,’ one little boy would say often. This boy’s name was Ali. Robbie beeped happily. He loved Ali too.
One day, Ali came in with his father. He looked around but couldn’t see Robbie. Instead, a big grey robot was busily bringing food and beeping orders. Ali was surprised. Who was this?
‘Mr. Manager,’ said Ali standing on tip-toe to look over the manager’s desk. ‘Where is Robbie?’
‘Robbie?’ said the manager, irritated at the disturbance.
‘I mean the XL-270, sir. He was here last week. Now there is this new robot,’ said Ali.
‘Aah. That old clunker. It blows a fuse every week. It is no use anymore so I replaced it. Its going to be destroyed,’ said the manager returning to his paperwork.
Ali was horrified. Destroy Robbie? He looked up at his father, eyes teary. His father nodded and turned to the manager.
‘Where may we find the XL-270, sir?’ asked Ali’s father.
‘In the dumpster, out back.’
Ali ran to the door the manager had pointed to. He threw it open to find Robbie lying in the dumpster, eyes closed.
‘ROBBIE!’ cried Ali in panic, shaking Robbie’s arm.
The robot opened his eyes and beeped feebly.
‘How are you Robbie?’ asked Ali, sad to see his friend hurt.
Robbie beeped again. He knew he was being taken to the junkyard. He didn’t want to leave Ali.
‘Robbie,’ said Ali’s father quietly. ‘I run a children’s nursery and need someone to help me. Would you like to come
work for me?’
Robbie looked into the kindly face of his friend’s father. The corners of his mouth twitched. He nodded slowly.
Ali was ecstatic! He hugged Robbie and Robbie hugged back, beeping happily.
‘You dont have to go to the junkyard, Robbie. You don’t have to die. Oh, thank you dad. Thank you.’