Harold vs. The Maid| Ben Freeman

Harold vs The Maid

They can do that?” Harold asked.

“Yes Harold,” Sherry said. “Why do you think I wanted the newest model? And the male version?”

“So, you want a divorce?” Harold said, sitting down on the bed.

“Have you been listening to anything I’ve said? No, I don’t want a fucking divorce. I’m not leaving you, we’re just going to have a different arrangement from now on.”

“With you fucking the robot maid?”

“No Harold, that’s already been going on, now I’m just not going to be fucking you. And don’t call him a robot, he’s an android.”

“Sherry, it’s not like it has feelings…wait, does it? Do the new models have feelings, too?”

“No, they don’t have feelings, don’t be silly. That would be creepy. It’s just a machine. A machine that does things to me you haven’t done in years, and some things you’ve never even thought of. Hell, I’d never even thought of some of them before Josh showed me.”


“The robot.”

“You gave it a name? What the hell Sherry, what was wrong with calling it J-276 like it says to on the box?”

“You really want to know?”

“At this point, I’m not sure,” Harold said, patting his pocket for his cigarettes. He lit one and put the pack on the side table before looking back up at Sherry. “Ok. Why? Why give the damn thing a human name?”

“Well I can’t exactly be shouting out, harder J-276! Give it to me J-276! It kind of ruins the moment, you know what I mean?”

Harold smoked silently.

“Hey, you asked. And besides, this conversation isn’t about me and Josh, it’s about you and me,” Sherry said, reaching for Harold’s cigarettes. “I really do love you Harold, you do know that right?” She lit one of his cigarettes.

“I thought I did.”

“Harold, this thing with me and Josh, it’s not love,” she said. “He’s a machine, and I’m a woman with needs. He’s programmed to take care of those needs. And what can I say, he does a great job.”

“I thought, we, well, you know…I thought things were pretty good for us, um…back here in the bedroom.”

“Yes Harold, you would think that.”

“I mean I know we aren’t as active as we used to be, and I’m busy, and we’re both older…”

“Stop,” Sherry said. “This is happening Harold. This isn’t the courtroom. You’re not going to talk your way out of this. I’m your wife, not a jury.”

They smoked in silence.

“This is bullshit,” Harold said. “I bought the god damn thing for you. This was supposed to make our lives easier. It’s an android maid. All he’s supposed to do is clean! I thought some models could cook, but they fuck too? How did you even figure this out? Wait, don’t answer that, I don’t want to know. Fuck this, you know what? He’s going back. I bought the fucking thing, I can take it back too!”

“Harold if you take him back I’m leaving you.”

“I thought you just said you weren’t leaving me?”

“I’m not, because I have Josh,” Sherry said. “But if I don’t have the Josh you bought me, I’ll have to buy my own. In which case I’ll do it with your money, and since you don’t approve, I guess I’ll have to find my own place, and all of these things cost money and since we’ve been married for so long I’m entitled to half your money if we get divorced, so…”

“Well what if we got a female model, a Jane to go with the Josh?” Harold said.

“We’re not buying some crazy sex robot for you Harold. That’s not happening. What would people say?”

“What are they going to say about you?”

“Nothing, all the wives on the block have a Josh. Actually Nadine has a Jacob and Linda has a Jerry, but they’re all the same model. Where do you think I got the idea?”

Harold just stared at her. He lit another cigarette.

“I’m not ok with this,” he said.

“I didn’t expect you to be dear, but it’s just the way things are going to be. And I hate to rub it in your face like this, but you’re not usually home from the office this early and well, Josh and I usually have a play date around seven. So, if you don’t mind…”

“Mind, why would I mind? You’re just telling me to get out so you can fuck the robot. Sure, no worries, can I get you anything for when you’re done? A glass of water? A hot towel? ”

“No, Josh is still the maid. He’ll take care of those things for me. I know this is going to take some getting used to, but it really is for the best. I’m much happier this way, and soon enough, you will be too.”

Sherry leaned over and kissed him on the forehead.

“Josh! Could you come in here, it’s time for our date,” she shouted. Then to Harold: “You should probably go, I’ll fix you dinner after we’re done.”

Harold stood up and headed towards the door but stopped and turned in the doorway.

“Can I at least watch?”




Ben FreemanBen Freeman is a writer and musician from Virginia. He’s the founder of the independent r&b record label Red Goat Records. In his spare time he cooks the best barbecue you’ve never tasted.


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