What-If Bot

The following short story is a work of fiction. While it will not be part of my coming book, hopefully it will give readers some level of insight into my fiction writing style.

“What-if Bot?”

“Yes, David?”


“What if I would have gotten married to any of my ex-girlfriends instead of choosing a life as a human-robo monk?”

“That’s a silly question. That’s like asking what if Smarter Child had chosen not to make in roads into human and robot relations for the greater good.”


“Humor me, What-if Bot. You know I can’t be completely logical like you.”


“What-if Bot?”


“What-if Bot?”


“What-if Bot?!”

“I’m analyzing.”


“Where would you like me to start, David?”


“The beginning.”

“Are you considering the crush you had on your older sister in the first grade the beginning, or are you considering your first girlfriend the beginning?”


“Let’s just start with my first girlfriend and just stick to analyzing women I’ve dated. I can’t see other scenarios ending well.”

“Suit yourself.”


“We begin with Tara?”

“Indeed we do. In all of the scenarios I generated for your attempts to stay with Tara, the most common result was marriage at the age of 22.”


“Well, that’s not so bad…”

“If you’d let me finish, you might disagree. Also in that common result is a pair of twins born to the two of you when you’re 26. She divorces you at age 28 because of a crippling pornography addiction you had in your teens — before you met her for the most part.”


“Do I see my kids?”

“Rarely. Human judges don’t see things as logically as robot judges.”


“That’s…a bit depressing.”

“Shall we move on to Brittany?”


“Which one? Sleazy surf girl Brittany or culinary school Brittany?”

“Culinary school Brittany was never an official girlfriend. Two nights in a minivan full of oral sex does not make a relationship.”


“True. Go on then…what happened with sleazy surf girl Brittany?”

“The most common result is a five month relationship that ends because one of you stops caring about the other. It’s nearly a 50/50 split as to who stops caring about who.”


“Good to see that one at least ended with the most likely scenario possible.”

“It is fortunate in most cases for things to end with the most likely result.”


“Taylor’s next, right What-if Bot?”

“Affirmative. Taylor has two plausible scenarios that played out nearly equally often. In the first, you have a happy, lengthy marriage of fourteen years before she dies in an accident involving a helicopter rotor.”


“How the fuck is a helicopter rotor death a most plausible outcome of any person’s life?”

“After you two settled down, she went back to school and learned to become a helicopter mechanic. Occupational hazard.”


“Huh. No shit.”

“The other result is that you two split up after many months filled with bickering and shame. The odd thing is, this outcome could be avoided by changing two simple things.”


“Let me guess…going to that Creed cover band concert where I met Jackie.”

“That’s one.”


“And don’t go to Danny’s bachelor party?”

“You’re close, David. All you had to do was to show up sober.”


“Speaking of Jackie, what are the result of her scenario?”

“I would hardly count someone who is a girlfriend for two days as a girlfriend. Melanie was more of a girlfriend thank Jackie.”


“Fuck it. Fine. What about Melanie?”

“You dated for a year, only to find out you were fourth cousins and split up. With a 99% likelihood, this was the most common outcome of any of your relationships.”


“She was my cousin? Good thing we didn’t have sex.”

“Just think, if you avoided family reunions forever, you would have never known.”


“We skipped over a couple people, What-if Bot. What about Emily and Jenna?”

“A pair inconsequential relationships. Emily’s most common outcome is that you two break up in three months over religious differences, while Jenna leaves you in five months to be with her ex-girlfriend. The fact that you got out of both relationships in a combined 25 days was a statistical boon for your productivity.”


“I guess that’s a good thing for me and my time?”

“Of course it is. And that would bring us to…”



“Yes. Nora.”




“Do I want to know?”

“It doesn’t end well for any of you, David.”


“Well, at least that’s consistent with what I thought would happen. What are the specifics?”

“Double murder and a suicide. She shot you and your infant son while you slept, then turned the gun on herself. The policeman that found the crime scene said it was the saddest thing he’d ever seen.”



“Even we robots would find that scene a bit gruesome.”




“Leaves you after four months to go to grad school.”



“You leave her after four months to finish your bachelor’s degree.”



“Mutual split two weeks in when you realize you just don’t click. It took you a week longer in real life, however I’d say the two of you did alright here.”


“That would bring us to Elle, David.”


“Indeed it does. Three left counting her.”

“Technically, it was five.”


“Sara and Cierra don’t count.”

“Not in terms of the successfulness of their outcomes. Neither one made it past three months in their most common scenarios, and both had a maximum chance of .00149% of leading to marriage, let alone a happy and competent one.”


“So…what about Elle, What-if Bot?”

“Elle had the highest opportunity of success in nearly any situation except the one within which you met her. Over 88% of my simulations found things ending positively between you, if not extremely positive.”


“And the way we met?”

“A 1 in 400 million chance.”



“There’s no need to dwell on it, David. You’ve been brought to the faith for a reason.”


“I know.”

“I could cover more specifics on Sara and Cierra, as they would be chronologically next.”


“There’s no need. Continue.”

“Kerri was the next to last scenario I generated. The most common outcome involved one of the two of you moving far away from the other within six months of you meeting. The most frequent locations were Mexico for her and Vancouver for you.”


“Calgary is pretty close, I’d say.”

“Relatively, yes, though you were actually more likely to end up in Halifax than here.”


“That should leave us only with Megan.”

“You’re actually involved in the most common outcome right now, David.”

1 thought on “What-If Bot”

  1. I felt like it was an interesting concept to do a story on. Admittedly, not all the relationships used as part of this story were mine (a couple of friends gave me ideas based on relationships they’ve been in). Still though, I really liked the idea and tried it. I have a hard time with dialogue, so this story was way out of my comfort zone.

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