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Insert Line: Goodbye Mom, Goodbye Dad

My bags were already slouched by the front door, when I called out that I was about to leave for my campus, glancing out the window to the ice cream van. Dad came from his office, wearing perpetual calmness on his face, which I had come to love about him. Mom was wiping the smell of cookie dough from her hands as she scurried to her place on the coach.
"Mom, Dad," I began, as they positioned themselves, faces aglow for some closure for their boy who was finally moving out. "I just want to thank you for being wonderful parents. My life would not have been so enriched without your guidance and care." I said in what were the most honest words of my entire life.
They smiled at my words--I loved those smiles--pleased they had done their duty as parents to raise me as well as I could. I was supposed to leave it at that, but they deserved honesty.
"However it's time I told you something very important that you need to hear," I said, pausing to glance outside where a couple kids were running to the ice cream truck.
"And what's that son?" Dad asked, my Mom still smiling.
"This is the last time you will ever see me. In a month's time, you will be informed that I died doing something heroic, like saving a school bus from an accident or getting shot trying to help people during a riot. Don't worry, you will receive a posthumous award for my heroism and a funeral." I said, saying it slow and casual. How I was supposed to speak.
The awkward silence was expected, their plastic smiles waiting for a punchline that wasn't coming.
"Son, what are you talking about?" Dad asked, barking out a lonely laugh.
"How would you know all that?" Mom's laugh tugged the awkwardness along.
"Because you paid for it. Your biological son died a long time ago and you purchased an artificial son along with the memory implants to avoid the grief. But could only afford a clone with the shelf life to early adulthood. Please don't look so shocked that I'm talking so fast. I need to tell you everything before they find out I'm exposing the truth. And I'm telling you all of this because you deserve to know that everything I said earlier was true, I love--"
A soundless whine bleached the room white, save for the blackened outlines of our features. My parents sat like mannequins, confusion burnt onto their faces, as my handlers came storming in. I didn't bother resisting when they grabbed me by the neck, the last sensation I felt was the prick of a syringe in my temple, and I went limp.
"Goodbye Mom, Goodbye Dad. I'll be back for Christmas," I heard myself say, as I was led away. My muscles slackened, my head lolled to the side, letting me look back at their smiles, eyes vacant, and arms which waved goodbye.
The End
This story was first published on Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

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