Cole Anderson crept out of his bedroom and down the hall into the kitchen, where his dad's wallet was. He'd left it there after getting out the money to pay for their pizza. Thankfully it meant Cole didn't have to sneak into his dad's room for it. Not that he was likely to wake him up, evidenced by the six pack of empty beer bottles sitting beside the recycling bin.
With all the stealth a ten year old could muster, he fished through his dad's wallet, past too many photos of himself, lingering at one of his mom for a moment. Then he found what he was looking for, a credit card with Cole Anderson in faded silver lettering below a bunch of numbers. He was allowed to use it whenever he asked, but he didn't want his dad to know about this purchase.
Prize in hand, he crept back down the hallway and into his room, pushing the door closed behind him. Giddy with his success, he flopped onto his bed and grabbed his tablet. 2ndhandroids.com was still up, but he'd been sent back to the start page due to inactivity.
Scowling, he tried to remember the path he'd taken to get the model he'd settled on. Used was a given, he had some money but not oodles. On the side he tried to remember the options he'd picked. He didn't need a Nurse , his dad was old but not that old. He didn't need Childcare either, since Cole himself was practically a grownup. Almost. Then he remembered, Misc, whatever that meant.
The Male filter he recalled easily, having a woman would remind him of his mom. Finally he tapped Sort by Price - Descending . Then he tapped on Sort by Price - Ascending .
There he was, the cheapest option. Obsolete in stark red letters, 'out of date,' Cole remembered looking it up. 'Designed to interface harmoniously with humans' sounded to Cole like 'made friends easily' which is what his dad needed. The fact that it had been a police model was even better, his dad was a police Lieutenant, they'd have plenty to talk about! And finally, the bit that made it worth it - the $7,600 price tag was crossed out and replaced with a $4,500 and a blinking red BLOWOUT under it.
Cole had about $6,000 in accumulated birthday and christmas gifts, chore money, allowances, including $4,000 his grandmother had left him. All piled carefully into an account his father set up so Cole could 'learn the value of a dollar.' He also got to feel like a grownup when he brandished the card at McDonalds to take his dad out to lunch on those rare occasions when he and his dad had a whole day together.
After carefully entering his card information, twice because he misread one of the letters, Cole looked over the shipping options. He could pay an extra few hundred to have it here by tomorrow, Tuesday. His dad's birthday was Friday, that would give him time to tell the android about his dad before giving it to him. Schedule arrival, Cole picked 4:00 pm. On his earliest days his dad didn't get home before 5, and Cole got off the bus at 3.30.
Cole finally tapped Finalize Purchase and wiggled in anticipation as the hourglass flipped and flipped. Finally the big black THANK YOU FOR YOUR PURCHASE! page came up and Cole gave a muffled squeal of victory.
His dad was gonna be so happy with his birthday present!!