Excerpt for By my Side by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

By my Side


Natasha Weber

Published by Natasha Weber at Smashwords

Copyright 2017 Natasha Weber

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Gert wanders the streets purposelessly. A woman had taken away his purpose. He has no job and nowhere to go. He walks past a woman who calls his name.

"Gert? Is that you?"

He looks behind him. It's Andrea, a coworker from a previous job. "Andrea?"

She skips over to him carrying her giant arrow pointing to a nearby android repair shop. She was always an energetic girl. Apparently, she has gotten an even worse job than the one she had before. "Wow, you look like a robo-hobo!"

Gert frowns and says sarcastically, "Thanks."

He crosses his arms. "Andrea, you of all people know it's offensive to call an android a robot."

"You're more offended by that than the fact I called you a hobo?" Andrea giggles.

"Technically, I am a hobo right now. My girlfriend dumped me." He sighs sadly. "She just kicked me out..."

Andrea almost immediately starts crying "So sad. You can come stay with me for awhile if you want. So long as you don't look and dress like a hobo. Come back here at five."

"Okay, but..." He looks at her ridiculous sign. "I know our jobs in retail weren't ideal but a sign-twirler?"

Andrea makes a face. "I twirl my sign proudly, thank you very much!"


On the drive to her apartment later, Gert tells her, "it's kind of you to help me out like this. Do you want me to be your boyfriend?"

  Andrea laughs. “No. I’m just glad to help you. If you want, you can stay with me until you find a job.”

Gert is surprised at her generosity. “Why?”

Andrea makes a face. “What, do I offend you? When someone offers you something so nice, you just say ‘yes’.” Gert just looks at her blankly, and then says, “okay.”


As Andrea opens the door to her tiny apartment, she says excitedly, “it’s been so long since I've had company!" She pulls him inside the apartment and finds him blankets and a pillow from her tiny closet.

Gert looks at the tiny house in shock. It’s filthy—clothes and papers strewn about the floor. Old banana peels and styrofoam coffee cups. Most disgusting of all, there were beer bottles lying around. “Good lord, Andrea…"

She glares at him and shoves the pillow and blankets into his arms. “I work on projects late at night. It takes a lot of coffee, and I don’t have time to clean up.”

Gert looks around thoughtfully. “How about I work as your housekeeper? I’ll work for cheap…”

Andrea takes a swig of the beer she was drinking and then crunches it and tosses it to the side. Gert cringes. For a girl so tiny and sweet looking, she seemed to have a lot of gross, manly habits. She shrugs. “Okay. I’ll pay you eighty bucks a week, since you’re also living with me.”

He clears his throat. “I’m gonna buy your groceries, too.”

She raises an eyebrow. “What are you saying?”

“There’s old beer bottles everywhere!” He replies, aghast.

“A drink here and there never hurt anyone…” She retorts. “What’s the point of living if you can’t have a cold one at the end of a long day of work?”

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