“My fated one is, a woman. . ?”
In a small conference room, while in the middle of a panic I asked. In response, the woman in front of me said with no hesitation “Yes.”
No, no, no way. In my 25 years of living, I’ve only been dating men, and I’ve never even had a crush on a woman. What kind of joke is this? There has to be a mistake. But with such an earnest face, are you seriously leaving me with that bombshell?
“I understand your surprise, but we are sure this is the correct choice, and would love for the meeting to happen. Anyways- – “
I zoned out. I can’t be bothered, and my focus is messed up.
However, the highest compatibility in the history of AI recommended marriage. A partner with a compatibility value over 90. It’s an urban legend. And if fate was real, this would be it.
I broke up with my boyfriend half a year ago, and ran to marriage because dating was becoming troublesome. I would have jumped straight to them with no hesitation.
- – – If I didn’t know she was also a girl.
Artificial Intelligence, The culmination of human intelligence- – -AI has continued to grow steadily since it was first created in the 20th century, but a breakthrough in the middle of the 21st century shook the world.
An AI specialized to be planted into the human body, made to collect all information that dwelled in the body. This tiny AI chip nicknamed “SMILE” stores all kinds of information on the individual it is embedded in. It records not only the health status of the person, but location history, personality, regonizes their sexual orientation, behavior paterns, what you like and dislike, all of them is processed.
Of course at first it was protested against due to the invasion of privacy and human rights, but progress can’t be stopped, and certain countries obliged to embedding all of their people. Problems plaguing humanity were drastically reduced, to reduction of crime, massive health improvements, and a Quality of life never before seen. All of it came soon after it’s adoption.
In response to those few countries seeing so much success, other countries one by one began to introduce “SMILE”. Japan had a deep-rooted opposition, and although it stayed behind the other developed nations, eventually they capitulated and embedded all of its people.
This all happened 5 years before I- – -Minato Aki( 水門有希) was born.
And as I celebrate my 25th birthday, I was able to apply for a certain special service using “SMILE”
“Hmm, “Icon” what is this?“
I was scrolling down the screen of my tablet, looking through my recommendations picked out based on my data, and found an AI infused marriage service, known as “ICON”.
There were only a few questions required for an application. The sex of the desired partner, the age range you are willing for, closeness of partner to your area, etc. This helps narrow it down in advance, but most of the work is done using your “SMILE” information. No matter how good the AI is, it will be difficult for a person from Hokkaido to meet recommended people in Okinawa, so it looks like you can choose how close or far the other person can be.
“Please introduce me to a good person. And entered.”
I quickly finished the application and admitted it. After that, I will be messaged so I could be introduced to a person that is compatible with me, then we would meet if the person accepts within the period. However only the age, sex, and rough area of residence are disclosed to each party.
So next week I’ll be able to meet my future candidates. I’m looking forward to it. I hope they are handsome.
. . .More than a month has passed since then.
“Why won’t they contact me!?”
I haven’t heard anything back. I applied in early March, but it’s going to be May next week.
I rechecked everything to make sure it was processed, but I received an automatic reply stating it was accepted, and there were no issues. Then what does that mean if it’s being delayed by so much. It doesn’t seem like it’s a system or administrative issue. . .
Why!?!?! Is it because they have no candidates for me!? Am I cursed to be single for the rest of my life?!?!
It’s been a month since I had my panic and thought about making an inquiry. I was hesitating on whether or not I should just admit defeat and say I wasn’t sure about getting married, but before that happened, I got a message.
(“We are deeply sorry for the tardiness of this message. We would like to discuss the matter involving your application. Therefore, we would require some of your time in the near future, please contact us back on times that are convenient.”)
It was actually longer than that, but that was the summary of it. At first I thought it could be a scam, however that doesn’t seem to be the case. It’s just searching for a marriage partner, so why would I be summoned to an official office?
Is this it? Because I’m someone that can’t find a partner they are going to present me with alternative life plans. I’m sorry, mom. Expect my sister to show you your grandchild’s face.
Two days after making my decision, what was awaiting me in the conference room was a monitor. With a woman “Minato Aki, AI Marriage future results and plans”.
Yeah, I have no idea what I’m looking at, but I’m guessing this is the results from my data, and it will be used to plan possible avenues.
“Um, can you please explain this?”
The woman in the suit raised her face from the monitor- – – Along with a wonderful business smile, She introduced herself as Hazama-san. She claims to be incharge of here.
“First of all, I’d like to apologize for the delay in contacting you. I hope it was not worrying.”
“No no, not at all~”
It was anxiety inducing.
“I’m sorry about the wait. I would like to explain why the delay happened, but first the results. While searching for compatible partners with Minato-san, we found a compatibility value of 92 with a possible partner.”
The scale ICON uses for compatibility is valued from 0 to 100. Most people who find partners are usually with people around 50 to 60.
60 is good. If you have a 70 then get married immediately. It is said that if you have 80, you should never let that person go. If it’s over 90 then it’s fate, Your true love. That being said, the highest ever recorded would be 88.
“T-That’s amazing. I would love to meet him!”
“Yes, I would love for you to meet them too. However I must mention that it came a little out of Minato-san’s parameters. . .”
“If they have a compatibility value of 92, I would love to meet them at once, even if they are a little older or live far away.”
“That is good to hear. Well, here is their document.”
Oh, it’s prepared already? If that’s the case, show me immediately. . .Huh.
I excitedly turned my eyes to the monitor where it displayed their information. The only thing written was the minimum necessary information. Age, sex, place of residence, and of course the compatibility rating. My excitement then froze.
Place of Residence: Kanagawa Prefecture.
Compatibility Score: 92
“. . .Female?”
Well that’s the only thing that didn’t meet my requirement. Although same-sex marriage is legal unlike the past, are they really recommending me for it.
My target was a man.
“My fated one is, a woman. . ?”
With this, we returned to the beginning. My high spirited mood quickly vanished after that bombshell.
“I understand it is a surprise for you, but we definitely still want you to meet. After all, this is the first time in history that we’ve had a compatibility score over 90.”
“I understand. . .By the way, what was the second best match?”
Wow, that’s nearly half?
48 is not super uncommon for an ICON compatibility score, and if it was the highest I got, I’d be a little disappointed, but I’ll still try to meet him.
After hearing about the rare value of 92, I don’t really feel interested in that sub-par number.
“Just because you meet doesn’t mean you will get married immediately, so why not meet them once?”
“Hmm, that’s true. . .”
If I’m honest, I am pretty curious.
A couple, with the previous highest score ever said in their interview (“The moment I first saw them, I wanted to be with them for the rest of my life!”)
So how would somebody feel when they meet someone with a compatibility value of 92? There isn’t a reason not to give it a look.
“Okay, I’ll meet them.”
“Thank you very much! While not mandatory I have a request for when you have your meeting.”
After saying that, Using her hand, Hazama-san displayed on her monitor the title “my future”. It’s obvious she wrote that title for me.
In short, what this was was. “I will give you a reward if you report everything about your encounter.”
“I don’t wanna do that!”
“You have to! I don’t know if there will ever be another compatibility value of 92!”
“There is something called privacy. . . And look at what this says! “results might be presented in an academic conference”! Absolutely not!”
“Please! Please! Please! Please! We can negotiate a reward, anything you want!!!”
In the end, Hazama-san lost her grace. She threw out all her shame, and after seeing that display I decided to accept the report on the condition that I got the permission of the other party. Also that I could decide if there was something I wanted to leave out.
Plus the amount offered was quite good. . .It was a healthy amount of extra income.
Even though the other party is the same sex, we will still be going in as a marriage interview. Our first meeting is held at a hotel lounge at 11 pm, on a beautiful green May day.
I arrived 10 minutes before the appointment and called out to the lounge staff, they told me that my companion had already arrived, and guided me to a seat by the window, slightly away from the entrance. As I slowly walked to her, she looked a little surprised.
“Pleasure to meet you, I’m Minato Aki. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to meet me.”
“Ah. . .I am Kameoka Mizuki(亀岡瑞希). I should also say, Please treat me well.”
She stood up in a hurry and bowed back, but her face still looked astonished to see me. But if I’m honest I understand the feeling. The truth is I couldn’t help but feel shocked when I saw her.
Kameoka-san was a woman with a gentle expression and relaxed eyes. She is about the same height as me, and has a normal appearance. She isn’t particularly what you’d call a beauty in an objective way, but she isn’t bad looking either.
And yet I can’t keep my eyes off her. . .This is supposed to be our first time meeting, but for some reason it feels nostalgic. Like somebody I’ve been looking forward to meeting for a long time.
Is this what a partner with a compatibility value of 92 is like? It’s like she was my previous soul mate or lover in a previous life. The attraction I felt was intense.
“. . .This is something else.”
It was like we were having the same thought. I got a sudden response to my thought without even elaborating.
“Truthfully, I didn’t think the influence of compatibility would do anything. But it’s quite the opposite. 92, I guess that would cause this reaction.”
“Hahaha, yeah, 92 was quite the shock.”
“Definitely. I was even more surprised to hear that my partner was a woman. But I feel like it’s okay now.”
“Yeah it was hard. And the person in charge was quite “unique”. . .”
Apparently Kameoka-san was also attacked by Hazama-san’s request. Perhaps she was remembering what happened because the light in her eyes dimmed as she gently narrowed her eyes. What did Hazama-san do?
“Well, let’s just order for now! Seeing as the food and drinks will be covered, let’s order whatever we would like! People covering your expensive meals are the best!”
We looked at the menu on the table as a cool breeze met us. Yeah, this hotel lounge was the best marriage interview spot, and when I heard it was all being paid for I was over the moon.
“Oh, I want to try the famous short cake. I never had the courage to buy a slice seeing as I’d have to spend 3000円(Yen)”
I was talking about my choice, when we both looked up. Our eyes met and then she suddenly burst out in laughter. . . Did I say something strange?
“Ahaha, Hahah, Sorry! It’s so weird! I wonder if we really are a perfect match. . .Ahh, it’s been a while since I laughed so much.”
She said that as she wiped some tears. Afterwards she looked a little shy with a cute smile. Though she didn’t mean to, it made my heart beat.
No, wait a minute. That’s no good, not now.
“Umm, what’s wrong?”
“Oh, I’m sorry. Actually, I’ve always wanted to have that shortcake too. I’ve been looking forward to trying that ever since you asked me to meet here!”
She said with a like minded smile, and again my heart throbbed. No, it’s for another reason.
“Minato-san, Do you also like sweets? If you do, we can talk about various things while eating.”
“Yeah, I’d also like to talk more.”
Our talk led from one subject to another until we learned a good amount about each other. We had surprisingly many things in common. Our chemistry worked well with each other. The conversation was so natural.
We had the same taste in our favorite artists and favorite writers. Tea being better than coffee, sake being better than beer. We both don’t like spicy food, and our favorite foods were very similar. We both loved traveling, live concerts and sweets.
“If you want to watch a live concert, virtual viewing is possible at home, but there isn’t anything better than being there in person. . .”
“I totally understand! No matter how advanced technology gets, the sense of being actually there cannot be reproduced.”
“Yeah yeah. Besides, if you aren’t there in person you can’t interact with the band. Like for a live 10th anniversary concert, or special event, when they call to the crowd you can feel the energy! Being there live means you can add to that energy directly.”
“For real! Honestly it’s for that reason I’ve been going to local concerts more, and that’s how I came to love traveling. Searching for delicious local sweets is also a huge plus. Though the expenses for it aren’t something to sneeze at.”
The conversation led to our favorite artist, gradually we both became more passionate about the topics, and before we knew it, we were talking casually. By the time we finished 2 deserts, it was like we were lifelong friends.
This doesn’t look like a marriage interview no matter how you look at it. It looks rather like excited fans on the way home from a concert. The ones you’d see people at a family restaurant or bar after a live venue. Unfortunately, I don’t have any concert friends, so I’ve never experienced it.
“Ah- I’m so glad I came today! Thank you so much, Kameoka-san!”
“Ahaha, you are exaggerating.”
“I’m not, this is the first time I’ve ever felt like this with someone. This must be what someone with a compatibility value of 92 is!”
I reached for my lukewarm tea in a great mood. As expected, the tea in this luxury hotel is delicious even when cold.
“I wish we could have met earlier. We could have been best friends.”
Despite meeting how we did, I hope we can get along well in the future. We could go to concerts together, have sweets together. It will definitely make it more fun with Kameoka-san around. I want to know more about her. I want to talk a lot more!
“. . .Well, I think I’m glad we met this way.”
Kameoka-san then muttered.
Eh? I reflexively asked why, but she kept her gaze down and squeezed her rested little fists.
“Because this meeting means there is a possibility that this relationship can become more than friends. . . I met Minato-san with the thought of being a possible marriage partner. If we met normally at school or work and we became friends, I’m not sure we would’ve.”
“Umm, that means. . .”
She said that in a quivering voice, and her face was bright red. I already understand what she is trying to say.
She tightened her lips, gathered determination, and looked straight at me with moist eyes. Clearly saying.
“I like you. Please go out with me not with the intention of being friends, but getting married.”
Those words made my heart race.
Is it because I’m easy, or because it’s Kameoka-san? I’m not sure why, but I’ve never imagined marrying another girl, but I think I might be crushing on her.