Before she had left for work again, Wheatley had asked Chell if she could leave the curtains open for him.
She had no real reason not to.
And so the personality core sat at the ceiling of the studio apartment, looking outside the window at the neighboring apartment buildings, and catching glimpses of the streets below them.
Most apartments were empty, their residents having gone to work already. Some windows had plants on the windowsills, on a few sat a pet. One look at the curtains would’ve already revealed whether the resident was someone’s grandmother or a victim of office work. A couple of apartments had their lights on, perhaps because of the rainy day that darkened the outdoors.
A gust of wind caused the rain to hit the window, blurring Wheatley’s view of the outside as the glass was drenched. It struck him out of his thoughts, and back to reality again. The core turned to look at the rest of the apartment, his eye glancing over various items. Letters and papers on the kitchen table, a toolbox next to the coffee table. A backpack and a leather jacket in the clothes rack. A couple of sketchbooks on the couch.
All Chell’s items. Bits and pieces of her and her life, scattered around the apartment. Her apartment, her home, where her name was on the door and all mail was addressed to her. It all told a story of a person; who they were and where they came from.
Wheatley felt a sense of heaviness wash over him.
Even GLaDOS had something like it. The entirety of Aperture told a story about her and who she was. It was all hers. A window to her life.
All Wheatley had was the Aperture Science logo plastered onto his hull, and some old and worn-out sticker that no longer signified anything, if it ever even had meant something in the past. He had the right to say he was a patented Aperture Science Personality Core, but what did that tell about him? Next to nothing, really. Sure, he could go on and say he was the only specifically engineered moron in the whole world, designed to spout out terrible ideas on the regular, but. Well. It wasn’t exactly something he wanted to boast about, was it now.
If he had nothing to show for himself, nothing that defined him as a person or gave him any meaningful purpose... was he anyone at all?
His eye drifted over the coffee table again. Something caught his eye.
A pair of sunglasses. The very same ones Chell had bought him at the gas station.
The rain kept falling down outside as Wheatley sat still, his gaze fixated on the sunglasses that didn’t even stay on him all that well.