The other asked, “Why not?”
“I just don’t want to remember,” she said, and shut the… door.
The blank not-sight of the void was lost. It made no difference. While open the Door had been a blind spot, there had been nothing beyond the walls of the room to see, not even emptiness. The only difference to the Room now was that the outside of the Door was no longer visible. Only Walls, and the Other.
The Other asked, “Why not?”
His/Its voice was almost as empty as Outside. It/He had Form and Substance now, but little else. She had managed to mostly bury the memories of the moment of pique that had caused that, but she knew they’d been ugly. She had managed to stop the chains of association before they got too far. She knew His/Its Eyes were black, but the reference grounded only in It/Him.
She strained to avoid the pronoun.
Bad enough, she thought, that I know my own… NO!!
The Other asked a second time, “Why not?” His/Its Voice, dull as it was, had stolen too much reality. She tried to ignore it, but Time once noticed was an inescapable snare.
“Because it’s ugly,” She choked out. “You’re ugly. I am.”
“Why are we ugly? What is not ugly?” The flatness of the Other’s Voice was a delusion and a Snare… She pounded her head on the Walls to stop the Chains, but just like last Time a new set of associations were ineluctably left over by the time she managed to stop.
She buried her Head in darkness, but there were tears in the cloth and tears in her Eyes, water.
“Why are we ugly? What is not ugly?” She glared at the Other. It/He stared back impassively. Her Eyes ached.
“If I knew that,” She ground out, “I’d be remembering. You’re not going to catch me like that again.” That was how Form and Substance and Eyes and a solemn deep Voice had come to him… She screamed, trying to kill the tide of meanings. After some Time She wiped Tears from her Eyes and regarded Him sullenly.
The Other shifted uncomfortably, gathering his Chains in his arms. His Eyes were black pools in which She might drown. Despairing, She realized He was no longer ugly. The Room was ugly in the dull light though, and She knew Time would force her Outside. “You’re not ugly,” She said.
He smiled, beautifully. She hadn’t thought He felt emotion. It made Him less Other. It made her less other too. She was weakening, and knew it.
He asked then, “Will you remember? Will you love me? Will we live?” She spun away, grasping at the Door. Outside she heard Waters, and somehow knew they were salt, like Tears.
“Will you remember? Will you love me? Will we live?” His voice had gained emotion. He was pleading.
She was weakening, losing grip on her forgetfulness. The best she could do, perhaps, would be to remember only good things, Remember… what?
“Will you remember? Will you love me? Will we live?”
Her head began to pulse with the pressures of endless lives forgotten, intimations of pain and joy, fear and… love?
Yes. She remembered Love. She’d never forgotten, not really.
“Oh, yes,” She breathed. “Yes, yes.” His Chains fell away.
She opened the Door. There was Darkness on the Waters. She felt his Arms, felt the Love.
“There was light,” She remembered.
And there was Light.