We’re suspended, the two of us here.
“Why do we need this?” he asks.
“So you don’t forget.”
“So I don’t forget, or so that I remember forever?” he chuckles at his own distinction. I don’t find it amusing in the slightest. The mug of hot liquid on the table is rapidly throwing steam from its possession.
“Do you want to untie it?”
“No. I never want to forget.”
“Now you’re lying.” He’s playing with the ends of the tie so that I know he’s lying. I drop his hand and it falls on the table between us.
“That hurt.” He says it but he doesn’t flinch, almost as if he saw the pain coming. I stand up from my wooden chair, opposite from his, and I’m relieved when the steely cold of the wood loses contacts with my body. He almost follows me, I can sense it, but part of him likes that steely cold.
“I swear I don’t want to forget,” he says. “I promise.” It’s all irrelevant. My back is to him.
“You can’t remember forever,” I tell him, my hands on the drapes. “You just can’t.” I start to tug on them.
“We can remember for as long as we want,” he suggests. “Even if we forget a few times. Forever is a long time to never forget something.”
“You would know about that.” I close the drapes. There’s still steam coming from the hot mug, now cooling, and even from across the room it warms my back.
“It will be a long time before I can forget this,” he hums. “It’s getting cold.”
“You like it cold.”
“I only said that so you would borrow my jacket.”
A part of the curtain, I realize now, was left partly open. It seems I won’t be forgetting for a long time, either. But I don’t know if this will be something worth remembering forever. The temperature in the room is dropping. The chair was cold, anyway. I pack my things and leave.