Sometimes, things just happen, and there's nothing one can do to stop them.
Ethan was a nice guy. Quiet, smart, gentle, and caring. He listened well, talked at the appropriate times, was polite to everyone he met, and knew just about everyone on campus.
The only problem was, he had a really good memory. This proved to be hazardous in my case. Each day, I saw him. And each day, he saw me.
I don't think he ever said anything at first because he was so polite, but the more he saw me, the more frustrated he looked. I hovered on the edge of his vision like a troublesome mosquito, or a fleeting thought just on the tip of his tongue. Unable to drive me away, or tack me down, he continuously grew annoyed with the jumbled thoughts crowding his mind. Would he remember anything? Or had Blue and I succeeded in forcing those memories from his mind, leaving Ethan shrouded in a world of shock and uncertainty?
Eventually, he did approach me. I watched it with horror as he sat down with me in the art room one day.
He smelled good, as always. His deep brown eyes glowed with a light of their own as he looked at me, the small sliver of yellow in his right eye just where it should be. Whatever forces that be had chosen that today would be a beautiful day, and the smell of new coming autumn drifted in through the open windows.
"Hey," he said, pulling out a small pad of paper.
"Hi," I answered, digging my hands into the wad of clay before me. The classroom was relaxed. Chill. Everyone was busy with their own projects or homework, everyone concentrating on their own stuff. The artwork-filled shelves stood out from the walls of the room, created small niches just big enough for two or three people wanting privacy. It made each space seem quieter and more personal, and to have Ethan seated just a few feet away made me nervous.
My heart pounded as he continued to sit there. Would he remember? Even the smallest thing could be deadly. What if he remembered what Blue and I had done to him? Would he hate me like I'd feared?
He smiled politely at me. "What's your name again?" He asked.
"Um, Sirea," I said quietly. The fact that he didn't know my name was good, but… it still hurt to think about when we'd been through so much together.
"Oh," he said, his eyes warming again. Then he frowned. "Did we meet somewhere before this? I… remember your face."
I looked down at the clay, wishing I could fall into it. A silly wish, thinking he wouldn't remember anything about me. Photographic memory, as I recalled. Even if Blue and I could fade all the sounds and smells from his tortured mind, his eyes would never betray him like I had.
"No," I said softly. "We probably share some classes, if that's what you mean…"
"Oh. That must have been it then." His head dropped as he started working on a light sketch. The minutes passed in silence as we worked on our respective projects. After awhile I looked up and stretched. My back was cramped, and my hands were covered in white dust.
Ethan smiled at me as he put his pencils away. The hour was ending, and he stood to gather his work. He left the sketch pad out open to his current project. I glanced at it as I folded up the sheets and put the tools in their drawers. My eyes widened.
It was a sketch of a girl bending over a wad of clay, her hands and eyes busy as she worked with unexpected concentration. The contour lines were there, showing fine facial features and messily pulled back hair. She looked almost happy as she worked. I pushed the drawing away, tears nearly forming in my eyes. By the time Ethan returned, I had my face under control.
"Sorry," I told him, fleeing before I could make a bigger fool of myself. Ethan watched me, his drawing pad held loosely in his hands, his face drawn and confused.