Walks Away and Forgets
She said just do what comes natural.
So he walked away.
She said what was he doing. Then she said hey. Then she raised her voice and said what was he doing.
He continued to walk away. Then he was gone.
She said who ever heard of such a thing. She said it to no one. She said it to her door. Her mirror. Her sleeping place.
She said what had happened and why did she get all the freaks.
* * *
He forgot about her. But he didn’t forget a different her. Another her he had known long ago. A her who had walked away from him after a year. Walked away but had never really gone. Not as far as he was concerned.
He forgot whomever he had forgotten, and he remembered whomever he could remember. And each of the two groups changed over time.
But some he forgot forever.
He continued walking away, and he continued to forget her. But he would never forget her.
So he tried to find a different activity to occupy his mind that night. Preferably an activity that would not involve any hers.
He arrived at the river, and he walked along the river. He walked along the river until he came to the place where he liked to fish in the river. But he didn’t fish in the river that night. He didn’t have his equipment, and he didn’t have any desire. No desire for fishing, and no desire at all. He sat beside the river where he usually fished and he fished for the first thought that would come along.
* * *
She wondered why she got all the freaks. Who didn’t know what it meant to do what comes natural. She wanted to forget him, but she couldn’t. He was too strange to forget so soon. She had forgotten many others—at least until she remembered them again—and she tried desperately to forget him right then right there so she could get on with the rest of her night, but she couldn’t forget him. She could not forget him no matter how hard she tried. She could not forget that he had walked away from her.
She tried to think what else she could do that night, but she didn’t want to do anything else but to find him and hurt him and love him then walk away from him and forget him like he had certainly forgotten her after walking away unlike any him had ever walked away from her before.
She thought about the other hims who had walked away—and there had been others. There had been others, and they hadn’t forgotten even if they had walked away. They had never forgotten like he most certainly had.
* * *
He had still forgotten her while he watched the fish rise in the river to take insects on the surface. To eat insects on the surface. To eat insects on the surface of the water and then dive to safety below where they could forget about the insects on the surface. Forget about them forever—forever until hunger drove them to the surface once more to eat and forget once more.
He sat by the river and forgot. He forgot what he was supposed to think about. He forgot that he had been fishing for an idea. He forgot, that is, until he got a bite.
The idea first came as a nibble, and he was almost so far gone in his forgetfulness that he didn’t pay it any attention. But then the nibble turned into a solid strike and he had hooked the thought he had been fishing for since he had sat down by the river to fish for thoughts.
It wasn’t his best idea, and parts of the idea he had had many times before. But enough of the idea was new enough and good enough to occupy him for quite some time while he sat along the river no longer forgetting.
* * *
She wondered how long he would forget. She knew he couldn’t forget forever. She hoped he couldn’t forget forever. She hoped he couldn’t forget even another hour. But one thing she was sure: he had forgotten. He had not only walked away, but he had forgotten. Forgotten unlike anyone had ever forgotten her before—even if some of them had also walked away.
She looked for food. She looked for food and she thought that if she could find some food then perhaps she could forget him just as he had forgotten her. But then she realized that no matter how much food she might find, she could never walk away from him. She could forget him as he had certainly forgotten her, but she could never walk away from him as he had certainly walked away from her.
Then she had an idea.
* * *
No fish had risen to the surface of the river to eat insects for quite some time, but he still sat beside the river and thought about his idea. He could spend much time occupied with ideas if he had a good enough idea. This one was good enough. Not great, but good enough.
Then she appeared.
He didn’t notice her as she approached. He didn’t notice many things while he was occupied with a good enough idea. He didn’t notice her approach until she was near enough for him to hear her singing the song he had heard her singing many hours ago when he first met her by the river when he had his fishing equipment and had been fishing.
He no longer forgot about her.
He stopped being occupied by his idea, and he thought about her as she came closer.
She came closer.
She came closer and she stopped singing and she looked him in the eyes.
He watched her look him in the eyes.
She asked him why he had walked away from her.
He said it was what came most naturally to him.
She asked him why he had forgotten about her.
He said he forgot why.
She asked him what he was doing.
He said he was fishing.
She wanted to walk away from him, but she had a hard time finding the right time that would have the greatest effect.
She asked him what he was fishing for. She said he had no equipment.
He said he was fishing for ideas.
She looked at him and wondered what kind of freak he was. She suddenly realized that he just might like it if she walked away.
She asked him if he had had any luck—with the ideas that was.
He said yes.
She turned to walk away, then she turned back and asked if he would forget her.
He said what.
She just walked away and she no longer even cared if he forgot about her or not.
To read more stories in the series, see the Becomes One Hundred Stories page.