I’ll Remember Too
A Short Story by
I wonder now, looking back over the valley of so many years, if I thought there was an unlimited supply of mornings like that, waking with the scent of incense in my nostrils, feeling the soft touch of sleeping fingers on my back? Could I have been that naïve, that unaware of how precious such a morning can be? Entwined bodies, living in a paradise, ruled by instinct rather than practicality, pretending love because caring came so easily, where just about everything was wrapped in a beautiful cloak of temporary existence? Somehow, I must have known the incense would burn away and the cloak would be used to fend off the all too cold world I had known before and would certainly know again.
But, on that morning, I held eventual reality at bay; I would not let it intrude into my world, nor into Reyna’s; I had promised her this day and all that went with it and I meant for her to have it. Perhaps in some distant time she could remember it, feel the smooth softness of silk against her skin, hear the music and the laughter, blink at the flashing lights, be uncompromisingly beautiful again, young and free.
Perhaps I should go back to the beginning. I came to Malaysia to oversee the building of the new American Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, a beautiful concept that had existed in plans for nearly ten years but was finally in full scale construction. The chief architect arranged for me to rent a small bungalow not far from the site. We lovingly referred to the new building as ‘The Pink Palace’, and, in truth, it was a beautiful rendition of Malayan society and architecture, with sprawling grounds, arched entries and hints of minarets. I was recently estranged from my wife because she just did not want to spend another year in another foreign country, no matter how beautiful it was.
I had a lot of free time, especially in the evenings. I like music and I hated Malaysian TV. I didn’t understand the language and there was not enough sex and violence to make it interesting enough to just turn down the volume and watch the video, so I became a regular at the many hotel lounges that featured live entertainment groups. I was such a regular at one hotel, the Equatorial, that I was on a first name basis with a quartet of Filipino musicians who called themselves ‘Los Pinchos’. I have no idea what the name meant, but they had a large and loyal following in the city. Every night they would do alternating acts between the lobby lounge and the formal dining room; they were the featured group. There was also a back-up group. Originally that was a duo of Malays that played piano and harp.
We started bumming around together, the Pincho’s and I. When they would finish their last set, around midnight, we would head out to the food stall fair and eat like lumberjacks and drink like crazy people. On Sunday mornings they would drag me along to the big Catholic Church for 11 o’clock mass and they would mix and mingle with all the other Filipinos in the city. It was more a social gathering than a religious rite and it generally resulted in us going somewhere to visit someone for the afternoon. Eventually the guitars would come out and the whole thing would turn into a large bash. I loved it.
A few weeks later, the Malayan group was discontinued and they brought in a new singer. She was Filipina and she was accompanied by a guitarist and a piano player but the group was only called by her name; Reyna.
How can I tell you about Reyna? What if, when I say she was beautiful, your mind comes up with an entirely different set of appearance values? If I say she was accomplished and extrovert, do we mean the same things? But she was all those things. I can tell you she had a voice that covered a range that was truly extraordinary, a voice that had subtle moods and tones to it that she could amplify at will. I can tell you she had a complexion that was as smooth as damp silk and nearly the color of overly creamed coffee. Her eyes were black as night and sparkled in the beam of the spotlight where she spent so much of her life. And if I said that she was the most exciting, sensuous creature I had ever known, would that convey any meaning?
I could also tell you that, between and below her small, firm breasts there were three tiny ex.’s cut into her skin. What they meant and how they got there, I have no idea and she never volunteered an explanation. The things we knew about each other were discovered, not admitted.
Reyna’s accompanists were very much into each other and didn’t seem to require much outside stimulation. Consequently, she started joining the Pincho’s and me on our nightly forays into the inter-city. She didn’t eat as much, nor drink as much, but she held her own. She had an infectious laugh that she used often. She was neither a prude nor a tramp, but she always displayed class, an indefinable quality that set her apart from her jeans and tennis shoe appearance, off stage. To say that I was attracted to her would be totally misleading, it went way beyond that.
About the fourth of fifth time she came along with us, after we had eaten corn soup and soft bread, drank four or five beers each, she motioned for me to follow her away from the table. We went to the outside alley, where cars and taxis waited patiently for their late night diners to return. “I need a lover,” she said simply. “Are you interested?”
I nearly laughed, but something told me to not allow that to happen regardless of what I had to do to suppress it. For a second, any rational way of answering her escaped me, although when I thought about it later there were hundreds of ways I might have handled it better than I did. “Of course I am,” I blundered.
“Good,” she smiled, “I’m glad that’s settled. I’ll go home with you, if that’s okay.”
At first it was almost totally physical. Everything was thunderous and short and left us breathless and limp. I was in awe of her power and possibly a little afraid of her indifference, but blissfully content. Everything that was remotely feminine she was, except for that tiny spot of tenderness that she kept hidden from me.
We were always together. I learned that was part of my role; to be the one with her, to be the outward sign that she was occupied. It helped to keep the others away, and that is what she wanted and needed. But somewhere, somehow, that began to change.
Tuesdays were her ‘make-up’ day, when she would have her hair done and get her nails manicured. She started that day early and she usually finished about noon. I was honestly shocked when she showed up at the building site on one of those Tuesdays with a bag of McDonald’s hamburgers and two chocolate milk shakes. We sat in the shade of a cement mixer and had lunch while dozens of workmen walked by and basked in the temporary beauty she brought to our cluttered, muddy world.
Then, little by little, other things changed too. Normally when we walked together she stayed a half step ahead of me. At first it was only when we were among friends, but later it became a constant. She hung onto my left arm, tightly, with both hands often. We began missing midnight eating sessions with the Pinchos, Reyna saying she was tired and just wanted to go home. Then she began asking me for correct pronunciations of some English words as she went through thick notebooks that contained the lyrics to hundreds of songs. I knew every number in her repertoire before long and if she decided to change numbers in a set, she always asked me for my opinion. Lying on the sofa, bare feet and her hair in rollers, she would practice lyrics for hours on end. And I watched and listened, rapt in her simple loveliness.
The Pincho’s were always the headliner group; there was no question of that. They were singularly talented, handsome and performed with a great presence, either on the small stage of the lobby bar or strolling in the main dining room. Rick, their lead guitarist was a musical marvel, although he never learned to read music. He was just old enough that a few grey hairs were starting to bunch up at his temples and he had a look about him that drove women, especially middle-aged, neglected, and usually wealthy women to do things they would normally not do.
Eddie, the base player, also had a wandering eye, but never the magnetism Rick had. But, the two of them, along with Manolo, the rhythm guitarist and Chico, the vocalist, formed a solid foundation of talent that allowed them to perform at a world class level. I began buying tapes of classical guitar music and some of the legends of rock guitar and giving them to Rick. Those Sunday gatherings I told you about became a test bed of new music for him. You would see him in a corner, huddled around a boom box listening carefully, and then, he would play, measure by measure, what he had heard. Eventually, Eddie would join him and in the course of half an hour or so they could come up with an arrangement of just about anything they wanted.
Reyna began to let loose of me at these kinds of functions. She would go off with the other women and talk about babies, or whatever it was they talked about, always in Tagalog. I don’t mean that she deserted me, but for some reason she no longer felt exposed or vulnerable, I guess. Once or twice in the course of an afternoon she would come by, touch my arm, and be gone again. When it was time to go home, she would take my hand and off we would go.
Making love became a long and leisurely thing, devoid of the urgent, seismic tremors that had marked our beginning. Surprisingly enough, it didn’t happen all that often because our schedules were just so different. I was usually off to work by 8AM and seldom home by 5PM. When I came home she would be gone. She would prepare for her shows, six nights a week, by going through about an hour of make up, costume layouts, music set-ups, etc. After that they would rehearse for an hour and be ready for his first show in the dining room at 7PM. She did one ninety minute show every night, then a 45 minute show in the lobby, have a short break for dinner and then she would do the warm up half hour for the Pinchos just before eleven.
I would come home, have something to eat, sit down and relax for a while and then shower, shave and dress and get to the hotel in time to see her last set, and then we usually stayed for the Pincho’s show and she would drink an Irish coffee. It looked glamorous, but it was hard work for both of us.
Malaysia was booming. I couldn’t even begin to tell you about all the major construction going on in KL. Among other things, they were building the world’s tallest buildings (at the time), the Petronis Towers. The city was chock full of well paid construction people and they required cheap hotel rooms, hearty meals and hour upon hour of entertainment. It was almost inevitable that a movie industry would sprout amid all that opportunity.
Nearly every day would bring some invitation to some event or other into my mail basket, located in a gutted out mobile home and set up on blocks inside the compound. Normally, I’d look at them and toss them into the waste basket, or if they seemed to be something really worth while I’d give them away to one of the various foremen on the site. But one came, one day, that was just a little too unusual to pass up, and it was addressed to me personally. It was for a movie premiere that would be held at the Selangor Theater, complete with red carpet, stars, television and throngs of adoring fans. It was for a Friday night, two weeks from then. I slipped the invitation into my desk drawer and dismissed it from my mind.
A night or two later, I picked up Reyna after her last set and she just wanted to go home. When we got back to the bungalow, I fixed her a cold chicken sandwich while she flopped on the sofa and kicked off her shoes. “The General Manager of the hotel received an invitation to the movie premier today,” she announced.
I bought her the sandwich on a tray, along with a big glass of orange juice and ice, her favorite drink. “Well,” I said, rather scornfully, “I received my invitation two days ago, so la de dah.”
“You’re joking,” she said, astonished.
“Seriously,” I said. “Engraved with my name, the whole bit.”
“And we’re going, of course?” she gasped.
“I haven’t replied,” I said, sort of dejectedly. “I just assumed you would have to work, so I threw it in my desk drawer. Would you really want to go?”
She was off the sofa like a shot. “Oh God, yes,” she nearly screamed. “It will be the most glamorous thing in the city for years to come. The President will be there, perhaps even the Sultan of Selangor too. It will be fantastic.”
“What about work?” I objected.
“I’ll have to hire that Malaysian team, I suppose,” she said. You could almost see the wheels in her pretty head turning. “I don’t think that should be a problem, unless they are already booked somewhere. I’ll call them tomorrow.” She had forgotten all about the chicken sandwich, but she was drinking the orange juice in great gulps. “What on earth can I wear?” She was imagining at full tilt now. “You’ll have to rent a tuxedo; you need to do that right away, there will be a big demand.”
I could see that she was totally engrossed in this project; there would be no turning back now. “I can’t wear any of my costumes, everyone has seen those too many times. I have to have something new and original.”
I sat down on the sofa and pulled her down alongside me. I had never seen her so excited about anything before. “Okay,” I said, very maturely, “here’s the deal. You eat your sandwich and tomorrow you can find a dressmaker and I’ll pick up the tab for the ensemble. How’s that?”
She took a bite of the sandwich. “I want you to do it,” she said, very coldly. “I’ll have Minh, the costume woman from the hotel do the dressmaking, but I want you to pick it out; color, design, everything.”
“Oh hon,” I hesitated, “I don’t think that’s such a good idea. What do I know about fashion and materials, things like that? You should have what you want, not what I want.”
She looked at me in a way that, for some odd reason, nearly broke my heart. “But you know me,” she said simply, “better than anyone else, maybe better than I know myself.”
The next afternoon, one I had to take off from work, she introduced me to Minh. Minh was mixed Chinese Malay, apparently attuned to both worlds. “Just remember, I don’t like black,” she laughed as she left us alone.
“Is that true?” I asked Minh after Reyna had gone.
“Yes,” Minh chuckled, “she won’t wear it. It’s a shame too, she would really look good in black and it has so many possibilities.
“So what else does she look good in?” I wondered aloud. “It seems to me she looks stunning in everything you’ve done for her.”
“White!” Minh laughed, “But we will have to be very careful that it doesn’t look like a Bridal dress. We can do that with accessories though. You’ll be in a formal tuxedo, I assume?”
“If I can find one,” I laughed.
“I’ll take care of that too,” Minh winked. “Stand up, let me get some measurements.”
“I’m a 42 long, right off the rack,” I announced.
“We’ll see about that,” Minh corrected me.
We looked through a stack of books with pictures of formal attire, gowns, tuxedos, dinner jackets, covering just about every aspect of dressing for the special occasion. Nothing seemed quite right; I couldn’t see Reyna in any of those pictures. As far as I was concerned, a tux is a tux, I could care less, but I wanted Reyna to be spectacular and, in a way, I was a little miffed at her for dropping the responsibility in my lap. I was getting towards my wits end and ready to give up when Minh sensed my frustration. She patted my hand and got up and walked to her cluttered desk, opened a lower drawer and took out a small stack of photographs. She shuffled through them and finally selected three and brought them to where we had been seated. “These are my own creations,” she said, quietly. “Strictly for royalty; but for Reyna, I’ll make an exception.”
I looked at the top photograph. “Yes, that’s the one.”
Reyna was like a kid waiting for Christmas. Every day she would check on the progress of her dress and every two or three days Minh would allow her to try it on and do a tuck here or there. She bought three necklaces before she finally settled on something that could rival her eyes; and then there were earrings, a bracelet, etc., etc., etc.
There is so little that I’ll ever forget about that day that I could live it again for you minute by minute, but most of it wouldn’t make sense to you. Reyna was still asleep when I got up late; I had no intention of even trying to go to work and told everyone to just keep things moving and hold all emergencies until at least Saturday. I went into the kitchen and put on a pot of coffee, popped a couple pieces of bread into the toaster and sat at the table and read an old newspaper. It was already too warm outside, but typical of Malaysia. It would get progressively hotter as the day wore on, then in the afternoon the storm clouds would gather, there would be a torrential rain and then begin a gradual cool down towards evening.
My schedule was remarkably uncluttered for the day; I probably could have gone in to work except for the fact that once on site I wouldn’t be able to extract myself for several hours. It was best just to stay away.
I had picked up the tux the day before, paid one of the guards at the compound to spit-shine my black shoes and I’d practiced tying a bow tie enough times so that I could make it come out looking fairly professional. All I had to do was to shower, shave and make arrangements for a taxi to pick me up at the house, go to the hotel where Reyna would dress under Minh’s watchful, critical eye, and we would go from there to the theater.
I woke Reyna up about 10:30 and she went into an immediate dither stage. She took me through the routine of the day at least a half dozen times, each time adding something she had left out of the previous version. By noon she seemed confident I understood everything I supposedly needed to know and she calmed down enough to stop running from one end of the house to the other, at least. She asked me to call for a taxi, and I did. When it showed up at the front gate and honked, she flopped down on my lap and put her arms around me and kissed me, very tenderly. She looked deep into my eyes and started to say something. “I……..I….” The taxi honked again, and she ran out the door.
The traffic was horrible. I thought we might be a bit more than fashionably late if we didn’t start making some reasonable progress soon. We had about ten minutes when we pulled up into the reception lane of the Equatorial. Inside the lobby I could see several small groups milling around, apparently waiting for their own taxis or limos. I told the driver to just wait; I’d go in and fetch Reyna.
It was a good thing that Rick and Eddie had formed a sort of barricade around Reyna, people were crowding up next to her, she looked that lovely. Minh’s oyster white dress seemed to glow, and Reyna’s glow put it to shame. I had never seen her with her hair done anyway except long and flowing, but somehow they had combed it tightly to her head and to the back into a rolling twist. Her neck was as long and graceful as a swan.
When she saw me her eyes filled with tears, I had no way of knowing why, but I guessed it was because she was happy or excited. I went for the handkerchief in my pocket and dabbed at her eyes. “We can’t have you ruining your make up before we even start,” I whispered to her. “You look absolutely beautiful.” She blinked out the remainder of the tears and caught them in the hankie.
“I’ll be strong,” she whispered back. I thought it was a strange remark, but we didn’t have time to think about it then.
Huge spotlights danced across the sky in swinging arcs, television personalities poised in little groups ready to descend on the next celebrity couple to walk down the red carpet, flashbulbs exploded; it was really quite a sight that awaited us at the theater. I stepped out of the cab and held the door for Reyna; she stooped a little and took my arm as she exited. As I reached in for her, she put up her hand up and tussled my hair. “I want you to look they way I like you,” she giggled, “Not the way they think you should.””
An audible “ooooohhh” greeted her, followed a few seconds later by a smattering of applause as some of the crowd recognized her. I handed my invitation to a bellman wearing a uniform that would have put any admiral to shame and he quickly disappeared towards an announcer’s booth.
Reyna beamed as we walked towards the entrance, waving daintily at friendly faces in the throng. It was my name on the invitation, but under my name I had written ‘accompanying Ms. Reyna De Santos’. As we reached the red velvet ropes I heard the announcer blare out, “From the Lobby Lounge of the Equatorial Hotel, please welcome,” and he paused, “Reyna.” I chuckled under my breath.
We made small talk with several people in the lobby, watched as the President and his wife were seated and then we found our own seats and waited for the lights to dim. Reyna poked me in the ribs and pointed towards the balcony box. “The Sultan,” she said, softly.
When the movie finished, all the actors, directors, producers and just about anyone else who had anything to do with it, were brought up to the stage with endless rounds of applause, silly three minute speeches and expressions of thanks to their mothers, fathers and each other. My hands were tired of clapping. When we finally left the theater, the crowds were gone, the spotlights extinguished, the television crews vanished and people walked quickly towards parking lots or queued up on the curb to flag a taxi. We ended up in a smoking old Datsun with lumpy seats and one headlight, but it was the next one in line. “Home?” I asked Reyna.
“No, back to the hotel,” she smiled.
The lobby bar was jammed to the limits, but the entertainment manager saw us when we walked in and had a table set next to the short stage where the Pincho’s were doing their last set. I ordered Irish coffees for both of us and we tried to sit back and look inconspicuous, but it didn’t work well.
“We have a special treat for you tonight,” Rick spoke into the wireless microphone, “direct from her appearance at the movie premier earlier this evening, our own, Reyna.”
She arose, smiling, and took the short step up onto the stage, waving to the room.
“It was so exciting,” she gushed. “Just everyone was there. Oh, such beautiful dresses and so many celebrities.” She worked the crowd, making little jokes about the champagne tickling her nose, the fat old men and their lovely nieces, she was in her element. She chatted along like that for a few minutes, and then, as I had seen her do a hundred times, she took the excitement level back down, slowly and subtly. Rick and Eddie seemed to be playing random notes, but before long they took on a pattern, although if it was an introduction, it was not one I had heard before. “Can I do one song for you?” she asked the crowd. They clapped quietly but sincerely. “For all of you then, and to someone special to me, this is an old Elvis Presley song; I hope it has meaning for you, because it has so much for me.”
I knew the song of course, as soon as she started. It was called, “I’ll remember you” and although it might have been Elvis’ before, she owned it after two bars.
‘I’ll remember you, long after this – endless summer has gone – I’ll be lonely – oh so lonely – living only – to remember you.”
‘I’ll remember too – your voice as soft as the warm summer breeze – your sweet laughter – mornings after, ever after – I’ll remember too”……. and her voice cracked, she caught a sob in her throat and she couldn’t go on. Rick improvised a riff and bridged from the second to the last verse. It gave Reyna time to recover and she finished the song to a tremendous applause.
In the taxi, on the way home, she curled up in the seat and hung desperately to my arm, not saying a word. There was a curled up envelope stuck in the grill of the front gate, obviously some notes they had to leave for me on the day’s events and what I should expect from tomorrow. “Don’t be too long,” Reyna said, “and bring me a glass of juice when you come up.”
There wasn’t anything in the notes that couldn’t have waited until tomorrow, but I made a couple of mental to-do lists in my mind, took off my jacket, tie and cummerbund and laid them across the chair in the sitting room. I fixed Reyna’s juice and went upstairs.
She was in bed, a sheet pulled up a little higher than her waist, and she had undone her hair; she appeared to be sleeping so I quietly went into the bathroom, brushed my teeth and finished undressing. I slipped silently into bed but left a dim night light burning. In a few moments, Reyna crawled over, put her hand and arm around my waist and held tight and put her head on my chest. We didn’t move, there didn’t seem to be any reason to. “Stay awake,” she said, “don’t go to sleep until I have. Just hold me.”
I didn’t go to sleep; not for a long time anyway. Long enough to know that she had stopped her tears, long enough for the sniffles to pass, long enough for her breathing to slow and become deep, long draughts. I caressed her hair and finally gave in to sleep too.
Little did I know that our world was so terribly close to ending that night. In the three weeks that followed, Reyna mad a desperate effort to appear as though everything was normal and fine, but I knew, somehow, it wasn’t.
It was on a Friday night; I got home late, after 7PM. The job was winding down but there were myriad little things that needed attention. The bungalow seemed quieter somehow, empty, but I shook off the feeling and dug a beer out of the fridge, opened it and sat down at the kitchen table.
Two minutes later, I heard a car stop at the front gate and I looked out. It was Rick, dressed in Mexican costume; he had obviously just come from the hotel. I opened the door for him; he nodded, and then walked to the cabinet where I kept my liquor, in the sitting room. He grabbed a bottle from the top shelf and two bourbon glasses and came back to the kitchen.
“That’s a $40 bottle of Woodford’s twelve-year-old Reserve you just grabbed there, old buddy,” I chuckled, “I was saving that in case the ambassador ever came over for a drink.”
“Well, I got a news flash for you,” Rick smiled, “he isn’t coming, and even if he did he doesn’t care a monkey’s ass about you. I, on the other hand, love you like a brother.” He twisted the top off, pulled the cork and poured each of us a full glass. “To better days,” he said, lifting his glass.
“What’s this all about?” I said, feeling a growing knot in the pit of my stomach.
Rick’s face was as stern as stone, yet it was all there to read.
“She’s gone, isn’t she?” I heard myself saying.
Rick nodded. “Left this morning.”
“To where?” I was starting to shake.
“Does it make any difference?” Rick replied.
“It does to me,” I pleaded.
“Yeah,” Rick breathed, “I figured it would.” He hesitated for a few seconds. “She’s on her way to Dubai,” he said. “She’s going to be a headliner; possibly pick up a recording contract; this could be a very big deal for her.”
I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t think, I couldn’t do anything. “Why didn’t she tell me?” I wondered.
“Why?” Rick scowled, “So you could be just as miserable for the last three weeks as she has been? You are missing the big picture here, my brother; she cared about you, cared enough to protect your feelings if she could. It is the one last thing she could do for you.”
I took a drink of the whiskey, about half of it, in fact. I didn’t know what to say.
“You know something?” Rick said. I shrugged. “When we are up there on that stage or walking around with a mike in our hand, it has nothing to do with the music. It’s all about the personality. We sign for people who don’t know the difference between a B-Flat and a golf-cart. We’re the ‘special of the day’, and we’re for sale. You can buy us a drink and get a hand shake and a pat on the back, or you can go for the big kill, try to get the whole ball of wax. And we can’t say no; at least not totally. Why? Because you have to love us, or we fail. We try to stay away from it as much as we can, but you can’t avoid it all. We get and use props, things that put a fence up between them and us, and sometimes it works. Sometimes it works too well.”
“How long has she known she was leaving?”
“She got the telegram the same day as the movie premier.”
That made sense, at least, but I still couldn’t get my head around it all. “Good God, Rick,” I said, helplessly, “What am I going to do now?”
“Well, that parts easy,” he smiled again, “you’re going to turn drawings on blue paper into magnificent buildings, because that’s what you do better than anybody else. I’m going to play the guitar, make love to desperate old housewives and try to stay sane long enough to get the point where I can die in peace. Reyna is going to do what she has to do, just like everyone else.”
Rick drained his glass and then refilled it, and mine too. “I’ve known Reyna for a long time, my friend, but I’ve never known her like she’s been since she found you. She became the woman she always wanted to be with you, at least for a short time. I don’t know if you realize how precious that was to her. She gave back in the only way she knew how, to let you see who she was, and the freedom to be what she is. I’d say you got the best of the bargain.”
“Aren’t you supposed to be working?” I wondered.
“Manolo can handle it,” Rick smiled, “he’s getting strong enough to lead in any situation. I’ll probably lose him one of these days. If we can stay upright for a few more hours, they’ll be here. We won’t leave you alone, at least not tonight.”
“I don’t know how to get over this,” I admitted. “Just try to forget? Is that what I’m supposed to do?”
“Well,” Rick thought for a moment, “You could do that; it might take a long time, but you could probably forget her. I wouldn’t though,” he added quickly, “because if you forget the hurt and pain, you’re going to have to give up the good parts too, and I’d think she means too much to you to allow for that. She’s not going to forget, I’ll tell you that, for sure.”
“What makes you so sure,” I demanded.
“She already told you that,” Rick said, firmly. “We get requests every day, every set, from people who like the way a song sounds, or a melody, or a beat. Except for Happy Birthday, they usually don’t mean much. But Reyna requested to do that song that night, especially for you; not for us to do it, but she wanted to do it. And, what did it say?”
“I’ll remember you,” I said the words, but I nearly couldn’t get them out, they hurt that badly.
“So, it’s your choice,” Rick chuckled. “You can forget or you can remember. Pick one.”
“Oh Reyna,” I heard my mind saying as though she could hear me, “we knew this day was coming; we knew almost from the very first. We knew when the walls between us were crumbling that the cost was skyrocketing every day, but we kept on. But forget you? I can’t bear that either.”
Rick was looking at me, waiting for my answer. “I’ll remember too.” I said
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