Something about our conversation has my stomach twisting with nausea. There are things he doesn’t remember from our past, which has my mind spinning with questions. Are his memories being wiped again? Or did he choose not to open that door? Both ideas hurt my chest, and I secretly hope it is the first one. If he is choosing not to open the door with our old memories before I became Psyche…I want to know why. Need to know why. Why doesn’t he want to remember?
“You, me, Ate, Eris, Dolus, and a few others went to that play about Oedipus,” I say, noticing the confusion on his face. I sigh, shaking my head. “Nevermind.”
“Aren, I wasn’t there,” he says, shaking his head before sighing. “I think someone might have been impersonating me.”
I frown, walking away from Eros. No. It was you. I know it was you. I am smarter than that, even back then. I would have known something was off. Eros grabs my arm before yanking me into his chest. “Let’s get one thing clear, Aren. I would never forget a moment with you. So if I don’t remember something, it means I wasn’t there.”
I push myself away from him. “You did, though. You forgot about me. For a long time. You forgot about me.”
“Aren, you…you know why,” he says, frowning. “I didn’t have a choice.”
I wrap my arms around my stomach, frowning. “Maybe…you still don’t remember everything.”
Eros tilts my chin up, so I look him in the eyes. His bright blue eyes scanning, searching for something. “You can use your powers on me. You have my permission. You tell me.”
I blink in surprise. “Lykos…”
He takes my hands, putting them on either side of his head. “Tell me if I am forgetting something.”
“Okay,” I whisper. I see my eyes glow in the reflection of his own. There is a tingle in the back of my head before everything goes dark. I am standing in the void, slowly walking forward. It always takes a few seconds before the images of another’s mind start to reveal themselves.
Colours merge into pictures and then into videos. I smile as I see the Eros, Hedone, and I. Soon our twins will have a place in his memories as well. My heart does a little flip at the thought. It takes a few minutes until I make it through the newer memories and reach the old. I frown as I come across a door. The only time I see this is when memories have been manipulated, locked away, or forgotten. I study it.. Those are our memories…our past. Why hasn’t he opened it? Pulling out from his mind, I step away from him. My emotions overcome me.
“What’s wrong?” he asks.
I frown at him. “You…um…you haven’t tried to remember. Have you?”
“What do you mean?” he asks, tilting his head. “Tried to remember what?”
“Our past…” I whisper disappointedly.
Eros brushes my hair back over my shoulder. “I’d rather look to our future.”
I frown. “There…there were some good moments, and you…don’t want to remember. Do you?”
He raises a brow. “Better than now?”
I pull away from him, walking over to our bed. “Nevermind.”
“Aren…” Eros sighs heavily. “I don’t want to remember because I don’t want to relive and remember what we lost.”
“So I’m the only one to live with that burden?” I ask, my shoulders dropping. Usually, I don’t mind knowing everyone’s history, but this…I thought it was going to be something we shared. Eros comes up behind me, sighing again as he wraps his arms around me. I push him away, frustrated and hurt. “Goodnight, Lykos.”
He grabs my arm once more. “Clio, I made a lot of mistakes back then. Not just with you, but with everyone. They told me what I did, but, I don’t remember. I must have sealed it off because…how could I deserve any kind of happiness after what I’ve done? I’m scared to open that door. What if it never closes again?”
“I understand, Lykos,” I whisper. It is unfair of me to push this on him. I will just have to remember all of this on my own.
He turns me gently to face him. “I don’t think you do. I hurt a lot of people when I was young and stupid and shot people just for shits and giggles. They called me cruel, they called me evil. That’s also locked up in my head.”
“I remember. I remember everything,” I whisper, my lip trembling. My memory is a gift but also a curse. There are things I wish to forget, but I will never get the opportunity to lock them away as he has.
“I know you do,” he says, brushing my cheek. “It’s your curse.”
I nod again, turning away from him. “I’m tired…”
Eros is silent for a moment before speaking once more, “If you ask it of me, I’ll open it.”
I shake my head, climbing into bed and burying my face into the pillow. “I can’t ask that of you. I know what it’s like to remember things you don’t want to. It’s fine, Eros.”
He crawls into bed with me, pulling me against his chest. “Please, I need you to ask it. I won’t do it if you don’t ask. I can’t.”
“I can’t do that to you,” I whisper.
“Aren…I can’t open it unless you ask,” he whispers harshly. “I’m too much of a fucking coward.”
I sit up. “You are not a coward!”
He closes his eyes tightly. “Aren, I am because you are so much stronger than me, and I can’t even open a locked door in my own head without you asking me to.”
I place a hand on his cheek. “I don’t want to hurt you.”
“Aren, you can’t make me hate myself more than I already do,” he whispers.
My eyes start to water. I hate it when he says that. It breaks me every time he admits it. I wish he could see the reasons I love him.
“Honey…” I whisper.
Eros kisses me softly. “I have one redeemable quality, and I’m looking right at it.”
“I love you for you,” I whisper, kissing him harder.
“That makes one of us,” he says, smiling wanly.
I kiss him hard, pouring my love into each kiss. “I love you. I love you. I love you.”
He smiles shakily at me. “Aren. Ask it.”
I gulp, scanning his eyes to make sure he is okay before whispering, “Can you open that door?”
“Okay…I can open it for you.” He nods, a single tear rolling from his eye. I kiss him hard, running my fingers through the back of his hair. He laughs shakily. “What are you doing?”
“Kissing you,” I whisper. Appreciating you. Loving you.
“I thought…don’t you want me to open the door?” He laughs. “I need focus for that.”
“Give me one last kiss first,” I whisper, continuing to kiss him. He smirks, kissing me deeper, his arm wrapping behind my lower back. We roll in the bed until I am under him. I wrap my arms around his neck, deepening the kiss.
“Aren,” Eros growls.
I look up at him. “Yes?”
“I’m scared,” he whispers.
I hold him tightly. “I’ll be here for you. Whatever you need. I’m here.”
Eros nods, closing his eyes before laying beside me. He stays silent for a moment before squeezing my hand. “It’s a jumble. A flurry of images and half-impressions. I can’t…can’t make out most of them.”
Crawling on top of him, I place my hands on the sides of his head. “Trust me?”
“With everything,” he says with a small smile.
My eyes glow, and I enter his mind once more. The images thrown at me are a jumble, and I try to sort through them for him. I hear my husband sniffle.
“Clio…” His voice cracks.
I kiss him softly even though I am in his mind. “I’m here.”
“I don’t want to remember,” he whispers weakly. I pull back from his mind, seeing him in front of me. There is a tear rolling down his cheek, and I feel horrible for putting him in this position.
“Then…then close it.”
He shakes his head. “You asked. I always do anything for you. My soul.”
I pull away from him. “I don’t want to hurt you.”
“Aren.” He blinks. I shake my head, continuing to crawl away from him. “Where are you going?”
“Can’t…can’t hurt you,” I whisper.
He holds his arms open for me. “The only way you can hurt me is to leave me.”
“But the memories…” I whisper, crawling back over to him.
Eros gulps. “How about we take it one memory at a time?”