He turned the key and smiled

It's been in the news, more people are getting it.

She stared into the blackened angel on his shirt.

It's like a cold at first, just a real bad one. But now people are saying they are forgetting things.

She looked out at the garden as he talked, watched her mother sit down and begin reading a book.

Walk with me

He stepped forward and put out an arm like he wanted to dance, she looked confused. Clouds shifted overhead and she could hear wind rustling the ivy on the house as a gust turned the corner on the house behind her.

You're saying she had it and she forgot

Yes

She looked at the pile of books on the table behind him, the small black computer had changed to a screen saver, photos of trees panned by, switching from picture to picture.

Wait, what do you mean they forget?

She looked at his lips which were slightly chapped and dark, his grandpa glasses, long black hair pulled back except for a few strands, like he did it in the backyard with no mirror to guide him.

They forget people.

That concerned look crossed his face again. The breeze caught his cologne, warm and wood but with a smoky edge, almost sweet. She remembered those eyes, the wrinkles, the feel of his beard, his breath.

Oh god, tears coming up, she tried to put pressure on an itch in her neck under her ear.

Yeah.

She took his arm and he put a calloused hand on her shoulder, turning her away from her mother.

Connie, your mom has been struggling. She's given up on a lot, kind of become a different person, and we are working to help her rediscover.

She was watching the ground, trying to navigate it, careful with her shoes, holding onto his arm, feeling him coil around her as he spoke. She cast him a worried glance, unsure if this closeness was normal. He was watching a car drive by on the street beyond the front yard.

Have you been sick too?

She nodded, confused when he hugged her and held her close, she smelled his hair and it reminded her of citrus, a slightly sour oil in its softness.

Do you remember?

Her other ear began to itch, the one pressed against his shoulder. The feel of his flannel. Her body relaxed and she pushed her arms further around him, driving her hips closer to his. He smiled and let out a sigh of relief.


They were in his black Ford, he had his phone in his hands, texting. She did the same, both had their seatbelts on, looked frantic and excited to leave. The tall brick and ivy home stood between them and her mother who was still in the backyard reading and drinking tea, enjoying the garden and the cloudy early spring day.

Sorry for short notice, we are getting lunch, what do you want?

April's phone was face down on the table.

Connie wrote, catching up with mom, be back a bit later.

Want me to get Mateo from school?

She pressed the sleep button on her phone and then switched it over to silence.

Where are we going

Don't care

He looked at her, worry in his eyes, a slight reluctance.

Do you remember how it ended

No

He turned the key and smiled.

The song blended in with a loop, a squeaking sound like an old wagon and the slap of a snare drum. A bass guitar cut in and began grinding and the dancers felt it in their chest, urging them to move slowly in spite of the quick rhythm. A voice sang about a ritual that one works from their birth until their death, the voices urging them to dance until nothing remains.

Her head was in his lap, bobbing, the sound of her mouth occasionally coming up over the music and his consistent rhythmic purr.

A truck had turned down the access road from the highway and was approaching.

He watched it behind his sunglasses and wondered whether it would turn before it reached them, that it was tall enough the driver might see inside, her head in his lap, figure out what was going on. He didn't warn her.

The truck drove by and he climaxed as the next song started. She gulped and a wave of satisfaction spread across his face, his body relaxing.