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Story Notes: This is thinly disguised autobiography. It also is probably unrelated to the backstory I use in "Dance of Chameleon and Mirror", "Only Human" and "The Grave." A different take on a certain relationship.

Every so often I dream of him.

It would make more sense if I dreamed of him now, or as it was at the end, full of bitterness, rage and betrayal. When I think of him when I'm awake that's all I can remember. Treacherous, childish, vicious thing, spirit of chaos, untrustworthy and malicious. That's all I should feel about him. That's all I should want to feel.

In my dreams, I still love him.

Two hundred years fall away in the moment of a dream, and all's forgiven, or never happened in the first place. And I remember what he was like, then. When he was genuinely funny instead of mocking and cruel, when he seemed to give a damn what people like me thought. When we walked together on a dozen different worlds, when I'd wake up and he'd be there still, lying next to me-- that he cared enough to stay even though he didn't sleep and he couldn't handle being bored. When I thought he'd be there in my life until I died.

I don't want to remember this. I was wrong, I was stupid, and I paid the price. I know better now.

There are still moments when I catch myself wanting to tell him something, remembering a private joke we shared or an interest we had and wanting to point something out to him-- but when I'm awake they don't last. A second or two and then I remember that I hate him, and why. And I have good reasons to hate him. I don't hate easily. I live too long to hold grudges for trivial reasons.

What he did to me is unforgiveable. I don't want to think there's a part of me that wants to forgive him.

They're only dreams, but dreams are a window into the deepest parts of the soul. There must be something in there. Some part of me that wishes things had happened differently, some part of me that wants to reconcile. Two hundred years and he looks damn near the same, but I stopped seeing the form he wears in terms of being attractive or unattractive a long time ago. It's not having him come back into my life, preying on my dearest friend, and it's not his looks. For some reason some part of me must want to forgive him.

But I can't do that. He deserves my hate, if anyone does. I can't wish that away, even if it hurts. Even if I wish it could be different.

I don't want to dream that I still love him.

I don't want to let go of the hate.


"give away the stone
let the oceans take and transmutate this cold and fated anchor.
give away the stone
let the waters kiss and transmutate these leaden grudges into gold.
let go."
Tool, "The Grudge"



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