Search crews found him on a rock ledge trying to sing. It was something else he’d forgotten. That and his past—growing up, old girlfriends and all the years with me—wiped clean.
At first it was a tragicomic farce. ‘Robert, you say?’
‘I don’t remember.’
‘I know darling,’ I’d say. ‘I know.’
Later, when he understood, he’d get annoyed if he thought I was trying to feed him memories—old songs, photos, anything. So I banished them. The house became blank in their absence.
Until, on my way home one evening, I detoured via the shops. I tried on shoes, bought new stockings and sampled perfume offered by a girl with a rock-hard smile.
When I walked into the house he sat up. I’d taken to pecking him on the cheek as if he remembered. As I did he breathed long and hard, smelling the new scent. Suddenly memories began cascading from him.
They weren’t of me.
I took them, regardless.