She took my hand and we walked together to a gazebo in the redwood-fenced back yard. Its interior was dark and cool beneath a thick covering of pink honeysuckle, and we sat down inside together on its padded bench.
"This place smells as sweet as you feel," I murmured in her ear.
She kissed me, a soft lingering kiss. "Once long ago," she told me, "when you first became a warrior, I met you in a place very much like this. There was already a lot you weren't allowed to remember; you didn't remember who I was, or what we'd been, but you sensed it at a deeper level. It was not a happy time. Close your eyes and look with me."
I did, and remembered. I may have had my memory unblocked, but there was an incredible lot of it, most of which I would never get around to looking at. It was background, very little of which needed to be revisited. But this did. Seeing it again tapped an area of grief that, unlooked at, would have continued to lie there, tainting our happiness with ancient loss.
"You do remember," she whispered.
I nodded. Till then the span of our separation had been an abstract concept to me. Now I felt the extent of it, the immensity. I saw myself reaching out to her in a myriad of mystical moments of loneliness, leaving a trail of tears that spanned the sky. And I'd never truly forgotten her, even though all memory of before was locked away, had had to be."