Adapted from the film A.I. by Bryan Harrison
And hed forgiven her this omission.
It arrived as he approached her sleeping form, through streams of gold light and in the sprinkles of chattering from birds, or what could be known as birds, from beyond the windows of the place hed known as home, and which hed been cast out of and set into a violent and incomprehensible world; that she may dwell in a love more secure than that he offered.
And hed forgiven her this rejection.
It arrived as he viewed her now, covered from the world, unknowing of the weight of his love for her that had carried him across the expanse of time that he should outlive even those who created him in order to fulfill this moment fated by their genius and arrogance.
And hed forgiven them this disregard.
The new day arrived as he witnessed the sight of her face, gentle beneath her hair in disarray, and the dual emotions of love, and fear of love came upon him in this combination with which Orga had ever to contend. For in love is there not the prospect of losing love and is that not what in the end drives all confinement of the heart.
And hed forgiven all of creation for this ever-troubling aspect of emotion, that he may revel in this most sacred knowing: To know love and to live at once in its heedless grasp.
He knelt beside the bed.
And in her face, not yet awake, is everything that had ever mattered to him.
He dared to reach out and touch her, to move her hair and gaze upon her beauty. He dared in that she may suddenly be revealed as some trick of light or magic and whisk away into the nothing in which hed been prepared to dwell without her. But she did not. She remained, as he parted the hair from her face, and there was a shock of worlds inside him as her eternal face within was manifested before him, the dream and the dreamt of. One.
And this was at last a happy tear that fell and broke upon his cheek as he gazed on the grace of her features. It was a tear for the end of his torment without her. He cried that he had ever lived a moment away from her side and that she had ever looked beyond him for love.
And that she was here at last, and without obstacle.
And then she awakened.
Slowly. Her eyes opened and focused on the world, or what was left of the world. She sees him and her eyes puzzle. She had been lost to time and to him for two thousand years, and now she returns by the most miraculous extraction of life from the river of being itself.
Does she remember? She must. He has looked for her forever.
I found you.
He smiles these words and his face is washed in tears un-programmed and unprecedented.
Her dream seemed like clouds passing at some distance and muffled noises out of her line of sight. There was something before, a backdrop of activity in some unrecognizable expanse. Some constant motion that she cannot recall the nature of. It has passed. She opened her eyes. The face she sees is familiar. Yes. It is the boy. She remembers him. He is washed in gold light and his eyes are mysterious upon her.
Why does he cry?
And his heart, that is not a heart, must be alive for it sang as her eyes awakened upon him and her sleepy smile bloomed in her recognition of him. She lifted an arm from beneath the blanket and wiped her hair from her face, and he rejoiced in every subtle movement, the revelation of her eyes upon his and the unspoken understanding within.
Hi, is what she said to him after awakening from forever. The sound pressed warmly against his love for her and wrested another tear from his being.
Hi, is what he replied to her, moments later as the weight of this passed and allowed him to speak.
She lay her head back in the pillow and her eyes twinkled at his gaze.
I must have dozed off, she said, not remembering her last days. Time has moved on and left her memories on the receding tide of eternity. Yesterday she could have gone shopping or boating on the pond, she does not recall. Nor is she haunted, as in life, by the image of his lonely silhouette retreating in the mirrors of her flight. This is mercifully lost to her forever. It is lost to him also, for he cares no more.
Her eyes troubled just a fraction of time and were curious upon him, How long have I
Would you like some coffee he interrupted her, for she is mortal and he must be gentle with her. just the way you like it?
And her sleepy smile is the reward by which his inquiry was inspired. Yeah Id love a cup, she said, and stretched a silent yawn. Itll wake me up.
He looked upon her still unbelieving. He does not want to leave her, not even for a moment. Duration has finally made sense to him; it is the quantifiable period of time to be tolerated in her absence. He must go now, to be back all the sooner.
Ok, he said finally. Ill be back soon. Wait here, and he is gone.
She does not think of the empty space beside her, or the man that once occupied that space, or one like it. There was another boy in this house, or the house that this one represents, but she does not picture his face or wonder at his whereabouts. These memories are indistinct shapes flitting back and forth against a backdrop of darkness and ancience. She is content to gaze from the window at the sunlit landscape beyond, while her Mecha child dutifully prepares her morning coffee.
She knows how it pleases him to fuss about her.
What a beautiful day.
The coffee is exactly as he remembered it. He worked quickly but carefully. He must see her again as fast as possible, but he is a creature of precision, and her formula must be correctly prepared.
The others watch patiently. They amaze in this connection. Much is remembered, recorded, to never be forgotten. They watch her too, carefully. Not only that she will not become disturbed at the omissions to her life they could not avoid, but in that she is the first who has had another with which to interact, another from her own tattered memories. One with which she had a bond.
Soon the boy is finished and he is running up the staircase like the excited child he was ever in her presence or the prospect thereof. Even in his hurry his footing is sure and not a drop is lost in his path.
She smiled at his return and sat to accept the cup of his offering. She drank of it and then wondered at the perfection of the brew.
You never forget how, do you? she smiled.
I never forget, he answered and sat beside her. He cannot look away. His heart is filled with her at every glimpse of her.
She troubled again, her face pinched as she gazed around the room uncertainly. I must be a little confused, she said, concerned that something was not quite right about this situation. What day is it? she asked, looking to him for the answer to this perplexing anomaly.
His love has required that he brace her from the persistent roar of the real world that has insisted time pass beyond her. He thought.
It is today! he said, and his smile, and the childs light in his face disarmed her and she concerned herself no more with the mundane matters of the day.
What have you been up to? she asked, a tease of reprimand in her voice. Youre a mess.
He let his eyes drop down to his own soiled clothing for just a moment and looked back up at her. And his boyhood is a real thing written in his mischievous grin and the raising of his eyebrows. He shrugged. Stuff?
Perhaps you need a bath? she suggested. He did not contend this idea.
And as the day wore on David thought it was the happiest time of his life. All the problems seemed to have disappeared from his Mommys mind.
There was no Henry.
There was no Martin.
There was no grief.
There was only David.
She washed him in the bathtub and then dressed him in the clothing that had been left on her bed, asking not from whence it came. He was once again the clean little boy he had been designed to be.
David had been warned not to explain anything to Monica lest she become frightened and everything be spoiled, but his journey home belonged only to him so he saw no harm in painting her pictures of things that she would have no memory of.
Her face was blank in confusion at the colorful finger paintings he had rendered of the bearded man with glasses and the dark mysterious looking young fellow in the coat and tails. There was something also that looked like a jail. It was full of color and fury; and was that a woman with protruding breasts; and this beautiful blue rendering, with wings...
where had he seen these things? When? She smiled strangely. What an imaginative little boy he had become.
Teddy joined them then and they played hide and seek as the day dwindled on. The little bear struggled up the staircases and pondered from room to room until he found them and helplessly watched them flee, only to have to find them again.
David and Monicas laughter resounded throughout the house. It was indistinguishable, Mother and Son.
David had never had a birthday party because David had never been born. So they baked a cake and lit some candles. They werent really sure how old David was and they laughed about this. So Mommy thought they should plant a candle for each of the 7 words that had brought him into the world. David did not remember the words but he liked the idea.
When the candles were lit Mommy suggested that David make a wish before he blew them out. He looked at her warmly for a moment.
It already came true, he said, and then blew the candles out in one strong breath.
All but one. He watched it glow for a moment. Perhaps, David thought, if he did not blow this one out perhaps they could
But, by now indeed the windows were beginning to dim. David drew the shades without even needing to be asked. He was a good little boy after all.
Then together, hand in hand they ascended the staircase so his Mommy could lie down.
She had begun to feel tired.
She climbed slowly under the covers. A warm cozy drowsiness had come upon her suddenly.
I really ought to be tucking you in, she scolded herself as she lay down.
David covered her frame gently and his eyes stayed ever on her as she tussled with the blanket and made herself comfortable.
How strange, she said as the oddity of their day together became clear.
He looked upon her, longing to beg her to stay awake, denying this selfishness, feeling the beginning of some new and final link to her world awakening within him; the world of life and death.
I can hardly keep my eyes open, she said, nestling into the covers. I dont know whats come over me. She lay down as he kneeled beside the bed. What a beautiful and fascinating day, she said almost to herself. And his eyes were still upon her, some unspoken longing expressed within the unblinking blue of them. He has always been so faithful; and he has forgiven her something... hasnt he? Somehow she knows this. But what? What?
And her eyes are locked on his. What was it she saw there? There was something, something shed never noticed before. It was warm.
I love you, David, she said suddenly, and he was unprepared, even in this final moment, for those words; and unprepared for the arms that reached out and embraced him gently, and the tender feel of her cheek against his face, and the warmth of her body against his own, and her soft words in repetition, I do love you and the way the sounds of those words filled his soul and crushed his loneliness upon the mantle of their bond.
And his tears are for this moment that can never be again and had been so, so long in coming. His tears are for this final acceptance, and
I have always loved you, she said.
And then closed her eyes.
was the everlasting moment he had been waiting for
they watched in awe and wonder from the secret portals