Hannigram + temporary amnesia? 🙃
Will woke to a blur of sun blotting out his vision. Sheer curtain panels fluttered across an open window. There was a strange tightness in his cheek, and an ache that spread from shoulder to chest. When he tried to move, he realized his leg was broken.
“Hello?” he said, absent, looking down at the splint holding his leg in a stiff line. The room was papered in a delicate floral pattern. He had never seen it before.
A man–strangely handsome, sharply dressed, elegant–entered through the open door. “You’re awake,” he said with a half-smile.
“Who are you? Where am I?”
The man cocked his head and frowned. “You don’t remember?”
“Do you at least know who you are?”
“And what is the last thing you remember?”
Will closed his eyes and searched his well of memory. Dogs and wet grass. The sputter of his ancient coffee machine. Wolf Trap in all its quiet, unchanging brilliance.
“I went to sleep in my own bed. I was in Wolf Trap, Virginia.” It occurred to Will just then that he should panic, but his body wouldn’t allow it.
The man sat in an armchair near the window. “I see. And you have no idea who I am.”
“No. The look on your face says that I probably should.”
The man was quiet for some time and then, “You’ve been in an accident,” he said. “We were in an accident together.”
There were deep, angry gashes on the backs of the man’s hands. “What sort of accident?”
“The sort we shouldn’t have survived. You should eat, perhaps it will come back to you.”
Will leaned back against the headboard. He was very tired, though he’d perhaps been sleeping for days. “I don’t know that I’m hungry right now.”
“I’ll fix you something anyway,” the man said, walking toward the door, watching Will carefully from the corner of his eye.
“Wait,” Will said before the man disappeared. “What’s your name?”
“Hannibal,” he said. “Hannibal Lecter.”
The name rang clear and brilliant, though not of recognition. It was something planted deeper, etched in viscera and fettered deep beneath his bones. Will would have googled the name, but there was no technology around, not even a rotary telephone. Wherever they were, it was a place not meant to be found.
Hannibal served him vegetable broth. “If you can keep this down, I’ll make you something better,” he promised, watching Will sip from his trembling spoon.
“It’s good. Thank you.”
“Are we hiding from someone?” Will asked when the broth was almost gone.
“We did something terrible,” Will said, and it was not a question. “Do you want me to know?”
“I’d rather you remember on your own than I tell you.”
“Was it that bad?”
“Memories that are your own are different from the stories you’re told. What happened is too important to be the latter.”
“And what if I never remember?”
Silent, Hannibal turned and gazed out the open window.
“I remember sitting across from you in room with long windows,” Will said when three days had passed. “The curtains were striped red, and we drank wine the same color.”
“My office in Baltimore. We spent many evenings there.”
“I can’t tell if this is a happy memory.” Will searched Hannibal’s face for an answer, grasping at the shine of his eyes. “I think it’s probably more complicated than happy or sad.”
“I was happy,” Hannibal said. “Every moment we were together.”
On the seventh day, Will traced a finger over his abdominal scar and remembered, in fragments and gasps, that fateful night in Hannibal’s kitchen.
“Why did you kill that girl?”
“Her name was Abigail,” Hannibal said while examining Will’s fractured leg.
“She was someone that I loved.”
“Are you someone that I love?”
Hannibal’s fingers stilled against the curve of Will’s calf. “That is my greatest hope.”
Hannibal came back to Will in shards fitted together with gold. Kintsugi of the mind.
“I remember watching you through the glass,” he said when a month had passed. His leg was healing well.
“And do you remember how you felt?”
Beneath Will’s ribs, a dull ache began to bloom. “I wanted to touch you. Crawl in with you.”
“There is no glass between us now.”
Will reached for Hannibal’s hand, and he remembered.