In Dreams 14
GEORGETOWN, WASHINGTON DC
It’s not that he expected something to happen immediately. There’s still a chalky aftertaste in his mouth and he swears he can feel the pill land in his stomach. He looks around Scully’s bathroom as if he might find some kind of sudden clarity in the ancient tiles. But there is nothing. No revelation, no sudden onslaught of memory. And the logical part of his brain reminds him not to be disappointed. It’s funny, he notes, that the logical voice in his head sounds a lot like Scully’s.
He flips the light switch and ambles back to the bedroom. She stirs as he slides between the sheets and mumbles something sleepily.
“Go back to sleep,” he whispers.
“Are you okay?” she sighs.
“I’m okay,” he tells her reaching out to smooth her hair down.
TWO DAYS LATER
He swallows the pill dry and again, looks around the bathroom. She’s got all kinds of odd little things in there. He notices a glass ashtray on one of the tables near the tub. Upon closer inspection, he sees that it is emblazoned with the seal of the US Navy. He knows it must have been her father’s, because he now remembers that her father was a Captain. But he also has an image of her, perched on the edge of her clawfoot tub, her hair short and curled at the ends the way it was when they were first partnered together. He can see her, rear balanced on the edge of the bath and the arches of her feet against the table on the opposite wall. The glass ashtray balances precariously on her bent knees as she takes a long drag from a cigarette.
“You okay?” he’d asked her.
“Coping mechanism,” she said as she held up the cigarette.
“Maybe you should have a drink to celebrate keeping your liver,” he teased.
“One vice at a time,” she said as she flicked the ash into the thick glass.
He takes a deep breath and can smell the smoke, rich and familiar. He opens his eyes and it’s gone, the image, anyway. As he turns off the light, he swears he can still smell the smoke.