Intuition Online - C. J. Omololu

One

The best part about being Akhet is that you remember everything. The worst part is that you forget nothing.

Every day I remember more about the other lives I’ve lived—as a lady in England in the sixteenth century and as an Italian cellist in the nineteenth—but there’s nowhere I’d rather be than right here, sitting on the back of Griffon’s motorcycle, my arms around his waist, holding him so close I can feel his muscles shift as he kicks the bike into gear. I press myself into the back of his worn leather jacket as we cut through the wind over the blur of asphalt on the Great Highway, the sun glinting off the waves to our right, the dunes leading into Golden Gate Park on our left.

Peering around his shoulder, I catch a glimpse of Griffon’s eyes in the rearview mirror, and I can tell he’s smiling even though the rest of his face is hidden by the helmet. As he turns his head, I can see the very edge of the scar on his cheek, and it sends a shiver of regret through me. The mark is finally fading, but even if it disappears completely, I’ll always know what happened and how close I came to losing all of this.

We stop for a light and Griffon puts both feet solidly on the ground to steady us, reaching down with his hand to give mine a squeeze, the Akhet vibrations between us whenever we’re close now just a normal part of our relationship. It’s these little moments of connection that I love the most—a casual touch on my arm or the way he grabs my hand when we’re crossing the street. The almost unnoticeable gestures that tell the world we’re together. As the light changes, Griffon puts the bike in gear and I tighten my grip on his waist as we surge forward, enjoying the comfort of knowing Griffon would do anything to keep me safe.

As we approach the turnoff to the zoo, bright triangles of color pop against the blue sky up ahead. Dad used to bring me out here to watch the hang gliders when I was little, and every time one of them leaped off the edge of the beach cliff, a scream would catch in my throat in that split second before the wind tossed them high into the sky. Now for the first time I get what that thrill must feel like. As the bike glides along the asphalt, I understand how it feels to let everything go, to trust in something greater than yourself and allow the rhythm and the motion to carry you away.

We pull into the zoo parking lot and Griffon holds the bike steady so I can slide off. I put my hand up to check my ankh necklace, more out of habit than anything else; it was almost four centuries before it was given back to me, and I’m terrified of losing it again. Mine is bright silver with a dark red ruby, while the ankh Griffon keeps tucked into his shirt is plain bronze on a thick black cord. Despite the differences, the meanings of both are the same—eternal life.

As Griffon secures the bike, I glance up at an ancient pink building on the other side of a chain-link fence. As soon as I see the intricate plasterwork over the three doors that face us, a tremor of recognition sends a jolt through me. Despite the fact that I don’t remember it, I know I’ve been in there before.

I loop my fingers through the wire diamonds of the fencing and try to get a better look. The building’s old and obviously abandoned, with different colored paint patches where someone has tried to cover years of graffiti. I close my eyes, trying to prepare myself for the worst, but I’m not pulled into a memory this time—it’s just images and feelings floating through my mind. The anxiety in my chest eases as I realize that I’m not going to be thrown out of my present into another time and place. Not knowing when the blackouts are going to happen has been the hardest part of becoming Akhet.

Looking around, I can sense that at one point there was water here, lots of water—not the ocean, but something that feels almost as big. In my mind I can hear happy squeals and the sounds of splashing. I picture people in bathing suits that go down to their knees, still wearing stockings and tall,