"No, you know what? Guess what? They're going to make copies of my chip, Lace. And the way they do that is they have to destroy the original. Which is me, okay? They're not doing it later, they're doing it now. And maybe that isn't even real to you, because I don't even seem real to you. But I am. Inside of here, I am real."
Her house was burning down around her. She was six months old, she was five years old, she was 16 years old, she was eternal. Lacy wept on the shore of the lake, screaming at Zoë as they pulled her back to her body. Begging for forgiveness.
Amanda took her time that night, getting ready. Eros Day is for beauty, and for love. It was going to be one good day after a succession of really bad days; they would go out, he would take out her fears and laugh at them, one by one, and tell her everything was all right, that he was blameless, that he was sane. That he was the man she married, and she could still be the woman that married him. That the bridge was holding. He'd left her a card.
To my Beautiful Wife:
You are the light and fire of my life.
Your loving husband.
But when she got downstairs, he'd gone dark again. Turned on an old opera. Cooked them a meal so he wouldn't have to leave his lab; cooked them a meal so he could be home, as the hobbits killed his daughter. He handed his wife a glass of wine, and tried to smile. He was brittle, bitter. They drank deep.
Our living plight, the Gods cast aside
The Gods allay
Our sleepless nights, our restless days
We shall obey Their least command
And give our hearts, our minds, our hands unto Them
"I had to make some hard choices today, choices I probably should have made a long time ago, but... Now I finally feel like things are getting on the right track."
She wasn't listening. She was explaining the bridge, every stone laid down over the water, and he could barely hear her. "Do you remember how I... was, when we first met?" He shied away, as he always did in those days; he shuddered and put a smile on it. He admitted she was a little wild, back then.
"A little crazy, actually." She smiled that rueful Delphi smile. "But it was hard to be crazy around you. Somehow you repelled it. You were always so sane. I could always count on you to be you." He grinned: "Well, I find it hard to be anyone else, really." Inside of here, they were screaming, I am real. Survival is the punishment for things left unsaid. She knew she could do better.