Please note: this is a work of fiction. It has been crafted by the author and is not a direct opinion from AHS.
She gazed at the images spread across her walls, the photos of the many lovers and friends that she had collected over the years. The secret kisses shared with the peasant girl in the renaissance, the walks along the pier with the revolutionary during the war for the New World. All fond places that she found herself slipping into memories of often. It was all she really wanted to do, anymore. When she had discovered that death was impossible for her, it had been exciting. Like a sort of game. She could do whatever she wanted because all she had to do was fake her death and reset. But something had stopped her from resetting this time. Instead, she had been resigned to simply watching until there was nothing left to see. It was embarrassing to think she’d been so messed up by something so typically trivial as a lover. They were supposed to come and go, she wasn’t meant to become attached. God, that wasn’t like her. They had fun, but death was a fact. Others were…final in a way that she wasn’t.
But something had changed in her, like a switch being flipped. She couldn’t imagine herself with anyone but him. Him, with the curly black hair and the smile that made his whole face glow. Him, who she had met at the park, throwing a tennis ball for his excitable dog who for whatever reason decided she was the person he wanted to tackle to give some kisses to. She had never been more happy about something so unsanitary when the man apologized and reached out a hand to help her up. From there, it was coffee, and after that, drinks, until it escalated to a date every week, seeing each other consistently for five years. When she got attached was when she left, and she had let this go on for far too long. She had to cut things off. So she simply slipped out in the middle of the night.
But try as she might, she couldn’t seem to forget him. Photos tended to help with that, but his didn’t contain his smile, his laugh, his sweet voice. It couldn’t hold all of him like the other photos had her loves of the past. No, she was sure nothing could truly present him as he was. So, much to her own disappointment, she went back to him. The surprising part was that he took her back. He always had been far too forgiving. They stayed together for many, many years, even sealing the deal with a ring, although she had been hesitant. She knew that she should leave. In fact, she had to. A wrinkle would never taint her graceful features like it would his. Perhaps she could convince him she never even happened, leave him thinking she was some beautiful dream. But she couldn’t bring herself to walk away. Not again. So she waited. More years passed. There were children, and there were wrinkles (well, for him), and he didn’t say a single word about it until their fortieth year. A simple question, the one she was more afraid of than she could possibly say. Why aren’t you getting older? She had simply laughed it off, made some comment about having found a gray hair in the mirror the other day. And he had put the subject away. But he knew when she lied. He knew. But what could he prove? Magic wasn’t real, people didn’t live forever.
More and more and more years. Makeup hadn’t fooled anyone, and she wasn’t willing to get surgery for such a foolish lie. So she let him realize. Let him realize that she would have to watch him leave someday, the very thing she had been avoiding with all of her previous lovers. Let him ask why she could never leave him. Let him, inevitably, leave her. Of the photos on the wall, ten were of him. All her others had been allowed just one, but she couldn’t let him suffer the same fate. He was too important. And she wasn’t able to find another love, try as she might. Not until a Friday night at their favorite bar. He was there. A different face, but a copy of the exact same smile. And he asked if she wanted a drink.