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They say that time heals all wounds.

What about the wounds left forgotten? Does not remembering equal erasure? Does the act of forgetting bend time into insignificance?

Two hours ago, Max Evans returned my journal. Two hours before that, I was broken, falling into pieces on a bricked bathroom floor. Two hours before that I lived in another reality where I could still tell myself that Earth was the only planet in the universe inhabited by intelligent life.

What is time? A way of measuring a continuum? Or maybe a collection of moments, the creamy yummy part within the seconds?

Not too long ago, an alien king – whom I have been in love with for most of the time I've known him – filled my seconds with visions, memories. Images of a past I've run away from.

In the process, I did not only retain all my gaping wounds, but my surroundings snapped into mind-numbing clarity. Moments of tears, fear, anger and disappointment rushed through my mind, but also laughter, love, safety, belonging...

A girl, wearing nothing but a man's shirt, opens the door and Maria freezes. "Uhm... I'm looking for Michael Guerin, but maybe I'm at the wrong-"

But before the girl has a chance to answer, Michael walks into Maria's line of vision, wearing nothing but boxers and bed hair.

"Sam, what..." His eyes land on the visitor and he falls silent.

In that same moment, Maria puts two and two together and all nervousness about meeting her old boyfriend leaves her mind to be brutally replaced by jealousy. The rational left side of her brain makes a feeble attempt at informing her that she has no right to be jealous because she has been absent from his life for a long time. But the emotional right side of her brain fights back strongly. Because in Maria Deluca's world, she was together with Michael just yesterday. Her world was just paused.

Ignoring acquiring permission to enter, she walks straight past the under-dressed girl, heading for Michael with fresh anger.

"I can't believe you! Okay, maybe I left you, but I thought we had something more than something you could easily forget about. Sure, I've dated," she stops in front of Michael, jutting her well-manicured finger into his chest, "but at least I didn't remember you-"

She stops talking as Michael laughs in that half-crooked way of his. Offended, Maria stares at him angrily, while her heart is beating heatedly at the sound of his snicker. He never stopped having an effect on her.

"And what about this do you find so damn fun-" Her voice trails off as he falls quiet to just observe her.

"I...what...uhm..." Maria stutters, confused under the intense scrutiny of Michael's dark eyes. She swallows loudly before pulling herself together. "Michael Guerin, I asked you a question."

"Annoying," Michael murmurs and Maria frowns in bewilderment.

"What? The girl is annoying? What? What are you talking about?"

He huffs and says evenly, his eyes barely blinking as he watches her. "You're still so fucking annoying."

She feels the urge to smack him at the same time as she wants to press her body up against his and have him kiss her senseless. "Gee, Michael. I see that those years apart haven't taught you anything about your tactlessness."

A shadow passes over his eyes and he takes a step back. "Well, that's too bad. Next time I'll be sure to make our time apart an interesting learning experience."

She startles at the venom and sarcasm in his voice, but even as the left side of her brain is calmly analyzing the situation and informing her that Michael has every right to be angry with her, the right side grumpily enlightens her that she does not deserve to be treated this way.

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