Lincoln only lets Ilana sit on his face on special occasions. Birthdays, high holy days, the premieres of movies starring Meryl Streep. She just gets too enthusiastic and almost murders him with her thighs, because Ilana traded weed for a thigh master at some party and now she’s got these thighs which are really capable of murder. And as much as Lincoln loves her (not that he’s said it, not really, but he does), he can only take being pushed to the edge of passing out every so often. Autoerotic asphyxiation is a white guy thing, some American Psycho rich maniac shit, and he values his life too much for that game.
Apparently, going to see Ghostbusters for the third time counts as a special occasion, because Ilana’s bouncing next to him as they leave the theatre, waiting until they’re on the sidewalk before she grabs his arms and says, “I feel empowered. I ain’t afraid of no ghosts, my dude.”
“I feel empowered, too,” he says. “I feel like I can, like, achieve my dreams and be a strong confident woman.”
“Sing it, sister,” Ilana says, then takes a moment to look him up and down, smirking up at him. “You know what dream I want to achieve?”
Lincoln squints at her.
“Sitting on my face?” he asks.
“Ding, ding, ding,” Ilana says, grinning at him. “You up for it?”
“As long as you’re not doing it to kill me off by smothering me with your thighs,” he says, wrapping his arm around her shoulder as they keep walking.
“I wouldn’t hurt a fly,” Ilana says. “I am a peace maker. My thighs are, like—Israel and Palestine. And bringing them together around your beautifully round head is like solving the crisis in the Middle East. I’m a damn diplomat.”
“I feel like that’s offensive,” Lincoln says, “but I don’t actually know why.”
“Offensive?” Ilana asks. “How is world peace offensive?”
“We’re gonna achieve world peace by you sitting on my face?” Lincoln asks. “Does Obama know about this?”
“He has not answered any of my many emails,” Ilana says, seriously. Lincoln’s actually not sure that she’s joking.
Ilana’s basically bucking on top of his face, some cowgirl nonsense, and Lincoln lifts her a little to say, “We have gone 17 days without a sex-based injury in this room, proceed with caution.”
“Too late for caution,” she says, rocking down against his mouth and lifting her arms up in the air. “I’m feelin’ it. I am feeling. It.”
She puts more of her weight on Lincoln’s face and he tries to lift her off again, but it’s at the exact same time as her pumping her fist in the air and she loses her balance and falls forward. Her head thunks against the headboard, like, really hard, and then she collapses on top of Lincoln, completely unconscious.
“Shit,” he says, faintly, checking for a pulse. “This is gonna be pinned on me.”
Ilana’s still breathing, but she just doesn’t look like she’s waking up any time soon, so he panics and calls 911 and works on his best please don’t have me arrested face. This isn’t the first time Ilana’s managed to knock herself out, but it’s the first time that it’s happened in such a compromising position.
Lincoln calls Abbi while he’s in the ambulance, and she says, “Seriously? It’s been 17 days, she was doing so good,” before she says she’ll make an excuse to get out of work and meet them there. Lincoln stays with Ilana until the doctors make him leave while they run tests, going back in when a nurse gives him the go-ahead.
“Hey, baby boy,” Ilana says, smiling kind of goofy. “Are you my nurse, too?”
“Nah,” he says. “We promised we’d never try that again after you had an allergic reaction to all that gauze, remember?”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Ilana says, “but I like it.”
“. . .you don’t remember that?” Lincoln asks.
“I’ve never seen you before in my life,” Ilana says, putting on her flirting face, eyebrows waggling. She looks small in the hospital bed, a bandage plastering her hair down, and Lincoln’s pretty sure that she’s telling the truth.
“Ilana, what’s my name?” he asks. “No nicknames.”
“Do you want me to guess?” Ilana asks. “No, yeah, let’s do that, I’m great at this ish. Okay—“ she points a finger at him, and they have a weird extended moment of silent eye contact before she says, “Why do I keep thinking Abraham?”
“Are you fucking with me?” Lincoln asks. “Because it’s not funny.”
“I’m not fucking with you,” Ilana says, seriously. “Do we know each other? I think I’d remember you, Abe.”
“It’s Lincoln,” Lincoln says.
“Damn, I was close,” Ilana says, laughing, and before Lincoln can say anything else, Abbi walks in and Ilana lets out a short happy scream and opens her arms.
“You have to stop fist pumping in the bedroom, dude,” Abbi says, hugging her carefully.
“Is that how I got here?” Ilana asks. “You know I’ll never stop doing that, sex is meant to be celebrated. It’s like my version of—football or something, one of the more homerotic sports. Wrestling. Like with all the oil.”
“So, you know who Abbi is?” Lincoln interrupts, frowning.
“Of course,” Ilana says, pulling Abbi closer so their cheeks are pressed together. “Abbi is the one true love of my life. Have you met—what’s your name, baby boy? Kennedy?”
“Is this a weird sex thing?” Abbi asks, glancing back at Lincoln and making a face. “I told you two that I didn’t want to be involved with any of it.”
Lincoln stares back at her.
“Yeah, I’m gonna go get a doctor,” he says, suddenly, turning on his heel.
According to the doctor, it’s temporary and Ilana should be back to normal in a few days, when she’ll come back for some more brain scans to make sure there’s no permanent damage they didn’t catch the first time.
“I guess I’ll—take her home with me?” Abbi says. “She probably needs to be watched.”
Lincoln nods, trying to be cool about the fact that the girl he’s in love with doesn’t even know that he loves her. Or his name. Or that he ever existed at all. Or his exact dick size as measured with a Barbie measuring tape that she dug out of a purse the second time they hooked up.
Admittedly, Ilana without amnesia didn’t actually know the first one.
But the rest of it’s important, too.
Ilana smiles and waves good-bye to him when Abbi helps her into a cab, and Lincoln echoes it, feeling sick.
After a few days of visiting Ilana and trying to jog her memory, Lincoln wakes up to rhythmic knocking on his door one morning to find Ilana wearing one of Abbi’s t-shirts tied up at the waist and a pair of denim shorts.
“Hi,” she says. “Lincoln.”
“That’s my name,” Lincoln says.
“I’m gonna come in,” she says, brushing past him, “because I have an idea about how I can remember you and get you to stop making those sad faces at me.”
Lincoln stares at her.
“Exactly,” she says, pointing at him. “Just like that.”
“You’re not gonna ask me to hit you in the head to reverse your amnesia, are you?” Lincoln asks. “Because I told you that only works on sitcom and cartoons.”
“Nope,” Ilana says, brightly. “I want you to show me what you’re working with.”
“. . .my penis?” Lincoln asks.
“Yep,” Ilana says, shaking her head emphatically. “C’mon, whip it out, I’ve never forgotten one. I keep a dick scrapbook in my mind.”
Lincoln takes a second to think about it before he shrugs and tugs at the waistband of his sweats, pulling out his half-hard dick. Ilana gasps softly, covering her mouth with both hands.
“Oh, there you are, friend,” she says, softly, stepping forward to trace her fingers over it before she smiles up at Lincoln. “Everything’s coming back to me now.”
“Seriously?” Lincoln asks.
“Ask me something that only I would know about,” she says, stretching up to wrap her arms around his neck.
“. . .what’s my exact dick size?” he asks, and Ilana laughs and basically climbs him, wrapping her legs around his waist and leaning up to whisper it in his ear while Lincoln holds her up. It’s right, perfect down to the decimal point.
“I can’t believe you forgot me,” Lincoln says.
“It happens,” Ilana says, implying that she’s already had amnesia before, which is not surprising at all. She leans back a little, grinning at him. “How about we make some memories I’ll never forget?”
“Yeah, okay,” Lincoln says, letting her slide to the floor and lead him towards his bedroom. “No fist pumping, though. Or—back flips. Anything gymnastic.”
“I can’t promise that,” Ilana says, lightly, squeezing his hand. “I’m a performer by nature.”
Lincoln smiles helplessly at the back of her head. He might end up telling Ilana something she doesn’t know yet, something about the way his heart does dumb shit when she smiles at him, but for now, he’s up for celebrating with her.