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Senses

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They say the memory of the senses is immediate to come but fleeting to hold, transient to the mind. 

The slightest stimuli can prompt an instantaneous reaction, a recognition at the sight, an awareness of a sound, a flinch at a touch. Everything is straightaway palpable to the senses of the human person. 

Yet, the impression doesn’t last either. Almost like a footprint pressed on the sand only to be erased too soon by the crashing waves of the sea, unable to retain its form for even a little longer. 

They say the memory of the senses is immediate to come, fleeting to hold, transient to the mind; but Alyn Crawford finds himself caving into the vehemence he feels each night, powerless to the memory of a lost love’s sensation. 

 

Alyn sees her.

When the light sconces are out for the night and only the glow from the candle on his bedside table remains, Alyn can see her shadow on the wall of his room. He can see every dip and curve of her body magnified by the flame. 

It wasn’t too long ago when he found it bewitching every time he caught sight of her alluring silhouette dyed on the wall, chest briskly rising and falling and mouth gratifyingly drawing in air as she loses herself to the pleasure of riding him. 

Alyn had always thought whether it was the sight of her atop him or the shadow of her projected on the wall, she will always be the only one he’ll lay his eyes on. No other woman could ever be prepossessing enough to enchant him other than her. 

But now, when his eyes lay sight on the bleak wall, the dip and curve he sees are accompanied with the blood that stained her mangled body when she drew her last breath. He sees the cinquedea buried deep into her lumbar. He sees the slow flutter of her long eyelashes as she tried to register what the unknown soldier did to her.

The subdued darkness of his chamber does nothing to make him forget what he saw that day. It does nothing to alleviate the ache in his heart as his mind would time and again, scramble for the memory of her warm smile that she freely gave to everyone, her kind eyes that she candidly offered to those in need. 

 

Alyn smells her.

When he wearily tucks his face after enduring another day in the many days of priming the Royal Guard, Alyn can smell her plumeria scent embedded onto the currant pads of his pillows. He can smell every wave of fresh fragrance the deeper he buries himself in the sensation of her.

Despite the many artificial fragrances pressed to her for every social call she must heed to, Alyn has long recognized the natural scent she gives off with the many intimate circumstances they found themselves in.

The tantalizing fragrance of her pulse points will always beguile him as he trails balmy kisses on her neck and slowly down to the valley of her chest. His nose taking in every waft of enticement she gives off. 

He can still remember her smell. However, he can no longer remember it without the smell of demise intermingling. The stale stillness of the air that surrounded them was accompanied by the spoor of iron when Alyn held her limping body close. 

Even when in bed, holding his breath to stop the flow of scent, he cannot stop the memory that drowns him. Alyn cannot put an end to what his senses take in, remembering the plumeria of her skin fusing with the black licorice of his own. 

 

Alyn hears her.

When all of Wysteria gives into the confines of the night and the moment crickets and katydids resound even deep into the castle, Alyn can hear her sultry voice whispering close to his ears. He can hear her for every mumbling she makes in her sleep, snuggling to his side.

Alyn always found solace in the soothing warmth of her face, like a welcoming embrace at the end of a rigorous day, like an indulgence at the end of an uncompromising week, like the morning after a night of roughly making love to one another.

Even if he wasn’t Captain of the Royal Guard and he wasn’t entailed to keep an eye on her as a Knight should to the Princess, he would still find himself unconsciously drawn to the sound of her voice almost like a siren beckoning him to his death. 

Even if it was a room filled with dignitaries prying for attention, he would no longer pay heed as his senses take in only the sound of her voice amidst the clamor of social pleasantries and exchange.

But now all he hears in the dead of the night is the yelp tumbling from her lips when the unnamed assailant grabbed her frail arm as soon as Alyn was just the slightest distance from her. All he hears are the words she had to force out of herself, “Alyn...it’s not- it’s...it’s not your...fault. A-Aly...I...”

The entirety of Wysteria being asleep did nothing to conceal the uproar he was shrouding within himself. The mutter of her cheerful laughter, the hush of her sensual whimpers, the mumble of her absurd banters, they’re the only sounds perceivable to his ears. 

 

Alyn can taste her. 

When darkness starts to envelop the sky, no longer flanked by subordinates or peeved by his own twin brother, he allows himself to always crumble in the confines of his own chamber. Alone and agonizing, Alyn can taste her, in the tears and anguish that have rolled down his face. He can taste her, in the very saltiness that spilled down her face when she took her last breath. 

With only pain and despair to bask in, Alyn can no longer remember the taste of their shared delightful days. No longer able to revel in the succulence of strawberry on her lips as he constantly startles her with taunting make outs in hidden hallways. No longer able to relish in the flavor of her as she fervently writhes around his lapping tongue. No longer able to savor the trickle of her sweat melded with patches of slob from his open-mouthed kisses. 

 

They say the memory of the senses is immediate to come, fleeting to hold, transient to the mind; but Alyn Crawford remembers every night.

Before and even in the moment he shuts his eyes, the memory of her in bed with him overwhelms his senses. Sleep no longer an option. Rest no longer an escape. Rendering him vulnerable to every other memory of her, the very last memory of her, the murder of the Wysterian Princess, the loss of a beloved.

The memory that only serves to remind him that not only did he fail as Captain of the Royal Guard, he also failed as the protector of the only person he loved with all his being. 

I can’t sleep. He mutters, staring blankly on the tedious patterns on the ceiling, “You’re the only one I can think of again.”

The crimson of his eyes dulled listlessly, “Love, I’m sorry I wasn’t able to protect you. I failed my parents when I wasn’t able to protect them. I failed Wysteria when I wasn’t able to protect their Princess. I failed you, I’m…sorry...” 

They say the memory of the senses is immediate to come, fleeting to hold, transient to the mind; but Alyn Crawford remembers every night, the sensation of losing her.