The Persistence of Memory

Title: None yet
Plot, or Lack Thereof: Rei ponders over belongings (and memories) that aren’t hers.
Reason for Banishment: Ran out of steam.


(1999 A.D., one year before the Third Impact)

“Yui-kun, what’s that on your wrist there?”

Ikari Yui held up the little pouch that was dangling from the silver string tied to the base of her right hand. “Oh, this? It’s a gift from Robunkugi-san.” Opening the bag, she dumped its contents onto the desk. “Isn’t he sweet?”

Fuyutsuki Kozo caught one of the glittering marbles before it could fall off his desk and returned it to Yui. “Yes, very sweet.”

Yui’s thin, pretty brows wrinkled for a moment. Then, she brought her hand to her mouth and giggled. “If I didn’t know any better, Professor, I’d say you sounded jealous!”

Fuyutsuki didn’t reply.

***

(2015 A.D., previous to the arrival of the Third Child)

Ayanami Rei, entered her apartment, not bothering to pick up the packets of junk mail that fell onto the floor as the door opened.

Today had been a terrible day.

In truth, there wasn’t a single moment in Rei’s existence in which she didn’t find something that she disliked, but today felt more depressing. Maybe it was the dismal grey clouds that covered the city; maybe it was the way Commander Ikari snapped at everyone, including herself; maybe it was the strange sense of unusual, mysterious wrongness that flashed through her consciousness when she was in the entry plug. Whatever the reason, Rei walked with a heavier step, her shoulders a bit more drooped, and her eyes focused on the ground ahead of her.

Walking to the window, Rei closed the drapes so that she would not have to look out into the perpetually red sky. Then, opening her drawer, she took out a cloth pouch and sat with her back to the wall. Loosening the drawstrings of the pouch, she tipped it over and allowed its contents to spill onto the crisp, white sheets.

Three hundred and thirty three marbles rolled out of the pouch with the sound of summer rain. Some time ago, Rei had counted them again just to make sure they were all there, which of course they were. No one would bother to steal any of Rei’s possessions, because they were of little worth to anyone else.

Running her fingers over cold, tiny spheres, Rei began sorting them by color. First were the opaque ones, the least interesting. Next were the clear ones, some of which were tinted, and some of which had shiny surfaces through which Rei could see a different color if she held them up towards the light. Third were the ones with the multi-colored strips in them, Rei’s favorite. Even though she had gone to the library to look up how these so-called “Cat’s Eye” marbles were made, she was still filled with a sense of wonder and amazement every time she looked at them.

A clear blue sphere slipped from Rei’s fingers and rolled onto the floor, not coming to a stop until it had hit the wall opposite from where she was sitting. There, nestled in the crack that reached all the way up to the ceiling, the marble glistened in the late afternoon light.

***

(2015 A.D., after the attack of Almisael)

Rei stared at the small round spheres in her hand, unable to make heads or tails of what they were. She could not surmise their function, nor why she would keep such useless things in her bedroom.

Her eyes grew hot again, and tears began streaking down her face just as when she had picked up Commander Ikari’s glasses, once again without understanding why.

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