Miranda’s feet treaded cautiously across the still-frosty ground as Anders took his hand and led him down the cracked sidewalk framed by little tufts of color. Upon Anders’ request, today had been cleared of any procedural work, and all but a few of the staff, staying only for emergencies, had been authorized to go home for the weekend and relax.
“So, love, how do you feel today?” Anders had woken up a few hours before Miranda and had appeared at his bedside in a light winter coat with a slightly smaller one in his hands, entreating Miranda to come with him for a walk in the newly-planted gardens after a light meal.
“Well, for starters, I’m not really feeling the love thing.” A light breeze brushed the blooms of a few flowers, sending a tuft of snow into Miranda’s hair as if to adorn it with an ethereal flower of its own.
“That’s okay. Love should come in its own time.” Anders stooped down and brushed the snow off the head of a candy red crocus plant, flaming against its void background like a solitary drop of blood onto snow- and Miranda had to take a few steps back and shake his head to clear his mind of the image of blood on his own fingers reaching up into the sky. “Is something wrong, love?”
“No, Anders, I’m just fine.” He got up off the ground and the two continued their walk among the orange blooms and purple stocks. The next five minutes were spent in silence between the two with only a few animals daring to escape the clutches of hibernation to distract them from the high pitch of perceived silence, and when they came to the crossroads with one road splitting off into the exercise yard and the other turning off to the normal sidewalk, Anders slipped a small engagement box out of his pocket and handed it to a stunned Miranda.
“Take it,” he insisted among Miranda’s sputtering protestations.
“But- don’t you think- that we should at least, you know, have some sort of feelings for each other before getting married? Is this really the right time?”
“This is a different kind of proposal.” Miranda took the box with a trembling hand and opened it, only to be met with a small blue pill instead of a diamond ring. “Instead of binding you to me through marriage, which I will no doubt do later after many dates and months have passed, I’m setting you free in another way. Taking this pill will allow you to have your correct memories back.”
Miranda took the pill between two slender fingers and held it up to his eyes, examining all the small azure beads it contained. “But if I was created, shouldn’t I have none other than what I experienced already?” And as he muttered these words, he knew that this assumption was untrue- he’d envisioned a seventh grade science classroom upon his first awakening and snippets of some sort of tragedy scattered throughout his time here. The pill slipped through his lips under his own volition without further thought, and the acute tang of blueberries pervaded all the way down his throat. “No matter. But for your own sake, Anders, I sure hope that wasn’t poison.”