Live, Rémi says, live your life, and do not concern yourself with mine.

I have dealt with my demons, he says. Leave them be.

And what I want to tell him is that we are only ever finished dealing with our demons when we die, but I don't; I fret, say something reassuring, and I instead am the one conceding, apologizing, redacting; I decide to cease my investigation, for good, and convey to Rémi the dissipation of my intentions; and the past was left behind that night, the narcissistic "I" supplanted by an auspicious "we," the "we" that would become he and I, the continuous "we," without center and without edges; a new past, freely forming as our seconds intersected.

We are addicts, I say, and Rémi nods.

(But this scene takes place months ago, long before history involved itself, long before history made its way into my hands by its own volition.

The pages changed it all; the pages were a promise, the promise of a story underneath the blockades and barriers Rémi so deftly constructed in between himself and his selves; the pages were inescapable, an uncompromising vow; they were my own taste of the pomegranate.

And as I walk onto U Street the night I break into Rémi's apartment, I wonder if maybe this is what Rémi had expected all along.)