Forgotten

Nobody remembers me. I don’t mean that people who once knew me have forgotten me. It’s worse than that. I mean that people can’t form memories of me. I just exist at the edge of everyone’s attention, never noticed or remembered or thought about beyond a fleeting glimpse of awareness.
My mother probably doesn’t even recall that she has a daughter. Maybe it’s better that way. I learned early on not to rely on her for anything. She must have fed me, when I was a baby, or I wouldn’t have lived through infancy, but getting her to feed me, in my memory, was always a task. I had to ask her constantly to get her to acknowledge my need. Once she started the meal, she would finish it, but then she would often leave it on the counter or eat it herself, having forgotten why she prepared it.
I left my mother’s house early, two full years before the Dragon Laws would have stopped requiring her to care for me. They did me little good. She remembered me so rarely that I had to learn how to care for myself. I didn’t cry on the day I left. I just sighed with regret and shut the door behind me.
She never even gave me a name. I think, after my birth, that she probably sat there, with the midwife and my father, with all of them wondering why she was so sweaty and uncomfortable. I’m that forgettable. I know that it’s because of my heritage, but it still doesn’t feel good.
I can’t fault my mother, or my father, for forgetting me. I can hardly remember myself. Some days I question whether I exist. I think I remember myself only because I am a constant reminder of my own existence. The feeling of my feet upon the ground and the air flowing into my lungs reminds me that I am here, and alive. I don’t forget my past: only myself, in the present.
I keep a note in my pocket that reminds me what I look like, because I can’t remember. It took all of my focus to get it written down. I sat before a mirror, charcoal in hand, and wrote down each feature as I observed it. Soft, cloudy grey scales with edges so smooth that they blend together. Round eyes like lavender brushed, at the edges, with rose. Smooth, pretty features. I don’t know if I’m actually pretty or if I just wrote that to make myself feel better, when I looked back at it. I can’t remember my own face. I only have an image of my own imagining, which I conjure up when I look at my notes.
I learned to write in a school, but nobody taught me. I learned from watching the teacher with the other children. If there’s one good thing about my circumstance, it’s that I can go places without much of a fuss. People simply forget I’m there, especially if I’m still and quiet. I’ve learned to be as silent as an owl in flight, and as still as a stone. It helps people forget me, when I actually want that.
I’ve learned a lot of things that way. I know that people don’t know about my father — not my human father, but the real one. The dragon. I think he must be like me: people can’t remember him. I have a hard time even thinking about him. I have to do it like I’m peeking around a corner. I think about consequences of his actions, or evidence that he might exist, rather than his own existence. It helps. I think the forgetting he causes must be stronger than mine. People forget me, but they can still react to me, sometimes, and I can think about myself. I can barely think about him at all.
I know that there are others like me who were born to, well, my aunts and uncles. The other dragons. Other dragon kindred are hard to find, though. People don’t like them, and they don’t like themselves very much as a result. I don’t like that people can’t remember me, but I like myself okay, I think. I like, at least, the fact that I exist. I think there are dragon kindred who don’t. I think their human parents teach them to hate themselves. At least I didn’t have to deal with that.
What I want more than anything is a friend, and I think I know how to have one. I just have to find the right person. The right kindred: one whose father is Essalam, the One Who Remembers, and who keeps the Diamond Library. They say his children inherit his memory. If I can find someone who never forgets, maybe they won’t forget me. Maybe they will talk to me, and I can find out what it’s like to have someone acknowledge me. I just have to find one.

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