You remembered nothing from before. You only knew the ocean, the island, and the Other. And that was all that existed.
Your first memories were colored red with agony. Your eyes were swollen shut, your mouth and throat dry and torn. Your skin felt tight and burned. It hurt to lie on the ground; the sand braised you. You had no energy to move, and when you did, you nearly blacked out from the searing pain.
The Other was there, then. He hurt you, too, though he also brought relief. Quenching, tepid liquid poured down your parched throat. Shade protected your body from the unrelenting sun. Unseen hands stroked coolness into your skin and soothed the sharp throbbing of your backside.
He made sounds at you continuously. You didn’t understand, but his voice brought comfort even as he caused pain. The heavy feel of a body over you, pressing you into the cutting sand and rubbing against your burning skin, kept you from drifting into the black nothingness that beckoned constantly.
You healed slowly. Once you could chew and swallow foods, you regained your strength. Your skin stopped stinging and became roughened for protection. You could move without agony. Your sight returned, revealing to you the trees, the sand, the ocean, and the Other.
The Other was tall and broad, with sun-drenched skin. Dark hair curled on his head and at his loins. His eyes were green with a hint of red. He wore nothing, like you, except for a shiny red stone on his finger.
And when the flesh between his legs grew long and thick, you learned to roll onto your stomach. Time passed, and soon the only pain you felt was when the Other lay on you. You became used to that pain, which was a constant like the waves lapping on the beach. And like the waves, you knew of nothing different.
The Other made sounds at you still, which you could not make in return, but you began comprehending. “Eed” was the food given to you, “go” meant you were left alone, and “here” was where he wanted you to be. You were here with him as he traversed the island, once you were steady on your feet; here at his side in the night when you slept; here on your stomach as he lay on you; and here when he curled up on the sand and made painful sounds after his stone was lost in the ocean.
And you were here in this strange place, where nothing was familiar but him.
It was exhilarating when he picked you up and you soared above the ocean like birds. You became scared, however, when he landed not on the island, but elsewhere, where there was no sand, no trees, no rocks, and no ocean. Where there were more Others.
One made you uncomfortable. The second smelled nice, like the flowers on the island. The Other called them “Dad” and “Mom,” you later learned. You did not understand what was happening as they ushered you and the Other into an unknown place.
You tried to keep close to the Other, fighting against Dad when he went to separate you both. The Other, however, said here, putting his arm around you. Dad and Mom and the Other made harsh sounds at one another before the Other led you away.
The Other put something over his body and then put something over yours. You didn’t like it and took it off. He put it back on you again and you got half of it off before he stopped you. You agreed when he sounded firm with you, like he had on the island, and left the partial covering on.
You had to have partial covering all the time, now, and it prevented the Other from laying over you. It was another change you didn’t understand and didn’t want. You longed for the island. The Other would go often, leaving you with Mom. Mom took care of you as the Other had, but she wasn’t him. You spent your time standing at the way outside, waiting for the Other.
The Other came back daily, but he never really returned.
You remembered nothing from before. You only knew the island, the ocean, and the Other. And none of them existed anymore.