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He waits until Annie’s asleep before he can do it properly.
It’s not that she resists him. She has no idea of what he’s doing. He knows that by the way she tries to keep secrets from him. It’s just that it feels more proper somehow to have rules.
So, only at night, when she allows the dreams to come, does he slip in too. It’s so amazingly beautiful, her mind. She’s no idea. Keeps saying things like how muddled her thinking is, how much crap she has stored away, so much useless knowledge.
But he walks round the loopy grey and silver corridors breathless with excitement. He’s been in other minds before, but they had regular clean outs. Annie’s kept everything.
He'll never get bored in there.
He goes down her playground memories, listens to the skipping songs, feels the fear as teachers prod and poke at him as he goes past, running automatically to kind playground assistants just as Annie must have done.
He can’t resist stalking her first loves, asking out loud how she could have found this one attractive with his red hair and freckles, or how this one could have found HER attractive.
But it’s the travel aisles he enjoys the most. Here he just sits and lets Annie’s excitement wash over him as she sees a whale swim up to the boat she was travelling to Greece in; snorkels over coral reefs in America, barters for Moroccan jewellery. He sips mint tea with her, scoops up spicy rice with his fingers and lets sweet candies explode on his tongue.
He never gets bored of it.
‘I love you,’ he tells her every morning. ‘You interest me more than any other woman I’ve met.’ And what he loves most is how much he means it.