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Memories of Rose
The ache that appeared when I saw her photo has not gone away. The TARDIS can feel it; she hums softly as I make my way through her maze of rooms, stopping before an all-too-familiar door. Her room. I had asked the TARDIS to lock it, to make sure Amy and Rory never open it. It’s best if the ghosts of the past remain in the past. But my hand unconsciously drifts towards the doorknob and I find myself taking, for the first time in my life, a hesitant step backwards in time.
Her room is exactly the same, down to the last little stuffed animal she’d found on the planet Avalon. A little girl had dropped it, and Rose had tried to give it back, but the girl had hid behind her mother, evidently more afraid of the strange, beautiful blond girl than wanting her little toy dog back. I am glad that blond girl was not afraid of me when we first met in that little shop.
“It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” I whisper Lord Byron’s quote to the empty room, as if Rose could hear me instead of just the walls and furniture. If she could see me now, would she still recognize some part of me from my previous regenerations? If she saw me, would she still love me, her Doctor, not the duplicate I left with her as some way to remember me by? It seems like a sad excuse for a “I-love-you-but-I-have-to-leave-now-here’s-someone-who-looks-just-like-me-bye” present. I feel a sharp pain in my fist. I had made a dent in the wall. The last few moments are blank. I blink the tears away which threaten to cross over from my tear ducts and into the world.
I rub my hand across the dent. “At least now there shall always be a bit of me inside here.” The whisper flies around the room and fills every crevice, as if it’s determined to stay here forever and become a part of Rose’s room and the memories she’s left behind. Become a part of her as I never could.
My will falters, and the tears begin to spill. My knees hit the carpeted floor. Rose had insisted upon this carpet, the one with the crazy swirling colors spinning about. It was her piece of home, a way to remember a life that was waiting for her whenever she was ready to go back. I only question what might have happened to her if she had stayed with me. I never wanted her to leave, never wanted to leave her. I would have traveled with her to the end of time and back. But what would have happened when she got older and couldn’t run anymore. Would she have been able to home after all that time, after all the magnificence? Would she have been able to live out the remainder of her human years in the normal, human world?
Amy’s laugh echoes up to the room. I stand and close the door. I do not wish to live in the present. I want to go to the past, to relive every moment with her. I am a Time Lord, and yet I cannot go back to see the one person I miss the most. The one person for whom my hearts still ache for incessantly.
Blood flows from my hand and smears across the doorknob. I swerve around, looking for something with which to clean the smear before it drips down and reaches the carpet. I can’t let Rose’s only possession from her home world get dirty. It would be as if I were dirtying my own memory of her. There are no tissues, so I take off my jacket and soak up the light stream of red liquid. I can always get another jacket, but there will never be another Rose.
I walk out of the room, wiping my eyes with my stained jacket. I throw it into the laundry bin down the hallway so as not to let Amy see. She always worries too much about me. She’s got a good man, Rory, and I have to make sure he never lets her go. Because if she leaves him, it will be terrible. I can’t let history repeat itself with someone else. I shall always have my memories of Rose, but that is all. I must not let Amy be merely another memory of Rory’s.
“Doctor! Where are you?” I jump slightly. That female voice did not have the distinct Scottish accent I’d gotten used to. Instead, it sounded an awful lot like…
“Rose?” I turn slowly, just in case. I can’t have my hopes vanish so quickly, but they’re gone as soon as I avert my eyes to the spot behind me.
“Doctor! Who’s this on the screen?” Amy. She must have stumbled upon some old footage from one of the cameras. I walk over without haste, so that she won’t suspect anything, and that means she won’t question anything. But when I join her and Rory at the TARDIS’s console, I barely hold back my tears. Rose is there, on the screen, laughing at something my previous regeneration had said. When she stops, she grins her classic tongue-in-teeth grin, and my hearts beat so fast it hurts.
“Doctor, who’s this? A past companion?” Sarah Jane enters my mind, and for a moment I recall Rose’s words about being just another companion, one that’s later forgotten and never mentioned again. I give a faint smile.
“She was more than that.” I whisper. “She was a…a good friend. One I even ended up...falling in love with.” I swear I can see Amy’s face fall slightly, and Rory get a puzzled look on his face, but both last only a second.
I clap my hands together in an effort to erase the awkward silence. “Well now, no time for dwelling on the past. New adventures, new people to meet, places to see. I’m personally in the mood for some distant planet with a hidden mystery.” Amy smiles and gives me a hug.
“Anything you say, Doctor.”