She remembers the balmy summer nights of her childhood; the crickets chirping in the soft, long grass, a gentle breeze blowing over the field, swaying the young saplings and the leaves of the older trees towering on the edge, watching over her adventures, and a bird, perhaps a nightingale, singing somewhere in the distance. She remembers, and oh, how she longs for those days, those nights, when everything was still so pure and beautiful and oh, so wondrous in her innocent eyes. She remembers people used to say that she had such large eyes so she could take in as much as she could of the world, and nothing was ever enough. She thinks that is the reason she has lost her innocence, and lost it while still so young, not having even come of age when her heart was tainted.
She remembers it all, as if it was but yesterday, yet her home has been destroyed years ago; she watched it burn to the ground, uncontrollable tears rolling down her dirty cheeks, her throat sore from screaming. She remembers, and the clearest image of all is of her most faithful companion, her best friend, the first and last being she loved with all she had. He had no name, because there were no words in this world that could have portrayed him properly. Their companionship was silent; they needed not even a whisper meant only for the ears of two to understand each other, and so she never learned if he could speak. Yet, she still smiles and shakes her head. She never needed to know, and she still doesn't. She wonders if he is alive, perhaps living in the heart of the forest that has become deeper and hostile to the human kin. She wonders if he would still know her, and let her ride him again.
She smiles, and she remembers, and she weeps for the things that she has lost, and she laughs because none of it matters anymore, and she wants the memories to be happy. She wants to go with contentment, not with resignation and a bitter taste in her mouth. So she remembers those nights that brought to her the greatest joy in the world; she remembers the friendship, the balance between them, the unspoken words that held promises and affections, and she remembers the laughter of children in moments of happiness. Had anyone else known what she did, where she always ran off to after supper, they would have been terrified, confused, scorning. They would not have understood, none of them. She muses on the other children of her age, back then, and thinks they would not have understood, either. He was her secret; and, perhaps, she was his.
From their first day together, when she saw him galloping on the field, dark mane flowing behind him and his legs stretching out as if wanting to run all the way to the ends of the earth, she knew they would be inseparable. And so they were. She remembers how she approached him, slowly, carefully, looking him in the eyes and aware of his every move just as he was aware of hers. She remembers how she presented the palm of her hand to him, as a gesture of trust, and the hope of that trust to be mutual. To this day, she cannot properly express the joy she felt when he accepted her hand and her touch. At first, they only ran together side by side, never having enough, exhilarated and breathless and full of childish wonder at the marvels of the world, that field being all they knew and all they ever wanted to know in their moments with each other. Then, when he once kneeled down in front of her, offering to take her on his back, their bond was complete. She remembers that day, so clearly; remembers her gentle touch on his black horn, her fingers running through his silky mane; remembers how she climbed, awkwardly, his body, even while very young by the standards of his kin, being massive compared to her small, fragile figure; and she remembers the tears of joy at being so close to him, united in one, running even faster than the wind.
Those carefree days that she has treasured, even after such a long time, she remembers and she is glad of them. She is glad she remembers, even if the flavour is bittersweet. Now, when she stands in the middle of that field, letting the memories flood her mind, her heart, she calls to him, as silently as ever. And while she doesn't know whether she is hallucinating, she reaches out her hand to him, the way she used to, and caresses his muzzle lovingly. She is home at last. Falling to her knees as her vision blurs, she is glad that she could meet him for the one last time. He has lowered himself to her side, and as she hugs him, she shares with him the sunset she saw last night. It was beautiful; she wants him to remember, as she remembered. She wants him to remember how wondrous the world can be, through the eyes of their childhood. Lying down, she shares her last thoughts with him, and she feels he understands.
With a sigh, she lets go. Yet all through the night, had you happened to walk on that field, you would have seen them, a unicorn and a human, side by side; and you would have seen the unicorn weep; and had you gone to him, you would have been presented a vision of a sunset; and you would have wept, too, without really knowing why. And perhaps you would have stayed and listened to their story so that you could tell it yourself, one day.
They would have wanted you to remember.