Losing Your Memory

When Kol first left the village- left Gemma- he always thought about her. He was almost constantly thinking about Gemma. His heightened emotions weren't helping him any. Gemma was just always on his mind, in his dreams, in the back of his head. Her presence was everywhere to him. And no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't shake her.

And it made everything so, so hard for him.

Bella's arrival only made things worse. Not just because she brought news of Gemma's marriage and child, or because she was always trying to talk to him about her sister, but mostly because she reminded Kol of Gemma. Bella had darker hair and green eyes, but they looked similar. And if it was dark enough or he was drunk enough, he could almost swear that she was Gemma.

And no matter how many doors he bolted his humanity behind, the sting when he remembered that Gemma wasn't with him never got any better.

He never thought about Gemma and her husband and their son unless he was lying in bed in the dead of night and he couldn't keep those thoughts out. He tried not to think about how happy she was or how much she and her husband loved each other. He tried not to think about how perfect their little family must have been. He tried, but rarely succeeded. Kol almost wished he was the type of man who could be happy that Gemma was happy, but he wasn't. In fact, if he could've ripped her husband apart, he would've. Gladly. Because Gemma was his, and the fact that someone was trying to claim her as their own enraged him.

The sting when he realized that Gemma was no longer someone who he could call his was worse than the sting when he realized she wasn't with him.

His siblings never knew how often Kol thought about Gemma. They never knew that she still had his heart firmly in her hand. They never knew, because he never let them know. He pretended that he was long over Gemma, put on the pretense that he no longer cared in general, let alone for the little fairy he used to love and hate with all his heart. Sometimes Bella would look at him, and he knew that she saw right through his fa├žade. She never once said anything about it, though.

Then, one day, almost ten years after Bella joined them, Kol received news from his sister-in-law that set him on the course that changed his entire being.

Gemma was dead.

That was one of the only days Kol ever really understood Niklaus, the day he realized that Gemma was no longer among the living.

It was also the last night Kol ever let himself think about Gemma again.

But that didn't come so easy. Gemma refused to let Kol forget about her. She wedged herself into his mind, causing random memories to spout out at the most inconvenient times. It was almost like Gemma wanted Kol to be driven mad by his pain, his loss. She wanted him to lose his mind like he lost her.

So instead of not thinking about Gemma at all, Kol only thought about the worst parts of the fairy. He focused on them, studied them, and memorized them, as if they were the key to ending his heartache. If he could convince himself he hated Gemma, he'd stop loving her. And then the next eternity would be bearable for him.

Kol thought about how proud Gemma was. She thought she was so high and mighty, like she was better than half of the girls in the village. She was arrogant and narcissistic, as if any man she met should've been fighting over her to have her as a wife. She was loud and opinionated and couldn't keep her thoughts to herself. It was impossible to control her. She was wild and reckless and impulsive and careless. She was temperamental and obnoxious and even a bit rude at times.

And she was so completely perfect for Kol, it made him want to believe in soul mates and fate and destiny and all that shit sometimes

Kol tried to move on, tried to forget about the way her lips felt against his, the way she tasted, the way she smelled, the way she pressed against him so perfectly, like they were two puzzle pieces fitting together. He had many conquests parading in and out of his room, in an attempt to move on from her, and for a while he had managed to replace Gemma's taste and smell and feel with theirs. For a while, it had been enough to get him by. And that, mixed with his mantra of all of Gemma's faults, had Kol convinced that maybe, just maybe, he would be okay.

But then, one morning, when he had compelled his date from the previous night to leave, Rebekah had been there as he saw her out. Kol just smirked at his little sister and went to brush past her, when she said the words that made Kol realize he was anything but okay.

"You do realize that every girl you've been seeing the past few months all in some way look like Gemma, right?"

And the more Kol thought about it, the more he realized that Rebekah was right. And he loathed his sister for it.

Whether it was their skin tone or their eye color, the way they wore their hair or the how they laughed, every single conquest had at least some similarity to Gemma. And it made Kol realize that she would never leave his mind, no matter how hard he tried.

He was so good at pretending he was over Gemma, he had even managed to convince himself.

Then there were the nightmares that started years after her passing, as if she was haunting him. They were recurring and cruel and even more proof that Gemma wanted him to go insane. Even to this day, Kol could still quote every single phrase from his repeating nightmares.

"You know, Kol," dream Gemma would purr, looking so beautiful and malicious his heart hurt at the sight of her. "You leaving was the best thing that has ever happened to me. Because you left, I got a husband who is a real man- not a boy like you- and a beautiful son. Two things you could have never given me."

And Kol wanted so desperately to yell at her that he wanted to give her those things. Did his necklace and his nickname of 'Future Missus Kol Mikaelson' mean nothing? But he could never speak a word in his nightmares.

Dream Gemma would cock her head to the side, before smirking at him. "You're pathetic, Kol," she would say slowly, letting her words cut him to the core. "You're a pathetic excuse for a man, and everything is your fault. My death is your fault."

She would narrow her eyes at him, her lip curling in disgust. And Kol would just grit his teeth and take it, because there was nothing else he could do.

"Let's face it, Kol. You're a screw up. You break everything your hands touch, and if you weren't such an arrogant boy, I wouldn't be dead right now. But, no Kol. You let your arrogance get in the way- again. You were too selfish to fight for me, and I died because of it. You practically made those witches kill me."

And then Gemma would regard him with cold eyes as she drove her final attack on his heart.

"You're just an arrogant, foolish boy, Kol. That's all you'll ever be. And I never loved you."

And one night, after Kol woke up yet again from the same nightmare, covered in sweat as he looked around his room to see if Gemma was indeed there, he gritted his teeth and sighed. Enough was enough. He wouldn't let Gemma do this to him. He wouldn't let her drive him mad. He was done with the pain and the guilt that came with loving her. He was done with feeling.

And that was the last night Kol ever thought about Gemma. He pushed his memories of her behind a thick wall in his mind. And then he stopped caring and feeling, not just about Gemma, but about everything in general.

Because if he let himself continue to care, he would lose mind. And Kol never wanted to lose anything ever again.