Who can you trust when the memories are gone? Doug Smith draws from the Salvage Writing Prompt on NiTH debut.
TRUST OR NOT TO TRUST?
A Story About Memory Loss
by Doug Smith
For the OPEN SPACES Science Fiction Short Story Contest
You open your eyes to see two people attending you. In the distance blue and red lights are flashing ‘where am I?’ One of them is a beautiful lady; she is holding your right hand with luscious rosy-brown hair resting on her olive-green shirt. And the other is a man, short and silver hair, wearing a blue denim jacket with one hand in one pocket, and the other using a handkerchief to wipe the mucus falling out of his nose.
‘Are you okay Dylon? He asks. ‘What happened?’ You can’t remember anything, your head hurts; you cannot think at all, ‘where am I?’
‘We had a car crash. We are on the side of the road in the middle of Sydney just near Bicentennial Park’ the lady says to you.
‘Who are you?’ you ask her,
She clenches your hand harder, ‘I’m your wife, Caroline. Come on. Let’s get you some rest at home. You hit your head on the dashboard pretty hard.’
She stands up and tries to pull you to your feet but you pull your hand from her grip. ‘I don’t know who either of you are, or who I am. Why should I
trust you?’ you ask.
You are completely unaware like a newborn child. You don’t know why you were given life, or for what purpose you exist. She says home, but where is home? If she is your wife why can’t you recognise the smell of her musky perfume. No memories spring back into the mind. Nothing.
Your head throbs with frustration. You don’t know anything or anyone, ‘I don’t know who you are or who I am’
‘Please remember me’ the beautiful lady begs, kneeling back down and clenching your hand again. ‘You were always there for me, please trust me.’ The musky smell triggers nothing.
‘Come on Son. Go home with Caroline and I’ll sort out this mess,’ the man says to you. You stand up and look at the one that calls you ‘son’ the one who apparently gave birth to you. To trust them or not to trust isn’t the question anymore, to feel or not feel is more like it. But deep down you don’t feel anything, no emotion to the situation, ‘I’m sorry. I don’t want to trouble you.’
‘Just like me, stubborn. I’ll call your brother’ says the old man. You have a brother, but you don’t remember.
‘Is this how you want to solve this problem? You try to do everything by yourself’ says Caroline, with a growing frustration of your lack of co-operation.
‘I don’t want to cause you two any more problems. I am sorry if we had something before. One day my memory might come back, but for now there is nothing.’
You turn around and start walking off. You look at the two cars on the road, crashed at the noses. People are everywhere and you don’t know who they are or what they are doing. The sounds of people talking, the smell of burnt rubber jolts a memory. To a recent time. You were in the back seat of a car, next to a girl, your sister. Your Father was driving, but he had long brown hair. Your mother was in the passengers seat. You were going down Mount Ousley heading to Wollongong, the stench of trucks braking ahead of you wafted in through the windows.
‘I am your wife! Please don’t turn around on me, we have been through so much!’ yells Caroline, bringing you back to the present. The old man is on the phone; you realise he is not your father. He isn’t talking, just staring at you, waiting for you to respond.
You look at your hands, there is no wedding ring ‘you aren’t my wife or father.’
Both of them are stunned but no words come out of either of their mouths.
‘Goodbye,’ you run as fast as you can away from them. In the distance they fade but where are you running? You do not know where you are there are no memories. Nothing. But you run anyway, dodging traffic and turning corners. You will see them again soon, you can feel that in your heart but you don’t know when or how.
TRUST OR NOT TO TRUST? – A Story About Memory Loss by Doug Smith is based on Prompt #1 From Writing Prompts For Science Fiction Stories