What if someone told you, he could help you to remember everything? Would you be intrigued and excited? Or would you be weary of such an offer?
Well for my part, I have to tell you, that memory is a tricky and sometimes dangerous thing. Once unleashed it can never be contained again. And who knows what shadows lie beneath the roads we walk on? Sometimes it is best to leave the ghosts of the past unstirred and walk on peacefully by. This was an advice I was not able to follow.
My name is Monica Strand and this is my story:
Chapter 1 The Art Of Forgetting
The first thing I could remember was running through a forest. I was on the lookout from someone or something but for the life of me I couldn’t remember who I was running from. All that came to me was an enormous fear of being caught. I was carrying a data stick on a chain around my neck. It was raining heavily and the road became increasingly more slippery as I ran uphill. There were voices behind me, people that were looking for me, but they were half drowned out by the sound of the heavy rain and the occasional thunder.
My hands and feet were sore and bloody from all the climbing through partial forest brush.
Eventually I had reached the peak of the mountain I was climbing and on the other side of it I saw hope in the distance. The shore line came closer and closer into view. I knew the sea meant safety even though I didn’t remember why.
As I ran downhill my speed increased but with it also the likelihood of me slipping and crashing into something. The fear of the people chasing me however far surpassed the other of breaking my neck, so I ran even faster down hill, barely avoiding one obstacle after the other.
It must have been almost an hour later but I remember I finally reached the sea. Upon touching the water I collapsed from exhaustion. In my barely conscious state I could feel the water embracing me and slowly pulling me into its depth.
I didn’t drown. I couldn’t drown because the water was my friend. It came to save me from the hell that I was fleeing.
I remember drifting in the silent depth of the ocean until a light engulfed my entire body. I felt like I was being pulled to safety.
This is all I remember. The next thing that happened in my conscious memory was waking up in a hospital. The nurse said I was brought in via ambulance. They had found me close to the shipping docs after someone called 911. She also said that I was treated by a doctor prior to my arrival at the hospital and that that doctor did a very good job.
I realized the nurses didn’t have any further information for me so I thanked them and tried my best to be cooperative and make their job easier on them. It was a really nice time being treated by these lovely people.
Eventually I was released and told to take it easy for a while. That was 2 weeks ago. I didn’t tell anybody how confused I really felt. I discreetly asked the staff about my own address and occupation. Apparently I was a middle school teacher from lower Manhattan. I had a nice little flat on the outskirts of the city, I had a lot of lovely friends and sweet parents that lived in another state.
Upon returning to the flat, they said was mine, I was hoping some of my memories would come back of my life before the incident. I started meeting some of my friends that called me after I came back. None of them seemed awfully familiar but I did feel more comfortable in their presence than I did on my own. They told me of their lives and their struggles. I could easily tell that they were used to me not sharing a lot about my life as none of them seemed too worried about me avoiding to talk about my time away.
I was able to deduce that I wasn’t gone for longer than 2 weeks. Apparently I went to the Caribbean for a nice time away after a long year of barely any time off. I was supposed to be gone only 10 days but because of my unknown accident and time in the hospital my extended time away was not frowned upon.
Eventually I started teaching again using the materials that I found in my, as of yet, still unfamiliar flat. I surrendered to the prospect of never learning who I was before or what exactly happened to me. The life I had after all was nice and the people kind and helpful. I even started thinking of settling down. Life seemed ok and I didn’t want to even think about that fateful string of events that had happened to me several weeks prior, which were shrouded in mystery. I was done poking holes in the past and decided to look ahead into the future.
These thoughts passed through my head as I way strolling down central park on a sunny evening, when suddenly my whole life shifted right in front of my eyes yet again.