Losing What is Lost
They say I have amnesia – retrograde amnesia, to be exact. I cannot remember anything that happened to me before waking up to sunlight on my face and a boy screaming. They say he is my brother; I don’t remember.
Someone slipped up one day, a guy around my age named Elijah. He was telling me how we were friends and that I lost my memory because of an ischemic stroke. I had tried to interfere in a fight between my prom date and my ex-boyfriend, Oliver, – “Classic Alice,” Elijah had said then – and my ex had shoved me out of the way a little too hard. That was when I collapsed, though it wasn’t just from the shove. I had started speaking ‘gibberish’ before the fight broke out, but it had all happened so quickly that my friends didn’t have time to be concerned. I stumbled between the guys before the coincidental moment.
Because it wasn’t my lack of balance or inability to speak that had me brought to the hospital, it was the blood streaming down my split lip. I was lucky that Oliver had shoved me, otherwise it would have been longer before I had gotten help.
I’m lucky; I know I am. I have only been in the hospital for six days and I can already remember traces of the confusion I felt during the fight. The feeling of my feet floating in air before being grabbed back to the ground. The people dancing around me in a circle.
The thing is: that’s not all I remember. I have had brief flashes of an angular face yelling at me, grabbing my arms so that red crescent moons were left behind on pallid skin. Dark hair – my hair – flying around my arms only to be pulled behind me, yanking on my scalp.
I may not remember everything right now, but I know that I don’t want to. I think something bad happened before prom, and I’m not certain anyone else knows, except for Oliver. Because, it is his face that I see (according to the pictures brought to me), and, as desperately as my family and Elijah want me to regain my memory, I can’t bring myself to want the same. People bringing in pictures from before makes my situation worse – because it’s helping. This current guilt is nothing compared to the pain from the past.
The more my memory comes back, the more I treasure my amnesia. It doesn’t make any sense except to say that I am beginning to believe that I am too weak to handle the truth of my life. I am terrified, and I can’t remember feeling a similar emotion except for in my lost memories that are beginning to not feel so lost.