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Authors: Girish Karthikeyan

Remember (7 page)

BOOK: Remember
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She returns to the floor and begins speaking. “Today you heard two versions of events, on the night of August thirty-first. Which story is
true
, the practical or the fantastical? Are the facts, backed by
evidence
, true? The only other person recorded in the office,
Dr. Abby
, is responsible for the attack. His
bloody fingerprint
was found on the murder weapon. His
psychological
affliction compiled him to murder. On the other hand, is an
unknown
third party responsible? Where the motive isn’t a
consideration
and opportunity is sketchy at best. What is the truth? Facts
predicated
on the dutifully collected
evidence
or a tale
weaved
by an imaginative defense attorney. You can come to a decision just as dutifully as the security officials on this case,” Mrs. Alamander wraps up her case.

Now, it’s our chance to leave a lasting impression. Mr. Vintage approaches the jury. He says, “Is Dr. Abby a criminal mastermind? Does he have the ability to get someone to pose as him, all to get an alibi? This is just one of the
inconstancies
in this case. Dr. Abby was
questioned
prior to being mirandized. No other potential suspects were investigated. A psychotropic medication induced the psychological
motive
presented by Dr. Buren. The collection of evidence
based
on a conclusion, intrinsically
taints
any evidence. That is exactly the state of this case. How can you, each
one
of you, convict Dr. Abby on these facts?” Mr. Vintage returns to his chair.

“Let me go over some instructions for the jury,” Hon. Waters says. “You are to consider two possible charges, murder in the first and second degrees. Murder is just the intentional commitment of bodily harm with death as the goal. The matter of which degree, first or second, is a finer distinction. First degree is the act of planning the attack. The person who is the attacker has prior knowledge of Dr. Mekova’s location. They plan the attack in advance. The second degree charge is defined as in the heat of the moment. The goal was something else, Dr. Mekova just happened to get in the way to be murdered. The personal connection indicates Dr. Abby may have had a reason that arises in the moment. The fact of Dr. Abby saving Dr. Mekova’s life can be considered at your discretion. The jury may start deliberations. This court is now adjourned. “

 

Blank Slate

 

New Reality

Thurs 10/30/17 8:30 a.m.

 

I
wake up in a white room. Where am I? I test the door, trying to leave. The doorknob holds its ground. What is this place? I search for another way out. The window, no — glued shut. No way out. I just sit on the bed. Breaking the door down dawns on me but gets dismissed. I think of the possibilities. Someone comes in before I try anything too crazy. He wears some uniform and carries a tray of food.

“Here’s your food,” he says and starts to leave.

“Wait a second, what is this place?”

“I don’t know that much, I just work here.” He continues sweating profusely.

“You can just tell me what you know.”

“This is The Memory Recovery Center.”

What is this place?
“What’s going to happen to me?”

“You can get some info from the screen on the wall. I’ve seen some people just putting their hand on it.”

“Thanks for the help.”

He shrugs and leaves me with the tray of food, resembling a starchy mash, just nondescript — with a similar taste. I give it a good try and can barely keep it down, but I manage a few mouthfuls. That’s enough of this torture. I check the screen, finding 9:00 times a supposedly informative introduction. I try to relax. It just remains out of reach…

 

(—)

 

Nothing happens at the top of the hour, if the screen says anything truthful. A video starts playing. A very happy person appears on the screen in a room just like mine with the same white pants and shirt. A voice over starts. “Welcome to the Memory Recovery Center! We dedicate ourselves in the Process of restoring your lost memories. Everything is better after you undergo the Process. There are just a few simple guidelines to help you get the most out of our Process. A memory techie will be with you shortly.” Matching pictures continue covering the screen. “In the interim, let’s take a chance to go over the guidelines."

1). Residents may not leave the confines of the facility at any time.

2). No period resources may be used.

3). Any memories must come from within your own mind.

4). Any memories are private.

"Please be patient, someone will be with you soon.” Just one message keeps flashing: “Next appoint: 9:30.”

I touch the wall, and the message disappears. Looking for something to keep myself busy triggers questions. What is going on?

Someone comes to the door and enters. “Hi, I’m Charlotte Glaisyé, your memory guide. If you can just come with me, we can get started on the Process.” She has an elongated face and slightly slender nose. Her light brown hair drapes over her shoulders.

“Sure, lead the way. I have a question. Do I get any time outside?”

She nods in answer. “You can go out anytime you want. The first few hours we like to keep people under close watch. As you can tell, many of the people living here can get easily confused. We wouldn’t want someone just
wandering
off, and getting themselves lost.”

“I see.” Frightened is everything I have left, and confused.

“Here we are.”

I’m taken into a dimly lit room. All the stuff hides in shadow. I sit in a chair, while she looks at a pad. Just waiting makes me feel tired.

“Okay, we are going to try assisted hypnosis. Are you ready for the Process?”

I don't know what that even means. Someone sent me here. I should at least try it.
“I’m all set.”

In a calm, soft voice she says,” Go back as far as you can. You have nothing to worry about. I know you can do it. Just trust your memories.”

I start feeling calm and relaxed.

“You are just an observer. Everything you see is right. Trust the Process. You can experience your own memories, now.”

 

Road to Recovery

 

New Day

Tues 4/18/17 8:25 a.m.

 

A
s I wake up, the sun streams into the stark room, housing almost nothing except for two things, a sofa and the bed I’m in. The round sofa encompasses most of the room. I wait for what seems like an eternity until someone comes in.

This person looks at me with bags under her eyes, red sclera. Her dirty blonde hair stands on end as if trimmed grass and fades to nothing at the sides. That large eastern European nose doesn’t outdo her other chunky features.

"You are awake. I just noticed. Hi, I’m Stacy. I will be your nurse today." Her dry smile fades as quickly as it appears.

"What happened to me?"

"I can't tell you that much. According to your chart, you are to stay in bed."

Why not?
"This is the hospital, right?"

"It is common for people to have some memory issues after what you have gone through." She sits across from me on the sofa.

"What else can you tell me?"

"I think it is best to wait for the doctors to come in and answer your questions."

"I need my questions dealt with."

She pulls away, even at that distance. “Please calm down sir."

"Sorry."

"The doctors should be here soon. I will be back in right away."

With that, she abandons me. She must be
inundated
with work. I stare at my left hand with a playing card size box on top of it, probably my IV. Amazing, it feels like nothing is there at all. Just a clear plastic tube connects it to the wall. A second plug-in stays empty along the back of the box.

Why does Stacy act as if anger is embodied in me? I’m raging with anger, huh? Where is the tv remote? It lies around here, somewhere. How do I get assistance with the tv? Even if I call Stacy, should I? Procuring the remote slides from my mind as sleep calls me back.

 

(—)

 

"I’m just back to check on you," Stacy says as she comes into the room. “Here’s some water for you."

"Where is the help switch?"

"I think it is here someplace. Give me a sec. It looks like you don't have one. I’ll come back in a few minutes with one."

There must be some reason I can't escape the bed. The need to call my parents rises up. Tell them what is happening to me. Where is the phone? I wait for the nurse. I put off catching a wink unlike so many other times, avoiding the quick wakeup call shortly after. I have to ensure all my questions receive answers.

"Here is the call switch. After you have pressed it, the switch will light up, and press it again to cancel."

Noted.
"I have one more question. When is a good time to take a nap?"

"This is a good time. I won't be back for an hour or 2. Please remember to stay calm."

"How do I call someone with the phone?"

"All the phones are out in the hallway. You don’t have tech so that’s all I can think of. Of course, I can make the call for you."

Not comfortable with that.
"That’s okay"

"Have a nice nap…”

 

(—)

I hang, suspended by this ball of cast iron bars, high up in some leafy mammoth. A firm, swift tug on the rope holding the cage — through some form of pulley — sends me down from whatever method of comfort I have necessarily employed. I land with the grace of land-bound seal or walrus upon the welt-inducing corrugation of metal bars and air. The descent into the light penetrating fog — beautifully hiding the goings-on at the surface — perpetrates an animalistic, lizard-brain originating rage through me.

The moment of release lies near as through thickening fog a group emerges. The usual screams and yells of fear, anger, and hatred fill the air accompanied by a single wail of deep longing and hurt. From within the heart of the assembly, two people, my parents come forth, tear soaked and still streaming. I extend one arm by the cage, out to them, which they hang to with desperate and strong hands. At this, my ascent to prison and isolation begin as every other day, my endless cycles of suffering continual. Grabbing the bars (seen as fitting) is the recourse of choice. I shake my cage wildly, issuing a guttural sound from deep down. An abrupt drop of this cell knocks me out.

(—)

 

"It looks like you are awake. Are you?" Stay looks in from the hallway.

"Yes, I just woke up as you came in."
Really, again?

She enters and stays by the bed. "I will just take a few seconds to get your vitals— that's it, thanks. Do you need anything right now?"

"Why do you have to come in here anyway? Don't you get the vitals at the front desk already?"

She waits a moment for her dismay to pass with head hung down. "Actually no, without tech. Anyway, it is hospital policy to physically check in on the residents every 4 hours. It is outdated with the current tech, but those are the rules."

"When are the doctors coming in?"

"You know they went on their rounds before you woke up. I can try to see if I can find them."

"I would like to talk to them."

"I'll see if I can locate them for you."

"I have one more question. How do I watch tv?"

She releases an exhausted sigh like a suppressed whisper. "I have to get you all the remotes for the room. I will do that first. I'll be back in a second."

It is strange they evict the remotes from the rooms. Where can the tv be? Nothing looks like a tv
. It must reside here, somewhere.
In the sofa? Maybe it’s a projector on the wall, on the ceiling?

"Here are the remotes. This is for the room. This is the tv. The lights."

"How do I watch tv?"

"The best way to figure it out is just try different stuff. The doctors could take some time to come by. They are always up to something."

I don’t know what to say, so I try politeness.
"Thanks."

BOOK: Remember
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