~That? I Know For Sure~
He was down on one knee.
"Are you proposing?" I asked shocked.
A wry smile played on his lips. "That was the general idea." I gazed down at the ring he was holding out. "So what do you say?"
"I say that this is probably the worst idea you have ever had."
"Is that a yes?" he asked.
I tilted my head to the side. "It's not a no." I reached out and took the ring.
Two Months Later...
They were telling me that I had time traveled. "Are you kidding me?" I ask.
The doctor shakes his head. "No, I'm afraid that the accident has impaired your memories."
Okay, maybe I didn't time travel per se, but if you woke up one day with people telling you that it's 2009 and you distinctly remember it being 2007, time travel seems like a pretty valid option. Much more so than amnesia, I mean. Which is what they say I have.
And I had to be all like, "And these are the day of our lives." Because who actually gets amnesia? Really? Anyway, the only person who found this remotely funny was my brother's girlfriend- well, wife now apparently- no one else even let out a giggle. I'm glad to know that they don't think that serious medical conditions should be taken lightly. I guess it's a good thing that those doctors didn't laugh or else I'd be worried.
"Noel," the doctor says, patting my hand," I know this is a lot to take in right now..."
"Have you ever had two years of your life mysteriously vanished?"
The doctor looks distinctly uncomfortable. "Well, no, but...."
"Then how to you know that it's a lot to take in right now?"
The doctor looks to my brother, Cole, for some help. It seems that he is having trouble answering my questions. Geez, what exactly do they teach in medical school? That is why I'm never becoming a doctor. In case I end up getting patients like me, I mean. Obviously, this guy didn't learn what he needed to know.
"I've worked with several people who have experienced differing degrees of retrograde amnesia," says the doctor.
I try not to look impressed. Which was easy because I not. "That's nice. Can I go home now?"
"Well, everything checked out all right, so that shouldn't be a problem." The doctor actually looks kind of relieved. I mean, I've only been awake for three days now after being in a coma for nearly a month. That's what they told me anyway; it's not like I can actually remember any of this happening.
Which is good. I mean, apparently someone tried to bash my head in with a baseball bat. That's what I heard Cole telling someone when he thought that I was asleep. Hello, oldest trick in the book. Me pretending to be asleep, not the bashing my head in with a baseball that. That? Is a completely new one.
At least I managed to bypass the whole post traumatic stress disorder --which is probably the only good thing about losing some of my memories. I also managed to miss the last two years of university. Not that I actually missed them, it just seems like that. The last thing that I can remember is studying for finals. I woke up thinking that I had slept in and missed them and then Cole was all like "Finals? But you got your diploma six months ago."
Which besides totally freaking me out, was kinda awesome. The doctor leaves and a nurse checks my vitals one last time. I tell her that as long as someone doesn't some rushing in with a baseball bat, I'd be fine. Cole who is drinking from a glass of water starts choking. His face goes an interesting purple color.
"What?" I ask him.
"I don't know why you're taking this so lightly. You could have died." His tone is terse.
I shrug. Is there any real point of freaking out over something that I can't even remember? I don't think so.
"Could have, but I didn't," I say.
The nurse shoots Cole a look that says,"poor girl, must have suffered some serious brain damage."
Cole smiles weakly in response. Except for the loss of my memories, my brain isn't damaged at all- I've just always been like this. I go so far as to tell the nurse this and she opens her mouth to say something, but promptly closes it again.
She rushes out the door after the doctor- probably to report everything that I just said.
Cindy- Cole's wife- comes over and sits on the foot of my bed. She's actually pretty striking. Her hair is long and dark and skin is a beautiful mocha color. "You're welcome to stay with us instead of returning to your apartment," she tells me. She's always been so nice to me, even though I can be, and often am, a pain in the ass.
My eyes widen. "I have my own apartment?"
I have been imaging what my apartment would look like ever since I heard that I have been living on my own. When I finally open the door and take a look around, I realize that it's nothing like I would have expected. First of all the walls are beige. That's not even a real color, as far as I'm concerned.
The worst part of it, is that there's hardwood floors. Which, don't get me wrong, are awesome and everything, but I'm shocked to find that they are glistening. I mean, there are no Rollerblade marks on them, at all. That is so not like me.
Cole, who is behind me, carrying my bags, frowns. "Are you sure your going to be okay on your own?"
"I've been living on my own for the last six months."
"Well, yeah," this is from Cindy," but you can't exactly remember that." She's behind Cole with an arm wrapped around his neck.
"I'll figure it out," I say. I walk around my apartment- there's nothing here that I recognize. I pick up a picture of a man that looks mildly familiar and I show it to Cole. "Who's this?"
"That's your ex-boyfriend," says Cindy. "You guys broke up about a week before your...accident."
I purse my lips. I wonder if that fact that I know his face means that I'm getting my memories back. I don't say anything to Cole and Cindy. I don't want them to get their hopes up or anything.
I walk into my bedroom, the picture still in my hand. I have to stifle a little gasp when I see the inside.
"Are you okay?" Cindy calls from the other room.
"I'm fine," I call back, but I'm not. There are tears welling up beneath my eyelids. Sure, I could understand why the kitchen and living room look like they do, but seeing my room like this...
Well, it's almost too much to bear. A few minutes later Cole comes in the room to check on me and to tell me that he and Cindy are leaving.
"If you need anything, just give us a call. I wrote down the numbers my your phone, in case you've forgotten them."
Before Cole goes though, I ask him a question. "What the hell happened to me in those two years?"
Cole actually smiles at that, even though he still looks kinda sad. He has looked that way since I've woken up. "That," he says, indicating my room, which has no purple whatsoever. I can't even locate my favorite stuffed bear- Mr. Fluffy, "is you growing up to a mature individual."
"I don't believe you," I say.
He shakes his head. "Yeah, it's hard to believe, I know. You went weeks without being sarcastic and everything."
I see that he's being completely serious.
"It's weird," he says, "you acting like this. It almost feels like I've gone back in time." He gives me a kiss on the cheek and then leaves. I hear the door shut and a low click as it locks.
Now that I'm alone, I feel kinda nervous. I sit down on my sofa (white) and turn on the television in hopes of relaxing. It is then that I discover that I do not have cable. Or satellite.
Unbelievably tired, I go back into my room and throw myself and the bed. I don't even bother to change. I close my eyes and wait for sleep to take me.
When my eyes open, I see that the room has gone completely dark. The hands my watch says that it's ten o'clock. I assume that it means in the evening. You know, with the darkness and all, but I don't feel like getting up and actually checking.
Considering how tried I still am, I kinda surprised that I've woken up already. That's when I hear footsteps coming from my living room. My heart starts to beat twice as fast. There is someone in the apartment with me.
I get up quietly and search for a phone, but I can't find one. I realize that the only way that I'll be able to make a call is if I use the phone by the sofa. Thinking fast, I grab a lamp from my bedside table. Even though it's hideous, it's of high quality and I figure that if I have to throw it at someone, it'll inflict enough damage that I'll have time to call the cops.
It works in the movies.
I crack open the door and my eyes squint automatically at the light. Now, I'm not a professional thief/ hit man, but I'm pretty sure that if you break into someone's apartment you don't turn on the light. But, hey, maybe things have changed in the last two years.
From my vantage point in my bedroom, I see the offending person. He is back on and is reaching up into one of the cupboards. The bastard is probably trying to steal my dishes.
I open the bedroom door all the way. The man doesn't look like he has heard me. He seems to be listening to some sort of mp3 player. It's then that he turns around, holding a bowl of cereal. Before I have time to realize exactly what I'm doing, I feel the lamp launch free of my hand. It crashes to the floor in an explosion of glass and beige ceramic.
The intruder is gaping at me. I don't know if it's whether I had the audacity to throw a lamp at him, or the fact that my aim is so bad that I missed him by three feet.
"Noel?" he asks. It's only then that I realize that I know the intruder- he is the man from the picture. My ex-boyfriend, apparently. A flash of relief floods through me. Not because I now know he's not a thief, but because I figure if he is my ex-boyfriend, then he has most likely done something to warrant having a lamp thrown at him. I mean, all my other boyfriends have.
"Um, hey," I say. They are the only words that come to my lips. Well, "I thought you were trying to rob things from my cupboards" came to mind as well, but that might have been a bit rude. Usually I don't really care about the whole concept of rudeness, but I have just thrown a lamp at him. I mean, even I have my limits. I'm a good person like that.
"I didn't realize that you were out of the hospital," he tells me.
"I just got released today. What are you doing here anyway? I thought we broke up."
His face flushes. "Yeah, but you were in a coma. I've been making sure that your apartment's okay and that it's stays clean."
I glance at the shattered lamp on the floor and feel the tiniest prick of guilt. Pieces of glass have left long scratches on the floor. Well, at least now the place looks homey.
I look back at the man. I definitely know him, but I can't remember his name. From the way he is talking to me, I assume that he doesn't know that I've lost part of my memories.
"Thanks," I say. He is heading for the broom and I realize that he is planning to clean to the mess I made and everything.
"I'm sorry," he says. My eyebrows shoot to the top of my forehead. I throw a lamp at him and he's apologizing to me?
I think that I'm in love. Except that would be bad, considering we were already in a relationship that didn't work out. Not that I can actually remember it or anything.
He's still talking. "I've been out of town for the last couple of days, I didn't realize that you had woken up. Nobody bothered to fill me in." He is frowning and I think that he's genuinely upset.
"Sorry," I say, because I'm obviously a superb conversationalist. "It honestly didn't occur to me." Because I have no idea who you are. That's how I finish the sentence in my head. I don't tell him about the amnesia, I know I should. I mean, he thinks that his talking to his ex-girlfriend when I'm really just a fraud. That's what it feels like anyway.
I'm afraid that if I tell him, he'll decide to leave. And, I am surprised to find that I don't want that. There is seriously something wrong with me. If only he weren't so cute.
"About that, Noel," he says and starts walking over to me. I take a step backwards- or I would have at least if my body was cooperating at all. Which, it is not. "I was hoping that we could talk. I mean, I know that we didn't part on the best of terms, but you have to give me a reason why you ended our relationship."
"I ended our relationship?" I squeak out because I'm actually kind of shocked. Cole and Cindy hadn't mentioned anything like that.
The man- whose name I still don't know- furrows his brows. He looks like he is at least twenty-four making him five years older than me. Wait, that's not right-about three years older. This whole 'memory loss' thing is a lot of work.
"Are you okay?" he asks me.
"Not really," I say. "I'd be better if someone hadn't tried to kill me, but, hey, we can't have everything in life." As soon as the words are out of my mouth, I know that I've made a mistake. His face has darkened considerably. I think that he's angry, which is weird because he wasn't the least bit upset when I threw that lamp. That can only mean one of two things: he still cares about me and would die for me, or that he thought that lamp was as every bit ugly as I did.
And from the way he's looking at me, I don't think that it's the lamp.
Suddenly, I can't breathe. "Maybe you should go now," I tell him. Everything was starting to be too much.
"Well, the thing is Noel," he says with a look that can only be described as sheepish, "I don't exactly have anywhere else to go."
"Excuse me?" I don't think that I've heard him right.
"Well, you know how I was planning to move in- I gave my landlord notice and everything- and then we broke up and you had your...accident. I couldn't find an apartment. I didn't think you'd mind being in a coma and all."
Now, I am just flabbergasted. I don't know whether I should be insulted or not. I mean, sure he's been living in my apartment without my permission, but he has been taking care of it for me. The entire place is spotless and none of the plants look dead.
But the fact it, this guy is still a stranger. I mean, if I broke up with him, I must have had a pretty good reason. It certainly wasn't because he's not cute (and by cute - I mean drop dead gorgeous, of course, with black hair and brown eyes and a body that would make Justin Timberlake jealous), but also because he has been so nice to me.
"I guess," I say slowly, "you can stay for the night, but really I would think that it'd be best that you stayed somewhere else until you find a new apartment." God, I'm a sucker for the puppy dog eyes.
"Great, thanks Noel- you've always been a stand up girl."
Clearly, he knows me as well as I know him. Which? Is not at all.
A/N: Any comments and/or criticism is appreciated. Like "Mystery of the Missing Fashion Sense" this story is part mystery and part romance, unlike "Missing" however, this story has an actual mystery. And a character with amnesia. Which, I know, is totally cliche, but I figured why the heck not?