I cringed at the name. Troy. Troy… Troy?
Augh. My head hurt. Where… I shot up, hearing something thin and waxy crinkle beneath me and feeling my brain crash around inside me.
Ow… What did I do to myself?
"Troy, sit down!" Their voice was ridden with concern. Tangible terror.
It took me a massive amount of strength to peel my eyes open. The bright lights stung. Everything reeked of stale chemicals. Intercoms droned back and forth, paging every Dr. Whosit in the building.
This was a hospital. My churning mind horned with triumph and I almost gave out a little shout of glee. Finally something familiar about this situation. If only but a word.
I held on to that for a second. Not sure why it gave me such satisfaction. It dawned on me then, that someone was still calling frantically for a Troy.
Troy. I knew that name. It was…
"Troy, baby. Please, lay back down. Look at me."
She was talking to me. I am Troy. I laughed at this sudden revelation. How could I have forgotten my own name?
"H-honey? What's so funny?"
For the first time, I took a good look at this hysteric woman. She had these big, haunted eyes. Bulging with tears, about to crash over the wrinkly bottoms of her eyelids.
"Nothing." My own voice surprised me, something that should have been very familiar to me, but instead sounded unnatural.
"Troy sweetheart. How are you feeling?" She laid a clammy hand on my forehead and I shrank away. Confused as I was, I still had enough of myself left up-top to feel like that was crossing a very obvious social wall. It was just weird.
It took me a moment to muster up a reply. I was still getting past being called honey and sweetheart and baby by a middle-aged woman I'd never seen before.
"Yeah, I'm fine. Please…" She grabbed my hand and gave it a squeeze before I jerked it away. "Please, don't touch me."
This was quickly becoming uncomfortable. If I was right, and this was a hospital, then where were all the doctors, or at least the nurses, someone who could tell this touchy-feely old lady to back off.
"Troy?" The tears finally spilled over the edge in one frightful waterfall of hurt. Raw pain. I felt sick. Why was she even crying?!
"Troy?" She squeaked again.
"Who the heck are you even?!" The question broke savagely from my cracked lips.
"Troy, I'm your mother!"
So here I stood, in front of a mirror, trying to get used to my reflection. I tugged uncomfortably at the collar of my old shirt. To me, it was new.
Is this really how I dressed?
The door cracked open, and in it stood the same middle-aged woman from two weeks previous. It felt so wrong calling her my mom, when the only memories I had of her were ones she had try to paint with words for me.
"Are you sure you're up for this? You can wait, you know? You don't have to go back until you're ready."
I shook my head doggedly. The waiting had been done. For the past two weeks since I'd been diagnosed with amnesia and finally sent home, I had refused to even open my closet. I'd been too afraid of what I would find. Inside there would be answers to a question I wasn't even prepared to ask:
Who was I?
It's scary to wake up one day and not know. I mean, all I could think about was… What if I was someone to be ashamed of? What if I found something about myself that my parents didn't even know? Was I into drugs and gangs and other illegal stuff? Maybe I was a success. Maybe I was the top of my class… whoever they were.
Maybe I was like everyone else.
It didn't matter though. That day, I was ready. I was going to face those doubts at school today. I was going to find out exactly what happened in the 'accident' that took my memories. I was going to discover exactly what the world thought of Troy Jovanavich.
"It's okay mom," I said dutifully, "I want to go."
She looked at me with a feeble nod, and the same teary eyes from before. "If you're sure," she sniffed.
But perhaps I should have taken her advice and waited, or even decided never to go again. Perhaps things would have been better if I transferred, and just left my old life behind me. I may have been happier if I just started over, from scratch., if I'd never found out who "Troy" really was. But I wouldn't have been any better of a person because of it.
I was given another chance for a reason.
I hardly even remember the ride to school. It was silent, marked only by the sound of my apprehensive thoughts. I had to keep telling myself what I had this morning. Troy Jovanavich was ready.
When we arrived, I drew a sharp breath. The school – my school – was clogged with people. There wasn't a single one I had seen in my life. As to be expected when my life, as I can recall it, was only two weeks long. Heck, I didn't even know my birthday. Only names. Names but no faces.
Harper. That was the name that stood out in my mind the most at that moment. Yet I knew that when I found the person the name belonged to, they would simply be a face I could attach to it.
A husky black guy sauntered up to me. A grin tore across his face. "Dude! Look who's back! If it isn't the devil himself."
Who was this guy? What would Troy have called him? Dude? Buddy? Man? Homey? Dog? I suddenly felt like an impersonator in my own life.
"Hey." That was my lame response.
"Chris, he prob'ly still feels like crap. Give the guy a break!" The chide came from a spunky blond sporting bootie shorts and a too-small tank. Who was she?
"Hey Troy," the same girl smiled gently, turning to me, "How are you? I heard about the accident."
"Uhm…" Really, I wasn't sure how to respond. Did they not know? "I-I'm good." I said.
Two more burly teens bolted up, joining in our little one-sided reunion. Both of them smiled and slapped me fives. They greeted me by name and started to say something before a girl bounced up.
Please don't try to talk to me too. I begged silently for an end. As it turned out, she did try talking to me. And she wasn't the last. Boy was I a fool… Thinking I could handle this!
I wasn't sure what to say to them. Every single one of them knew my name. With I sickening feeling, I was reminded that I used to know these people.
What were they to me now?
Faces. Faces without names.
The funny thing was, in my head I had the opposite. Names without faces. I'd have thought that would somehow match up. All I had to do was connect the dots. Too bad I'd forgotten where the dots were, along with everything else.
"Good to…" it took me a moment to swallow something bitter before I could continue, "good to see you guys.
Suddenly I had to get out. I had to get away from that crowd of people, all with my name on their tongues. It was too much. All I'd wanted was clues. A chance to discover what the guy whose body I was roaming around in was like. It didn't even feel like my own.
"Excuse me guys. I really can't talk anymore." My voice came out wavery as I pushed through the crowd of close friends I didn't know. From behind me, I could feel the incredulous, curious, scrutinizing looks. I ignored them all. Get out. Get out. Get out. That's all that mattered then.
I could handle class. Maybe.
On a wild gamble, I let my feet carry me frantically away, to… I looked down at my map, a green slip of paper reading: Seacrest High.
Room 202. That's where I was headed.
After three years at this school, I had to refer to a map for directions to class.
This was hopeless.
And just like that, my feet were somewhere not on the ground and my face was speeding toward linoleum. Incredibly, something almost my size caught my fall.
"Get off me! I didn't do anything to you!" It yelped.
It wasn then that I realized, with a pale face, that I had somehow tripped over someone a good head shorter than me. I scrabbled off the thrashing kid and he shot to his feet, looking every bit like a cornered animal.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. Hey could you help me out actually? I'm looking for…" I began.
Recognition burned in his eyes and he cut me off. "Why the heck would I help you?" With that, he brushed off his jacket furiously.
Fact number one I learned about myself today: I'd made at least one enemy.
That should change. Right now. I'd fix whatever I had messed up before… before what?
"Hey, look, I don't know exactly what I might have said or done to you but…"
Again, I got stopped short. Just like my memory. The boy had rage in his dark eyes, churning eyes.
"Don't," he growled, "don't pretend like you don't know. That's a bunch of crap! I fell for the nice guy approach once. It's not happening again. You'll have to find someone else to play your stupid jock games with."
My mouth opened, but nothing except a grunt of shock escaped. I didn't even know this guy's name, but he hated me. I was starting to get the feeling I had done something really cruel to him.
Fact number two I learned about myself today: I was a sadist. Apparently I liked messing with people.
I was reluctant to add anything else to the list.
The boy, I still didn't know his name, bent down to grab his stuff and I studied him. He had black hair that hung down past his eyes. They were blue eyes. Sad blue eyes. The slump in his shoulders screamed of loneliness, but the fire on his face screamed "back off." When he adjusted his backpack, his black hoodie sleeve rose up ever so slightly, revealing three glaring red hashes.
It clicked in my head. Those wounds… they were self inflicted.
The hatred in his eyes lit with a haze of fear when he looked down and noticed what I'd noticed. He yanked the sleeve down darkly, looking back at me with such a wild mix of emotions that I couldn't even begin to read them.
I found myself asking a sudden, probing question. "What's your name?"
I'm not even sure why I asked that. The look he shot me made it obvious that I shouldn't have.
"Like you don't know already. Or do you just forget everything that's not important to you."
I flinched. He had no way of knowing what he'd just said.
Everything I'd forgotten, was it because it didn't matter to me?
"No," I said, answering his question and my own, "look I don't really…"
"I don't want to hear it! You're not getting another laugh at my expense."
Another laugh? Jeez! The list of offenses just kept growing! But I wasn't trying to get anything out of him. I wanted to right my old wrongs, not make new ones. He needed to know that. But first, I needed to know what those wrongs were.
"Th-that's not it!" I said desperately.
"Well I don't want to hear what it is. You're just like everyone else in this pathetic excuse for a school. You don't care about anyone but yourself. That's fine! I don't care either!"
The boy spun on his heels, yanking his hood over his head. He all but ran. It was a bitter moment when I realized exactly what he was running from.
Distantly I heard a bell ringing. Apparently I was late for class. To that I gave a dry laugh. There was actually a good reason for my tardiness. I was lost in a school that I knew like the back of my hand less than a month ago, and I was busy being hated fro a person I had no recollection of being.
As far as first days of school, mine was record-book worthy.
Dismally I plodded in the general direction of room 202. Maybe. It looked like I was headed that way on the map. My navigating was interrupted by a sudden blackness. I couldn't see a thing.
Oh please, oh please, oh please don't let this be some kind of a relapse. I couldn't afford this right now! I… wait. I erupted with laughter as lifted my hands to my eyes and realized there was something warm and fleshy blinding me.
My "relapse" was a pair of hands.
"Guess who?" I heard a giggly voice behind me.
"Uuuuh…" There was pure irony in this situation. I was supposed to guess who this girl was without looking, when I wouldn't have known her even if I could see her.
"It's Harper silly!"
Harper! I knew that name! It had been on my mind most of the day.
When she removed her hands I gasped. Like I expected, she was just a face to put to the name. But her's wasn't just any face It was perfect. What was the word for it?
Yes, beyond a doubt sexy. But it wasn't just her face. It was every bit of her, down to her cute little painted nails. So this was Harper.
She bounced on her tiny feet and gave me a quick peck on the cheek. "I've been thinking about you all day Troy!"
I stood there, entranced by this gorgeous creature. "I've been thinking about you too." It wasn't exactly a lie…
She grinned and linked her fingers with mine and I knew I was in deep. In what, I didn't know.
Fact three I learned about myself today: I had a girlfriend. And she was hot.
Thanks for reading thus far! Originally this was an assignment for Creative Writing Class, but I loved my concept and like many other things, I have decided to continue it!