“When can I come home?” she asked with hopeful eyes.
Her dark, curly hair was knotty and the blue dip-dyed ends were faded. Her chocolate coloured eyes were ringed in dark circles as if she hadn’t slept for weeks. Her skin was pale and her cheeks were hollow, she looked sick and it broke my heart to see her like this even though she was recovering.
“I dunno you’ll have to ask the doctors. I’m sure it’ll be soon though, you’ve improved so much of the past couple of days.”
“It’s all because of you,” she smiled lovingly kissing me softly as we lay face-to-face on the small hospital bed.
“When you love someone you’ll do anything for them,” I replied softly brushing strands of her hair out of her face.
“I’d do anything for you Calum,” she murmured sleepily.
“And I’d do the same,” I smiled kissing her forehead. “But for now you need sleep, okay?”
“Okay, night Calum,” she yawned closing her eyes. “I love you.”
“I love you too.”
A week later I made my way slowly through the hospital to Dani’s ward, awkwardly passing the receptionist I yelled at daily before Dani started to remember me. And every time the receptionist looked at me I felt guilty no matter how many times I apologised.
The corridors were quieter than usual; there weren’t many people around considering it was around 9:30am. I strolled into Dani’s room without knocking her head snapped up at the sight of me walking through the door, a huge smile plastered across her face.
“Guess what?!” Dani asked excitedly bouncing up and down on the hospital bed as I walked into the sterile room.
“What?” I asked raising an eyebrow as she pounced on me, enveloping me in a tight hug.
“I can come home!” she squealed.
“Are you serious!?” I laughed happily.
“Absolutely,” she beamed. “I asked the doctor this morning when he came to check on me, he said as long as I come back once a week for a check-up I’ll be right to go home.”
“This is so exciting!” I yelled picking her up and spinning her around.
“I know; no more hospital food, no more un-comfy bed and no more nights alone!”
“Thank god, I’m sick of sleeping by myself in our bed,” I sighed, wrapping my arms around Dani’s tiny waist. “Pedro misses you too.”
“And I can have a bath, and go back to the gym!”
“Can you leave now?” I asked eager to get out of this hospital for a while.
I woke up in a room I didn’t recognise. My heart began to beat faster, sweat began to form on my face and terror began to take over my thoughts. Where the hell was I? A half-naked tanned boy was lying on his stomach beside me; a wave of panic ran through me as I looked down at my body which was thankfully covered. I needed to get out of here… wherever here was. The last time I checked I was in a hospital. I climbed out of the bed and looked around the room. I noticed a lot of my clothes; they were hanging in the wardrobe, lying on the floor, draped over the back of things and flowing out of drawers. Did I live here?
The boy in the bed stirred, groaning at the sunlight streaming in through the open window. I stiffened at the thought of the boy awakening, who was he, what was I doing in the same bed as him? My conscience told me to calm down but I couldn’t so I did the first thing that came to mind when the boy opened his eyes; I hid under the desk. It was a bad hiding place because when the boy opened his eyes I was the first thing he spotted, his face contorting into a look of amusement.
“What are you doing?” he chuckled in his husky morning voice.
“I-I… who are you?” I asked stuttering, my whole body quaking in fear.
“I’m Calum, Dani. Are you okay?” he asked concernedly sitting up, looking at me with worry.
“No, I don’t know where I am, how I got here, or who you are. Are we friends?”
“Dani, I… we’re… you’re my girlfriend…” Calum stated looking utterly heartbroken.
“A-Are you sure? I don’t remember you. How long… how long have we been… been dating?”
“Three and a half years.”
“Why… W-why don’t I remember any of this!?” I asked terrified and confused.
“You were in a car accident and the head trauma from the accident left you with amnesia. You were starting to remember most things and the doctors gave you the all clear, you came home last night and you were fine.”
“Amnesia?” I asked in wonder. “Why is it back Caleb? Does Kat know? Can you take me to see her?”
“’Course,” he smiled sadly, silent tears falling from his eyes as he slid out of bed pulling a pair of jeans on over his boxers.
She climbed in the passenger’s seat and sat as far away from me as she could. I sighed starting the car, I worked so hard to get her to remember and it all goes flying out the window after she’s home for one night. We soon arrived at Kat’s and Dani was quick to get out of the car and run up the driveway to the door. She knocked on the door rabidly and it was soon opened by a half asleep Michael.
“Hey Dan, hey Cal,” he smiled half-heartedly letting us inside.
“Where’s Kat?” Dani asked urgently as soon as she was through the door.
“Kitchen,” Michael mumbled letting out a loud yawn.
I stared after Dani in agony as she ran into the kitchen leaving me standing in the doorway with a surprised looking Michael.
“She’s not pregnant is she?” he asked giving me a sly smile.
“She’s the complete opposite. She’s relapsed, her amnesia has come back.”
“No,” Michael gasped looking at me in pity.
“Yeah, she… she uh… doesn’t remember me,” I breathed, tears threatening to spill from my bleary eyes.
“Again? Oh mate, I’m so sorry,” Michael mumbled pulling me in for a quick hug.
“Its fine,” I muttered shrugging it off, Kat and Dani coming into view, Kat looking at me like someone from my family had died, and honestly it felt like one of them had.
“Relapse?” Luke asked as we sat on Michael’s couch talking after the girls left to go get coffee.
“It’s the weakening of someone's health after some improvement,” I replied sadly. “I called Dani’s doctor earlier; he said it’s normal for there to be some sort of relapse.”
“That sucks,” Ashton mumbled quietly to himself. “I don’t know how you do it; I know I wouldn’t be able to cope if it happened to Kylie.”
“Love Ash, love is the only thing keeping me here,” I replied quietly. “I’d do anything for Dani because I love her.”
“She loves you too, you’ve just got to help her find that again,” Michael commented.
“I know,” I smiled weakly. “I’ll try the photos and the videos first; if that doesn’t work then I’ll have to think of something else.”
“She’ll come back to you Cal, she always has,” Ash giggled as I blushed.
“Shut up, let’s not talk about that… ever,” I groaned placing my head in my hands.
“Okay, okay,” Ashton laughed holding his hands up in surrender.
As soon as Michael told me Kat was in the kitchen I was there in a flash, scaring the bejesus out of her. She was making pancakes in one of Michael’s old t-shirts and a pair of knee high socks, her hair was a mess and her neck was covered in hickeys.
“Someone was busy last night,” I commented making her jump.
“Yeah, yeah, as if you and Calum didn’t do anything,” she rolled her eyes turning to look at me, her eyebrow raised.
“Calum? Is that who that guy is out there?” I whispered in case the boys could hear us.
“Dani? Are you alright?” Kat asked like the so called ‘Calum’ did this morning when he found me under the desk.
“I’m fine, will you people stop asking me this?! Jeez!”
“Dani, what’s wrong?” Kat asked turning off the frying pan and turning around to face me. “Why can’t you remember Calum? Are you joking or are you serious?”
“I’m serious, I woke up this morning next to him in his room or something and I freaked out, when he woke up I was still freaking out. So I asked who he was and he told me I was his girlfriend and I just got out of hospital,” I answered while Kat looked at me in misery.
“Did Calum tell you that you had amnesia?” Kat asked sadly.
“Yes, why?” I asked.
“I think it’s come back Dani, you remembered nearly everything over the past couple of days and today… Calum must be shattered, especially since he worked so hard to help you remember him because he was the only one of us you forgot.”
“What do you mean he was the only one I forgot?” I asked uncomprehendingly.
“You remembered everyone but him; me, Mike, Luke, Lanna, Ash and even Kylie but not Calum.”
“I don’t understand… if he’s my so called boyfriend why didn’t I remember him first?”
“That’s something your doctors couldn’t even figure out, you’re a weird one Dani,” Kat smiled sadly.
I don’t know what Kat was thinking but when she said she wanted to go out for coffee with the girls I instantly became cautious. She called Lanna and Kylie and invited them over. Before they even got out of the car Kat was dragging me down the driveway and pushing me into the car.
“What should I do?” I asked the doctor, it’d been barely 24 hours and I was back in the hospital again, this time without Dani.
“I suggest that you do what you did before with the pictures and videos, maybe with ones that you didn’t show her previously. If that does not spark memories then I would recommend that you try something different, relive past.”
“Like take her on a date?”
“Only if it has relevant significance to you two.”
“So if I took her out to where we first met or where we had our first date… it might work?”
“Exactly, but a word of caution, if she remembers too quickly her relapse may be permanent,” the doctor warned. “Take it slow with her.”
“I don’t know Doc, Dani’s different. She… she doesn’t really take things slow…”
“What do you mean?” the doctor queried.
“Dani’s the type of girl who dives in head first with no second thoughts.”
“If that’s true then this might be difficult for her… for you.”
“Shit,” I mumbled under my breath.
“If you are able to, bring Danica back here this afternoon at 4. I’d like to run some tests.”
“’Course doc, anything I can do to help,” I smiled sadly, standing up and running my fingers through my hair.
“Just take it slow and you should be fine, it’s worked in the past. 4 o’clock Calum, remember that please,” the doctor replied quietly before he ushered me out of his office and out into the corridor.
“I promise, I won’t forget. I love her too much to see her like this,” I replied leaving the hospital as quickly as I arrived.
“Well that was interesting…” I commented as Kat and I climbed back into her car after having coffee with the girls.
“I know, I never thought Lanna would be the first one pregnant. Honestly I always thought it’d be you,” Kat giggled starting the car.
“What’d ya mean?” I asked confused.
“Don’t worry, don’t worry,” Kat mumbled waving me off.
“You can’t not tell me now Kat, what’d ya mean?” I asked again firmly.
“Well… you and Calum have… you know…. a lot of sex…”
“Are you sure? He’s hot but am I really that desperate?” I asked uncertainly.
“You and Calum have been together almost as long as Michael and I have Dani, it’s not desperation it’s love.”
“Then why can’t I remember him if we’re supposedly in love?”
“I don’t know Dani, that’s where everything goes wonky. Calum’s tearing himself apart but he’s going to make sure you remember; he’s done it once he can do it again and I know he won’t give up until you do.”
“But what if I don’t?” I asked worriedly.
“Then he’ll do everything to make you fall in love with him all over again.”
“You’re so positive! Why Kat? How are you so sure I’m going to remember?”
“You’re so full of what ifs and negativity that it may be affecting you, just… I don’t know… embrace it. You’ll remember, I know you will even if it takes time, you’ll find your way back to Cal somehow.”
“How? How do I embrace it!?” I nearly shouted; the frustration inside me was almost unbearable.
“Figure it out Dani, you’re not stupid.”
Much to my surprise Dani came home with me that night, she was still distant but it felt like she was trying. There was small talk, it may have been slightly awkward but at least it was something.
“Did you hear about Lanna?” Dani asked breaking the silence.
“Uh, yeah, Luke told us,” I replied quietly.
“Kat said she thought it’d be us… you know… having a baby…” she replied softly as if she was scared.
“I think everyone thought that, I did too but then… you got into the accident and I couldn’t think about anything other than the thought of possibly losing you. When they said you were fine the thought of children came to mind again but after that I was slapped in the face by the reality, my girlfriend had amnesia and she couldn’t even remember my name, let alone the fact that I love her.”
“I’m sorry,” she whispered toying with her fingers in her lap.
“It’s not your fault,” I sighed pulling into our driveway and parking the car.
“It’s not yours either,” she snapped back, closing her eyes and resting her head against the headrest. “And it is my fault, I don’t know who you are and according to everyone you’re one of the most important people in my life.”
“I am, well I was. I’m just trying to get you back to your old self Dan, only if you let me help you.”
“I do, I do want you to help me but please… please stop making me feel guilty for forgetting you.”
“Good,” I smiled. “Go get pretty, we’re going to the hospital then I’m taking you out.”
“Like on a date?” she asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Doctor’s orders,” I winked, turning off the car and climbing out Dani close behind.
I rummaged through the countless clothes in the bedroom, some were mine, some were Calum’s and some I don’t know who owned. All the clothes I found weren’t sophisticated enough compared to Calum’s suit. I groaned in frustration and fell backwards onto the bed in a huff.
“I can’t find anything,” I whined as Calum walked into the room looking all dapper.
“Wear this,” he grinned holding out a little, black dress hanging on a coat hanger.
“Where the hell did you find that?” I asked.
“It was in the laundry,” Calum replied and suddenly it clicked in my head.
“With all our fancy clothes we don’t want to ruin,” I mumbled causing Calum to grin.
The trip to the hospital was short and awkward. The doctor asked me a few questions and I was right to go again. I had no idea where Calum was taking me; he kept sneaking glances at me as he drove a smirk etched on his face. He pulled into a McDonald’s drive thru and ordered what must have been the usual because he knew my order off by heart.
Once we’d collected our food, Calum drove slowly out of the drive thru and back onto the main road. The smell of chicken nuggets and sweaty processed burgers filled the car making my stomach growl in hunger.
“Where are you taking me?” I begged for the umpteenth time.
“Back to where we met,” Calum smiled cheekily.
“Kat told me we met at our old apartment…” I stated.
“Nope, we met in the Macca’s drive thru, you were drunk off your head and I was stoned and hungry. I drove through the drive thru and nearly ran you over because you were lying in the middle of the road.”
“Oh god,” I groaned placing my head in my hands. “I did not.”
“You did,” Calum laughed and then you got up ordered your food along with mine and climbed in the car.”
“I’m so sorry,” I giggled.
“Don’t be, it was one of the best nights of my life. After that I drove us to the nearest park and Friday Night Park was born. The rest is history.”
I parked in my usual carpark at Friday Night Park and stopped the engine. Dani looked at me for a minute, trying to put the pieces together.
“This is Friday Night Park?” she asked once realisation hit her.
“Yeah,” I smiled looking out the windshield at the deserted park.
“It’s not that great,” Dani mumbled.
“It doesn’t have to be,” I replied. “It’s the memories that we’ve had here that count.”