I woke up with a nervous feeling in my stomach. But at the same time I was happy. I smiled to myself, getting myself out of bed. Today was the first day of school–I was going to be a senior. It was kind of hot today which was weird since it was fall, but I just shrugged it off. Summer just ended, it was perfectly normal.
When I went to go look at the time on my alarm clock that sat on the nightstand, there was a piece of paper right next to it. I frowned when I didn’t recognize where it had come from.
Who’s Luca? And when did I write this? I didn’t remember writing this at all last night. I decided to not dwell too much into it since I would be late for school if I didn’t hurry up and get ready soon.
After I got done showering, I wrapped a fresh towel around my body. I walked over to my dresser for the outfit I had prepared last night, but it wasn’t there. “Where is it?” I muttered aloud to myself, shifting my gaze all over my dresser. I opened my drawers but they weren’t in there either.
I exasperatedly sighed, groaning in frustration. I remember putting it on my dresser yet it wasn’t here! Massaging my temples to ease myself, I dealt with it by finding another outfit. I wouldn’t want to be late for the first day of school just because I couldn’t find my outfit that I had spent a lot of time to setup together.
Feeling glum already, I threw on a plain white tee and faded blue skinny jeans with my red converse. I brushed my hair and felt content that I had at least found an outfit even if it wasn’t the one I had planned to originally wear.
Checking the time, I saw that I only had a few minutes left before I would have to go to my bus stop. I frantically looked around for my backpack but had no such luck in being able to find it.
A loud groan emitted from my mouth and I tried to take deep breaths to calm myself down. I specifically remember that I had put my backpack at the end of my bed so I wouldn’t forget it.
Glancing at the clock, I only had three minutes left before the bus would arrive at my bus stop. I decided I would just go downstairs and ask my mom if she’s seen my backpack and why my outfit mysteriously disappeared.
The last step creaked as I was coming down and I looked around the unfamiliar surroundings. What happened to my house? I asked incredulously in my head, gawking at the new furniture and arrangement of things that seemed to mysteriously get in here overnight.
I walked over to my kitchen in confusion as I couldn’t recognize any of the new walls or paintings hung up on the walls. “Mom?” I asked aloud, knowing she was a morning person and was probably drinking coffee in here or cooking breakfast.
I stopped dead in my tracks when I noticed we had a new stove, refrigerator, table–even the cupboards, flooring, and counters were new. My eyebrows furrowed together in confusion as I looked around the unfamiliar place. “Did we get a renovation in here?” I asked once I spotted her sitting in one of the new chairs, sipping on her coffee and examining me.
“We did,” she said while nodding her head slowly. She folded the newspaper she had been previously reading and stood up, walking over to the sink to wash her cup.
I walked around the counters so I was closer to her. “When did we get a–” I noticed the time on the clock in the kitchen. Well at least that was still there. My mom had gotten it from her late father–also known as my grand poppy. “Hey, mom,” I said nervously. “Do you know where my backpack is? It was on the edge of my bed but it’s not there anymore…” I waited impatiently as she dried her cup with a washcloth.
My mom turned around and I noticed her eyes were brimmed with tears. I went up to her and gave her a hug. “Mom, what’s wrong?” I asked worriedly, my eyebrows knitting together. I looked up at her and noticed her short hair. My face turned into a frown as I reached out a hand to touch the ends of her hair. “When did you cut your hair?” I took a step back and felt like I was living in a completely different world. Why was everything so weird and all of a sudden so different?
“Mom?” I croaked out, knowing that something was obviously very wrong here. “What’s happening?” It had already been two minutes ago that the bus should have come to pick me up from my stop, but I hadn’t heard or seen a bus drive loudly pass my house. “Why isn’t the bus coming to pick me up?” I asked, my voice raising with each word I spoke. Was it me? Was I crazy or mentally ill? “Answer me,” I pleaded, my voice cracking.
She composed herself and walked past me to the living room. “Follow me,” she said in a scarily calm voice. I nodded my head and followed suit. I needed answers. She told me to sit and I did. Except these couches weren’t the ones we had bought a few years ago when my dad was still here. Instead these ones were a light brown with extremely soft texture and comfortable cushions.
Mom set a disc inside the Blue-Ray and I had to bite my tongue to hold back spilling out a million more questions. As the disc was setting up to play my mom stood back up next to the TV and clasped her hands in front of her. “Aria, there is something important I need to show you.”
I watched as the date of yesterday appeared. September 4th, 2013. My eyebrows furrowed in confusion as I wondered about, “What about yesterday?” A news article about a car accident that had happened showed next. I gasped as I recognized that car had been my mom’s. It was completely trashed and barely recognizable as it was slammed against a tree. The headline read: CAR CRASH CAUSES SHORT-TERM MEMORY LOSS.
The very last picture that showed was a picture of me, except it didn’t really look like me. I was lying in what looked like hospital bed. On the left side of my head, all my hair had been shaved off and there was a long stitch going across the top.
I choked for air for I felt like I had forgot how to breathe. “O-Oh my g-god,” I breathed out shakily as I shook my head in denial. I couldn’t believe this. No. No! This couldn’t have happened? Why?
I looked at my mom who was now sitting on a smaller sofa to the right of the one I was sitting on. She was watching me calmly and closely, probably familiar with all these questions and reactions coming out of me. Was that why she was so calm?
My eyes started to water and I could feel the tears streaming down my cheeks. My heart tugged and I had a feeling that I had seen this more than once before. “It’s not the first day of school anymore, is it?" I asked, my voice cracking, even though I already knew the answer. My fingers twitched and I so badly wanted to see if there was still a scar on my head. But my hand wouldn’t move. I was afraid to touch it anyway.
My mom sadly shook her head. “No, it’s not.”
“So I have short-term memory loss?” I asked once again to make sure that I really did and wasn’t just imagining things. Even though I knew I already did have short-term memory loss, there was a small hope inside me hoping that she would deny it.
She nodded her head and said, “Yes.” My heart crushed and my lip trembled. If I stayed any longer, she would hear my wails and sobs. I’m sure she had heard enough so I had to leave–I needed to leave.
“I–I need to go,” I whispered, getting up and quickly walking past her. I was glad I already had my shoes otherwise I would have to awkwardly put them on in front of her right after I just said I had to go. Setting my hand on the knob, I was about to twist it open but my mom’s words stopped me.
“You’re changing, you know,” she said quietly. Since I couldn’t see her, I couldn’t see her reaction or how she felt about that.
My hand dropped down to my side and I turned around to face her. “Changing, how?” How was I changing? I couldn’t change! I would always have short-term memory loss. Everything that happened after the day of that stupid crash, I wouldn’t ever remember.
“You’re reacting differently when I show you the video,” she explained. “It’s as if you’re mentally fighting to be able to remember things now. Yesterday you ran out of the house, and you’re about to do it again now. Before, you would just accept it, holding in your tears and continuing on as if nothing ever happened.”
Was it true? Was I really changing? Was it actually possible for me to remember things now? I shook my head. No, that would have to be a miracle. And miracles didn’t exist. I didn’t know what to say to that, so I just left once again.
I ran to a bridge near a park and leaned over the railing. I screamed at the top of my lungs. I didn’t want this! “WHY ME?” I wanted to be able to remember things! Or new people! “Why can’t I be able to remember?” This was so stupid! “I don’t want to forget!”
I don’t want to forget anymore.
I don’t want to forget all these new faces I met, or new things I learned or did. What if I made a mistake? How would I ever be able to learn from it if I kept forgetting it?
“Aria?” a voice called out to me.
My shouting immediately stopped and I could feel my cheeks heating up. Well, that was embarrassing. I turned around to the person who had said my name and my eyebrows knit together as I realized I didn’t know this person at all. And I’m more than positive I would have recognized him since he was incredibly cute with his fluffed up dark blonde hair and enticing gaze.
“Who are you?” I asked curiously.
His expression slightly dropped and he said, “It’s Luca. Don’t you remember me? Just yesterday we were talking.”
Luca? “So you’re Luca,” I said aloud, immediately shutting my trap before I let any of my inner thoughts out. He didn’t know I didn’t remember him. But at least I understood the piece of scratch paper now. He was the mysterious Luca.
He looked hurt as soon as he heard me say that. “What do you mean by, ‘So you’re Luca’?” he asked in a puzzled tone.
I shook my head and looked him in the eye. It felt like he expected so much from me and I had a sudden urge to lie. So I don’t know what overtook me as I plastered on a fake grin and said in a cheerier tone, “Nothing! I’m sorry. I stayed up last night and my mind was a little hazy.” I lamely moved my pointer finger in a circle motion next to my head to initiate that I was a little “cuckoo.”
After I said that, I immediately regretted lying to him and mentally slapped myself for being such an idiot. Lying to him about remembering him wasn’t going to get me anywhere. But the smile on his face could have lit the whole world up which seemed to slightly ease the guilty feeling in the pit of my stomach.
“I’m sorry, Luca,” I whispered quietly.
“What was that?” he asked, stopping mid-sentence through his story.
Shaking my head, I forced a laugh and said, “Nothing.”
I wish it were nothing.