When I Forget

I've never wanted any of this to happen.
Maybe if I'd
Think harder.
Love harder.
Dream harder.
None of this would have happened.
I love you,
Shailene Woodley as Aimee
Naomi Watts as Isabelle
Robert Sheehan as Alec
Miles Teller as Kyle
Chloë Grace Moritz as Mia


1. 🌊chapter one🌊


{even the smallest memory

can slowly destroy you}


I'm Aimee May and this morning, the 19th of September 1994 at 4.56 AM, my life changed forever.

"Are you feeling better honey?" in that moment I realize I'm not the only one staring at God knows what outside the kitchen window.

" huh?" I ask, not looking away from the gray Monday morning sky.

"I asked if you are feeling better" my mother repeated.

I move my eyes from the sky to my feet. I forget all the questions in my mind and I try my best to give a little smile to her.

"I'm fine" I finally say to her. She stares at me for a while that felt longer than it actually was, and then finally she walks to the other end of the table to make coffee.

I'm fifteen years old and I'm turning sixteen on the 4th of October, so my birthday is not that far from now.

I don't have brothers, or sisters. There is just me, my mum and my dad. I'm not sure where my dad is right now tho. I would love a little sister, but my dad said no a thousand times. He says it would be difficult to look after her for the first few years. I'm all day at school and my parents work all day until late. My dad starts work just before lunch and there for I'm confused on where he is now.

The first strange thing I felt when I woke up is that I know I don't have to ask mum about dad. I want to know where he is but inside me I know I can't ask her about him.

I'm literally freaking out and my mind is about to blow up because I have absolutely no idea why I shouldn't ask her.

It takes me a moment to realize what my mother said.

"are you feeling better?" how does she know how I felt early this morning? How could she possibly imagine the way I feel right now? No. there must be another reason for that question. I mentally tell my self to calm down and I pic up my school bag, ready to go. My mother's voice stops me:

"what are you doing Aimee?" I look up at her. I must look confused because she looks at me and then she keeps explaining.

" I talked to the headmaster about the accident and he said you can take a couple days of rest and go back to school when you think you are ready." she says with a sad voice. I fall back on the chair and look at my knees.

"W-what sorry?" I blurt out. She comes closer and sits across from me on our little kitchen table.

"Honey I don't understand, are you sure you're feeling alright?"

"Yes mum. I mean, my head hurts a bit, but I'm fine." I say. That's normal dear, when you spend two days crying." she takes my hand softly

"Now go and rest okay? I'm not working today so call me if you need anything. We are going to find him this afternoon, so wake up before then, okay?" I'm really confused on what she is talking about,but I manage to say "yeah, okay" and go towards my room.

Every step I take feels like ages. My feet are heavy and my head hurts. I open the bedroom door and I let my self fall on the soft bed. I black out.

"Honey! Wake up, lunch is ready" "aah!" I shout, sitting up on the bed. my back hurts, and it hurts even more when I realize I slept with my schoolbag still hanging on my left shoulder, my back arched on top of it. I close my eyes and concentrate on breathing. In. Out. In. Out.

I hear my mother running up the stairs, she probably heard me screaming. "Aimee!" she says, walking past the door and coming towards my bed.

"Are you alright? I heard y-"

"It's okay mum. I'm fine."

"Okay then, lunch is ready. I'll wait for you downstairs, okay?" she says. "Okay" I say and she leaves the room.

Oh God, did she actually believe me? Did she really believe I'm fine?

How could I possibly be fine, when I wake up in the morning and my mum is sad and I don't know why. I'm about to go find someone in hospital and I don't know who. Someone had an accident and there for I'm not going to school.

But worst of all, I still don't have a clue about where my dad is today.

My head is still hurting, but despite that I get up and go down the stairs to find my mum sitting at the kitchen table, waiting for me.

I need answers.

I pull out the chair and sit across from her.

"Mum?" I ask.

"Mmh?" she says,taking another sip of soup. I take a deep breath.

"Where's dad?" I ask, my voice sounding nothing like me. She looks down at her bowl.

"Honey he's still in coma, he still didn't wake up from the accident. After lunch, when we go find him, I'm going to talk to the doctors and we are going to know something more."

I feel tears about to pour from my tired green eyes.


Dad had an accident and now I probably lost him forever.

And I don't remember a thing about all this.

I throw back the chair and run to my bedroom. I get in and lean against the closed door. I can't help it. Tears start streaming down my face, fast. There's something wrong with me. I can't simply forget all about something like that.

I go to the bathroom and wash my face and make my hair not so messy. I look at my self in the big mirror. My blonde hair still messy, and my green eyes still sleepy. I look awful. I change my self and put on a yellow dress, my favorite. It's raining so I grab a jumper and go downstairs. My mum is at the door, waiting for me.

"ready?" she asks to me. I try to give her my best smile,


Fifteen minutes later I'm standing in front of the woman with the worst fake smile ever. The woman, sitting at the reception, doesn't stop smiling at us even when she asks,

"Can I help you?"

'Oh my God, really? You don't say!' I think, and my lips curve into a little smile. My mum clears her voice,

"Yes. My name is Isabelle May, and I'm looking for Adam May. Could you please tell us what room he is in?" the smiling woman looks at her computer, "sure. Uhm...there he is. Adam May, room 194. It's on the third floor, on the left." She smiles again. I'm about to puke, seriously.

"Thank you" my mum says, and we walk towards the elevator. The number three button turns green and the doors open. There it is, room 194.

I'm not sure I can handle this. I still feel a little guilty for not remembering about this, not sure how this actually happened. While I was thinking about all this, my mum had already opened the door.

"Coming?" she smiles at me,

"Sure" I answer. I don't have the energy to give her even a flat smile, so I just say

"sure" and wait for her to get in the room.

We walk slowly towards the white bed, surrounded by white walls, with my dad in white clothes in it. As soon as I see dad lying in that bed, my head starts hurting. My mum turns towards me and I mumble that I'm okay.

I see a red car going fast towards another car.

I open my eyes and I find my self sitting on the floor by the hospital bed.

What? I look up at my mum and I see she sat down on the edge of my dad's bed. She's holding dad's cold hand and if I'd look very carefully, I would see a tear on her left cheek.

I see the two cars get closer.

My head hurts even more.

"Mum? Do you mind if I go downstairs and buy a bottle of water?" I ask her. She thinks about it for a moment, "That's fine Aimee, but come straight back." I nod and leave the room. I get in the elevator and go to the first floor, where I see a little bar. I go to the counter and ask for a glass of water, they don't have bottles. I pay and look for a table. There isn't an empty one, so I go towards the closest one. I clear my voice,

"sorry? Do you mind if I sit here?" the boy looks up at me.

"Aimee?" my best smile overtakes my whole face and he stands up to hug me hard.

"Oh my God, Kyle. What are you doing here?" I'm almost crying. We both sit down at the little table.

"I'm your best friend Aimee, I was worried about you! You didn't show at school today, so I asked the headmaster in what hospital your dad is. And I thought I would find you here." I brush a tear from my right cheek and I smile.

"Mia is worried about you too, but she had to go home after school and she didn't manage to come." he continues. "I'll talk to her tomorrow and tell I'm okay. I'm going back to school, I can't stand it here." I say to him. After a while my smile fades.

"So you know about my dad" I say, flatly. He takes both my hands,

"He's going to be okay, Aimee."

"Yeah, I'm the one that's not okay here." I say. He's eyes meet mine,

"why do you say this?" he asks me.

"I'm freaking out, Kyle. I think there's something wrong with me. When I woke up this morning I couldn't remember anything about the accident. Only now that I saw dad, I start remembering things, slowly." I'm starting to cry again.

"Is probably a thing you wanted to forget." he says.

"yes Kyle, but you don't simply forget something just because you want to."

He opens his mouth to say something, but then he simply looks down and nods.

" I have to go now, my mum will be worried" I say, quietly.

"But will I see you tomorrow at school?" he asks.

"Sure" I smile. He get's up to hug me and after the hug he leaves the hospital.

I go back to the elevator, but when the doors open, I see my mum in it.

"Here you are" she smiles "the doctor came in and said the visiting ours are over"

I check my watch. It's five PM already.

We go home and as soon as we get there I let my self fall on my soft bed. What a day.

During the journey coming home, I kept having visions and flash backs about the car crash. Now I can remember every single thing about it, but I'm still afraid that I would forget something else that night.

I remember my self crying about dad and wishing that none of that happened and wanting to forget it all. Then I remember checking my phone, it was 4.46 AM. Then I fell asleep.

But today I can't sleep, not now. There are flashbacks, memories, visions in my head every two seconds. And I haven't had dinner yet. When I can't sleep, there's only one thing that I'd do. It's the only thing that I like more than sleeping, in moments like this one.


Reading is the only thing that can wash all the pain inside me, that helps me forget the sad things. Reading makes me disappear. I sit up and grab "Looking For Alaska" (all rights reserved) from my desk. I open the book where I left it last time.

Eighty-nine Days Before

I start reading.

He lay on the top bunk, reading for his English class. Moby Dick.

"how can you read and talk at the same time?" I asked.

"Well, I usually can't,but neither the book nor the conversation is particularly intellectually challenging."

"I like that book" Alaska said.

"Yes" the Colonel smiled and leaned over to look at her from his top bunk. "you would. Big white whale is a metaphor for everything. You life for pretentious metaphors."

"Aimee!" I hear my mother call from the kitchen "Dinner is ready!"

I put the book down on the bed and run down the stairs. I'm starving.

"I made pizza" she says smiling. "yummy" I say kissing her cheek and sitting down at the table at my usual place, facing the window. Mum always sits in front of me, and dad sits at my left.

I eat every single last bit of that delicious pizza and after dinner I go back to my room.

I sit on the bed and open the book.

Alaska was unfazed."So, Pudge,what's your feeling on the former Soviet bloc?"

"Um. I'm in favor of it?"

She flicked the ashes of her cigarette into my pencil holder. I almost protested, but why bother. "You know that girl in our precalc class," Alaska said "soft voice,says 'thees' and not 'this'. Know that girl?"

"Yeah,Lara. She sat on my lap all the way to McDonald's."

"Right. I know. And she liked you. Which is why you need me" she continued "She thinks you're cute, Pudge."


"Doesn't mean anything. Problem with you is that if you talk to her you'll 'uh um uh' your way to disaster."

"don't be so hard on him" the Colonel interrupted.

I look up and stare blankly at the wall in front of me. I can't be bothered to read anymore. I put the book back on the desk, turn the tiny light off and turn to the side. I fall asleep in seconds.

My alarm clock rings, it's seven forty-five AM. I get up and have a quick shower; I wash my face and put my makeup on. Then I go back to my room to get dressed. I choose a pair of long skinny blue jeans and a long-sleeved gray t-shirt with a red edge round my neck and wrists. I check my phone, It's twenty past eight.

I run downstairs and have breakfast. At quarter to nine I say bye to mum and start walking towards school.

I've always loved walking to school by my self. I usually go straight to school, but this morning I decide to take the long road.

I walk along the long road surrounded by trees, on both sides. It's autumn and the leaves are starting to fall to the ground. I grab my headphones from my bag and plug them in my phone. I put between the bars by Elliot Smith on repeat and I listen to it all the way to school.

I arrive to school ten minutes later, to find Mia and Kyle in the doorway, waiting for me. As soon as they see me arrive, Mia runs towards me and wraps her arms around my neck. She bumped into me so fast that I almost fell.

"Aimee! Are you okay? We were so worried!" she shouts. I missed her soft but loud voice.

"I'm fine Mia. All okay on your end?" I say as she releases me. She smiles.

"I'm okay now that I know you are." she answers.

I take two steps forward to hug Kyle.

"I've missed you so much" he says into my hair. I look at him and smile.

"we'd better go," I say to both "history starts in two minutes right?

"right" they say.

My life is finally back to normal; I didn't seem to forget anything else and the flashbacks stopped.

I look out the big kitchen window, it's finally sunny. All is perfect, besides the fact it's Friday and I have to go to school. Besides that, I'm okay.

"So, there's this new biology teacher" Mia is saying to me "and she- are you even listening to me?!" Of course I'm not. Well, I was listening to her, but then Alec's eyes happened. Me and Mia are sitting on a bench at school, during the break, and Alec casually walks past us wearing a dark blue flannel shirt that matches with his dark eyes.

"So?" I am temporally confused on what Mia is saying.

"Uh?" I ask. She laughs softly, "Were you even listening to me?" she looks in Alec's direction "That's Alec so no, you were not listening to me." she laughs again.

"we should go," I say "the next lesson starts now." she nods and we go to class.

And so the history professor is trying to fascinate twenty-four annoyed teenagers, talking about


said by I-don't-remember-who

in the I-don't-remember-th century. I don't have the energy to learn about I-don't-remember-... and all that, so I lay my head on the table and I look out the window, thinking that

forgetting isn't to not remember; forgetting is not wanting to remember.

I move my head closer to the window, so close I can hear the smell of this sunny autumn day.

We can't choose to not remember, but we have a choice on forgetting or not.

And this is what happened with me. I choose to forget the accident, but I didn't choose to not remember it.

This thinking of mine brought me to the end of the lesson, and to the end of the week.

This means that Saturday is tomorrow, and Saturday is the day me an mum go find dad at the hospital. I'm not in the mental state for it, but I'll deal with it.

When I get home from school I grab a pack of biscuits and duck my self under the soft sheets in my bed. I grab looking for Alaska and start reading.

"We're going on a triple date" says Alaska "well, a triple and a half date, since Takumi will be there too. Very low pressure. You won't be able to screw up because I'll be there all the time."


"Who's my date?" the Colonel asked.

"Your girlfriend is your date."

"All right" he said, and then deadpanned "but we don't get along very well."

"So Friday? Do you have plans for Friday?" and then I laughed because the Colonel and I didn't have plans for this Friday, or any other Friday fr the rest of our lives.

"I didn't think so." she smiled. "Now, we gotta go do dishes in the cafeteria, Chipper. God, the sacrifices I make."

I grab another biscuit put the book away. For the following fifty minutes I just sat there, on my bed. Staring at the white wall, falling asleep eventually. Thinking about what's worse between forgetting and not remembering. They both happened to me at the same time, so.

"Dinner's ready?" I hear my mother calling from the kitchen. This woke me up from my thinking, and I go downstairs to eat dinner with her.

"Hi dad" nothing. A feel a tear streaming down my left cheek.

"You know, you're lucky being here, sort of. School sucks. Today wasn't so bad though. Was your day okay dad?" I stay silent a while, waiting for any kind of answer. "No, of course not. Well I have to go now dad, my boring day is waiting for me." I release his hand and walk out the room.

I get home at four PM and I go in my room to study.

And then, in 1983,...

"Aimee! Remember you need to study for your history test!" "yes mum! I'm doing it"

The war ended in 1926, when...

My phone rings. "yes?" "Hi Aimee" I throw my self on the bed and smile. "Hey Kyle" I say. "have you studied history? I'm freaking out Aimee, does he really think that memorizing all this is possible?!" I laugh. "Sure it is," I say "I've made it." "Yes but you know I've always hated History." He says back. I think about it for a while, then I give up, "Need help?" I ask. He laughs, "is it so obvious?" he says.

So ten minutes later we are sitting on my bed, studying history.

One hour later, Kyle doesn't seem to get better. "I can't stand it anymore." he says. I look up at him, "I've been sitting here with you for one hour and a half, and you can't stand it?" I ask.

"Well that's the best part."


"Anyway," he continues "I didn't seem to learn anything so far." one second of silence and then we both burst into laughter. "okay, go and ask Mia. Maybe she can help." I say, putting all the books away and opening the bedroom room for him. He reaches towards me and hugs me hard, "thanks" "It's oka-" "seriously, thanks" and he leaves the room.

I hear my mum saying goodbye to him, then I hear the front door close.

I lay my self on the bed and open my book. Two lines later, I fall asleep. Clothes and shoes on, book on my chest.

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