Amnesia

I wrote this because uni made me. I’m not that pleased with it re: storyline but fuck it someone might like it

I must have been 5 or 6 or 7 or something when I woke up, confused and nauseous, spread-eagle on the warm pavement outside the hospital. My head hurt. I tentatively wiped my fingers across the painful spot, feeling the warm blood seeping through the skin. I then discovered that I couldn’t remember any of my life up to that point.

The enormity of this situation took a few moments to set in. The realisation of my lack of memory threw me into a shocked, fearful mess. My mind raced through endless, confused, upset thoughts in a frantic whimper. My eyes began to well helplessly as I scanned madly around the vaguely familiar landscape for anything helpful.

Going inside to get my wounds tended to didn’t even cross my mind. Priority number one was survival, and I knew I was too young to survive by myself. I needed friends, a family who could bring me up and teach me how to live and what to do. Vague recollections of my old family sprang to mind – shadows of faces I struggled to recognise faded away like smoke on the back of my eyelids. Words like ‘mummy’ and ‘daddy’ echoed in my ears – words with no meaning, words my heart seemed to treasure.

My head throbbing, I began to pace along the cement pavement, feeling it glow with heat underneath me. It was at this point I realised I was barefoot, and dressed in nothing other than a hospital gown. My stomach snarled like an angry beast. I didn’t feel hungry though – I was sick to the pit of my stomach, tears running down my face like raindrops on a windscreen.

It felt like there was a vacuum in my brain, an empty hole in my memory, a dark pit that I longed to shove my hand down and grab a few shards of my past. It was hopeless. I’d never felt so alone – normally I have familiar faces in my mind, keeping me artificial company, but they’d been cruelly snatched away from me, to wherever forgotten memories go.

The road under my feet stretched off to infinity – I felt insignificant and vulnerable. Strangers patrolled both sides, so tall and fearsome and shadowy their very presence gripped me with fear. They made me nervous. It’s like mummy and daddy said. Stranger danger. I tried again to think of them, struggling to pull them from the recesses of my head and to focus their hazy silhouettes into something I could recognise. I was desperate. It was unbearable. I loved them and I depended on them, but I didn’t know what they looked like, what they sounded like, who they were, or anything.

They must be frantic, pulling their hair out with worry over their missing son, I thought, gulping.

I turned around look at where I woke up. They don’t care about me at all, I realised. They deserted me here, leaving me to get lost in the system so they can forget about me. I wiped tears away and turned back to the hospital, the blood from my head wound running down my cheeks and resigned to the fate that had been forced upon me.

I caught a reflection of myself in a car window, instantly recognising it as me. My face was contorted like a monster; the wave of grief and anger and confusion had hit me like a truck. My curly blonde hair was matted together, a red mess of tangles and congealed blood. My cheeks were rosy and pink from my hysterical crying. I studied it, trying to determine some of my parents’ features, searching every inch of my skin for something recognisable. It was impossible. I began hyperventilating, my panicked cries getting faster and deeper and less controllable. I sat down on the kerb next to the hospital entrance, trying to calm down.

It was at this point hysteria seized control and I threw up. My stomach contracted violently, squeezed in a bear hug, shooting vomit through my gullet and out of my mouth uncontrollably. I moaned softly and threw up again, my sick staining the pavement an ugly yellow. I put my head in my hands and stared at the floor, hocking up and spitting out the remaining chunks. I watched it streaming down the gutter and dribbling down a grate. The taste stayed in my mouth, the acid burning the back of my throat.

I spent about 5 minutes staring at my shoes. Flecks of bile had landed on the toes. I wish I knew where I was. This is the worst day of my life, I thought, and I can see it getting even worse. I wiped my face with my t-shirt, staining it with blood, tears and vomit, stood up, and walked into the hospital.

Before I’d spoken to anyone, a doctor had grabbed me, sticking a syringe into my arm, which knocked me unconscious instantly. The doctor appeared in my dreams, a sinister, masked face, wielding a scalpel, shoving it into my skull. Recollections flickered in my mind; small, evil words that filled me with retrospective dread.

Pioneering brain surgery.

Memory removal.

Human test subject.

I woke up in a hospital bed, with my amnesia gone and my head healed.

The fear of that day has stayed with me. I’d like these memories removed next time please.