Author : Cameron Filas
It’s about a five year process, the whole prison-rehab formula. Since the introduction of Memwipe, crime rates have plummeted. The idea is to take a dangerous criminal, wipe their memory, then give them a basic education and return them to society.
Still, I’m not so sure it always works as planned. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been a firm supporter of Memwipe. That is, until my brother got convicted.
It was a bullshit arrest. If your girlfriend leaves her apartment door unlocked, and you show up with flowers and invite yourself inside, I don’t think that’s really a crime. At least there wasn’t intent. The way he smashed open the other guy’s face when he found them in the bedroom was pretty bad, I’ll admit. He did have a sort of violent streak in him growing up.
It’s no surprise they nabbed him within the hour and hauled off to a rehab facility. With crime rates so low, anything like this makes headline news. I couldn’t believe it when I first saw his face on my TV.
He got out a few weeks ago. He’s simpler now, like a minimally functioning human. When you go through Memwipe, everything you own, your house, your stuff, your dog, it’s all taken away. Supposedly, exposure to things from before rehab can have adverse effects on the treatment. They also encourage family members to avoid Memwiped individuals, for the sake of society. But he’s my brother.
When he was released, I found him wandering through a mall by chance. He wasn’t drooling or zombified or anything like that, he was just…blank. I almost didn’t recognize him without his beard and colorful sleeve tattoo down his left arm. They use laser surgery to remove all tattoos, pictures from the past.
“Jake?!” I said. “Oh my god, Jake!” I gave him as big a hug as I could manage around his broad shoulders.
He didn’t embrace me back and, when I let go, only had a confused look on his face.
“It’s me, Sarah…your sister.” It hurt, him not recognizing me. But it wasn’t his fault. “Come on, you’re staying with me.”
We had been close all our lives and I couldn’t bear him being out in the world alone. It wasn’t breaking the law, per se, but it was definitely not advised.
Back at my place, Jake seemed to be having a hard time taking everything in. It would’ve been impossible for me to tell him we’re siblings without explaining why he has no memory of this. He just kept shaking his head, saying he didn’t remember.
Pictures of family vacations and Jake and I holding up beers on my 21st birthday hung on the wall down my hallway. He studied them intently, like a scientist who’d just discovered a new species. I kept tearing up, flooded with mixed emotions. In a way I felt bad for telling him what he’d done, and about the life he’d had before Memwipe. But he’s my brother. He deserved to know.
I couldn’t really tell if any of it was coming back to him, or if he was just soaking up what I told him. Either way, he started asking questions.
“My girlfriend, what did she look like?”
I dug through a box of old photos and handed him a picture of them together.
“I think I’ll go find her.”
I couldn’t understand his motivation. “But Jake, she cheated on you.”
I haven’t seen him for a week.
I hope that Memwipe really works, changes people. I hope, for both our sakes.