Author : Hannah Hunter
Darkness. Eyes open, still dark.
Why is your arm burning?
Where is your phone? What time is it? Why is there no light? I always have my phone on the bed when I go to sleep.
Sharp burning, pain. Just my arm. Why only your arm? So intense I can’t think straight.
This isn’t my bed.
Where is your phone? It will give me much needed light and tell me who I am.
Who are you?
It’s gone. How do you lose your name?
Not lost. Taken.
Who would take your name?
This definitely isn’t my bed, so it’s not my room. How do you know it’s not your room? You don’t even know your own name. The pain. It’s distracting. It’s doesn’t feel like mine. The flesh is tight, raised and warm to the touch. The pain is not going away. How do you know it’s not your room?
There is no bedside lamp. You had one. You’re in single bed and you had a double. You know this. Some memories are here. My eyes fall shut as I try to locate further memories. My eyes are heavy and my brain fogs over. My sleep had not been natural?
Was the pain spreading? I clutch my left arm again as a new wave of pain hits. It’s certainly getting worse. Infection perhaps?
How old am I? My skin does not feel young. I don’t remember any of my birthdays but I know such a thing exists. I know people have birthdays. I know I had birthdays. I’m sure they sucked.
Where is it coming from? There’s a door.
There’s a room beyond.
Can you move?
My body is heavy and aches but I can move. I swing my heavy legs over the side of the bed.
Can you get up?
I don’t have a choice. I must get to the door. It has answers. I will myself to leave the bed. I’m standing. Facing the door.
It has answers.
I need answers.
I shuffle forward. Slowly.
Shouldn’t I be cold? I can feel the air conditioning blasting onto my skin but I am numb to its temperature. Goosebumps appear on my skin, making the flesh on my arm hurt all the more.
Are you in a medical gown?
I can feel the recycled air tickle my bare back.
Is the pain from surgery? Is that were your memory has gone?
The answers are in the light.
Did I choose this? It hurts. Who would choose this?
Perhaps it was an accident that got me here?
My legs are unforgiving of the snail’s pace in which I was travelling.
The floor was no kinder.
My face feels warm. And wet.
Is that blood?
Only the light can tell you that.
Get up now.
Ignore the pain. The pain is not going away. My legs are definitely old. The skin feels loose and dry as I pull myself up. I don’t remember being old.
The door is heavy. Or is it that you have no strength?
Push, push, push.
A bathroom. Not mine.
A mirror. Not mine.
A reflection. Not mine. The eyes, the hair, the broken and bloody nose are not just unfamiliar. They are not belonging to me.
My stomach and heart lurch as I read the note that is on the mirror. The note that was definitely left for me:
“You said you did not want to be you anymore.”