memories best forgotten
by stephanie meyer
i don't own them. i don't claim too. it's just for fun.
the only thing i claim is the hungery elevator. those studing late at the medschool will
know what i mean.
Phillip caught the end of the international news and was concerned to say the least. The
tiny country in Africa where Diane was conducting her research was expelling all
American and European citizens. She was deep in the bush. This was not expectable.
Diane Grad sat in the back of a troop transport truck with half a dozen other people,
holding a blood soaked rag to her head. She glared at the soldiers interspersed within
their midst. She'd already met the business end of the automatic weapons when she
hadn't moved fast enough for them. Her head was still throbbing. She was livid. The
truck stopped on a dusty airfield. They were being flown out, to where, she didn't know.
As the only non journalist there, Diane wasn't preoccupied about were she was going but
by what she was leaving. Her research was actually taking off the ground. It was getting
somewhere and now it was ripped away form her again.
She stopped brooding and examined the people around her. The physician in her took
over. Scrapes, bruises, maybe a concussion, sprained extrimeties. Nothing life
threatening if the concussion wasn't too bad.
They were forced out of the truck and roughly propelled up the stairs and onto the plane.
Diane had lost count of the bruises she'd reiceved form the time she's been dragged,
kicking and screaming out of the Massi village untill she was shoved onto the plane.
They were flying on some sort of jet. The flight crew was nervous. Hell, Diane thought,
I'd be nervous too. I should be nervous, if I had any sense left. She droppped into her
seat. She didn't blame them for their nervousness. She was just too tired to care. She
waylalid a flight attendent. "Once we're up in the air, I need all the emergency equipement
to start treating these people."
"You're a doctor?" the man asked.
She nodded and regretted it. He'd hit her harder than she thought.
They were up in the air without insident. As soon as they were, Diane was out of her
seat, finding the nearest flight attendent. "Where are we landing?"
"I need to make sure no ones got any serious problems."
"I know, I'm bleeding. I need some bandages and alohol. Tell people what's going on.
Triage them. Bleeding, how much, is it slowing. Find things to use as bandages.
Alcohol for sterilization. Anyone with a head injury, I need to check them. Don't let
anyone lose consiousness."
She disappeared into the lavaitory to bandage her head as the anouncement come over
the intercom. "Ladies and gentlemen, we do have a doctor on board. If you..."
Diane finished bandadging her head quickly, ignoring the angry bruise that was forming,
and headed back into the main cabin.
Three hours later she fell into an exhausted state, unaware of her own need for medical
intervention. She woke up with a roaring headache. Blindly, she transfered to a
conecting flight to the US. Sixteen hours later, the plane touch down in Chicago. Dirty,
tired, and without anything except the clouths on her back, Diane wondered into the city,
in shock and in pain.
She ran into him at an El station and panicked.
Jack McNeil plowed into the woman without seeing her. She came out of nowhere. He
was about to lose his temper when he noted her condition. She was starting to
"Hey, calm down, I"m not ging to hurt you. You look like you need some help. I'm a
doctor." He looked at her eyes. "We need to get you to a hospital."
Keith looked up as Jack came in supporting a nearly uncounsous woman. "Page nuereo
now!" An hour later, Diane was in surgery.
PHillip was watching from the observation lounge. He knew she was a Jane Doe. He
had no idea why he was watchng, but he was. The patient's face was draped. Subdral
hlematoma. Possible blown pupil. Not good but Lisa was the best. Not to worry
because she was the best.
He hit the intercom. "How's she doing?"
Lisa looked up. "It's too soon to tell, but I think she's going to make it. Do you know
who she is yet?"
"No. But I have a feeling."
Phillip was reviewing the woman's chart. He went ahead and ordered a sessries of tests
and some meds. Just in case. "I want this done as soon as possible."
"Yes, Dr. Watters."
Then he headed for post op. He found Lisa. "What's teh verdit?"
"She did well. There shouldn't be any more than minimaly braindamage."
"Minimal? How miminmal are we talking?"
"Some memory loss. Maybe a tremmor that pt could fix. I'm worried about infection
though. She has a pretty sever laceration on her face that looks infected. Her skull is
"I went ahead and ordered ome tests on a hunch."
"What kind of tests?"
"Blood tests, cultures. For infection. And a pregnacy test. And I started her on the
"I have a feeling Lisa. I think I know who she is." Then he went in and sat next to her
bedside. He placed a hand on her forehead and his eyes filled. "Fight, Diane. We've got
you back. Don't give up now."
Phillip reviewed the test.
"Good catch, Phillilp," Lisa came up behind him.
Lisa's brow furrowed. "What is it?"
Phillip handed over the chart. "She's been raped."
"Is she pregnate?"
"No, thank god. And all of the std cultuers came back negitive. But HIV is a major
threat. I want her too contiue the cocktail."
"Statisticly she has a godd chance of not contracting it."
"Wrong. No where she's been."
Diane's eyes fluttered open. The figure by her bed coame into focus. "Phillip?"
He took her hand. "Welcome back. You had us worried kiddo."
"What are you doing here?"
"I work here."
"Where am I?"
Phillip's eyes relfected his worry. "You're in Chicago."
She looked up at him with a puzzled expression.
"What's the las thing you remeber?"
"I was in Africa...." she trailed off. "Then everything gets fuzzy."
"They deproted you. It was a bit rough."
"That expalins why I'm here."
Phillip wieghed his options choosing the one that he thought would coause her the least
pain. "You were bleeding alot and were exposed to..."
"AIDs?" Her eyes found his. "Not surprising. Any idea which strain?"
"Am I on the cocktail?"
"Then let's hope itwas that one."
Aaron found Billy in the er.
Aaron sighed, knowing he would shatter Billy's joval attitude. "There's no easy way to
put this, but I want you to hear from me and not form the grape vine. It's about Diane."
The nurse had jsut finished taking her blood when Billy stumbled into her room. "Are
you ok?" He was checking her eyes. Her stitches.
"I'm fine. Calm down! Breathe!"
"You just had brain surgery! You're not fine!"
"I've only lost a few days. Aaron says I'll be fine."
"Aaron's been talking to you. Not Lisa?"
"Yeah, why? Who's Lisa?"
"Nothing, nothing." He put a hand on her cheek. "I'll be right back. I'm going to find
"I just want to make sure you're ok." Then he left.
In the hallway, he grabbed her chart off the wall and rifled through it. Lisa was her
nuerosurgean. Aaron was on her chart as a psych consult. He looked through her lab
orders. His brow furrowed. What the chart said and what Diane said where two very
differnt stories. Scareface and Like Water for Chocolates. He was hoping for a happy
ending. He went to go find Lisa.
Lisa was dictation when Billy kronk burst into her office. "Why haven't you been in to
see Diane Grad?"
"What?" Teh reciever dropped from Lisa's hand.
"I know who she is, Billy. I did operate on her."
"Then why is Aaron telling her that he's her nuerosurgeon and she has no clue who you
"What! Aaron's her shrink. I just haven't checked on her yet today. The other times
she's been out of it or asleep."
"Out of it how?"
"She's blocked out a significant time span, Billy. ANy thing that I tell her that she doesn't
want to remeber, or could be dangerous, she won't." Lisa's beeber went off. She picked
up the phone and dialed. "CAterea. Damn it." She slammed down the phone.
"What is it?"
Diane was resting comfortalbely. Billy was with her. Phillip and Lisa were confering in
"Any brain damage?" PHillip asked.
"Not that I see. But it's too son to tell. I stil don't know why she seized."
"Order more tests. Everything. Find out."
Jack was watching the elevator. Perched on a gurney across the hall, he had a perfect
view. It would open. People would walk in. The doors would close. The doors would
spring back open. The doors would close. The doors would spring back open. Some
poor brave sap would benture out and quickly hit the lighted button once more before
diving back inot the elevataora. the doors would close. The elevator went down. Jack
could imagine the collective sigh of relief. Then, teh elevator would come back and the
whole process would starat again. It was priceless.
He also had a front row seat for what was about to go on between Aaron and Billly.
"Hey, Aaron!" Kronk called as he ran to catch up with the older man, who was just
stepping into what the med students on the floor had dubbed the hungry elevator. Billy
slid in. Jack could still hear the conversation due to the spasming doors of the elevator.
"What the hell are you doing to Diane?"
Door close. Door open.
"She..." door close, door open "...a shrink."
"I'm..." door close, door open"...help her. What the hell is wrong with this elevator?"
Aaron shouted. "Forget it." He got out. "I'm taking the stairs."
Billy exited. "It's not right Aaron, and you know it."
Aaron spun and confronted the younger man. "I think as both a nuerosurgean and a
"...I am in a better state of mind to judge what is right for Diane medically. You're to
close, Billy. Step away. Besides, if she knew this was theropy, she'd lose it."
"you're lying to her."
"I'm trying to make her better." Aaron walked off shacking his head, leaving Billy in the
middle of the hall wondering why he was so upset.
Phillip found him outside Diane's room sstuding her schart intently. He placed a hand on
the surgeon's shoulder.
"Find anything new?"
Billy started. "Phillip. No. It just makes me feel better if I'm doing something."
"Is she asleep."
"For about an hour now."
"Why don't you go home and get some rest. You haven't left since she got here. I'll sit
with her," Phillip conituned, cutting off Kronk's protest before he could make it.
"I feel so...guilty."
"Why? You didn't hit her upside the head with a blunt object, did you?"
"I let her go."
"Back to Africa. I didn't stop her."
"If I recall, she left of her won free will. And if I know Diane, I don't think she would
have let you stop her."
Billy sighed bitterly. "yeah, you're right."
"Go home. Get some sleep."
Phillip watched the troubled younger man dissapear down the hallway. Then he grabbed
Diane's chart and went to sit next to the woman's bed. She was sleeping peacefully.
Only one sisure with seeminly no ill effects. He lossened his tie. It was going to be
along night, he thought as he opened the chart. A very long night.
Diane was being discharged. Lisa was giving Billy very carful instructions.
"You have to watch her closely for the next tow days..."
"Trust me. Not a problem."
"Billy we stil don't know what caused her seizure! She has the potential for a repeat
"I know that Lisa! I jsut want to get her out of here before she decides she's ready to ght
back to work. She's allready conned Phillilp not hirieng her dwon in the er. So, I know
what to do and no0t to do. Skip the lecture. I just want to get gone."
"you'll make sure she takes her meds?"
"Then get out of here."
Phillip eyed Diane critically. "ARe you completely sure you're ready to comeback to
"Positive." Diane sat in his office, her still short hair (compared ot it's previous length)
froming her serous face, covering her fain scar. It had been six months since she'd been
disscarged. In those months, she'd made almost a complete recovery. Her memeory was
the only thing that wasn't back to normal. "I've spent the lasts five months since I've been
out of the hospital trying to reicnstruct my research. But I can't PHillip. It's gone. Even
what's up here." She tapped her forehead. "Poof! Nothing. It's so frustrating, and I'm so
tired. I've lost it twice, Phillip. Once here and once there I need to move on."
"You feel fine."
"No dizziness, blackouts, or siezures. My tests came back negitive across the board.
Other than the memory loss I'm fine."
"ARe you in counseling?"
Diane arched an eyebrow. "What for?"
Phillip sighed but didn't push. "you had a tramatic experience, losing your research..."
"I had worse." An awkard silence at memory of worse. "I need to work, Phillip. I can't
go on mooching off Billy. Besides, I think I"m about ready to send him over the edge if I
don't go back soon."
"How are things?"
"fine. Better than before I left."
"I'm happy for both of you. YOu've convienced me. If Lisa clears you, you can start first
thing monday morning."
Diane was beating Lisa through the neuro exam.
"Well, given that all you're symptoms are gone, I'd say you're fine. I want a ct just to be
Diane sighed. "Is it really nessary?"
"Do you want to go back to work or not?"
"fine whatever." Diane grumbled. "I hate small places."
Lisa smiled. "Claustrophobia. More people have that than you would think. funny, I
didn't peg you as one though."
Diane's brow furrowed. "I never was before. Now... I don't know. I just feel suficated."
"Oh, that's conforting."
Lisa and Aaron were talking.
"her ct is normal. I went ahead and cleared her to go back to work."
"So what's the problem?"
"Aaron was she ever claustrophobic before?"
"No. THe oppisite of. She used to haul up in her tingy little lab for days..."
"What is it?"
"nothing. Just a random thought."
Diane loved the chaos of the er. No time to think. Only act. She was at the nurses
station, filling out a chart when billy came up behind her.
"Hey, babydoll." he greated, planting a kiss on the back of her head.
"Hey Billy," she said abseantly.
"Nothing. We're just swamped!"
"Is Wilkes still on your case?"
"What? No, no. I'm just tired Billy."
"I'm fine." She turned and kissed his cheek. "You can't get rid of me that easily. So, are
you down here today?"
"Yeah," Billy leaned against the counter. "All day. Phillip asked me to help out since
"Man. I can't imaagine what Danny did to Kieth to tick him off so much. Of course, I
really didn't do anything, and he's not too fond of me."
"I'm not." Diane tucked a peice of hair behind her ear. Billy noticed that he hands were
"What's wrong, baby doll?"
"Nothing just jittery."
Billy kissed her cheek again. "you need to cut down on that caffine." Then he went out
to see patients.
Diane was just about to check curtian two, when Kieth caught her. "Aren't you supposed
to be out there?"
"I was just going."
"Some of us are actually pulling our own wieght around here."
Diane stared at him. "Just what is that supposed to mean?"
"I think you know."
"I don't . Enlighten me. What is your problem."
"My problelm. My problem is you. You show up out of no where and bam, you're in my
"To work here. In research. Frankly, I don't know if you have what it takes to be down
Diane was speachless as he walked off.
When the gunfire broke out in the er, everyone had the sense to duck and cover.
The er was busy. No one saw the kid walk in. In fact, no one noticed him untill he
opened fire. Then everybody knew about him. By the time the gunman left, he'd
acomplished his goal and then some. The only fatality was the fifteen year old target.
Diane was shaking. She couldn't let go of the gurney. She pryed her hands off the bar,
findger by finger. Her palms were white. Why was she shaking. She shouldn't shake.
Her hands flew to her face. He hadn't shot her. They hadn't shot her. THe room started
spin. She ran. Behilnd her she heard someone call her name but she didn't stop. She
couldn't. She slammed into the stairwell and collaped.
Billy saw her. She was going to lose it. He recognized the signs.
"Diane!" he called.
She ignored him and headed for the stairwell.
Billy took off after her.
"Billy," Wilker called, "I could use some help here!"
"Page somebody!" Billy threw back as he entered the stair well. Kieth shook his head.
He needed to talk to Phillilp.
He found her crumpled in the corner sobbing.
"Baby doll?" He knelt down next to her and gathered her in his arms. "Talk to me Diane.
Baby, you're scaring me."
She mumbled something into his chest. He lifted her head. "What, baby?"
She hit him without any force. "You knew," she sobbed. "you knew and you didn't tell
"You saw my charat! You knew." She continued sobbing into his chest.
He rocked her back and forth. Damnit.
He calmed her down before he moved her. Carefully, he helped her stand. She was
deflated, her bones like jelly. She had stopped crying. She had stopped talking. Seh let
him lead her. He was worried. Billy gently helped her up the stairs. He needed
someplace to get her to lie down. He headed for phillips office. It was the closest.
Phillip looked from his conversation with Kieth Wilkes to see Billy kronk walk into his
office supporting a catatonic Diane Grad.
"My God, what happened?"
Billy shook his head. "Find Aaron."
"I'm on it." Kieth dissappeared out the door.
"Lie her down." Phillip took control of the situation, Kieth's complaints forgotten.
Billly just nodded. He layed hr down on the couch and sat next to her. He smoothed her
hair away form her face. She didn't see him. He wondered hwat she did see.
Aaron had moved her to a room on the pysch ward.
Phillip nad Billy wre watching Aaron interact with her through the mirror. The intercom
Diane sat, drawn up in arm chair, staring into space.
"Diane," Aaron was soothing, "Can you tell me what you remeber?"
"You knew. You knew too. You, Phillip, Billly, everybody. None of you told me." Her
voice was dead.
"We ere trying to protect you because we care about you. That's why I want you to talk
to me because I care and I want to help."
Diane was silent.
"What do you remeber?"
"Jake siad we should leave, but I was too sturborn."
"He thought it was dangerous?"
She knodded. "But he didn'tknow how bad it was. He was in Kabese when all hell broke
Diane was in the medical tent when the trucks rolled in. Seh had spent all day examining
childeren, giving vaccines that had just come in and treating some of them for malaria.
She was exahmining a two year old girl. She was a little small, but it was nothing
unusual or worth concern. The little girls smiled at her. Diane smiled back. She picked
the little girl up and put her on the scale, talking nonsense to her the whole time.
"Boy, you're getting to be a big girl, aren't you, sweetie? yes you are." She picked the
little girl back up and turned to hand the child back to her mother. That's when the trucks
Diane stood there, mementarly rooted as soilders pilled out. But when the men began to
heard the villager into the trucks, she unfroze. Then men began clearing out hte medical
tent, she asserted herself into the situation.
"What are you doing?" she asked as bottles around her crashed to hte floor. A rackfull of
samples joined them. "You have no right!" Her protest was cut short when a hard
metalic object slammed into the side of her head. She swore. Those test tubes were six
months worth of research. She realized she was being dragged out of hte tent and started
to struggle. She clawwed, kicked, and bite. The gun slammed into her head again.
Nausa over took her. She heard words screamed at her but couldn't make them out.
"And then..." tears ran down her face. "And them...and then.." she completelly broke
Aaron moved to comfort her. Billy and Phillip watched, Phillip with a comforting hand
on Billy's shoulder, offering what comfort he could.
She knew he was in the room with her.
"I'm sorry," her voice was small, scared.
Billy sat down next to her and took her hands in his. He kissed them. "Diane, this in not
your fault. Baby, it'snot your fault. "He rested his forehead of hers. "Not your fault."