This is my entry to the "But...What if?" contest this month. You all should definitely enter. It's fun, you know, getting your creative juices flowing.
This one-shot is actually an idea I had for a while, but I'm too lazy to do a whole story (which is probably good, because I'm notorious for not finishing stories), so when Lolly did this as this month's contest, I was like, 'Yay! I have an idea!'
Yeah, so anyway, enjoy. And leave some reviews for me, 'kay?
All It Takes Is A Kiss
I wake up in my bed, confused. The bed is too soft and, I realize as I roll over, too big. Had I gotten in late last night and not noticed that Mom had bought me a new bed? But no. Where would she get the money for that? If it was anybody who needed a new bed, it was her. So why am I sleeping in a bed that is obviously not my firm, ratty twin size bed, with the springs poking through?
I decide that it's time to open my eyes. Right away I realize it's a mistake. Too bright. I know now that it is not my room. The sunlight rarely filters through the window in my room. The apartment next door is butt-up against ours, so no sunlight can get through during any hours of the day. So where the hell am I?
Daring to open my eyes again, the body parts in question finally adjust to the brightness of the room. I take a look around.
Pink. Everywhere. It's like my mother's dream room for me. My mom never would have enough money to afford refurbishing a room like this for me, though I secretly know she wants to. So why am I in this room?
Maybe I'm dreaming. Yet, usually when you're in a dream, you don't think you're dreaming. Right?
I stand up from the bed and begin to walk around a bit. I see clothes on the floor that look like they could be mine. Then I see a leather jacket hanging off one of the bedposts. That's definitely mine.
So if my clothes are here, what does that mean? Why are my clothes, and more importantly, myself, in this room?
I pick up the princess phone (I know…a princess phone) on the night table and start dialing my mother's number. A voice comes through the receiver, saying that service is no longer available for this phone. I hang up the phone, thoroughly confused. Why is Mom's phone not working? Did she get a new number? I pick up the phone again and dial my home number. A person whose voice I don't recognize picks up. I immediately hang up. What the hell is going on?
I sit on the bed, mulling over my situation. Should I open the door and see where I am? I look around the room and notice huge bay windows. A pang goes through my chest as I glance at them, like they are familiar somehow. But I know I have never been in this room before. How can those windows be familiar?
I shake my head and head over to them. I sit down on the seat below the window and look outside. And I gasp. You can see a huge body of water from this room - the water glistening in the afternoon sun. I'm guessing it is the ocean. But which? The Pacific, or Atlantic?
Atlantic, I decide. It's closer to where I live. Why would I be all the way across the country?
But for some reason, another part of my brain keeps telling me that it's the Pacific. I can't understand why.
I shake my head again, ridding myself of thoughts of the ocean. To better accomplish this task, I remove myself from the window seat. I head over to the door, thinking that I probably should go see what is beyond it.
But just as I'm walking toward it, I hear voices outside. Male voices. Like teenage male voices. Two arguing. This creeps me out.
Taking a deep breath, and despite the fear settling in my stomach, I open the door and walk out of the room.
There are two teenage guys there, just as I suspected. They both have long-ish blond hair, and would be hot by my best friend Gina's standards. To me, it seems gross to think of them as hot. It also feels like I know them from somewhere.
One is taller than the other, and he looks like he'd rather be sleeping in his own bed, rather than arguing with the other guy he's with. The shorter guy, who is stockier - probably on his school wrestling team - reminds me of a Neanderthal.
Neanderthal turns around and glares at me. "What do you want, Suze?"
I take a step back. How does he know my name? I blink and try to stutter out some kind of response.
Neanderthal laughs cruelly and takes a step forward. Instinctively, I take a step back. "Wh-who are you?" I manage to get out.
He stops and cocks his head to the side. "Oh, real funny, Suze. Playing the whole anemic thing."
Anemic thing? Isn't that a person who bruises a lot because they don't have enough iron in their blood?
I almost laugh when I realize he means amnesia, not anemic. God, what an idiot. He reminds me of one of the seven dwarves. Dopey. And, I realize as I glance at the other blonde guy, he reminds me of Sleepy. All I need is five more.
"What are you talking about?" My voice is so soft, it's less than a whisper. I'm confused and scared. I have no idea what's going on. Once again, I find myself asking who these people are.
"Suze, seriously. It's not funny. You know who we are."
I shake my head. "But I don't." My voice has gained a little volume. "I have no idea who you guys are. How do you know my name?"
Dopey looks like he wants to punch me. Sleepy puts his hand on Dopey's shoulder. "Brad," he hisses. "Freaking stop." Only he doesn't say freaking.
Dopey does as he says and just stands there, while Sleepy walks up to me, looking a little less tired and more worried. "Suze," he says gently. "Are you okay?"
I look from his face to Dopey's face. They do sort of spark some kind of recognition deep within me, but I don't remember ever meeting, or even seeing, them.
"How do you know my name?" I repeat. "Who are you guys?"
Sleepy raises his eyebrows. "Is this some kind of joke, Suze? 'Cause its really not funny."
Just then, a door opens down the hall a little more. A boy about a few years younger walks out of a room. He has red hair and freckles, and these sticky-outy ears.
"What's going on?" he asks, walking towards us. "Jake," he says, looking at the taller one, "what is it?"
Jake shakes his head. "I think she's trying to screw with us, David."
I am highly confused. Who are these boys? How do they know me? And more importantly, where was I?
I start backing up towards the room I just came out of. I must have a terrified look on my face, since the red-headed one (David, I think it was) says to me, "Suze, are you okay? You look like you've seen a ghost." And then his eyes widen and he whispers so only I can hear, "Is there a ghost here? Is it Jesse?"
I blink. Who is he talking about? Who is Jesse? And about the ghosts: he knows about them? Does that mean he can see them too? If it's possible, I'm even more confused at this moment.
"Who are all of you? Wh-where am I?"
David looks at me worriedly. "Suze? Are you -" He stops and looks back at the other boys - possibly his brothers? "I think she-" he says to them, then stops and turns back to me. "What's the last thing you remember?" he asks.
I look at him, and then to the two blond ones. "Um," I say, trying to answer David's question, "waking up in that really pink room?"
"No," David says, shaking his head. "Before that. Before you woke up."
Before I can answer, Sleepy walks up next to David and says, "Do you seriously think she -?"
David looks at him. He points at me and says to Jake, "Does it look to you like she's joking, Jake? I don't think she is. She must have hit her head last night or something and now she doesn't remember a thing. We should probably take her to the hospital and get her head checked out. There could be something seriously wrong with her."
Dopey scoffs. "You mean besides what's already seriously wrong with her?"
I would have taken offense to that, except my confusion is intensifying as the minutes wear on, and, I hate to admit it, I'm a little afraid.
David and Jake both ignore him. Jake nods at what David has just said. He looks back at me and seems to scrutinize me for a second. Then he says softly, "Are you kidding with us, Suze? Do you really not remember us?"
I want to say yes, that I do remember them, because he seems so upset that I have no idea who they are. But my confusion overpowers any feeling compassion. So I say, "I have no idea who you people are. And I still don't get how you know me. I haven't seen any of you before in my life."
Jake sighs and mumbles, "I'll go get Mom and Dad."
Mom and Dad? He's saying that like we all have the same Mom and Dad. So what does that mean? Does…no, that isn't possible. I don't have any siblings. And my own father is dead. He died when I was six.
"I'll come with you," Brad pipes up and leaves with Jake down the stairs.
David focuses on me after they go. "So," he says, "you didn't answer my question. What's the last thing you remember?"
I think hard to answer his question. I remember a lot of things, like my dad dying, my grandma being in the hospital, fighting tons of ghosts. But the last thing I remember?
"Um, I guess being over Gina's house last night. But you probably have no idea who that is, so-"
He shakes his head. "No, I know who Gina is. My next question is, where do you think you are?"
I decide not to question him on how exactly he knows Gina. I shrug and say, "Some old house. I don't know."
"No. I mean, what state do you think you're in?"
I roll my eyes. Who does this kid think he is, Dr. Phil?
He shakes his head again and smiles sadly.
What the hell does that mean? "I'm not in New York?" I ask incredulously.
He shakes his head again and says, "No, Suze, you're in California. Carmel, California."
My eyes almost bug out of my head. "California? Why the hell would I be in California?"
He looks like he wants to laugh, but doesn't. Just as he's about to answer my question, it sounds like a stampede of wildebeest is heading up the stairs. But then I realize it's just a bunch of people.
First is my mother, but she looks different since the last time I saw her. Her hair is shorter, but it suits her. She is wearing a pair of jeans and an old tee-shirt. But most obvious is that she looks happy. Worry clouds her face, but underneath that, I can tell that she's happy. And honestly, that's all I've ever really wanted for my mom.
Followed by her is this guy that is around her own age. He's tall and he looks like a good guy. And then come Jake and Brad again.
"Suzie?" My mother runs over to me and grabs my arms. "Honey, what's going on? Jake says you don't remember anything."
I look around at all of the people around me, then back at my mom. "That's not true," I say.
My mom looks relieved and then I hear Brad mutter, "I knew it."
But I haven't finished my statement. "I remember everything. I just have no idea what I'm doing here." I point at the little red-headed boy called David. "He said we're in California? Why are we in California, Mom?"
Worry comes back on her face and she grips my arms harder until it's beginning to get painful. "Suzie…please tell me you're joking."
Again, I want to say 'Haha, just kidding. I really know who all of you are. I was just pulling your leg,' because that is obviously what my mother really wants. I don't want to disappoint her, because I have been doing that practically my whole life.
But instead I tell the truth, for once in my life. "I'm not joking, Mom."
She gasps, releasing me, and looks back at the man that hasn't been identified yet. "Oh, Andy," she says to him, "what do we do?"
Andy doesn't answer, but David does. "She needs to be taken to the hospital. She obviously has a case of amnesia, but her head needs to be checked out to see if she has a concussion. She must have hit her head yesterday or last night."
Mom nods and then grabs my hand. "Come on, to the hospital," she says.
- § -
In the car - a Land Rover that Dopey is saying should be his - Mom formally introduces me to everybody. I have already learned all of their names, but she also tells me how we came to be in Carmel, California.
Apparently my mother had married the man named Andy over a year ago and we - my mother and me - had moved out here into the old boardinghouse that Andy had fixed up for us to live in.
So that's how I know the three boys. They are my step-brothers.
Jake - or Sleepy, as I'm now calling him - is in college now. Brad - Dopey, because I'm beginning to realize that he is not the brightest crayon in the box - is in my grade (junior year of high school - I'm almost seventeen. Seventeen! Where did the time go?). And little David (who I am calling Doc, because I notice he likes to go off on tangents about things that I can't even comprehend, like Merton's Strain Theory and the speed of light. He, I can tell, has a photographic memory) is in eight grade.
Brad, David, and I go to the Junipero Serra Mission Academy. It's Catholic, even though I'm Jewish (non-practicing, but still).
And that is pretty much all my mother gets through before we arrive at the hospital. As she explains all of that, I'm looking out the window. I can see the ocean again, and this time I know for sure it's the Pacific (that little part of my brain had been right about that). I also see palm trees. Lots and lots of palm trees.
I'm brought into the hospital and my mother explains my condition to one of the people at the front desk. She has to fill out some paper work and then I have to wait for a doctor.
While we're waiting (who knew they would make you wait for this kind of thing? Obviously there is something wrong with my brain and I need immediate medical attention), a doctor comes out, but he is only going on his break. He's talking to one of the nurses behind the desk. He's shaking his head, saying, "I still cannot believe that about that patient de Silva. Jesse, I think his name was. I mean, it was a miracle, him coming out of that coma. No one could figure out what was wrong with him. It was like his body was just there, and nothing was inside of him." He shakes his head again and continues. "I'm not a very spiritual man, but I'm thinking someone up there likes him. Giving him a second shot like that."
For some reason, this conversation sparks an interest in me.
The nurse is nodding at what the doctor is saying. "I know. I had to check his vitals a couple of times. The poor girl that was in there - she must have been his girlfriend. She was so upset." She pauses, like she's thinking about something. "Actually, I haven't seen her in there today. I figured the girl would be in there first thing in the morning. Not that it really matters. He's being released today. In perfect health. Can you believe that?"
The doctor is shaking his head again. "Some people are just lucky." He looks at his watch and says goodbye to the nurse and heads down the hallway leading out of sight.
Just then another doctor comes in and is telling me to follow him. My mother comes with me, but everyone else stays in the waiting room.
The doctor pretty much asks me what David had: what do I last remember, and do I remember hitting my head? My mother seems pretty worried when I tell the doctor I last remember being in New York. That was, apparently, over a year ago.
I'm not really listening to anything the doctor says after that. He must realize this, since he starts talking to my mother. I just stare at the wall and think about what the doctor and the nurse were saying out in the other room.
The doctor leaves the room for a moment and the same nurse that was talking to the other doctor comes in. She looks at me and seems surprised.
"Well!" she says. "This is a surprise. You and your boyfriend seem a little accident prone."
I just look at her blankly. I have a boyfriend? This is news. I was like an anti-boy magnet back in New York.
Noticing my blank look, she says, "Mr. de Silva? The man who was unconscious last night? You and a friend brought him in the ER last night?"
My mom's looking at me with shock. Whatever I had done last night, she obviously has no clue about. Now that I think about it, neither do I.
The nurse can tell she's getting nowhere with me. But she still tries. "Your name is Suze. You told me that last night when I was checking Jesse's vitals."
Now my mom is looking at this interaction with curiosity. She obviously has no idea that I have a boyfriend, if I really do at all.
"Who is this Jesse?" she asks me. And then she seems to remember that I wouldn't know anyway, given that I have amnesia. Or something like that.
My mom looks back at the nurse. "My daughter can't remember much right now. We think she has amnesia."
The nurse makes a shocked noise and puts her hand up to her mouth. "Oh dear!" Then she laughs. "Well that would explain a lot."
She starts getting me ready for the tests that I am supposed to have done. As she's doing this, she says, "Well, maybe after we're done here you could go see him. It might help jog your memory."
I look at my mom. She nods and says, "Yes, that might help. I would like to meet this Jesse, too."
Mom looks at me like she can't figure out why I hadn't told her about this supposed boyfriend of mine. And honestly, I can't figure it out, either. I'm not the type to go out with a guy twice my age, and I'm not the type to date a druggie, either. Those are the only two reasons I can think of that I wouldn't want my mother to know about a guy I'm dating.
So why hadn't I told my mom about this 'Jesse' guy?
- § -
After all of the tests, true to her word, the nurse leads me to my 'boyfriend's room. I'm a little nervous, actually. I mean, what guy would I see behind the door? Would he be hot, or ugly (not that it should matter, but still)? Would he be a total airhead or really smart (again, not that it matters, but those are the things that are running through my mind)?
Finally the nurse stops at a room. She looks back at me and smiles. "I told him you'd be coming to see him. I didn't mention your condition; I thought you'd want to be the one to tell him. I really hope seeing him helps with your memory."
Yeah, so do I.
She opens the door and steps in, my mother and I stepping in behind her. The nurse leaves just as soon as she came in, saying, "Hope it goes well."
I take a deep breath, finally daring to look at this Jesse guy.
And I nearly fall over when I do.
No, he isn't ugly or stupid or…anything bad. He's…
My God, he's gorgeous. Silky looking black hair, with equally inky-black eyebrows, a scar running through one of them. His skin is a dark, olive-colored complexion. And his eyes are a deep chocolate brown, that I already know I would get lost in.
And then all I can think is, Oh, haha, really funny. Nice joke, now get me out of here.
Because seriously, how can a guy like that want to be with a girl like me?
Seeing my reaction, Jesse smiles. "Susannah," he says. That's it, just my name. His voice is like silk, and even just saying my name, it practically makes me swoon.
I can't just stand there like an idiot and not say anything. So eventually I say, "Um, hi. Jesse, is it? You're my…my…" I gulp and squeak out, "boyfriend?"
He looks confused, and I think maybe this is a joke. That he isn't really my boyfriend. Not that it comes as any surprise. I mean, seriously. Any guy that hot cannot want to be with me.
I've forgotten about my mom behind me, until she walks up to Jesse and sticks her hand out. "Nice to meet you, Jesse, I'm Susannah's mother."
Jesse nods, taking her hand. It looks like he already knows my mother, but she doesn't know him. Weird.
"It's nice to meet you too, Mrs. Ackerman."
She steps back from him, satisfied. She turns to me and says, "Well, I'll leave you two kids alone to talk. I'll be back in a bit, Suze."
I nod, half-wanting her to stay and half-wanting her to go. She walks out the door, shutting it softly behind her, leaving Jesse and I alone.
"Susannah," Jesse says again, but this time he sounds amused. He gestures to the chair beside his bed. "Come sit down, querida."
I'm a little confused at the word he just says. It's foreign, but it sounds nice, coming from his lips. I'm a little hesitant to go sit beside him, because I really don't know him. But then I think, well, apparently, I do know him. So finally I relent and sit down in the chair. It's hard under my butt, but I ignore it and focus on the floor. For some reason, I have a hard time bringing my eyes to meet his.
Jesse reaches over and takes my hand in one of his warm, callused ones. I look down at the hand in question and notice that it is very tanned, just like his face, and it looks very…well, manly. It completely engulfs my own. And while that can make someone uncomfortable, it has the opposite effect on me. It eases me and I lean back in the chair. I'm finally able to meet his gaze.
"Querida," he says, when my eyes finally meet his, "what's wrong? You're not being yourself."
I briefly wonder what 'being myself' really is.
But I answer him, saying, "Well, I…I don't…" I look away, concentrating on the floor again. I don't want to see his face when I tell him that I don't remember him. So much for jogging my memory. "I don't remember you."
I feel his grip on my hand tighten, which makes me look back at him. He's wearing a worried expression, mixed with confusion and a little bit of, if I'm not mistaken, hurt. "What do you mean, querida?" he asks.
There's that word again. I want to ask him what it means, but instead I answers his question. "I'm not too sure, but when I woke up this morning, I didn't remember anything." I pause. "Well, that's not true. I do remember some things, just nothing that happened in California. My last memory is of being in New York."
He looks really upset, but also pensive. He looks away and mumbles, "It must have been the fall."
He looks back at me and says, "Last night, something…well, something extraordinary happened. I cannot really go into detail right now, but…you fell…well, jumped would be the more precise term…"
I stare at him blankly, trying to keep myself from wondering what this 'something extraordinary' could be. The only thing my brain conjures up is…
My cheeks flush at the thought. Luckily Jesse is looking away, explaining.
"I do not know what happened after that, since I was unconscious. You and Slater-" He stops at that name. I wonder who this 'Slater' person is. Obviously someone else I met in California.
He clears his throat. "Well, after the, um…incident, you brought me here. I was…" he trails off and looks at me. "Are you sure you don't remember anything? Not even how we met?"
I shake my head, feeling horrible. It's obvious that I should remember how we met, and he's obviously distraught over the fact that I don't remember him. However, there's something familiar about him, like something you'd feel in a dream and it lingers with you the whole next day, yet you can't exactly pinpoint what it is.
"I'm really sorry, but I don't."
"Don't apologize. Slater should have had the decency to have you checked last night, as well. And now you…" He sighs again, but doesn't say anything else.
Feeling slightly less nervous, I ask, "Well, um, how did we meet?"
He smiles wryly then, smoothing his thumb over my palm. Then he laughs. "I doubt you'd believe me if I told you."
I look at him, cocking my head to the side. "Why is that?"
"Well, let's just say that it's pretty unbelievable."
Considering what I do and see on a daily basis, I'm willing to bet that it isn't as unbelievable as he's saying. So I say, "Try me."
He laughs again, then says, "Okay." He is silent for a moment, but then he leans forward so he's mere centimeters away from my ear. The proximity of his lips to my skin makes my flesh tingle in…well, anticipation.
"I was haunting your bedroom," he whispers into my ear.
It takes me a second to comprehend what he's just said, but when I do, I turn my head and look at him, astonished and, well, mad. For some reason, I'm mad at what he said. Had I told him what I was before I conked my head (or whatever I did) and he didn't believe me and now he's joking about it?
But my anger soon dissipates when I notice how close his lips are to my own. All I would need to do is lean forward about three centimeters and his lips would be touching mine.
But then he pulls back and lays his head back on his pillow. "I told you that you would not believe me."
He isn't looking at me, and I feel that maybe he's mad that I don't believe him. Against my better judgment, I take a deep breath and say, "Okay, fine. Let's say that you were haunting my bedroom. Well then how did you get like this?" I ask, gesturing to his body. "You know, alive."
He looks over at me, his expression unreadable. "You did it, Susannah. You went back to save me from dying and, well, you ended up bringing my body to the future."
I blink. Once. Twice. Three times.
"Excuse me?" And then, when what he said sinks in, "Are you saying I went back in time?"
It's crazy, what he's saying. Yeah, okay, I know most people would call me crazy for saying that I can see ghosts, when I actually can. I know I shouldn't be thinking that he's crazy for telling me that I went back in time and brought his body to the future. But well…come on.
He nods and gives me a small smile. "I know. It is…well, I told you it is unbelievable. I just hope…well, that you will remember everything soon."
I shake my head, mumbling, "Yeah, me too."
And that's when my mother comes back in the room. She looks at both of us, smiles, and asks me, "Are you ready to go?"
I look over at Jesse and he just nods. "I'll come over tomorrow," he tells me softly.
So I nod and get up, heading for the door. I take a quick peek back before I shut the door behind me. Jesse is looking the opposite way, out the window. It's weird. He looks so, I don't know…forlorn. Like me not remembering him has hurt him, horribly. And I so badly just want to remember. Before, when I was getting the tests, I didn't really care, because I didn't know what I was missing. But now that I do…so many memories that I must have had with him…
God, it just makes me sad, too.
I let out a ragged breath and shut the door softly, following my mom down the hallway.
- § -
When we get 'home,' it's only around lunchtime. Andy is making dinner for everyone and it smells delicious - apparently Andy is like this closet gourmet cook, and he makes dinner every night that is mandatory to attend. But even though the food smells absolutely scrumptious, I am exhausted. So I tell my mom that I'm tired and that I'm going to take a nap. She walks me up, showing me which room is mine (even though I pretty much figure the pink one is mine) and telling me to sleep well.
I do. Well, besides my mom waking me up, like, ten bazillion times. But she only does that, as she explains to me, just in case I have a concussion, considering, as she loves to remind me, that I had refused to stay overnight for observation.
And my dreams…they're a little, shall we say, mature. And they involve Jesse.
But other than that, I sleep like a baby. And I don't fully wake up until the next afternoon when Doc comes in. At first I'm mad, because he wakes me up when the best part of my dream is happening. But then after he tells me that Andy made a late lunch for me, I'm pretty content.
It's still weird, though, waking up in a room that is entirely unfamiliar to me, except that I know it shouldn't be. And even seeing David. At first I'm thinking, who are you? And then everything from yesterday comes back to me. Like, oh yeah, I live in California now. I have three step-brothers and a step-dad. And, that's right, I have this totally hot boyfriend who I remember nothing about.
But then thinking about David and Jesse in such near thoughts has me remembering one of the first things David said to me yesterday. "Is there a ghost here? Is it Jesse?"
So what did he mean by that? Had Jesse really been telling me the truth, that he was a ghost and now he's not? But that's not possible. Every ghost moves on, whether it's forced or not. And they don't come back. Ever. Especially as living people, and especially not in my lifetime.
I think about that the whole time I'm taking a shower. Finally I decide to forget about it and think about something else, like trying to get my memory back.
I change in the bathroom - for some reason, it feels more comfortable. When I get out, I lie down on my bed (I'm really getting used to this big bed) and start reading the magazine on my nightstand.
I'm only reading for about five minutes before I hear a knock on my bedroom door. Confused, I say, "Come in."
Imagine my surprise when I see Jesse walking in my bedroom. "Hello, Susannah," he says with a smile.
"Hi," I say, rather breathlessly. God, seeing him in a hospital bed is nothing compared to him standing there beside my bed. I can tell that underneath that black shirt he's wearing, he's got a killer set of abs. Even looking at his arms, they're so defined, so…God, I just want him to wrap his arms around me and hold me.
Instead of sitting down on my bed beside me, like I'm hoping, he goes over to the window seat and sits down. He glances out the window for a few minutes, and as he's doing so, I get that pang in my chest again. And then there's this weird flash. It's of him sitting there, gazing out the window, only he's in these weird cowboy clothes and he's…he's glowing. Like he's a ghost.
I blink and the image is gone, replaced by Jesse looking back at me, concern shrouding his face.
"Susannah?" he says. "Are you alright?"
I nod, even more confused than ever. What was that? Was that just a weird image my bizarre brain conjured up from what Jesse had told me yesterday? Or was it something else?
"Did you sleep well?" he asks. He looks like he wants to get up and come over to me, but maybe that's just my wishful thinking.
I feel my face heat up as I think about my not-so-innocent dreams involving him. "Um, yeah," I say, "really well."
Real smooth, Simon. It's a wonder why this guy is with you.
He smiles, a heartbreakingly gorgeous smile. "That's good." I notice the scar running through his dark eyebrow. It's sexy, and it makes me want to get up and touch it. Briefly I wonder how he got it.
I was never really that great with guys, but now I wish I was. Because I have no idea what to say to him. I don't know what he likes, what he does, or even how old he is. Does he go to school with me? No, he looks a little older than that. Maybe 20?
"How old are you?" I blurt out.
This makes him laugh heartily, like it's the funniest thing ever. I'm not quite sure why. When he notices that I'm not laughing, he composes himself and says, "I'm 20. But…never mind. You'll understand why I was laughing when you get your memory back."
I nod. Of course. It's some inside joke that we must have had. It's not the first time today that I wish I remember everything.
Then I think about what he just said. When I get my memory back. Shouldn't it be if? What if I never get it back?
He moves to the edge of the window seat. It looks like he's about to get up. He hesitates, and I wish he'd just come over and sit next to me. Maybe wrap his arms around me and give me a nice, big kiss.
At least I get part of what I want. He gets up and comes over to me, setting himself down beside me. He reaches over and takes one of my hands in his. I look up into his eyes and he's looking down into mine. "Don't worry," he tells me, as if reading my mind. "You'll remember everything soon. If I have to, I'll take you to every place that we've been to, show you everything that we've seen, to make you remember."
This heartfelt confession warms me inside. I can tell from what he's said that he really cares. I'm not quite sure why he does care, but that doesn't really matter to me at this point.
He gently tugs on my hand, pulling me into a warm embrace. My head leans against his chest, while his head rests on top of mine. As we sit like that, I think, 'I could get used to this. If this happened to me everyday, I would die a happy woman.'
Naturally, good things come to an end. Sometimes, bad things follow, or, very rarely, something even better comes along. As he pulls away from me, I'm thinking, oh great, he's going to go back to the window seat. But instead he smiles at me, bringing his hand up to caress my cheek. I lean into it, reveling the feel of his calloused fingers on my skin.
"Would it be alright if I kissed you?" he asks.
And I'm thinking, why do you need to ask me? Of course you can kiss me!
I nod slightly, so I won't seem too enthusiastic. He smiles wider and then leans down to kiss me. The kiss is sweet and long. A simple kiss, yet it stirs up some very complex feelings in the pit of my stomach.
And not just my stomach. Some very complex images go through my mind. Flashes of people, places, pets, books, food…you name it.
And then I realize, it's my life. I remember. I remember everything.
I pull away from Jesse in shock. I have my memory back!
And all it took was one sweet kiss.
"Oh, Jesse!" I cry happily and throw my arms around his neck, burying my face in his chest. "I love you so much."
I hear - and feel - Jesse laugh, sounding almost as happy as I am, though a bit confused. "I love you, too, querida," hey says, as if it's the most obvious thing ever. But even as he says this, I realize he doesn't know what's going on. He doesn't know what's just happened.
"Jesse," I say, pulling my head from his shirt and looking up at his face. His eyes lock with mine as I tell him, with an enormous grin that I'm afraid will split my face in two, "I remember, Jesse. I know you. I know everything. And I know what made me forget in the first place."
As I say this, I realize it's true. What he told me in the hospital was right. It was the fall, or jump, or whatever it was. When we jumped out of the burning barn and I shifted back to my time, I banged my head against the ground. It should have knocked me out, but when I saw Jesse lying on the ground, unconscious, I forced myself to stay awake.
And then when I woke up the next morning, I didn't remember a thing.
Jesse's amused smile turns to an elated grin. He bundles me up in his arms and kisses every inch of my face, then moves to my neck. "Susannah," he breathes against my neck.
But before we can get too far, my mother calls up the stairs, telling me to get my butt down for dinner, and that having amnesia is no excuse to miss one of Andy's dinner.
Which is kind of funny, because I don't have it anymore. I look at Jesse, the grin still plastered to my face, grab his hand and pretty much drag him down the stairs with me.
My mom looks at me as we enter the dining room. "This amnesia thing is really paying off," she comments. "I don't ever remember you being this enthusiastic about dinner."
I grin at my mom and drop the bombshell. "That's the thing, Mom. I don't have it anymore. I remember."
She gapes at me. "W-what? How did that happen? What made you remember?"
I glance back at Jesse, and I notice there's a little bit of color in his cheeks. Luckily Mom is looking at me, not at Jesse, or she would have known how it went down.
"I guess just being with Jesse," I say.
This time she looks at him. She looks back at me, her shock wearing off. Now she's looking a little stern, and I know what's coming next.
"Well, now that you have your memory back, care to tell me why you've never introduced Jesse to me before?"
But I'm too happy to care.