I'm in a long hallway. The walls are wood panel, and the floor squeaks as my feet pass over it. It's familiar, but I can't place it.
I can feel myself panicking. The panic grows within me. I don't know where I am. I'm not in control of my body. I just want to get out of here.
I wake up, and I am breathing hard.
There are bright lights all around me. That's what it's like in the hospital. My legs are surrounded on both sides by stiff sheets. I am wrapped in a cotton gown, but it still scratches my legs.
As I become more alert, I remember a little more.
I have been awake now for two days. Before that, I was in an accident. No one here will give me any details.
I sat up, and rubbed the sleep from my eyes. The lights became less shocking after a few minutes. I took the notebook off my bedside table.
It has handwriting in it that I remember. I recognized it as my own. I wrote it all yesterday, when they gave me a few, precious details about myself.
My name is Anna Greenwood.
I am twenty three years old.
I wrote them down so I could remember them.
"Anna," I said, to test it out. My voice, however, protests. It is dry, and it comes out crackly.
"Good morning, dearie!" my mediwitch, Miriam, entered the door to my room.
"Good morning," I rasped out. She set down a tray of food and handed me the glass of juice. I took a large sip. It's very sweet, but when I am done, I can talk again.
I stared at Miriam, trying to take her in. She looked like a mother, but I don't know if she looked like my mother. I don't know what my mother looked like really. She was short, shorter than me I think. Her red hair came down to her chin that is streaked with some grays.
"Did you sleep well?" she asked.
"I think so," I answer, and my voice is smoother. I remember my dream about the hallway, but didn't mention it.
"Good," she said. She was very cheery. "How are you feeling?"
I had been so preoccupied with thinking that I hadn't noticed the ache that was coming from my knee. It was a deep pain.
"My knee hurts," I say to her . I also realized that I was hungry. I wondered what time it was.
She handed me a bottle, it was small and green. It tasted faintly of mint and helped my knee. "What time is it?" I asked.
"Nine in the morning," she said. "And it's December eighth."
That meant that outside, there was probably snow. Somehow, the idea of snow made me happy. I nodded.
"Thank you. Do you have any other gowns?" I asked. "This one is kind of scratchy."
"Oh, right," she said. "Someone brought me some things for you. I will be right back."
She left, and I started chewing on a piece of toast Miriam had brought. It was warm and hitting the spot. Miriam returned with a bag, and placed it on my bed. I would go through it after I ate.
"Do you think you're ready to meet a person that knows you?" she asked.
I thought about it. Last night, they had told me who I was. And that I had lost all of my memories in an "accident". I wondered what kind of life I had. I was curious.
"Okay," I said.
She smiled. "Good." she said. "One person at a time. We don't want to overwhelm you."
I nodded. "Okay." I said.
"So, why don't you eat your breakfast and check out what is in the bag. The Healer will be around in about an hour."
As she left, I started to eat my food. Slowly, chewing each bite.
The food wasn't very exciting. It was scrambled eggs, toast and orange juice. It was kind of bland. But I felt much better when I was full.
I picked up the bag. I was interested in what was in there. I opened it.
On top were three nightgowns and robes. Three different colored sets; a rich cranberry, a deep blue, and a white one. They were all made from a very soft silk, which glided along my fingers as I touched them.
Underneath those were some bras and underwear. I was able to turn and put them on, but I wasn't able to stand up. My knee was numb. The bras fit perfectly, like they were made for me. I took the time to examine my body.
A few stretch marks dotted my stomach, but I was pretty toned. I had strong stomach muscles. But I was cold, so I put on theblue nightgown and robe. They made me feel much nicer than the rough, cotton ones.
I picked up the bag. I had a brush in there, and a mirror. I picked up the mirror, and set it so I could see myself.
I hadn't thought about my appearance before. I was a little surprised that I was... well, pretty. I had curly, blonde hair. It went past my shoulders, but I could tell it was a gnarly mess. I wasn't very fond of it.
My complexion was clear and smooth, but a little greasy. Probably because I hadn't washed my face yet that morning. I had blue eyes, and long lashes. I tried to pull the brush through my hair, but there were too many knots. I did my best, but got frustrated.
So I sat back and waited for the Healer.
It was really frustrating, to know how to be a person without know who I was. I wanted to know who I was, besides Anna Greenwood, the twenty three year old. There was so much to know.
What did I do? Where did I live? Did I have a boyfriend? Maybe even a husband? Where was he? Why wasn't he here with me? What exactly was the accident that had left me in this incredibly frustrating state?
Questioning myself only served to frustrate me more. I was pretty worked up by the time the Healer got there.
Healer Davis was a nice man, probably around thirty five or forty. "How are you today, Anna?" he asked, coming in.
"I've been better," I admitted, shrugging at him. [C]
"I'm sure you have," he said. "How's that knee feeling?"
I took a deep breath. "That potion really helped," I told him. "But I can't put any weight on it."
"No, that potion was numbing. Tomorrow we will see if you can handle a less intense pain potion and maybe put a little weight," he said. "How do you feel, physically, other than that?"
"I'm all right," I shrugged. "I feel like I've been in bed for awhile. I'm beginning to get sore."
He nodded. "Yeah, tomorrow will be a week since the accident," he said."So you have been in bed a lot. Like I said, we will try and get you up tomorrow."
"And... what are we going to do about my mind?" I asked. "I am going to get my memory back, right?"
"Yes," he said. "Your head wasn't terribly damaged. It's just a question of exactly when you will get it back. There is no way to predict that. It could be tomorrow, it could be next month. The only thing we can do is to slowly introduce things from your life back to you. Today, you will have a visitor, yes?"
I nodded. "Yes."
"And then, depending on how you are feeling later in the week, oh, it's Tuesday, by the way, maybe you can take a short trip to your home."
I wondered where I lived. Was it a small apartment? I was only twenty three, probably not enough time to save up for anything nice. Did I live alone? Maybe I lived with a few friends.
"How did I... get like this?" I asked.
He sighed. "Maybe your visitor will be able to tell you later," he said. "They should be here around three o'clock."
"Thank you," I said.
I waited. It was already about noon time, but I was growing bored out of my mind. I had nothing to do, and it didn't look like they were going to give me access to a newspaper or anything to occupy my time.
Miriam returned around three, when they said my visitor would be there. "Would you like a cup of coffee or tea?" she asked.
I shook my head. "I don't think I like coffee," I told her.
"Hot chocolate?" she asked.
"That sounds nice." I told her. She returned about five minutes later with a steaming mug. "Is my visitor still coming?"
"Yes," she said. "Just running a little late." I nodded.
"I've had no visitors," I observed. "Am I not well liked?"
"Oh no," she chuckled. "The first few days you were in here, many people wanted to come visit you. We had to turn them around."
"Oh." That made me feel better. "Why didn't you let them come?"
"Well, the first few days, you were very ill." she told me. "Very, very ill. So no visitors were allowed. And when you finally woke up and we discovered you have no memory, we don't want to overwhelm you. You are slowly making progress, even already. Yesterday when you woke up you just stared off into space. But now, you are sitting up. You are dressed. You are having a conversation. Those are all signs of progress. If you are able to tolerate the visits, we will probably let two or three people in within the next week."
"Alright," I nodded. I brought my hand up and scratched my hair. "Do you think I can cut my hair?"
"We will discuss it later."
She looked outside. "I believe your visitor is here," she said, smiling. The door that I couldn't see opened, and a man walked in.
He was tall. That was the first thing I noticed about him. He was tall and sturdy, but in no way fat. Just muscular. He was older than me, definitely. He had darker hair, and was very attractive.
He wore a long, black, woolen coat. It had been half opened it, and underneath were very nice clothing. His suit looked custom made. It was all very exquisite.
"Anna," he said, rushing to my bedside. "How are you, love?"
I observed him even more. Up close, he was even more beautiful. His face had no stubble. He had brilliant hazel eyes, and smelled very nice. It was very familiar, and I got lost in that for a moment.
"Sorry," I apologized for my lapse. "It's just all..." I moved my hands without saying anything, hoping he would understand.
He nodded, and sat back from my bedside in a chair.
"Anna," Miriam began. "This is your fiancé, Christopher."
I had a fiancé. That was a pleasing thought.
"Fiancé," I repeated.
He nodded. "Yes," he said. "For two years now."
Wow. Two years was a long engagement.
"I see," I said. I looked down to my hand, no ring.
He chuckled. "I've got your ring right here, in my pocket," he said, and dug for it.
"I'll give you two a few minutes while I get the Healer. Don't give away too much, Christopher." she warned.
He nodded. He presented me with the ring. It was pretty sizeable, actually, and felt heavy as he slipped it onto my hand. "Much better." he said. "Your hand looks naked without it."
I just stared at it. Then, I remembered my notebook, and picked it up so I could write more as he began to talk. "I'm sorry I was late, I was stuck in a meeting. You hate when I'm late, but it's a very rare thing."
My hand moved over the paper. Engaged to Christopher.
"What's that?" he asked. He read it. "Oh. You're... describing yourself?"
"So I don't forget anything," I explained. I was picking at a thread in the blanket.
"There's so much more about you, love," he said. "You really don't remember anything?"
I shook my head. "Certain things feel familiar," I explained. "Like your cologne."
"You picked it out." he said, rubbing his thumb over the back of my hand.
"That motion does to," I explained. "What do you do for work?"
"I'm a politician," he said. "I'm the Adviser to the Minister."
"Oh," I said. That was an impressive job, I thought. I could tell by the way that he puffed out his chest, he was proud of it too.
He nodded. "And you're an Auror," he added.
I was an Auror? That was a little hard to picture. I couldn't really see myself as the type of person who would be chasing the bad guys. But that did certainly explain why I was toned.
"Wow," I said.
"Not what you were expecting?" he asked.
I shook my head. "No, not really."
"I brought pictures of us." he said. "Maybe they will jog your memory."
"Thank you," I said.
Healer Davis returned, and shook Christopher's hand. I couldn't tell about him.
I didn't dislike him. He seemed nice enough. But I didn't yet identify in myself what made my real self fall in love with him.
"When can I get her home?" he asked.
"Oh," Healer Davis said concerned. "I'm afraid she won't be able to be home until her memory is back."
Christopher's face became harsher.
"What do you mean?" he questioned.
"She is in a very fragile mental state. While it may appear that she could handle living at home and returning to her previous duties; that would probably just cause damage. She would degenerate. It would not be beneficial for anyone involved. After she is in a better physical state, I am not very opposed to short visits home, but until her memory fully returns, she will be spending her time here."
He sighed. "What if I hired a mediwitch to come take care of her?"
Healer Davis shook his head. "I'm sorry, but no."
Christopher nodded. "All right." he said.
"She will return, I promise. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you exactly when." I didn't like that they were talking about me when I was right there. But I let them continue on.
"There is something this weekend that I want her to attend."
"We can discuss it after." Healer Davis said. "She's in good hands here. We are working to heal her knee and then we will work on helping her muscles regain their strength and by then, hopefully, her memory will return and she will be able to go home."
Christopher just nodded. He was obviously annoyed.
We both shook our heads.
"All right. Thank you, then," Healer Davis left the room.
"I just want to have you back," Christopher sighed.
"I'm sorry," I said quietly.
He just nodded, and stared at the floor. He definitely wasn't winning any points like this.
"What do you want me to do this weekend?" I asked.
"There's a small party," he explained. "It would mean a lot to me if you would go."
I nodded. He kissed my cheek and bid me goodbye.
I was left to sit and think. It was going to be a long time until I got my memory back.