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A blurry world came into focus; the heat of the sun beaming down told the body it was hot. Opening eyes further one saw blue sky over them and grass under them. Sitting up they realized they had not a clue as to where they were or how they ended up here. Last thing they remembered, actually he couldn't remember anything. Okay, try not to panic, you're alive and that's a good sign. You know you're in a park of some sort so someone must be able to tell you something. Think, think simple, think your name. My name, my name is Alan Humphries. Good, that's a start, now how old are you? My age, I, don't know. I stopped counting once I died. Wait, I died? But I am here, how can I be dead.
Grabbing his head Alan tried to get it to stop spinning from the fog that seemed to cloud everything. How did he get here, why could he remember nothing other than his name? Did he have a job, a family, friends, an apartment? Standing he tried to control the shakiness in his legs, they felt strange to be standing. Looking around his surroundings he noticed he saw a pond and a great field with people in it playing just across a short path. There were people in the grass area he awoke in as well; no one seemed to notice him though. Perhaps this was just a dream? Lifting his arm to pinch his skin he saw gloves on his hands and what looked like a suit on him. Was he a businessman? But, what was with the gloves? Perhaps he was a driver? Trying to think about it the haziness started to comb over his mind again. He couldn't even remember if he knew how to drive a car. Wait, maybe he had some id on him, something to help piece his mind together. Pulling off the gloves he stuck them in his mouth before checking his coat pockets. Feeling them empty he stuck his gloves in the one and checked his other pockets finding them just as empty as the other two were. Knowing standing here would get him no where he started to walk out of the small field he was standing in. Coming to the path he noticed to his left he saw a building and a bridge leading to what the sign said was "Turtle pond." As nice as that sounded he really needed to figure out where he was and how he ended up here. Think, think of something else, like a house or an apartment. I must have lived somewhere. But, why does that seem cloudy to me? Where am I from, who am I? I know I am Alan Humphries but who have I been up until now? Taking the path away from the unknown building and "Turtle Pond" he followed it only about twenty feet before it forked. Which way to go? Which way would lead him to answers? Would any way lead him to something he knew? Taking a deep breath he took it to the left and hoped this was the right way. He didn't want to get lost in this place, something about this place left him with a sense that he could and could do so quite easily. Taking in all that was around him he tried to keep his senses alert to everything. All the people he watched, all the animals he questioned. How could he know what people where, what animals he saw yet know nothing else? Staying on the path he followed it using only his sense that he was going in a straight line though it seemed to curve. Coming up to a banner he stepped closer to see what it read, what clues to his missing memory it may hold.
"Central Park?" That didn't ring any bells for him, it was nice knowing where he was yet he still had no idea as to what country he was in, or how he ended up here. It was nice though to know he was heading in the right direction to leave the park. Following the path he had been walking he continued to make his way out. Hoping answers would soon follow.
Rolling over he felt his body hit a hard surface, his eyes opened to see he had fallen out of a bed. A bed he didn't remember getting in to. Sitting up he nursed the headache he had it seemed, trying to remember things he noticed his headache only got worse. Using the bed he tried to stand and hopefully sit back on it. Trying to think back he tried to recall a memory that would explain a few things. Coming up short and making his headache worse he tried to recall easier things. My name, my name is Eric Slingby. How old are you? In my twenties maybe? Why can't I remember my age? Are there things nearby you to help give you clues as to what you do or where you live, anything at all? Looking around he noticed the table next to the bed held a blank notepad. Not much use that was, it did gave a name on top "Holiday Inn Cambridge-Duxford." Opening the drawers he found it empty with nothing but a bible. Not much good that would do him at this moment. Standing he walked around the bed to see another table with another empty notepad with the same name written on top. This must be that hotel that he had awoken in, while that was good to know he still couldn't recall how he ended up in place like this. Opening the drawer he saw a wallet with a set of keys. Unable to pull up anything about the keys he stuck them in his pocket just to be safe and opened the wallet. Was that him? The id had his name written on the inside and an address, but the man on the picture, it seemed to take him off guard. Seeing the wallet held some cards with his name written on them and some money he stuck it in his back pocket and searched the hotel to see if more clues could be found. Coming across a mirror he stared at his reflection, or what he guessed was his reflection. The man looking back at him seemed to match the picture on the id he found but nothing registered inside of him. The man looking back him looked as hollow and lost as he felt. Forcing his eyes to look away he went through the rest of the room. There wasn't much else to go through, the closet held nothing but a jacket he assumed was his own but held nothing but gloves. Stepping into the bathroom he saw it held nothing but small soap bottles and some towels. A hot shower did sound quite nice though. Maybe the hot water would clear the haze in his mind and allow him to remember the things he needed to know.
Stepping out of the shower he realized the only clothes he found were the ones he had been wearing. Going back into them he combed his hair, going to twist the side into braids he stopped. Why would he do that? He noticed he had been in them when he woke up but why would he have something like that in his hair to begin with. Combing it out he tried to get something to ring a bell in his mind. Frustrated with everything, the haze in his mind, the thoughts he couldn't recall he left the bathroom. Noticing the keys he picked up earlier along with the wallet were still in his pocket, he grabbed the jacket from the closet unsure of how the weather was and left the room entirely. Making his way to the lobby of the hotel he went up to the clerk at the counter to see if they could provide any answers.
"May I help you sir?"
"How long am I in my room for?"
"Of course sir, one moment please. May I have your name and room number please?"
"Name is Eric Slingby. And I forgot to check the room number before I left."
"Not a problem sir. Please give me one moment." He waited while the young boy pressed against the keys on his keyboard hoping to pull up the requested information. "Here we are sir, you are checked in until Thursday sir. And you are in room two-thirty-four."
"Is there anything else you can tell me? Why I checked in, how I got here, was I alone when I arrived?"
"Sir? I'm sorry but I do not know such things."
"Fine. Thanks anyway kid." Hitting the counter he turned and walked towards the glass doors of the hotel.
Exciting the park Alan still had no clue as to where he was. The street sign 5th ave museum mile, only he wasn't sure where that was exactly and where it led if he took it. Following his body's impulse he stepped forward, staying straight seemed the way to go.
Hearing car horns blare he stepped back and looked at them as they drove past him. Turning his head at the light he saw it was green for the cars, the sign across the street was telling him not to walk. How could he know what those things meant but not know anything about himself? Why did this not make any sense to him?
"Sir, are you alright? Are you lost? Do you speak English? It's not safe to cross the street when the "Don't walk" is showing. Once the light turns green cars will take off. Sad but true, it's the way things work here in the city." Turning around he saw a man behind him in a uniform watching him. Seeing the badge he saw it read NYPD. What did that stand for?
"What is NYPD?"
"What? It stands for New York Police Department of course."
"New York? As in New York City? In America?"
"Are you alright sir? Have you been injured somehow? Perhaps we should get you seen at the hospital. Mount Sinai is right up the road here, see its right there near 103rd street."
"I seem to not remember anything. How I got here. Who I really am, where I live if anywhere, if I have family. I don't feel hurt, though, my mind is foggy when I try to bring up certain things."
"Perhaps you fell and hit your head? Did you come from the park? You can hurt yourself if you're not careful at certain locations. Do you have id of some sort? I can run a search in my car and see if things come up."
"No, I awoke in the park with nothing on me, just what I am wearing."
"Awoke in the park? May I ask where?"
"I. I don't know really, I was near "Turtle Pond I believe." He heard the man say something into his walkie talkie before putting his attention on Alan again who was looking around where he was hoping to see something familiar to his cloudy mind. He just wanted clues to who he was at this point. Something to tell him things could be okay if he tried hard enough.
"Sir. Can you come with me to where you woke up? Perhaps we may find evidence of something that happened, or maybe find someone that may have saw something.. Though nothing yet has been reported as foul play, it's the middle of the day and where you were is a busy spot, someone would have seen something and we can only hope report it in." Nodding he followed the officer to his car that was just a few blocks down and got in. He seemed to know where he was going allowing Alan to see the sites that they drove by. He seemed to have walked a good distance before he met the officer. Feeling the vehicle stop and turn off he saw the street sign read 5th ave and 79th street.
"It's this way sir. Does anything seem familiar yet?"
Putting his hands in his pockets the one grabbed the gloves still where he left them. For some reason feeling them in his hand he felt he could hold on to something he knew. It was the only thing he felt certain of, even his name seemed strange to him. Was it even his?
"Here, I awoke in this small field here." Pointing to the grass that fell short from the giant tree's shade the officer walked ahead and said something into his walkie again while he walked around the area. Sitting in the grass he held his knees, he felt frustrated, and scared, and uncertain over what the future would hold.
"Sir, I can find no signs that you were hurt and witnesses say they saw you here when they arrived. Please, allow me to get you checked out at the hospital. A doctor may be able to learn why you cannot remember things." Not saying a word he stood and allowed the officer to take him back to his car to take him to the hospital. Feeling his face become wet he looked into the side mirror and saw tears running down his face. Seeing something in the corner of his eye he turned and saw the officer holding a tissue out to him.
"I wouldn't give up yet I'm sure you're memories will come back to you. And I put a call out to the station to see if a missing persons is out for you or if they can find something about you in our database. If something comes up I'll let you know."
Again he nodded while he took the tissue and dried his eyes.
Eric walked down the main street the hotel was on uncertain as to where he was exactly. He knew Cambridge but where in it exactly was something he wanted to know as was how he ended up here. His id said he lived in London so then why did he come here? Unsure how to get around he found walking was better for him anyway. He was able to think more, see if things weren't coming back to him. The air was decent enough for a nice walk, brisk as the sun was setting but not cold to the point of not being able to stay long in it. It seemed so strange that his memory was as hazy as it was. He never remembered experiencing anything of the sort before. Though, thinking about it he couldn't remember much other than his name at the moment so maybe he had. Perhaps he had done something last night and was slipped something, a pill or something of the sort in a cocktail. That may be the case but something else jumbled his brain he was sure of it. His mind may be all but gone at the moment but his intuition wasn't. That seemed to be working fine as he stopped to view the Cam. It boggled his mind that he knew what body of water he was watching but everything else seemed so out of place. Even in standing here he felt lost. How did one recall memories when everything seemed so foreign to you? Should he dare go back to London, or stay here to see what answers he may uncover? Something told him to stay, that he came here for a reason and he needed to know what it was but something else told him to go back to London, to the place he called home and see what answers he may find. See if he really was who he claimed to be. Seeing the sun start to fade he turned to head back to his hotel. His stomach seemed to be seeking nourishment and he had passed a few places to do so on his walk. Maybe if he slept his memories would return, perhaps this haze just needed to run its course and all would be fine once it had done so. He wasn't going to panic; his body told him panicking wasn't something he did. He knew not to trust it for it may be misleading and not knowing what was true and what was not putting full faith in it seemed foolish but it was all he had to go off of right now and so he would listen. He didn't see how doing so could make matters worse.
Alan thanked the officer for helping him get signed into the hospital and sat on the bed he had been given. He knew this was an emergency room, he knew nurses were the ones that examined him but how could he know that and not know who he was? Allowing his head to rest on the pillow he stared at the ceiling, he hoped this was a dream of some sort. Some nightmare that was caused by a drug, yet, he didn't believe so. Deep down he was told that this was not caused by something like that, that he was not one to use or fall victim to drug use. But, then what else could cause this ailment for him? Why could he recall nothing prior to waking in the park? Hearing a voice say his name, or rather, what he believed was his name he sat up to see a doctor looking at him, watching him. This doctor looked different than the others he saw when he entered the hospital, he didn't wear all white, he wore a green sweater vest and held a clip board.
"Alan Humphries. Is this correct?"
Nodding he tried to take this man in, commit to memory what he looked liked, what the fiber of his being was. If nothing else he wanted to see if he could hold memories of any kind at the moment.
"I was told you spoke English is this correct?"
Nodding again he saw he was right handed and carried only black ink pens on him, as he was holding one and two more were clipped to the v-neck the sweater vest held.
"I am going to examine you if you will allow me to. I was told you are suffering from memory problems. Memory is my specialty."
Again not saying a word he allowed the doctor to do what he needed to. His voice felt lost, had he forgotten how to speak as well? Was language something he had made up but never really had to begin with? Seeing the doctor holding a small pen in his hands he flinched as light was shinned in his eyes. Trying to push the doctor away he closed his eyes in hopes to not lose his vision as well. He wanted to hold on to something, anything, that he could use to remind him that he wasn't fading into nothingness.
"I am sorry Alan, are your eyes sensitive to the light? Most don't find it bothers them all that much."
"I can still see." Hearing his voice again he wondered if it was really his, was that what he sounded like? Or perhaps, that voice belonged to someone else; someone his mind wanted to believe was himself. The voice was soft, scared, dry from air it had used. Yet, it sounded so foreign to him. Why? Why?
"Why can you still see? Because the light wasn't meant to blind you."
"No. Why? Why does nothing seem real to me? Why can't I believe what I see or hear? Am I really who I say I am? If not then who is the real Alan Humphries and why did I take his name?" Looking over at the doctor he knew he wasn't going to find the answers he so desperately needed.
"That is what I am to try and find out."
Making it back to the hotel with his stomach satisfied Eric crashed on the bed to stare at the ceiling. He had thought about it during his meal, if he could not remember who he was exactly he could make something new. There would be no reason to pick up where he had left off since he couldn't recall what any of those things may be. This could be a chance to make a new life for himself, perhaps once he got back to London he would see if he had money to his name and see where it could take him. Maybe he would keep whatever job he had, he assumed he had one since he money for the cards in his wallet and the trip he had taken, but maybe he would seek something else. He didn't feel to be the type of person to have a family so the thought of never returning to them didn't sound as bad as it could. Finding the TV remote he turned the nice sized screen on to see what he could find while he stripped of his clothes and made himself comfortable for the night. Hanging his jacket back up in the closet he started to unbutton his shirt, the news was just starting it sounded like. He wasn't hoping it would hold clues to what had happened to him yet, something told him not to change the channel. Plus, it was always good to know what was going on in the world. Grabbing the other hanger from beside his jacket he hung his white button up shirt as well before moving to the dresser under the TV to keep his pants neat for the night. Sitting on the bed he wondered if he was the type of person to sleep completely naked at night or keep something on. Thinking of the strange feeling he would have sleeping with nothing he kept his boxers on and watched TV from where he was.
"Two people were killed today in a house fire. Fire marshal reports state the couple had been trapped inside when pieces of the roof collapsed blocking the exit." As the image of the house flashed across the screen from the cameraman who was with the reporter Eric felt his head start to spin. Clutching it he kept his arms on his knees hoping to make everything stop spinning. What was happening to him? Did this have something to do with that fire? No, it couldn't have, he lived in London, he had proof. There was fire though, he could see it, from below and he, he had been holding someone. Saying he wasn't worth it, but that wasn't what he saw on TV. Had it triggered this though? Feeling the room spin faster he felt his body fall to the floor as his vision went dark.
Being told he was going to be moved to a room inside the hospital Alan had some free range of motion. Not much as he didn't know where to go or if he wanted to move without being told he sat on the bed and watched people go by. A few times nurses would see him staring and come ask him if he needed something. He would say no and they would leave him be but he would continue to watch. He had hoped that maybe he would see something he knew, something he was certain of. Yet nothing of the sort had happened. He wanted clues, needed answers to help ease his mind. It seemed the haze that covered his memories whenever he tried to reach for them just made him frustrated and seemed to vanish further from his grasp. Seeing something, an emergency of some sort he craned his head just slightly to see better. He wasn't sure why he wanted to look but his eyes wouldn't seem to tear away from this person that had been wheeled in. Her face didn't give a hint that he knew her but he seemed drawn in. Perhaps it was the bruises that lined her face or the way she screamed silently as doctors tried to look at her. Stepping off the bed he moved to the small doorway that separated him from the nurses' station of the ER he tried to hear what she was saying. Why couldn't he look away from her?
"Sir, is everything alright, can I help you somehow?"
Hearing a nurse coming up he stopped and held on to the doorway. The doctors were yelling for nurses to bring them something.
"She is dying isn't she?" He didn't have to look at the nurse to know she heard him.
"Horrible car accident. Hit on the driver's side by a car that ran a red light. She was barely breathing when EMT's arrived."
Death, his body filled with a sense of knowing what that was like. Of knowing what it felt like to have organs shut down, to watch the mind send your body signs that everything was failing. His hands shook understanding the feeling of causing death. Stepping back he saw flashes form behind his eyes, the dead piling up, the blood that stained his hands, the blood that stained someone else's hands as well. That someone was someone he knew, someone he cherished.
The nurse saw his body start to tremble, unable to make it to him in time he collapsed to the floor as the images ended abruptly and everything went dark.
So what do you think? I kind of like it for a first chapter. I know I have other stories I am working on and need to finish and I am going to try my hardest to balance them all. Please review and leave thoughts. I am excited for this story it's different from what I am used to so it should be fun.