I feel…What? A sense of belonging, yet I have no idea where I am. These four walls that surround me give off an aura that makes me feel as though I am home, but I have no recollection of ever having a home. For the past year, Frank has been my home. He's been feeding my memory and now, I wonder, whether he has been poisoning my mind with ideas of this perfect little life him and I supposedly had together. And then there's her. Michelle. I can see the pain behind her eyes when I stare at her blankly, willing myself to remember, yet all that fills my mind is that night I saw her sing. It makes me feel so guilty, that I am the cause of her pain. My mind is an abandoned, empty street. I can't see into any windows, for they have all been boarded up. The garden's are knotted and weedy and all the fences are broken, so they just all merge together, this complicated tangle of mess, my complicated tangle of feelings, and I can't separate them to link them to any specific memory, I can't separate these garden's to belonging to anyone, because I can't tell where one ends and another begins. Sometimes I feel as though I'm inhuman. Maybe I never had a life. Maybe I was created. Some mad scientist's horrific experiment. Or maybe I have died, but I'm still earthbound. I try not to go out, because I can't stand the sympathetic, somewhat edgy smiles that people give me, because it seems they know more about me and my life than I do. And do they know? Do they really know about me? What if they're just making it up? And then there's the other possibility, that I really am some trauma victim that they're all so sorry for. What would be better? To live in this frustrating bliss, or find out such horrors that would make me feel worthy of such anguished sympathy?
"Here, darling…" Carla felt a warm mug being pressed into her hands and she absentmindedly takes a sip. Of course, Michelle would know how she took her coffee. They're best friends.
"Michelle, what happened to me?" Carla asked the question, quickly, before she had time to talk herself out of it.
"You had a car acci-"
"I know all that, I know about that car crash. I know that I had this big, successful, factory and I sold it and me and Frank were supposed to drive off into the sunset. But if it's such a big, fairytale, then why can't I remember? Why do I feel as though you're treating me as if I'm made out of butterfly wings?"
"Because…" Michelle trailed off, reluctant to inform Carla of the torment she was believed to have suffered. "Because on the night of the crash, when you were taken to hospital…The Doctor told me that you had signs of…Of…Carla, this isn't easy to say…"
"Just tell me straight. It's not as if I'm going to be able to remember, is it? Maybe if you tell me, I'll be able to remember something. Don't I have a right to know?"
"You were attacked…Before the crash. I think that's why the crash happened. You could have been trying to get away." Michelle's hands twisted in her lap, her eyes searching Carla's for some kind of reaction.
"Attacked…How? How do you know?"
"You had bruises…On your wrists…On your shoulders…Thigh."
Carla pressed her lips together, frowning. Surely something like that, she would remember? "So…So I was raped? Allegedly…"
"I'm sorry…" Michelle whispered, unable to stop her eyes filling with tears. In a way, it was a blessing that Carla couldn't remember such horrific details. But, maybe it was better she did remember? Obviously the attacker was still out there, having gotten away with it.
"Is there absolutely nothing you remember? Not one minute detail that might help trigger-"
"Michelle, I don't remember anything. I don't even know who I am! How can I remember the events of a life that I feel as though I haven't lived?"
Letting out a pained sigh, Michelle grasped Carla's hand in her own, giving it a gentle squeeze. Carla returned the squeeze, allowing her eyes to meet the concerned, hazel pools before her. They reminded her of autumn. When the leaves were turning from green to brown, and it was just starting to get colder. She's glad to be able to associate Michelle with something, even if it is just a season. Autumn was beautiful. And for some unknown reason, she imagines a warm house, with a cheery, friendly atmosphere and the rich smell of home cooking. Maybe there's a man and a woman in the house and though she knows that the house isn't hers, it could feel like home, somewhere she was accepted. Reaching out, she brings her hand up and strokes her fingertips down Michelle's cheek, along the bridge of her nose, her index finger tracing along the outline of her lips.
Michelle remained perfectly still, her eyes locked with Carla's as she willed her to remember. Come on, Carla…Remember me…Remember me…
Carla's eyes sparkled with tears of despair. She was trying. She really was trying. There was something so familiar about this woman. She was more than 'The singer'. Carla truly believed that they had been best friends. And she wanted that back. She wanted to feel the memories, the past they'd shared. She needed to unlock that sealed box in the back of her mind that held back so many horrors, yet so much happiness. She was so sure Michelle was the key, but that box wasn't ready to be unlocked.
"It's okay.." Michelle whispered, wiping the tears from Carla's cheeks. She hadn't even realised she'd let any fall. "I know you're trying, I know it's going to come back to you."
"I don't think I can stand this," Carla sniffed, helplessly leaning into the arms of her younger friend. "I know that I know you…I know that I love you. I just don't know why…How can I know you're so important to me but not know why?"
"Hey, come on…It's a start, it's more than a start. This is…Amazing. You're doing really well, baby. But, you can't torment yourself into remembering, it might just push you further back. I'm going to help you, Carla. But right now, you're going to get some sleep." Michelle wrapped her arms tightly around her confused, best friend, running her hands through her long, dark hair, letting it slide between her fingers.
"I've really missed you…" Michelle whispered, watching as Carla allowed her eyes to flutter shut, seemingly content in her curled up position.
"I wish I could say it back…I guess I've missed having someone like you around. You're…sort of familiar. I feel completely comfortable with you. Moreso than I have with anyone this past year or so that I can remember." Carla's voice was slurred with sleep. She'd barely slept the night before, her mind had been throwing her questions that she was unable to answer. But now, now she knew that there was someone who could finally give her some, she could relax. She'd had enough for one night, her head had started to ache and as much as she wanted to know everything that Michelle had to tell her, she needed to hear it with a straight head.
She was on the very brink of sleep, soothed by the warm comfort of her companion's arms. In her subconscious mind, the part that you seem to have no control over, the part that allows you to dream, the part of her mind that seemed distant…Locked, she whispered quietly.