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“It’s the same dream every night.”
“The one about me?”
“Yeah… I’m in bed and I can’t move.”
“How did it feel?”
“Like nothing. I feel nothing. Until…”
“Until you’re there, on top of me.”
“What am I doing?”
“You’re… looking at me? I’m sorry, it’s hard to remember. It’s always blurry.”
“Yeah, like when you face towards the shower and water runs down your face, it’s all blurry.”
“It’s okay. What do I look like?”
“You’re naked. You’re naked, on top of me, on my bed. It’s always the same. The time on the clock,
the bedsheets, the breeze from the window. And you. You’re always there.”
“What about my face?”
“Am I pretty?”
“I don’t know.”
“You don’t know?”
“I don’t know what you look like.”
“Do you remember?”
“I don’t know who you are.”
“Yes, you do”
“Who are you?”
I’ll never get used to it; people saying they’re sorry for me. Those people who never batted an
eyelid. It’s funny how messing up your brain somehow entitles you to their sympathy. Or when
people give me that look. The I’m-sorry-you-can’t-remember-shit look. I’m sure if I remembered half
of these faces I’d be telling them all to piss off or something. Mum sometimes jokes about it and
says she wishes I’d lost my attitude instead of my memories. She pretends it’s all just for a laugh, but
I can tell she’s heartbroken. I heard her crying in the kitchen yesterday.
“I’ll just put the kettle on” she said.
She’s never made me tea before.
The doctor says it’s not that serious. A few months max. She said it’s best that I take it slow for now,
which means no stressing out, getting a good night’s sleep, the usual protocol, it seems.
“Your memories will come back in their own time, don’t force it”
It’s not like I know how to do that. She referred me to a therapist and told me to book an
appointment once a week, and she gave me medicine that I have to take, every day, from now on. I
want to punch my old self, right in the nose, for being an idiot.
I want to shout at him: “You are an absolute twat. Crashing a car and cracking your head open? You
I want him to say sorry to Mum, for making her cry. For nearly making her lose the only family she
“We’re all she’s got, and you have no right taking that away from her”
If only I could.
I’ve been taking a walk, every day, since the accident. Mainly because my therapist recommended it,
says it’s good to clear your head. But also, when I’m walking, I’m in control. I’ve been quite adamant
about that lately. I go to the park near my house, only about 2 minutes away. It’s full of 12-year-old
kids skipping school, wearing adidas tracksuits looking like a budget Run DMC costume. But apart
from that, it’s pretty nice. There’s a pond in a corner of the park, it’s really secluded so no one ever
goes there. It’s perfect for an introverted amnesiac to have breakfast in. I sit on the bench in front of
the pond, sometimes for hours, just staring at the water. The water is so still in the morning. It
seemed ridiculous at first, but it does help. I listen to the ducks gliding from one end of the pond to
the other, the sound of the water splitting. I trace the path of the birds flying around, imagining as if
they were drawing pictures. I breathe in the smell of cut grass, a smell that I can only describe as
‘green’. I take it all in. I force myself to hear these sounds, every single one of them. I suck in every
decibel. I make sure it’s never quiet. Because silence is so loud. It’s deafening. I hear her voice. Her
voice, who is she?
I’m interrupted by someone sitting next to me on the bench. I open my eyes and see that it’s a
woman, wearing a red scarf. I think she’s talking to me.
“Yeah… yeah, very nice.”
“I said, are you alright?”
“Oh, right, yeah, I’m alright. Thanks.”
Well this is a bit awkward. How long has she been there?
“It’s just you looked so still, is all. I was beginning to think you were dead.”
“Oh no, I was just uhm, thinking. That’s all.”
“Yeah, it looked like you were trying to move something with your mind for a sec. Like a Jedi.”
“Star Wars… huh, wow.”
“Do I not look like a Star Wars fan?”
“Oh no, no, it’s just that…”
This is odd. I try to remember what I was going to say.
“It’s just that I remember Star Wars.”
“Well, yeah, A Force Awakens just came out like, a month ago.”
She’s smiling. I can’t help but smile back.
“Yeah, I remember seeing it. I remember watching it with someone and I remember that it was
good. Really good.”
“You have amnesia or something?”
“No, it’s okay.”
“Wow, I am so sorry.”
“It’s okay, really.”
I give her a forced, reassuring laugh.
“No, I just say stupid shit sometimes without thinking. I’m so sorry.”
I chuckle, genuinely.
“You remind me of someone.”
“Do you absolutely despise that person?
I laugh, though I don’t know why. Why did I say that?
“No, it’s just… You really do remind me of someone.”
“Well whoever it is, they better be a right laugh to be with and always, always think before they say
“I’m sure they are.”
This woman. She seems so familiar. I’ve only just met her, but I can’t take my eyes away from her,
it’s like they’re telling me to look at something. To remember something.
“I’m sorry if this sounds insane, but do I know you?”
“Well, we know each other now.”
The way she avoided the question kind of annoyed me.
“Yes, but do I know you? Do you know me? It just feels like I know you, like, I’ve heard your voice
She gives a smile. It feels warm.
“You always asked so many questions.”
“Asked? So, we’ve met before?”
She gets up from the bench and starts walking away.
“See you next time, space cowboy.”
Before I know it, she’s gone. That was odd.
Who was she?
“Are you there?”
“I’m always here.”
“Where are you? I want to see you.”
“I’m right here.”
“It’s so dark…”
“Follow my voice.”
“Your voice… I know that voice.”
“Do you remember?”
“No… I don’t remember you.”
“But you know who I am.”
“I don’t know who you are. What are you talking about? Why do I know your voice? Why do I
remember your voice?”
“You always asked so many questions.”
I wake up, in a pool of my own sweat. There’s that dream again, except… Except it was different this
time. There was no bed, no room, no breeze. But like always, there she was. What did she look like?
I can’t remember if I saw her or not. But her voice, I just realised, was exactly the same as the
woman from the park. The woman with the red scarf.
I open my eyes and the Sun is out. It takes a while for me to adjust. Once I get myself together, the
smell of toast and bacon invade my nostrils. I make my way downstairs. Mum is cooking breakfast,
which is pretty rare of her to do. To be honest, I’m usually awake first so I just end up cooking my
own breakfast. I sit at the dining table – a full English breakfast already prepared for me. I can’t
remember the last time I had my Mum’s full English. The aroma entices me.
“Good morning, darl.”
“What time is it?”
“It’s around half ten already. You’re up quite late this morning.”
“Had a bad night’s sleep.”
“The nightmare’s again?”
I mentioned these dreams I’ve been having to my Mum. I didn’t want to keep anything from her. I’ve
even told her about the woman in my dreams and asked her if I knew a woman, before the accident.
Her responses have always been elusive.
“Do you know a woman that wears a red scarf?”
She stops, all of a sudden.
“I can’t say I do. How come?”
Her hands are shaking. What’s going on?
“I’m cooking breakfast, darling. Why don’t you go ahead and get started without me, ey?”
Does she know something?
Her body jolts. She tips the frying pan over and it falls to the floor, making such a sharp noise.
“Are you alright?”
“Yes, yes, I’m okay. It just scared me, is all”
She looks at me, with the same expression that everyone else has been giving me.
“Who is the woman with the red scarf?”
She wipes her hands with a kitchen towel and sits on the dining table, in front of me.
“We didn’t think it was healthy for you to know.”
She’s crying. I stand up from the chair and press down on the table with both hands.
“Mum! Know what?”
“It wasn’t just you in the car.”
“There was someone else.”
Her name. I remember… It wasn’t the first time I heard it, but it was the first time it tore me apart. I
sink. I sink into a deep, dark pool of dread and panic. That woman at the park. All I can think of, in
this moment, is that woman. The woman in the red scarf.
I make my way to the park. I know where I have to go.
It's around half eleven in the morning and the pond is just like it always is – empty. I sit at the bench
and I wait. Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck. I get up and walk around, just to do something. I can’t
stand the silence. My mind starts panicking. It feels like every synapse in my brain is frying. That
name. It keeps replaying in my head, over and over again, it won’t stop. It just won’t stop. Who is
that woman? Who is she? Who are you? Who are you?
Who are you?
I sit back down, my mind exhausted. Slowly, I feel my eyes close. And then there was black.
“You look tired.”
“I remember you.”
“Hold on, space cowboy. We have plenty of time.”
“You hated it when I called you that. It made you feel like a ‘child’, you said. You were always so
cute when you got annoyed. Do you remember?”
“It was how I got you into Star Wars. I showed you Han Solo, the space cowboy, to make you feel
better. Do you remember?”
“And you kept talking and talking throughout the entire film, asking who that is, what planet
they’re on, who shot first… Do you remember?
“I remember everything.”
“You remember me?”
“I remember you.”
“You remember how much I loved you? How much you loved me?”
“I remember. I remember it all.”
“Do you remember how loud I used to eat? How it annoyed you so much?”
“It was unbearable.”
“You remember the red scarf you bought me for Christmas? You remember why you gave it to
“Because you hated the cold wind touching your neck.”
“You remember how I died?”
“It was my fault.”
“It’s not your fault.”
“I wish you were here.”
“I love you.”
“I love you, always.”
“Let me stay with you.”
“Do you remember me?”
“So wake up.”
She was the person that I loved. She is the person that I still love.
Her name is Ellie.