A still groggy Adeline awoke the next morning and discovered that she was alone. She held onto the bed as she tried to steady herself enough to walk over to the window.
Looking down from the second floor, she scanned the meticulously kept grounds. Honeysuckle bushes were boldly climbing up the brick wall on the side of the house. She smiled as she watched a tiny hummingbird flitting from flower to flower.
In the distance a Gazebo, heavy laden with Wisteria lent a romantic view one would expect from a story such as Romeo and Juliet.
As she was thinking “this is incredibly beautiful,” her thoughts were interrupted by a slight tap on the door.
“Ah. I see you’re awake,” said Dr. Burt. “How are we feeling today?” As her eyes cut to him, he caught himself, cleared his throat and said “I mean. How are you feeling today?”
Adeline said “I’m a little groggy from whatever it was you gave me yesterday but other than that, I feel okay, I guess, but I feel like I’ve been put through a ringer. Do you know what I mean?”
Dr. Burt said “I do indeed know what you mean. You’ve certainly been through an ordeal. I’ll order some x-rays to see if there is anything going that we may have missed.”
Adeline continued. “I still don’t know what happened. I still don’t know where I am. I still don’t know why I’m here.”
“And, have you remembered who you are?” asked Dr. Burt. Adeline looked down as if ashamed and said “no. I don’t remember who I am.”
Dr. Burt began his questioning: “What’s the last thing you remember?
Adeline said “I think I remember someone pulling me or something. I think I remember being wet and cold. I know I remember waking up here and I was in this hospital gown. Do you know what happened to my clothes? Did you take them off?”
Dr. Burt said “I helped.”
Adeline’s lips tightened as she wrapped the furnished bathrobe around herself like a cocoon as if to hide what had already been seen. “I’d like to get out of here, if you don’t mind. Could you call me a taxi?”
Dr. Burt asked her where she thought she was going. “Somewhere. Anywhere. I don’t know. I just know that I want to get out of here.”
“You don’t know where you are. You don’t even know who you are,” Dr. Burt said.
Glaring at him she said “Right now, I don’t care where I am but I’ll find out who I am. Surely someone is looking for me. Could you find my clothes please?”
Dr. Burt explained to her that she wasn’t going anywhere in her present state. “So I really am a prisoner.” she said. “No, you are not a prisoner but I would like for you to calm down and talk to me.”
He took a fatherly approach as he said “amnesia is strange and sometimes, misunderstood. Memories that have been lost can be restored in a matter of minutes or months but in some cases, they may never be recovered. You need to understand that but before we admit defeat, I’d like for you to try to remember as much as you can. Even something as simple as a smell can trigger a memory that will ultimately result in total recall.”
Adeline sat down and said “I honestly don’t remember anything. Maybe if you showed me the clothes I was wearing, I might remember them. Or if you told me where you found me. Or if you told me how you found me. Or if you told me any fucking thing!”
She was clearly becoming agitated again. “Dr. Burt smiled and said “obviously, you remember how to curse.”
Adeline gave a weak apology and said “I just don’t understand. Why can’t I remember anything? How long am I going to be trapped in this anonymous world, with people like you asking me questions and refusing to let me leave?”
Dr. Burt said “I’m going to go against protocol a bit. Normally we like for the patient to use their own devices to try to recover their memory but I am going to give you a few bits of information, if you like.”
“Please,” said Adeline.
Dr. Burt began. “You were found on a yacht. You had obviously weathered some sort of storm that threw you off course. We found you unconscious and near death from a pretty severe head injury, possibly from being tossed around but that can’t be accurately determined.”
He hesitated and made sure to look for any reaction in her face when he said “we also found some men’s clothing aboard. As far as any identifying items, such as drivers’ licenses’ or passports, none were found for either of you.”
Dr. Burt was surprised by her response when all she said was “a yacht?”
To be continued________________