I'm Here to Fix You

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Chapter 70

CHAPTER 71 - HE WALKED OUT ON ME

Name: Silvia Banchi

Age: 27

Nationality: Italian

Job: translator/editor

Living parents: Andrea Banchi, Luisa De Marco. No siblings.

Moved to Boston 4 years ago.

Blonde girl is Tess, my best friend.

Dark-haired guy? Why won’t he say?

Little to no friend. Boyfriend??

I scanned through my notes over and over again, trying to rake my mind for the flimsiest piece of memory I could find, but nothing. Absolutely nothing. Zero. Nurse Jackie keeps on telling me to be patient, but it’s been over two weeks, and I’m still at square one. I remember nothing. Nothing.

It’s frustrating. All these people stick around me, all happy to see me, they’re all so nice and loving, but ... I don’t remember them. Any of them. Not even my parents, damnit. I could tell it was the truth, that they are indeed my parents, only because, once I’d looked at myself into the mirror, I could see a resemblance with the man, and I definitely have the woman’s eyes. So those are my parents, yet nothing of what they say sparks up a memory.

They tell me about my childhood, my teen years and everything ... but I remember nothing, nothing. It’s ... as if there’s something that blocks out every memory. I haven’t told them this, but ... the therapist I started seeing yesterday says it might be a trauma of some sort. Not that I hadn’t gotten to that conclusion before her, but that’s another story.

I mean, there might be some ... trauma in my life, and it’s possibly why my brain has decided to block out all the memories. It’s like ... a coping mechanism. Like ... I can’t go back in time to fix what hurt me, so my brain took the first chance it got to do the next best thing, namely obliterate all the memories. It gives me sci-fi vibes, I know, but ... my own therapist says it happens, it does happen, a lot. People that have gone through a tough trauma often find themselves suffering from amnesia. The more deeply rooted is the trauma, the deeper amnesia goes, the more memories are blocked out, the harder it is to bring them back.

I could spend years not knowing who the heck I am. I could spend the best part of my life just trying to recollect memories of who I was. But I won’t. No. I will not waste away my youth in some semi-unconscious state. I will not surrender to these games my mind plays, I will take back my memories, all of them.

I’ve written down a timeline, you know. Nurse Jackie says I should take step by step, but I’ve never been much of a patient woman, which is funny to say, because how can I know my character if I don’t know myself? But either way, the point is, I’ve written down a timeline, split memories and phases of my life, so that I can spend a precise amount of time on each, without wasting one minute.

I’m not gonna spend years trying to remember who I was. I’m gonna do what the books I know I have read taught me: I’m gonna investigate. Say hello to Detective Banchi, she just got a new mission.

***

“Ugh, damnit!” I cursed when I tried to stand on my own. I started physiotherapy the other day, and I seemed to be getting better, but no, I still cannot freaking walk on my own legs. Ugh! It’s so frustrating! Especially because, apparently, it’s psychosomatic, namely, it’s all in my head. There’s nothing wrong with my bones, they’re perfectly fine, yet I still find it hard to walk on my own, or eat with my own hands, because I feel maimed, or rather, my mind tells me I’m maimed, and consequently my body acts as if it were maimed.

It has everything to do with that ... empty feeling I get every time, everything to do with that chord beneath my ribs that hurts that bad all day long and I don’t know why. When I tried telling my doctor, she laughed in my face. Said I should leave medical care to professionals, since, apparently, I had no idea whatsoever how does a human body work.

You know, I’m just gonna say it. She’s a bitch. I’ve woken up from a coma that, apparently, has lasted 2 years, with no memory whatsoever, yet instead of being understanding, kind and considerate, she does nothing but act like a bitch. I’m pretty sure I’ve done something to her but I don’t recall, which is why she’s all the more angry at me, which is, let me say, absolutely absurd, because she’s a freaking doctor, and she should know it’s not my fault that I have amnesia.

Sighing, I tried one more time to stand on my own feet, and I finally succeeded, but I was barely able to take five steps (counted), that I was already wobbling, trying to get a hold onto something before falling to the ground. Lucky thing I did find an arm to hold onto. “Thanks.” I wheezed.

“It’s alright. But you shouldn’t stress your bones.” He said gruffly.

“I know, I know ... but it’s frustrating nevertheless.” I arched an eyebrow at him, even though the blindfold over my eyes didn’t allow me to see him. “What are you doing here anyways? I thought you wanted nothing to do with me anymore.”

He laughed. “What makes you think that?”

“Well ... you walked out on me.”

“Did I?”

I scoffed. “Seriously? The moment medical staff came, you walked out. Then I find you lurking around my room, like some creepy stalker, and now you’re here. Talk about suspicious behavior.”

“How do you know it was me? You can’t even see me. You might be talking to a hobbit, for all you know.”

“I remember your voice, obvious.” I scoffed. “The fact that you come in here only when I can’t see you is really creepy, you know?”

He laughed, again, which is annoying as heck, but he’s got a sexy laugh, I’ll give him that. “Maybe I just can’t stay away.” He claimed, helping me to get back to my bed. The sole contact with him made me feel all tingly, and I don’t know why.

“Said every stalker ever.” I scoffed, causing him to laugh again. Why does he laugh at everything I say, I have no idea. Am I a clown or something?

“Well, I am a good stalker, baby.” He claimed sarcastically once he’d settled me on bed.

I rolled my eyes beneath the blindfold, feeling my headache subside just a little. Funnily enough, that pain beneath my ribs? Suddenly gone. All gone. I do have a problem with my eyes, though. Apparently, the whatever accident I had caused me retinal detachment, so while still on a coma, I underwent laser surgery; I had healed, it seems, but I woke up too suddenly, so the neon lights hurt my eyes, and I’ve had to go under surgery again. On top of all that I’ve been through, huh?

The good thing is, the surgery has also reduced my myopia, the doctor says, so I should be able to see perfectly without glasses from now on, or maybe I’ll just need them to read.

Either way, the point is, I’ve been blindfolded for a couple of days now, and that’s exactly when Mr. Stalker here has started appearing in my room. “Since I don’t even know who the heck you are, you are kindly asked not to call me that nor any other pet name that comes to your sick mind.” I scoffed.

“You don’t know me, then? Not one bit?” He asked, seemingly hopeful.

“Uh ... I think I just said that. What, are you deaf?”

He chuckled, a bit nervously, I’d say. “Nah, just ... wanted to make sure.” I frowned, but he cleared his throat like nothing, the cheeky rascal. “So, does ... anyone know I come visit you now and then?”

And here I go again, rolling my eyes. Seems like I do it a lot with this guy. “For some absurd reason you asked me not to tell, and I haven’t, though God knows why do I even listen to you. For all I know you could be just a voice in my head.”

“I see amnesia also calls for grouchiness, huh?”

“Actually, I feel like this only with you. Who knows why.” I stuck my tongue to him, causing to laugh again. He seems to laugh at everything I say, should I be offended?

“Oh, so it’s my fault if you’re on permanent PMS?” He laughed when I tried to smack him, but barely made it to caressing his biceps, as weak as I am.

“You’re a jerk, you know that, right?” I scoffed. “And it’s kinda sick of you to come visit a girl in my conditions without even telling her who you are. I mean, I cannot freaking see you, you could at least tell me who the heck you are.”

“Don’t girls like mystery?”

“Not when it’s a creepy stalker.”

“Hey, I’m not creepy.” He laughed. “I mean, maybe I do lurk around, but I don’t secretly cut off your hair and make a ring of it, do I?”

“Mmh, did you know that, in 19th century England, that was actually meant as a promise? Like, the girl would keep a tiny painting of the man she loved in a necklace she wore, so that he would be at level with her heart, and the guy took a tiny lock of her hair, and put it in a ring he wore. It was a promise of love, they would get married. People actually considered this normal and romantic.” How can I know all this without knowing when did I get my first kiss, is beyond me, but I’m learning to just roll with it.

There was silence, utter silence, but I could feel an intense gaze on me, which was uncomfortable. “Why are you staring at me like that now? It’s creepy.” I grimaced, covering myself with a blanket, because I was starting to feel cold.

“How do you know I was staring?”

“I can feel your stalker gaze.” I scoffed, causing him to, once again, laugh. “You know, it’s not polite to laugh of people. You’re actually rude more than just a jerk.”

I could feel the bed dip beside me, so he sat down, and I felt shivers down my spine when he caressed my cheek. His touch was so light, yet so endearing. My heart started beating faster when I started feeling his hot breath against my jaw, and I found myself utterly disappointed when he only kissed my forehead. “I gotta go now.” He murmured.

“Will you be back?” I asked when he pulled away. Hopefully I didn’t sound too needy. It’s just that ... in the middle of this whole confusing chaos, he feels like the one rock I can hold onto. Crazy, right? I have never even see his face, his his presence is soothing. Oh, that and the fact that his voice is so, so, so sexy, damnit.

“Maybe.”

I gave him a dirty look, which he obviously couldn’t see. “Are you for real?”

“What, do you want me to be back?” He teased.

“I don’t even know whether you’re real or not. Sometimes I feel like I’m talking to a ghost. One moment you’re here, the other you’re gone. And I can’t even dare talk about you because you prohibited me to, which is absurd, because you’re in no position to prohibit me anything, since I don’t even know your stupid name.” I scoffed, blurting it all out in one breath, finally letting out all I’d been thinking ever since he showed up at my bedside the other night.

Once again I felt his hot breath against my jaw, clear sign that he’d bent down enough to be just one mere inch away from my face. “I’ll take that as a yes.” He made even a simple peck on my cheek sexy, damnit. “I’ll be back tomorrow, same hour.”

“Wait.” I stopped him before he could vanish again. “I ... I’m not crazy, right?” I asked, baffled. “I mean ... you’re real. I ... I’m not dreaming of you or something.” I let my eyes rake all over his frame, but it didn’t give me any more certainty than I had before. “You only visit me at these late hours, when everybody’s sleeping, when my own mind is half asleep, so ... it’s confusing. And I can’t see you with this freaking blindfold on. This whole period is so hectic and confusing for me, I don’t even know whether I’m actually left-handed or I’m influenced by the fact that my parents told me I was, so ... answer me, seriously for once. Are you really here? Or am I dreaming?”

He stood there for a moment, seemingly pondering over my question. I was waiting for the second he’d vanish again, so that I could confirm to myself that I’m actually going insane. Hearing some guy in your room almost every night after midnight, when everybody’s asleep and you’re the only one up, reviewing your notes, doesn’t sound much sane to me.

Maybe I’ve really lost my marbles. Or maybe this is another one of those mock realities I saw when I was locked behind that iron curtain that wouldn’t leave me any chance of getting out. I just ... I just feel like I don’t know what’s real anymore, and his visits don’t help with that.

He just ... pops up in here so late at night, he stays a few minutes, then he leaves. He barely even gives me time to get acquainted with him. It’s like ... he wants to see me, yet doesn’t want me to create a memory of him. In fact he’s only ever started visiting when I had eye surgery. I bet that, the moment I’ll take off the blindfold, he’ll quit coming.

It’s like he purposely wants me to doubt whether he’s real or not, because if I don’t think he actually exists, then I won’t ... grow fond of him. It’s like he can’t stay away, yet counts the minutes when he’ll leave again. It’s maddening.

In the end, after an excruciatingly long silence, he leaned over, and whispered: “Close your eyes.”

“I already can’t see, so what’s the point? Besides, I asked you a question, you could at least-”

“Close your eyes, and I’ll answer.”

Huffing, I did what he said, not even sure why. “Now what?” Silence. Utter silence. “Hello? Are you still there?” Nothing. “Come on, don’t tease me like this, I-” I shut up when I felt his lips on mine, demanding yet tender, passionate yet controlled. For some reason I even kissed him back. Or I would have, had he let me. But he pulled back before I could.

“How’s that for real?” I heard his husky voice whisper in my ear, causing my heart rate to pick up a dangerously faster pace.

I grabbed his hand that was on my cheek before he could leave again, as silently as a ship sailing in the middle of the night. Oddly enough, I felt a sharp shock through my veins the moment I came in touch with his bare skin. “Stay.” I’m not sure whether I begged or ordered, but I’m beyond caring.

“Silvia ...”

“Stay. Just this once. Just ... until I fall asleep.” I bit my lips. “Don’t ... don’t leave me again.” I felt a stray tear falling, but I didn’t care. “I ... it never hurts when you’re here.”

He took a deep breath, and I pressed my lips, hoping that what I said would convince him. I hate being this vulnerable, but ... I meant it. As long as he is here, that unmerciful pain subsides and ... I could use a little bit of peace for a while. I’m not sure why does his presence make me feel like this, but ... it does, and I’d rather hold onto it other than regret letting him leave.

Silence reigned, though. Only utter silence. Not even a squeaky sound, nothing, nothing beyond my own breaths. “Hello?” I called. “You’re still here, right?” I waited for him to answer, but nothing. I didn’t hear the door, so he can’t have left ... then again, I never even hear him open that freaking door. Maybe this is really just my imagination. “Come on, say something.” I demanded. “You know I can’t see you, say something, so that I can know you’re still here.”

Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Against my every ounce of power of will, a stray tear streamed down my cheek, my heart clenching as that tugging beneath my ribs restarted. “Please, say something. Tell me you’re still here.” Tears broke my voice, and I hated it, but I couldn’t avoid it. It felt like I was back to that darkness that swallowed me whole. “Don’t leave like this. Please.”

I sobbed. “I heard you, okay? When I was ... those days, when I was trapped in that darkness, I know I heard you. It was you, I know it was you. Please, don’t leave again.” Still nothing. “Come on! I know you’re still here!” I didn’t, I just hoped he was. “At least tell me your name. Something.” No response.

“You know, it’s cruel. You’re ... you’re deluding me,” I sobbed, “I ... I’m vulnerable right now, and you keep on playing with me!” I bit my lips, wanting to suppress my stupid tears, but it was futile. “Please ... what have I ever done to you? Why do you keep on doing this? You give me light, then you take it back. You drag me out of the mist, then you throw me back into it. Why? Why?! What have I done to you to deserve this? Answer me. Answer me, damnit!”

And there, I heard it. The door. I heard it so loud and clear this time, as if slamming it were meant to be a statement. He walked out on me again. This time forever.

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