A boy was grinning at him. He had messy unruly black hair and a rather big head. A small smile tugged at the corner of the dazed young man’s lips. He couldn’t see the kid’s face. If only he could just see his face. He felt that was important. He reached out a hand, grabbing the kid by the shoulder. The kid turned to look at him. His eyes widened.
The boy was faceless. “Why did you do it? Tadashi?” The boy’s hurt voice echoed. Suddenly flames blew out of nowhere, yanking him away from that faceless boy. He tried not to scream.
His eyes snapped open suddenly, as he had broken out into a cold sweat. Clinging to his sheets, he stared at the blue ceiling, his heart pounding, his eyes darting around the blue walls that surrounded him. Light came through a window, with blinds slicing the light evenly against his face. He squinted, looking away. The light hurt his eyes. What…was that? He sat up, dazed, his hair all mussed up. He frowned to himself. That’s odd, I feel like I know him. He looked up; sensing someone else entering the small, yet simply decorated room he was in.
“You’re finally awake,” the girl sounded relieved. He blinked at her with a small grunt.
“Uh, who are you? Where am I? How’d I get here?” he found himself suddenly blurting, as though the surge of questions could no longer be contained. And quite honestly, they couldn’t. The imagery of the dream faded, and try hard as he might, he suddenly couldn’t remember what had spooked him into a cold sweat. His bleary brown eyes scanned the young woman’s face. His eyes traveled lower to rest on the soup she held in a tray. She smiled at him weakly.
“Um… before I tell you who I am, I will fill you in on how we met,” she set the tray down on the bed over his lap. “While I do, please eat. You were released from the hospital a few days ago. Um, as far as I know, you’re not allergic to anything, except maybe peanuts in excess,” she added with a small smile.
“The soup smells good,” he said politely. He dipped his spoon in and started to take a sip, but quickly choked. The soup tasted like soggy gym socks. What was it? The girl looked at him expectantly, and he swallowed down what he could of the soup. “V-very…yummy,” he said, clearing his throat. He stretched, noting for the first time that he was in pajamas that were black. Had he changed himself? He honestly was having trouble remembering anything.
Except for the echo of that name.
“Um, so… there was an event, in San Fransoyko…you were in a burning building and we um, met that way,” she said quickly, eyeing him, a tad nervous. He wondered if she was jumpy since it didn’t appear as though they knew each other. He felt like it would be best to be on his guard. He patted his cheek, and to his surprise, he realized the weird cushiony feeling against his cheek was a bandage . “You still have some burns, but they’re minor, your skin is mostly healed and um, you only …um…have a bad burn on your left fore-arm,” she said quietly, pointing to his upper left fore-arm. He pulled back his long sleeved black pajama top, and his eyes widened. His arm was bandaged, but it definitely looked a bit more worse for wear. He flexed his fingers, wincing. It hurt.
She swallowed. “The doctor said that … you got burned badly there, throwing yourself in front of burning debris from that explosion…” she cleared her throat. “If you hadn’t done that, I’d have…” her voice trailed off. She looked at her feet. He blinked. She did not seem like a threat. At all. He wasn’t just saying that because she looked shaken up and fragile. Her tone just emanated a trustworthy sort of truth to it. He looked to that soup, and then for the first time, he noted her fingers. She had bandages on them. He wondered why. He shook his head.
“… Can it heal? Will it leave scarring?” He asked, and he was a bit disturbed he couldn’t remember these events. But he trusted her. He didn’t’ really have anything else to go on.
“Your arm…will heal, but some of your skin will …be irreparable, at least, it will look like a scar if you don’t rest properly,” she explained apologetically. “The explosion blasted us actually up through the ceiling. I don’t know how you managed it, but the arm and hand thing you modified rocketed us outside of that building and no one saw us leave amongst all that flame… it tried to take us somewhere but we ended up crashing into the dirt a good distance away from the fire… I weakly called 911 and I didn’t explain anything…I just watched as they came, took you into an ambulance… I’m so sorry… ” She bit her lower lip. The young man let it all set in.
“What is our relationship?” He blurted. She looked at him funny. He realized a second later how silly that question sounded. He blushed. “I-I mean, uh…how did we uh meet?” He tried to correct himself, feeling some heat rise to his cheeks.
“We met that day. I was a journalist, I was interviewing Mr. Callaghan,” she explained. “…What’s wrong? Do you not remember?”
Tadashi shook his head. He didn’t know if he could tell her he had amnesia. He realized he must have amnesia. Other than his name, age, and favorite foods, he couldn’t remember anything about himself. Much less family members or anything else related to San Fransokyo. “Er, I remember now,” he said weakly. “My name is Tadashi, and you’re name is?” there was no harm in introductions. If it would help him remember something, then it was worth a shot at least. Tadashi was already getting clues like how he seemed to be interested in medically related conditions.
The young woman held out her hand. “My name is Karra,” she said, smiling shyly. He could tell she was nervous. Her hair was tied up into a hasty ponytail. Or maybe it was a style. Like he would know, he hadn’t had long hair since elementary school.
He wondered if this was her home. It seemed like a reasonable assumption to make. “Um, you didn’t have anything on you, so we don’t know how to identify you, the police wanted to know if you could come down to the station afterwards, just to see if you have appeared on any missing persons lists,” she added quietly.
Tadashi blinked. He didn’t know how else to tackle this situation. That sounded like it was the most logical. He felt rested at least. His anxiety was low. Now he was just hungry.
The girl apparently felt the need to continue talking and as he tried to remember whom he was, she spoke. “ … Since you don’t have a place to stay, I don’t mind if you stay here until you figure out stuff,” she headed for the door. “I don’t know much about your size, but I had a friend of mine drop off some guy clothes so um, I hope they fit. Oh, you should eat more of your soup, ” She smiled and she watched him spoon some into his mouth, giving her a thumbs up. Pleased, she turned and left, heading downstairs.
Tadashi listened to her footsteps slowly get fainter and fainter. As soon as she was out of earshot and eyesight, he spit the soup out back into the bowl. He felt bad for lying, but he didn’t have the heart to tell her that her food wasn’t helping his stomach recover as quickly as the rest of him.
Tadashi felt restless. It had been a week and he was due to go to the doctor’s office to have his bandages finally removed and the damage to his scarred tissue analyzed to see if science couldn’t medically help his arm look somewhat back to normal. As normal as normal got. Tadashi looked to his arm in his short sleeved top. He was nervous. He hadn’t been outside according to Karra for three weeks. He had spent nearly two weeks in the hospital, and the last week with Karra. He was grateful for her company. For the past week, she had given him some books she’d gotten from the library about robotics and medicine. He had a fascination with both. He felt comfortable when he was able to pour over those texts. Karra worked during the day, but she would check on him in the evening.
He didn’t know how to honestly thank her. He was a complete stranger, regardless of him saving her life or whatever he heroically did. Looking at his hands, he didn’t feel like a hero. However, he was glad he had managed to do something right. The more he was reading, the more he felt this desire to help other people as well. He wanted to encourage others. Not for selfish gain or self-interest, but because he felt like if he didn’t mentor something, he’d go mad with boredom. He wanted to be useful.
He had a reoccurring dream with the boy, but whenever he woke up, it wouldn’t follow. He blinked, broken out of his reverie by the greetings of harsh sunlight in his eyes. Shielding his eyes with his good arm, he saw Karra dressed up in her multiple layers. She got cold easy. She adjusted her black jacket, and blinked at him with a small smile. “I can take you to the doctor for your check-up,” she said. Tadashi nodded. Finally.
At the doctor’s office, the doctor was a young woman, who had a checkboard. She looked very stern and Tadashi couldn’t help but feel like he should have done a better job of brushing his unruly dark hair. He had stubble as well that he meant to shave off. He’d have to do that later. Too late now. “Mr. Tadashi,” she repeated. He blinked.
“Oh, uh, yeah that’s me,” he said quickly.
“Are you feeling alright?” She asked clearly not amused and impatient. He cleared his throat. Clearly she had asked him this question more than once.
“Yes, ma’am,” he said quickly.
“Very well, I asked, have you been active lately?” she touched his arm gently, starting to unwrap his bandage expertly. He shook his head.
“Not really, I had to stay in bed, but I plan to get to a gym and um, exercise, soon!” He said meekly.
She nodded, pausing. “That is not the kind of-” But Tadashi already caught on. He coughed loudly.
“I have been under the weather slightly,” he continued to fake cough. She nodded.
“I’ll take that as a no then,” and she finished unwrapping his bandage. For the first time, Tadashi could see his arm. “Your Pronator quadratus is alright, in fact, you are very lucky. This will leave a faint scar, but with some time, plastic surgeons may be able to help trim away the scarred tissue, allowing for the growth of the new tissue underneath. Rest yourself and you should be able to fully function in your fingers,” and she handed him a prescription. He wondered who was covering his expenses. Karra had told him not to worry about it, but he felt bad. “This is painkiller, only take as directed, if at all.” Tadashi nodded. He looked to his arm. The scar was faint but splotchy, his skin stretched in a way that was oddly fascinating. Thankfully it didn’t look all that distracting and not nearly as bad as he’d imagined it to be. It traveled down his arm and stopped a good few inches before his elbow, branching out like a star. It looked sick.
And by sick, he meant awesome.
The car ride back to Karra’s apartment was quiet. Tadashi looked to Karra. She looked focused on the road. He knew they were in the city across the bridge from San Fransokyo. Curious to learn about where he was, Tadashi had looked up the city of Mcullogh that he was currently in. He was in an area that had lots of trails and a few recreational parks. Honestly, that sounded fun, but he knew he had a task to focus on. However, his brow furrowed. “… Will the police know anything more?” he asked Karra. Karra shook her head.
“No, ” she sighed, “they only have Tadashi to go off on, and so far, there is only one match,” and she bit her lower lip. He wondered what her hesitance meant. He looked to her.
“Tadashi… ” before she could finish however, he yelled in horror, as a truck veered, brake broken, right at their car! He quickly grabbed the steering wheel, and with a yelp from her, he veered their car narrowly away from the truck. Going down another lane, in the small van like car, he noticed that a strange set of black cars seemed to be following behind them for quite some time. Karra had started to nervously babble about what to do for dinner. Clearly her earlier thoughts had been jarred from nervousness. He frowned as they got closer to her home, the more the black cars creeped him out.
“Karra,” he started.
“-and if you don’t feel like rice, I figured we could have soup, roast, and ice-cre-” she continued to babble until he grabbed the wheel again, and to her surprise steered them to the left instead of the right.
“Karra. We’re being followed,” Tadashi stated bluntly.
“Y-Yeah, I noticed,” she sounded nervous. Tadashi saw some movement out of the corner of his eyes. His eyes widened. Suddenly the car got slammed on both sides by-
“Motorcyclists?” Tadashi breathed in disbelief. They had guns. This was clearly not an accident. Who did they want? Him?
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