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( CHAPTER TWO )




MISSING. That's one of the many things you don't consider yourself to be- someone to possibly be lost forever. It seems like you could be invincible to the world's terrors until it happens to you and you don't have a second to think about how you ended up in that situation. It's even more crazy though, when you don't remember anything in the timeframe you went missing.

"So, I've called your parents. They're on their way here," Melissa informed me and I slowly nodded, trying to think of what my parents looked like the last time I saw them. Nothing came to mind but the question, when was the last time I seen them? How did I go missing all these years?

I quickly forced my questions away when I began to consider that I was kidnapped all these years. Earlier, Melissa even told me how I had extensive bruises and scars all over my body, including a scar that went from the middle of my eyebrow and down to my cheekbone. She explained how they all look very old in terms of how it healed, though she couldn't really tell because of the terrible treatment to each of them. That meant I didn't see a doctor all this time I was gone. Wherever I was, I had no access to nothing for me to be missing all this time. I was either kept away or keeping myself away. But why?

My head began to throb every time I tried to force memories that had drawn blanks. I don't remember anything before waking up in the forest, not even my own childhood. I felt like a foreigner in my own body.

A knock on the door made my head quickly look at Melissa, "It's probably them now." She then went to the door and opened it to show a couple that immediately stared at me in shock. They stood frozen, unsure of whether I was a figment of their imagination. "Please, come in."

Slowly, they walked into the room before Melissa closed the door. The woman, who I assumed was my mother turned to Melissa to whisper, "The doctor informed us before we came- about what happened. Is he sure? Did he really lose his memory?"

Melissa nodded, "Yes, but we presume it's due to the shock and treatment he had endured over the years that's preventing him from remembering. Though, it should all come back to him over time, only patience will tell."

They hummed at Melissa before looking at me again, not saying a word to me. After a while, I cleared my throat and sat up a bit, "Hi, I'm.. I'm Sawyer."

At my words, the woman sniffled in an attempt to hold back her tears. She leaned on her husband, "Look at how much you've grown." She then inched towards me, analyzing me closer as I did the same to her. I couldn't tell if they looked like me because I haven't looked in a single mirror all day. I don't even know what I look like myself. She began to whimper, "My sweet boy. My sweet baby boy..."

I sat emotionless as she suddenly sobbed in front of me. Her husband then came up to us, quickly comforting her as he looked at me, "Hey, kiddo," He smiled a little, shock in his eyes as he then eyed me.

"Um," I paused, "Can I ask what your names are?"

The woman then stood up straight and wiped away her tears, "I'm Lisa, and this is your father, Nicholas." The sound of their names brought back no small memory in my mind. What was it going to take for me to get everything back? "The doctors told us that you're feeling well and can return home, even with your memory loss since it seems to be temporary. They think that you coming home would help you, and we think so too."

"We just have to redo everything in your room because now your-" Nicholas motioned at my body, "Well, now you're a teenager."

I nodded, unsure of how to feel. I don't know them enough to let them take me to their house. That's probably how I went missing in the first place- I got with someone that I wasn't supposed to. I looked at Melissa as she stayed in the corner, quiet, "When do I have to go?"

"Tomorrow morning," Melissa answered, "You just have to come in for a check up so we can get a closer look at your bruising and scars, plus check on your memory." I nodded again, before she excused herself from the room when her pager went off, leaving me with them.

"It's a good thing that you're here," Lisa sighed out, "I thought- I thought you were dead."

"Is there anything that you do remember?" Nicholas asked me and I shrugged.

"Not much," I explained, looking into their hopeful eyes. They wanted me to have some sort of epiphany and be the son they lost almost a decade ago. They missed most of their son's life and wanted to know everything about it, but I couldn't give them that because I didn't know myself. I don't think I ever will. "I- uh, I only remember my name and waking up in the woods."

They tried to keep themselves from frowning, hoping that what the doctors had said was a lie. They just wanted their son back. Nicholas smiled a little, "Well, that's fine. Once we get you home, get you some new clothes and get you settled in, everything should come back to normal in due time."

"Yeah," I mumbled and looked down at my lap before I was suddenly engulfed in a hug by Lisa. She held me tight, afraid to let go as if I'd disappear into thin air if she did. Hesitantly, I placed one arm around her barely touching her. My body suddenly grew tense as I still felt sore, though also because her hug felt foreign to me, which I hope she didn't notice. What kind of son doesn't remember their mother's own hug?

"Alright, Lisa, let's leave him to rest," Nicholas told her and it took moments before she let me go. She stood still meeting my eyes, hope displaying across her face as she stared at my uneasy smile. "We'll be back in the morning to come pick you up."

"Unless," Lisa butted in, "Unless you want us to stay here tonight. We can talk to the doctors and see if it's possible-"

"It's fine," I quickly assured her, watching as she became hurt by my words. I then cleared my throat, "You guys should go get some sleep too. I know this is all so much to handle at once, and.. and we have a big day tomorrow."

They took in my words, but only Nicholas hummed, "Yeah, we do have a big day tomorrow, Lisa. We'll be back here bright and early to discharge him."

She continued to stare at me until her husband grabbed her hand gently, "Yeah, okay.. you're right," She agreed before leaning in and placing a kiss on my forehead. She then stepped back and pushed strands of my hair out of my face before going in her pocket. She pulled out a folding up picture, placing it in my lap before smiling, "Goodnight, Sy."

"Uh, goodnight," I hesitated, watching as they left my room. Sy, I repeated back to myself, thinking of how that nickname felt familiar. I shook the feeling away and picked up the picture she handed me, unfolding it to see her, Nicholas and what could be me as a kid. I examined the photo as half of my face was covered in icing as they only had it on their noses. I looked at the wide smiles that were placed on all of our face, showing genuine content in life.

I wished I had that smile right now, I thought, knowing I don't think I'll be able to smile like that ever again.
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