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( CHAPTER THREE )




REPORTERS couldn't wait to interview me once I left the hospital. Asking me questions left and right, ones I've been asking myself since day one. Ones like, 'where have you been for the past decade?'; 'were you kidnapped?', which followed, 'what do you remember about your kidnapper?' and 'how did you escape?' I knew nothing but my name, which made me respond to them with only silence.

I stayed quiet the entire car ride, staring out the window as we passed houses and went down neighborhoods. It wasn't long before they parked the car in their parking lot, leaving me staring at their house ahead. Their bungalow looked simple from the outside with its pale gray exterior and dark browns roofing.

"Are you ready?" Nicholas asked me and I looked at the both, nodding cautiously before I got out of the car. I had no bags to bring in, but Lisa didn't mind at all since she insisted that we could go shopping for a lot of new things.

They walked ahead of me as we went up towards the house, entering for me to think looked bigger on the inside than out. It was very spacious, but comfy as they had a fireplace lit in the living room when we got in.

"So?" Lisa asked, turning to me.

I smiled a little as I looked around, "It's nice." My compliment wasn't the answer she was hoping for. I assume they weren't used to someone losing their memory. They walked towards the kitchen and I reluctantly followed, hesitantly sitting at their kitchen table. Lisa offered to make me a sandwich, which I couldn't turn down as my stomach growled. I folded my hands in my lap, "You know, you guys never told me what you do for a living."

"Your mother is a nursing assistant and I work at the sheriffs station," Nicholas responded as he sat across from me. I hummed at his answer before Lisa placed the sandwich in front of me. I thanked her and began eating, though I could feel them both eyeing me.

I glanced up from my food and at them, "What's wrong?"

"It's just-" Lisa sighed, "That scar on your face, and all the scars the hospital showed us... it just seems like you went through a lot."

"Well," I swallowed my food, "It's nothing to worry much about, seeing as I can't remember any of it." I then gave a small smile in order to comfort them, "Maybe it's for the best."

They nodded at my words, "Maybe your right." They wanted to know, though and I could tell. They probably blamed themselves all these years and had sleepless nights knowing that their son was not with them.

After I ate, they led me to my old bedroom, showing me how long ago it's been. There was toys organized on shelves, ranging from race cars to wrestlers. My bed was half my height with cartoon bedsheets, and my walls were painted blue with Spider-Man stickers all around. Posters were also put up of superheroes and cartoon movie characters that I assume were my absolute favorite at the time. It looked like nothing was left out of place or changed. They kept this room the same for nine years, with such optimism that their son would return.

"We have a guest bedroom that you can stay in until we redo this for you," Lisa told me, "It's two doors down from here and it should be enough space for you to get comfortable."

"Okay," I hummed, walking into my old room. I looked down at a bookshelf that stood nearby and analyzed all the pictures of my young self in all these sports holding trophies that sat behind the pictures now. I picked up photo and raised my head at them, "How do you know?"

Lisa furrowed her brows, "Know what?"

"That I'm him?" I turned the picture for them to see, "That I'm your son?"

A sad smile formed on their faces as Lisa spoke again, "Because of your birthmark," She then took the picture from my hand to show me a small birthmark I had on my cheek, "You used to hate it because I said it was in a shape of heart."

Nicholas then came up to us and handed me a pocket mirror to show me the birthmark I had on my left cheek, indeed looking like the one in the picture. The only difference was that it had shrunken as I got older, but it was still in the shape she referenced it as- a heart.

"That's how we instantly knew," She sighed, "That's how we knew our baby was back."

I felt my eyes begin to water as I continued to stare at myself in the mirror. God, I wish I could remember. If I had to chose one out of a list of things, forgetting my life wouldn't be one of them.

I wipe away my oncoming tears with my sleeve, looking at them, "I want you guys to know that I want to remember. I want to remember growing up here with you guys."

"You will, Sy," Nicholas told me, "There's no pressure."

"Let's say this is a new beginning," Lisa proposed to us, "A fresh start, okay?"

I nodded, "Yeah that sounds a good idea."

"Come on, let's show you the guest room," Nicholas then walked out of the room and had Lisa and I follow, though I stopped when bright pink wallpaper caught my attention. I glanced into the room, that looked exactly like the other one, but more feminine.

"Who's room is this?" I asked them, pointing at the room and they looked back at me smiling.

"It's your sister's," They told me and my eyes widened a little. I have a sister? "Her name is Sadie, she just turned twelve last month. She's looks so much like you."

I smiled at her brief explanation, "Where is she?"

"She's at volleyball practice, but she should be home anytime soon," Nicholas told me and I nodded before we continued to the guest room. It was a simple room compared to the others, few paintings held up on plain beige walls. The bed was a queen size and yet the room still had a large amount of space left. No wonder why it was meant for guest.

"We can go get you some new clothes when Sadie comes back," Lisa assured me, "But there's some towels in the closet over there for when you shower." Just so I didn't leave the hospital in the clothes I went in that was covered in my blood, Nicholas brought me a sweater and some sweatpants of his for me to come home in. The only thing I had kept was my shoes that happened to be very mortifying as there was dried blood and dirt on it, along with rips that showed it was nowhere near being new.

After guiding me through the room, they both left me alone to get adjusted. I kicked off my shoes and removed my socks before tossing myself back on the bed, practically sinking into it. It definitely beat a hospital bed.

I let my eyes slipped close, but once I did, there was a knock at the door. I sat up slightly, "Come in!" After my answer, the door swung open for me to see a girl standing with her volleyball uniform on.

She looked at me as I was a ghost before her and it was understandable. I stood up and fixed my sweater, my height ultimately defeating hers as she looked up at me. She then smiled, "You're really here."

"Yeah, I guess I-" She quickly ran into me, engulfing me in a tight hug.

I hugged her back, noticing that once I did, she started to sob into my arms, "You're home.. you're finally home."
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