Fond and Fugue

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01

The continuous beeping sound is getting on my nerves but I can’t wake up and shut it off. Something seemed to be weighing me down. Where the hell am I? I can hear the hinges of a door slightly opening, so I try getting that person’s attention. Why isn’t my voice coming out? I could feel my fingers wiggling beside me. Using all the force in my body, I try to open my eyes.

Oh my God! I did it! But all I see is white, bright lights. Suddenly, a face pops up in front of my eyes. I closed my eyes from the shock and tried opening them again.

It’s easier this time. “Water” is all I can whisper. I see Mom at the corner of my eyes reaching for my hand so I try wrapping my fingers around her wrist. “Ma, where am I?” I could see tears pooling in her eyes. But all I could do is stare at her confused. “Ma, answer me nah.”

The doctor takes her place in front of my vision and asks what’s the last thing I remember. Putting my palm on my forehead, I answer, “What do you mean last thing I remember? I don’t know, collecting my report card after finals. Now answer me, why am I here?”

I hear Mom sobbing softly in the corner, hiding her face from me. “Amaya, do you know what the date is?”

“It’s… January 2nd, I just got my semester report card and I was unsatisfied with my grades. Now will you tell me what’s going on?” I pleaded.

“Of which year, Miss?”

“2019 of course, why are you asking such a silly question? Don’t you have a phone to check the date?”

Mumma sobs even harder facing away from me. “Ma why are you crying, tell me!” I raised my sore voice a little before coughing. The doctor asks me to rest while escorting my mom out of the hospital room.

What the hell is going on? Why won’t anyone tell me anything? I see my reflection in the window beside me, and my hand subconsciously reached up to my face. Is that me? Why do I look so… unfamiliar? It’s me, but it doesn’t seem to seem like… me.

I try pressing my ear to the door to hear what Mom and the doctor were talking about. I could only hear bits and pieces but nothing seemed to make sense. “Amaya… Amnesia… shock… anesthesia… psychological… 1 year ago… attempted suicide…”

I start gasping for air. No that’s not possible. My legs are growing weak under me and my lungs are constricting for air. I fell on the floor and thumped loud enough for them to rush back in.

“Ma. Tell. Me. What’s. Going. On. Now. Please.” I pause to take a deep breath trying to calm myself down.

“Maya, listen to me” she rubs my palm softly in hers and says, “it’s 2020 and you-you’re oh lord… You’ve been admitted recently be-because you tried to kill yourself, honey.”

“That doesn’t make any sense but good joke mom, it was funny.” None of them found it funny though, they were looking at me stoically. “ Ma, it doesn’t make sense, why would I kill myself, and then not remember it” I’m even questioning myself right now.

The doctor starts spouting words, “Amaya, if I can call you that. Due to psychological stress and anesthesia during surgery, your memory has been affected. You’ve surpressed the fact that you attempted suicide and all memories that caused you to take this action. You’ve altered your memory and repressed anything that reminds you of what you’re trying to erase. And your mother doesn’t know why you tried to cut your wrist and found you bleeding in the bathroom. However, no one but you can unlock those memories because it is a psychological defense mechanism you’ve implanted yourself.”

The doctor walks out and Mom follows him out. The information I just learned is still settling. I lie back down trying to sleep to block out this nonsense. It’s not true, but deep within, I couldn’t shake off the feeling, that it might just be… true.

Tears wetting my cheeks as I squeeze my eyes shut, blocking out anything and everything. I didn’t even realise when I fell asleep.

***

I awoke from my beauty sleep, and realised the bright white walls around me. It wasn’t a dream.

My attending doctor discharges me and I am ruled safe to go back home. However, I needed to attend 16 hours of psychological therapy for dissociative amnesia due to stress caused by emotional trauma before they confirm I’m healthy and when I get my lost memory back.

Great! Perfect! Twice a week to see a shrink!

***

Mum’s driving us home. She brings up my age. “Honey, I think we should move for a fresh start. We’ll stay with Nanima [mother’s mother] until you recover and you’ll get to eat amazing khana [food] too. What do you say?”

“What do I say! Ma I just found out I tried killing MYSELF for some serious reason I can’t even remember! What the hell do you think I say, huh?” Uncontrollable tears keep spilling while I rant.

I sigh, and look out the window, immediately regretting raising my voice at my mom. I know she only wants to do me good. I was going to say sorry when a house filled with people passed by. My heart aches, just looking at the house. So, instead I ask her, “Ma, whose house is that? Why are there so many people?”

“It’s such a sad story, really. A new boy, I think he was your age, died. They recently moved here, the father and son duo, about a year ago, give or take. Now that I think about it, I think the boy went to your school too.”

“Oh” is all that my lips could utter at that astonishing fact.

***

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