The ride home was a quiet one. Reema couldn’t recognise the streets, the buildings that passed by or the people in her car. She had just spent that last month in a hospital under the care of the wonderful doctors and nurses there. She had grown to trust them and love them even. Nurse Rama was her favourite and she is the one who helped her understand the circumstances of the accident that she had been in. She had lost her memory. She didn’t know who she was. She feared that anyone could manipulate her in these circumstances.
The last place that Reema wanted to go to was her so called home. She hadn’t yet got used to her mother and father . The thought of leaving the familiarity of the hospital room and entering an unknown place and life was frightening for her. She found it hard to remember anything about herself even. If someone asked her whether she preferred Tea or Coffee in the morning, she wasn’t sure. But then she realised she loved the taste of a cup of Coffee in the morning.
She was relearning her life again now. Her likes, her dislikes, her parents and her younger brother Rohan. She wondered how she couldn’t recognise this bundle of excitement. Rohan was a hyperactive 12 year old. She herself is just 16, she was told. But she somehow felt much older. As she entered the house that she had lived in for 16 years, she couldn’t find a single thing that seemed familiar. The sofa, the curtains, the dining table, the kitchen entrance on the far right corner and a pathway on the left that led to three bedrooms.
It looked like a lovely home to come back to. There was a bouquet of roses on the table. 12 beautiful yellow ones. That brought a smile on her face. Seeing the smile, her mother was moved to tears. Her mother had brought it just for her because they were her favourite kind. Reema felt happy that her likes and dislikes perhaps hadn’t changed much. It would be easy for her get back to her old life. The doctor had told her not to stress so much. Her memories would came back slowly, maybe one at a time even.
They spent the evening in the sitting room watching TV and snacking on popcorn. It was a Friday night and nobody had to reach anywhere early the next morning. So they stayed up even after dinner watching episodes of Castle on TV. Rohan said that Castle was her favourite series and that she would not miss an episode ever. He had recorded it for her in her absence. Reema was highly moved by this gesture. She gave Rohan a bear hug and suddenly she found herself in familiar territory. She loved the way her brother smelled. It felt so familiar and good that she held on to the embrace a bit longer than normal. Which obviously irritated the hell out of Rohan, who quickly wriggled out of her embrace. Both smiling at the memories it brought back.
Reema decided it was time she took a look at her bedroom. Maybe it would trigger some more memories. She felt bitter as soon as she entered her room. There were posters of rock bands she vaguely remembered, there posters of her favourite actors. there were memorabilia of all kinds around the room. The smell of old books from her shelf beckoned her towards them. She went towards the bookshelf and touched the familiar texture of her collection. A collection she was always proud of. The one her grandfather left for her in his will. She was an avid reader by the age of 8 and her grandfather made sure she read all the classics that he had owned.
She noticed a small stuffed giraffe on her bed. She crawled into her bed hugging her giraffe. Memories flooded in at that moment. The tight situation she was in on that fatal day. The way she had held on to Raj that day on the bike. He was a college student and had invited her for a party. On the way back they had met with an accident. She had regained her lost memory up to the point where she saw a lifeless Raj lying on the road next to the shattered bike.
She closed her eyes as tears rolled down and soaked her pillow. She doesn’t want to remember the plans she had made with Raj. She doesn’t want to remember how she had gone against her parents wish and sneaked out at night to go for the party. She didn’t want to think of how Raj had held her close during the dance and how she had felt like his queen. About how she had longed to be in that situation ever since they had met at a party a few months ago.
Her parents and brother walked into her room and sat around her on her bed. Rohan held on to his crying sister in a tight hug till she stopped sobbing. She later fell asleep on her mother’s lap with her father caressing her head with soft strokes. She was sorry, they knew that. For a while, her parents hoped that she had never regained her memory. It would have saved their daughter so much pain. But memories always have a way of coming back. To haunt and to make us repent and to learn from mistakes and to help us move on in life despite them.
Written for Write Tribe Wednesday Prompt : “the smell of old books”
Three Word Wednesday Prompt : Use the three words below in the post.
Bitter, adjective: Having a sharp, pungent taste or smell; not sweet; (of people or their feelings or behavior) angry, hurt, or resentful because of one’s bad experiences or a sense of unjust treatment; (of a conflict, argument, or opponent) full of anger and acrimony; (often used for emphasis) painful or unpleasant to accept or contemplate; (of wind, cold, or weather) intensely cold.
Manipulate, verb: Handle or control (a tool, mechanism, etc.), typically in a skillful manner; alter, edit, or move (text or data) on a computer; examine or treat (a part of the body) by feeling or moving it with the hand; control or influence (a person or situation) cleverly, unfairly, or unscrupulously; alter (data) or present (statistics) so as to mislead.
Tight, adjective: Fixed, fastened, or closed firmly; hard to move, undo, or open; (of clothes or shoes) close-fitting, uncomfortably so; (of a grip) very firm so as not to let go; (of a formation or a group of people or things) closely or densely packed together; (of a community or other group of people) having close relations; secretive; (of appearance or manner) tense, irritated, or angry; (of a rule, policy, or form of control) strictly imposed; (of an area or space) having or allowing little room for maneuver.
Picture Courtesy : Businessinsider