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The first thing she saw were the stars. They were big and beautiful that night, not obscured by city lights. The ancient light that burned from them was what woke her; they were almost too dazzling to sleep under.

The second thing she noticed was the headache. She couldn’t remember ever having one like this before. Slowly, she brought her hand to her forehead. Her fingers were wet from the stream she was lying by. She dunked her entire head in it, then sat back and shook the water from her hair. The water had helped her clear her head.

It was then, as she pushed her light brown bangs back behind her ears, that she knew something was wrong. Not only could she not remember having a headache like that before; she couldn’t remember anything at all. It was as if she had been asleep her whole life, only to wake up now. There was nothing at all, nothing except for that first moment when she had seen the stars.

So, who was she? She didn’t know. Did she have a name? If she did, she couldn’t remember.

Looking down, she took stock of herself: jeans, scuffed tennis shoes, and a solid blue shirt layered over white. Nothing she could use to identify herself. She put her hands in her pockets, trying to think, trying to remember. She almost jumped when she actually felt something at the bottom of her pocket. Something hard and rectangular. Pulling it out, she examined it.

It was a silver, well-worn iPod, with tangled headphones wrapped tightly around it. She turned it on, hoping against hope that it would tell her something about herself.

At first she found nothing. There was nothing she could find on it that told her who she was.

She scrolled through what must have been her music at one time. Putting a headphone in her ear to listen, she thought of how she once loved this music. She had probably known every word.

But now she remembered nothing.

A love song came on. Were there people that loved her? Did she have a family that cared about her and was, even now wondering where she was? If she listened hard enough, would she hear them calling her name?

It wouldn’t matter. She could not remember her name. Of all that she didn’t know about herself, that was what bothered her most.

Scrolling through the other contents of her iPod, she discovered a contacts list. It was full of names she didn’t recognize, except for one that made perfect sense to her.

Dad.

Excitedly she looked at the information. There was nothing except for a phone number, but it was all she needed.

She started walking, still listening to her music. A catchy pop song played as she followed the stream through the forest. She didn’t really know where she was going. All she knew was that she had to find someplace with a phone.

For a long time she walked, alternating between looking up at the constellations and down at the iPod, scrolling through her list of songs, trying to trigger her memory somehow. Yet still she remembered nothing.

But now she knew a few things about herself. She had a dad. And a mom, she discovered after looking through the rest of her contacts. She liked a band called Daughtry, someone called Kelly Clarkson, and others. The one thing she wanted to know, though, she couldn’t find: her name.

After a while she came to a road. She hadn’t been following it long when she saw a small gas station. It was old and the parking lot was empty. The lights were the only sign that it was even open.

She hurried inside. A man looked at her over the counter.

“Can I help you, miss?”

“Yeah,” she replied, pulling her headphone out of her ear. “Do you have a phone I could borrow?”

Wordlessly he pointed to one hanging in a corner, surrounded by crates of Coke. She wound through overstocked aisles, growing more excited by the second. Holding the iPod in one hand, she dialed the number with the other. She realized that she had probably called her dad many times before, but again, she couldn’t remember.

A voice answered right away.

“Jennifer! You’re alive!”





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