Things I Have Forgotten

March 14, 2012
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I hate waking up for school, I thought to myself. Another boring day at the same high school I have been going to for two years. Sophomore year has been great, but at this point I'm just counting down the days until I'm finally off on my own in college. Ok, I have to get out of bed, I count in my head, 3,2,1, I open my eyes and, wait a minute; did my room get smaller? Why is everything white? What are all these machines around me here for?

I start panicking and try to get up, but I am connected to the bed and the machines and as soon as I begin to move unfamiliar people run into the room dressed in scrubs. What are they doing in my house! Then it occurs to me, I'm not in my house, I'm in the hospital. But why am I here? I have school, I can't be late! I begin yelling at one of the nurses who just took a needle out of her pocket, "Excuse me, I don't know what all of this is about, but I have to go to school! I need you to-" then she stabs the needle into my arm and my eyes slowly close, I try to keep them open but they can't fight the invisible hand pushing them closed. Looks like I'm not going to school today.

3 Months Later

Chocolate chip pancakes, my favorite. The scent runs through my nose and that's when I realize how hungry I am. I roll over in bed to find that I am very sore, must be from cheerleading practice yesterday. Probably from when Taylor dropped me while we were practicing stunts. I better get up, Eric will eat all the pancakes if I don't get there soon enough. But, as soon as I open my eyes, I see my family crowded around my bed. My mom looks as if she has been crying, my father looks confused, and my older brother Eric has a hidden smile beneath his concerned face. I am in a hospital room that seems familiar but I can't figure out why. Fluorescent lights shine down on a strange and uncomfortable gown that I am wearing and onto the tubes coming in and out of me.

"What's going on?" I ask, but it comes out much quieter than I had expected. How much yelling did I do at cheer practice yesterday? As I am trying to remember if maybe I had gotten injured at practice yesterday, a sharp looking man I presume to be a doctor opens the door with an award-winning smile on his face.

"Well, good to see you up so early Kate! You are probably hungry, here are some pancakes I heard they were your favorite." he lays the tray that had been on the table next to me across my lap and winks. I am so confused, but I don't even know the first question to ask. As I notice that everyone is looking at me I look down at the tray in front of me and realize how hungry I am, might as well eat if no one will give me any answers. But as I go to pull the plate closer to me, something feels different, something is different. My right arm moved fine, but I can't get my left arm to move.

As I look at my left shoulder, nothing makes sense anymore. My shoulder is bandaged tightly, but my arm isn't attached, in fact, my arm isn't there! I had never imagined I would be looking at my shoulder with no arm attached, this is just so surreal. I take my right arm over to touch where my arm should be, but at the same time the doctor rushes over and brings the plate near me.

"Like I said before, you are probably really hungry," he speaks all while never hiding that brilliant smile of his, "I understand you are probably very confused but we can talk about this as soon as you have some food in you!" He begins to bring the fork with a tiny piece of pancake he had cut towards my mouth. I want to argue, I want to demand that they tell me what is going on, I want this to all be a dream. But I am too weak to do any of that, so I reluctantly open my mouth as wide as I could, which wasn't much considering how sore it was. Yet he managed to fit the bite in my mouth and I couldn't deny it was delicious. My parents and brother slowly relaxed as if me eating a few bites somehow managed to solve everything. It didn't though, because I still had no clue what was going on.

The doctor fed me both pancakes which I hurry ate knowing the sooner I ate them the sooner I got my answers. No one said anything the whole time I ate which gave me plenty of time to think of the first question I would ask after i finished eating.

"Where is my arm?" I demanded, still weak but stronger now that I had eaten something. My parents and the doctor nervously looked at each other, no one spoke. But I wasn't giving up, "I asked where my arm is." It came out more clear than it did the first time which pleased me. The doctor once again flashed his million dollar smile, except it had lost it's sense of comfort.

"Kate," he said my name very slow as if saying to slow enough would make whatever he is about to tell me not as bad. I waited and he hesitantly continued, "You were involved in an accident in which you received major brain trauma and significant blood loss through your arm. By the time you reached the hospital our only option was to amputate your arm to keep you alive." My mom who had started shaking ran out of the room and my father followed after her, but my brother stayed against the wall. He never left when I needed him.

I looked again at where my arm should be. This cant be happening, how was I supposed to do anything? What will people think of me? Will they point and stare? how am I supposed to cheer? Which made me think of my next question.

"When will I be able to go back to school?" I asked the doctor who had been looking at me, except instead of a smile his face was now full of pity for me. I hated being felt sorry for.

He took a deep breath and then continued, "Well, Kate," he dragged my name out again, "like I said before, you experienced severe brain trauma. You were in a coma for about a month and once you woke up we were forced to put you in a medically induced coma for 3 months because we feared you were not yet stable enough. It is very likely you have substantial memory loss."

Coma, the word rang around in my head. It's impossible, there is no way I had been in a coma for four months, I remember what happened yesterday! It was a Thursday. I went to school, had an algebra test that I cheated off of Joseph Adams on, had two servings of smiley fries for lunch, went to cheerleading practice where I was named JV captain, and then Eric brought my friends and I out to get pizza to celebrate

I look over at Eric, I don't think he has taken his eyes off of me since I woke up. Then a tear slides down his pale face. My brother is one of the most sensitive boys I know but he always manages to hide it behind his tough facade; I have never seen him like this. He hurriedly walks out of the door just like my mother and father had done.

I look up at the doctor and notice he is still looking down at me. He's wrong, I know he is. I begin speaking, "I understand that you are a doctor, however I think you are incorrect. I remember the day before whatever this accident is clearly. I had just made cheer captain, I went out to dinner with my friends. I even remember what we talked about! We were talking about how we couldn't wait for sophomore year to be over so we could finally be upperclassmen and do whatever we wanted. Elise told us about all the parties that her senior sister went to and then we decided that one of us needed to have a sweet sixteen-"

"Kate," he interrupted me, this time he said my name sharp and filled with regret, "that was over two years ago. You are a senior now."

I heard his words, in fact in my head they were still repeating. That was impossible. I can't be a senior because I don't remember anything after that day. The doctor said it was possible I had memory loss but even if I did there is no way that I would have forgotten two whole years of my life as if they never happened. But what is even worse, what if he is right, is it possible that I really am a senior? I will never be able to know what really happened in those two years, how I really felt about what was going on.

Right then, my parents walked back in. My brother wasn't with them, instead was Bridget who was Eric's longtime girlfriend. As soon as she saw me, she ran to my side and began hugging me so tightly that it hurt. I tried listening to what she was saying between her sobs but she was so hysterical that I couldn't understand her so I just hugged her back. I had aways liked Bridget and she was on varsity cheer so we had that in common but that was really all we shared, at least that I can remember. Suddenly I understand the doctor is right, I have completely lost my memory of the past two years of my life.

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