memory

February 16, 2018
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Memory

The bright lights coming from above wakes me up. All I see is blurry white lines. As my vision starts to come to, my other senses kick in. I hear a faint beeping, slowly getting faster. My mouth is dry. The room smells like latex, bleach, and sanitizer. I feel a hand grab mine gently, yet assertively. My eyes finally adjust. There's a man, who looks to be about 45, 50 at the most.
“Addison?” He chokes. “Sleeping beauty is awake!” Tears are filling his eyes. A lady, dressed in blue scrubs, comes up and starts checking me and asking me questions
"Do you know where you are?" She begins her questions. Do these people think I'm dumb?
"A hospital, obviously." I state.
The man who was just holding my hand scoffs. "That's my Addi.”
The nurse continues to ask me questions. "Do you know your name?"
"Well according to him," I thumb the guy to my left. "My name is Addi." The brunette lady looked to the man and rolled her eyes and then back to me.
"Do you know the date?" the nurse asks as I ponder for a moment.
"Okay you got me there." I sigh.
"It’s May 2nd. 2017." She gives me the answer, then followed with another question.  "Do you know why you're here?" I think for a second only to realize, I don't know the answer to that one either. I sat quietly and fiddled with my fingers. The nurse began to speak again but was cut short by the dirty blonde haired man.
"Do you know who I am?" He had a sad look in his eyes. I could tell he wanted me to say the right answer. The room filled with silence for a moment. I made direct eye contact with the guy and shook my head no slowly, trying to be cautious of his feelings. The nurse starts talking again.
"Addison Jade Miller. 27 years old. Suffered severe concussion from a car crash on March 11th 2017. Has been unresponsive for nearly 2 months now, Showing signs of amnesia or memory loss." She laid down the clipboard and excused herself from the room.
“I'm sorry I can’t remember who you are." The man nods, trying to play it off as if he wasn't completely crushed. But the tears in his eyes and his shaky hands gave it away. “If you don't mind me asking, who um- who are you?”
“I'm John Scott. I’m actually your father.” he sighs. An older lady walks in, appears to be around the same age as my so called ‘father’.
“Addison, My baby!” the grey rooted chestnut lady gasps walking to my bed. She hugs me, until John grabbed her off of me. She gave the man an evil look and her emotion quickly went from joyful to anger.
“What the-“she starts, realizing it was John who was grabbing her. “Get off me John! Why are you even here? You are not a part of this family. “John ignores her hurtful words and tells her that I can’t remember anything. She shoots back with another hurtful sentence.
“Wish it was that easy for me to have you completely out of my memory.” She crossed her arms and scoffed. She walks back over to me. “You know, you’re lucky Addison.” I give her a confused look and she continues. “You’re lucky you don’t remember this man and everything he's done.”
“Jane, that’s enough.” John’s voice is deep but soft.
“No, no it’s not enough. I’m standing here in a hospital room between my daughter, who hasn’t been awake in months and now can’t even remember her own mother, and you, my ex-husband. The one who hasn’t shown his face around here in over 10 years after what you’ve done.” My mind starts spinning. What did he do? Why hasn’t be been around in 10 years? Why did they get divorced? So many questions, no one will answer. The nurse walks back in interrupts us as pleasant as she can.
“Excuse me, there is another visitor here. He has requested to speak with Mrs. Miller alone. Jane and John huff as they exit the room. Moments later the door opens back up revealing another man, this time much younger; Midtwenties. He shuts the door and sits on the edge of my bed.
"I’m Calvin. Calvin James Miller, your husband."  My eyes go wide as I look to his wedding finger, then mine, both revealing a ring on each. He watches me silently panic then continues. "We've been together since sophomore year of high school. You're my best friend Adds. I just-" he was interrupted by the nurse yet again and another doctor walking in the room. The doctor introduces himself, but if we're being honest, I don't know what he said his name was, I was too busy trying to wrap my head around the fact that my husband is standing next to me and I don't even know him. The doctor, whom I still don't know the name of, tells me they are taking me in for head CT. They put up my rails on the side of my bed and wheel me down the hall. Calvin is following me the whole way.  When they move me to the bed like table, I hear a voice come over the speaker.
"Hey. Addi J, its Jaxon. Jaxon Binker, from high school. What are you doing in my CT room?" My doctor leans over and probably tells him about how I can't recall anyone or anything. He quickly apologizes and starts back tracking. While he’s rambling about how sorry he was, I couldn't help but recognized his voice. That's coming from a girl who's been in a coma for months, and forgot she was married.
               After they scan my head and ran some tests, I end up back in the boring white room that I was in to begin with. I had asked my nurse to bring Jaxon in my room when he was free. As I said that, Calvin seemed to be giving me a harsh look. I don't understand why though.  Jaxon walks in soon after with a half-smile. He sticks out his hand and introduced himself again.
"Hello Mrs. Miller. I'm Dr. Binker. You wanted to speak with me?" Why is he being all formal? I refrain from asking. I shake his hand and start my questions.
"You said I knew you from high school, how?" Jaxon looked to Calvin, who has now grown an angry look on his face.
"Well. Um-" he stutters as his eyes float back to me. "I used to be really good friends with you. We met in middle school. We dated for a little over 2 years. Then high school came around and we broke up." I give him a questionable look. Then I ask another question.
“Why did we break up?"  Jaxon takes a breath and looks to be thinking hard on the question. A moment of silence rolls by until he finally answers.
"You know, I can't really remem-"
“Oh don't give her that s***. She hasn't been awake in 2 months Binker. She can't remember a single thing. The least you can do is having the decency to tell her the truth." Calvin explodes, standing up from his chair.
"I think I should go." Jaxon walks to the door, but stopped when Calvin started speaking again.
"Addison, he abused you. Emotionally and physically. You were so blind by his charm that you just kept letting it happen. Until one day, I asked about the bruise on your leg. When you tried to make up an excuse, I knew exactly what happened. That was the first time you had ever lied to me. I started treating you how you should have been treated in the first place, with respect and with love. Things he never gave you." Calvin takes a breath and looks to the tall dark brunette standing in the doorway. Who was looking at the ground, saying nothing. I start getting anger in me, until the anger explodes.
“You hit me? A teenage girl at the time, you would hurt me? What kind of sick person are you?” I probe with tears in my eyes from all the frustration. Calvin glances at me and continues.
"Then, it was like something in you clicked. And just like that you realized, you never needed to be treated the way Jaxon treated you. You realized love wasn’t supposed to consist of bruises, scars, and yelling all the time. It shouldn’t end every night with you crying yourself to sleep and questioning his love and faithfulness to you. That’s not love. That’s self-destruction.” Calvin takes a deep breath and sits on the foot of my bed. Jaxon leaves the room, not saying anything.
“So, you saved me?” I ask quietly. He sighs and gives his response.
“I had to do something. You are my best friend Addison. I hated being the person you would call when you were crying your eyes out because of his stupid choices.” I lay my hand on his, trying to thank him for saving me. “So,” he starts again. “There’s someone else you need to meet.” I raise my eyebrows at him as I watch him bring in a child. My hands cover my mouth. He’s a spitting image of Calvin; dark black hair, thin build, long legs. But his eyes, he has my eyes. Bright blue with a hint of green. “This is our son, Tyler. He has been asking about mommy. He knows that you’ve been sick and you were not allowed any visitors until you got better.”
The kid comes up to me, trying to climb on the bed. He manages to climb up next to me after failing a few times.
“Momma!” he wraps his tiny arms around my neck. I feel so utterly corrupt not being able to remember Tyler.
“It’s been so long since I’ve seen you, so how old are you now? 30? 40?” I question making it seem like a joke but in reality, I really wanted to know how old he was.
“No no no, I’m still 5.” He giggles. I go on to tell about how big he had got and how I’ve missed him.
“When can you come home? Dad doesn’t sing our song right at bedtime.” The kid stares at me.
“I don’t know sweetie, we’ll have to see what the doctor says.” Tears are filling my eyes as I say that. Calvin notices me getting emotional and grabs Tyler.
“Why don’t we go talk to the doctor and see what they say?” Tyler clings onto Calvin as they leave the room. Before they could even fully shut the door, a short blonde haired woman with a washed out blue at the ends of her hair barges in.
"Oh thank god you’re alive Addi!" she cradles my head. "I know you have no idea who I am but my god you've missed so much. I've had no one to gossip to for 2 months. I broke down and started telling Belle my gossip. Which of course all she does is bark in reply but still." The woman stands up and introduces herself. "Oh yeah. Hi, I'm Ella. I'm your best friend, have been since 1st grade." Her inner quirkiness is definitely showing, I can't help but laugh at how hyper she is. It makes sense for her to be my best friend. She's only been in here for 30 seconds and I already feel attached to her. Her phone makes a bird like noise as she quickly looks at it.
"Awh, perfect timing. I have a Facebook memory from a year ago today. It's of me and you." Ella hands me her phone and allows me to take in the picture. It's Ella standing next to a bronze statue, mimicking its pose while I'm on the left side of the picture with 7 shopping bags from 7 different stores. "We took a girls day. We went to the spa, then went shopping, and then we went back to our hotel room with Malia and ordered 4 large deep dish pizza." Ella explained as I gave her her phone back.
"Do you have any more pictures?" I ask.
"Of us? Of course. Did you miss the part when I said I'm your best friend?" She teases. I watch her swipe her phone until handing it back to me. The screen revealed 3 ladies. Me, Ella, and an auburn haired girl with blue eyes. She looks almost exactly like me. I turn the phone back to Ella and point to the girl I don't know.
"Who is this?" I squint my eyebrows at her questionably.
"Malia. Your little sister." Ella returns.
"My little sister?" I ask with emphasis on the word little, seeing as she looked much older than me. "How old is she?"
"She just turned 25 last week." Ella answers. Right on cue, the tall auburn haired blue eyes girl stumbles in. She says nothing but comes up to me and hugs me lightly. As she pulls away, she makes her way to the chair next to my bedside.
“I think this is the best birthday gift I’ve-” she pauses to yawn. “I've ever received.” I look to Ella who is giving me the same weird glance.
“Malia, are you okay? You seem tired.” Ella questions her.
“Yeah, I’m fine. Just haven't been getting much sleep here lately. I've been driving myself crazy worrying about Addison here.” She looks to me and smiles shyly. “She's all I got really. I mean mom is practically insane since the divorce. Dad hasn't been around until these past few month. Calvin and I were never close. And you haven't done anything but sit around your apartment and talk to your dog since Addi’s car crash.” Malia breaths out. “We all kind of shut ourselves out from each other when we really needed each other.”
“Well, I’m here now things can finally go back to normal.” I say trying to make things better.
“No, I don’t want things to go back to normal. I want things to be fixed, be better. I want you to remember everything. I want mom to find a love as good as you and Calvin. I want dad to be a better person in general, change his ways. I want to forgive him, maybe even have him back in the picture as a father. Not the man we've seen him to be. If we fix these things we could have our first thanksgiving together as a family, since that's mom’s favorite holiday. I don’t want normal, I want better. I want a family.”  Suddenly it’s all hitting me. Everything is making sense. Things are falling back into the right spots.
“I want to see him.” I say sternly.
“Who?” The 2 girls say simultaneously.
“Dad.”  Malia and Ella share a look.
“I think it’s time Malia, Addi is right.” Ella sighs. “How about we leave Addi and John to talk and we go do something together since it’s been awhile?”
“Can we take a nap? Cause I really need one.”  Malia yawns again.
“Yes, we can take a nap.” Ella laughs as they exit the room. John walks in moments later.
“You wanted to speak with me?”
“What did you do to our family that made everything fall apart?”
“I did things that was not okay. I had anger problems. I took them out on your mom, you, and Malia.” I’m in shock. Things starts hitting me. Everything he’s done. All the things that’s happened. My memory is starting to come back to me.
“You cheated on mom. Which showed me to the wrong kind of love. That’s why I thought it was okay to let Jaxon treat me like that in high school, because I thoughts that’s how love was supposed to be. Until you left, and Calvin showed up. That showed me love was meant to be so much easier and kinder than what I had been exposed to. Mom showed me what happens to people when you let people walk all over you, that’s not what she wants for me or Malia. Ella, my best friend. I could never tell her what you did to us. Not until after you left because mom was worried about you. Even after everything, she still cared about your wellbeing. After I told Ella that you were abusive, I remember us just sitting on the bed and crying for hours. She became family after that. And Tyler, he is the best thing to happen to me. We are never going to treat him like this. That’s not how kids should be treated. We are going to show him love and if we do argue, it won’t be in front of him because that’s the last thing we want to do, ruin his look on what love is like.” I say, tears are very visible.
“I’m so sorry Addison. I’ve been to therapy and anything else I could do to help fix myself. I want to be around. I want to be in Tyler’s life. I want to help you guys.” He lets out.
“Malia wants things to change. She wants things to get better. She wants a family. A real, loving family. Do you think you can do that? For Malia?” he looks to be thinking on the question I asked then he finally speaks up.
“Yeah, I think I can. I’ll try my hardest not to mess this up. I’m sorry for everything. Thank you for giving me another chance.”
“Don’t apologize to me, you have about 5 other people to apologize to outside this door. So go.” I shoo him off the bed and he pulls the door open ready to walk out, but before he left he turn back to me.
“Thank you Addison Jade, for being who you are and never changing.” He closes the door and my I start having the feeling of complete exhaustion overcome me. Then my arm, followed by my leg, starts tensing up. The monitor goes crazy. The door is slung open in an instant.
“She’s seizing, we need a crash cart!” The doctor yelled. Doctors and nurses surround me and frantically trying to fix my pain. I see a blurry figure in the door way. It’s John. The last thing I see, doctors trying to help save me, and my father crying. That was the first and last time I had seen the man cry.






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