The Aftermath

December 18, 2008
By
“Helen Schulz..”

“Yes that’s me,”

“Aw welcome, I’m Doctor Hammond, it sure is nice to meet you. What brings you here today?”

“I uh actually -- “

“It’s the lips right?”

“Oh, uh no I was going to see if -- “

“Lips are huge right now! Oh I’ve got some great ideas for ya!
“Dr. Hammond, I don’t -- “

“I’ve got a new formula, swelling is gone within a week, they’re going to look great on you! Trust me; you’ve just got to trust me on this one.”

“Dr Hammond! I don’t know what your trying to get at by I don’t want new lips!”

“Oh I’m sorry, I’m just kidding around with you, sometimes I just get ahead of myself. Let me start over -- Hello ma’am, I’m Dr. Hammond. What can I do for you?”

“Oh, that’s alright. But yes, I uh, um…I wanted to ask you something…”
“Its okay honey, just tell me what you want, anything at all. I’m a professional,”

“It’s not like that, its, ok, I was cleaning out my office last week, sorting through old files and what not, and I came across this floppy disk...”

“Alright, go on.”

“It was purple. Solid purple. There was no label or description, for some reason though, it’s not really like me, but I really wanted to know what the disk was - what was on it. So I put it in the computer -- “

“You put the disc in your computer?”
“Yea -”

“And?”

“Well, nothing, it said the disc was full, but the files were locked or something, so I went back to work.”

“So what’s the problem?”

“Well I came back to the computer a couple hours later and the files had all opened themselves… I, I don’t know I can’t explain it; it was like they were, controlling themselves.”

“What does this have to do with plastic surgery?”

“Nothing actually. But word documents kept popping up, dozens of them, hundreds of pages long… and then pictures thousands of pictures started flashing on and off the screen -- “

“I don’t understand why you’re telling me this ma’am, there are doctors in building B that may be…”

“This was the only way I could think of to see you! Just listen! I was terrified! But I kept watching, and the pictures started flashing slower, so I could make out some of them… and… I … they were pictures of me. And, and pictures of you…”

“Alright lady, I’m pretty sure you’re in the wrong office…”

“Listen goddammit!-“

“Ma’am, I’m a plastic surgeon, I don’t know anything about crazy floppy discs. Now please-“

“Mark, look at me!”

“Excuse me?”

“These pictures weren’t photographs. I don’t know, but, I think they were memories. Don’t say anything yet! Just listen to me -- there were thousands of them. Some still shots, some were moving, but they were all of you… and me. We had a house, it was a log cabin. And a dog - Willow! Don’t you remember Willow? We went to Paris and your parents’ house in New England - art festivals and comedy shoes! There were even memories of us cleaning the kitchen together, and eating salsa and of Christmas! I don’t know how I got it. I don’t know if it’s some sick prank somebody’s playing on me… but I know what I saw. And what I heard. There were songs. And voices. Our voices. Our conversations. Do you remember, Mark?”

“I don’t… no…I don’t know.”

“Mark, it’s my memory. The floppy disc, its carrying my memory of you”

“I don’t understand what your -”

“We had a life together Mark! Don’t you remember! My -”

“I’m sorry ma’am I’m going to have to call security if you don’t calm down. I need you to leave now.”

“I… But… I … the disk...”

“Maybe you have the wrong Mark Hammond.

“…”

“Ma’am? Are you okay?”

“Y-yes I’m fine. I’m sorry to have wasted your time Dr. Hammond. I’ll leave now.”

Dr. Hammond opens the door of his office for Helen. She leaves the office crying, terribly embarrassed by the scene she made. He watches her as she walks through the lobby and out the front door. Dr. Hammond closes his office door and returns to his desk which is covered in silicone models and anatomy diagrams. He sits down and opens up the top drawer and pulls out a blank purple floppy disk with no label and plays with it in his hands. He comes very close to tears but manages to hold them back.





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