(Sorry I haven't been on due to holiday stuff)
She sighed, not wanting to be mad at him. "The truth is," she explained, "this just doesn't feel right. You look like the Cody I know and you sound like him, but you're a completely different person."
"I am the same!" Cody frowned. "You're as bad as everyone else. Every single one of them looks like they don't even know me anymore, but I haven't changed. I'm still the same Cody, just with a few scars here and there."
His blue eyes almost reassured her. But how could that be true?
"How can you be the same guy when you don't remember who you are? Your past is what makes you. Who you knew, what you loved, what you lost. I want to believe that you're the same, Cody, but," Meg sighed and ran a fair hand through her honey blonde hair, "how can I if you don't even know who I am?"
Cody's hand clenched the chain of the swing, his knuckles white. He was angry with himself, not her. "Everything else is the same, every other person is still there in my head. Why can't I remember you?" He voice caught, and he coughed to cover it up. "Perhaps you could tell me more about the things we did together. It might jog my memory?" he said more quietly.
It was a deep wound that was reopening, but she couldn't blame him for this.
"I'm the only one you can't remember?" Her watch shreiked. "Look, I'm supposed to be somewhere tonight. Maybe you want to come?"
Cody got up immediately, jumping on any excuse to leave the house. "Yeah, where are you going?" he asked. "And... I'd prefer it if we could pretend that I remember you and things are exactly as they were before. I know it's a lot to ask but if anyone finds out an entire part of my memory is missing I'm going to get carted off to a mental hospital."
Meg sighed again, unconsciously running a hand through her hair. "I guess so," she agreed. "But then is it really best for you to be coming with me? It might be kind of hard to pretend. I've never been the best liar anyway."
"Please," Cody practically begged. "You don't know what it's like here. My parents just sit on the sofa staring into space and sipping cups of tea. That is, when they're not questioning me about where I was or how I got my scars or lecturing me about how much I hurt them. Please let me come with you." He looked at her with wide eyes, desperate for her to let him come. He'd convince her they should pretend still to be a couple after she'd agreed.
"All right," she reluctantly agreed. "I really don't mind; it's just that--the lying part. I don't think I can pull that off for you. But come along."
Her phone pinged. Glancing down she saw a message from her best friend Traci: u coming or what? thought we were driving 2gether
She shot back a quick reply and slid the phone into her bag. "Okay, we have to go. Traci's waiting at her house. We'll be riding with her."
"Ok," Cody murmured. He remembered Traci, and quite a lot about her, but he couldn't remember why. Perhaps he'd got to know her a little because of Meg. Yes, that would explain it.
As they left the house he wrote a note telling his parents where he was going and with who and stuck it on the fridge. That way they couldn't stop him from going because by the time they read it, he'd have left.
Meg walked to her car and climbed inside, slamming the door a little too hard, as was her habit according to her mother.
"Okay, then, hop in," she instructed nervously.
She fidgetted in her seat, smacking the steering wheel as she thought. This was going to be an interesting day at the bowling alley.
"Have you ever been? Bowling, I mean?"
Callum climbed in and closed the door more gently. "Yeah," he answered. "Can't say I'm much good at it, but there you go. Is there what we're doing tonight then?"
She quietly nodded as she drove to her friend's house. Whenthey'd arrived a few minutes later, Traci was already waiting on her front porch. "What took you?" she called. Meg quickly got out of the car to hug and greet her best friend. "Sorry, Trace. Ready to go?"
"Umm... Hey there," Callum called from inside the car. He wasn't sure how Traci would feel towards him, especially as he'd left her best friend for a year without even saying goodbye. He also hoped that Meg wouldn't tell her that he didn't remember her. He didn't want anyone thinking he was crazy.
"Hey...there," Traci waved with an obviously forced smile. "Long time no see. Just give me a second. I think I forgot something inside. Meg, come help me," she demanded more than suggested.
Meg sighed. "Cody, we'll be right back. You can get in the car here."
She followed her friend into the kitchen. Neither one noticed the open window as their loudly whispered conversation began.
"What is he doing here," Traci fiercly demanded, trying to keep her voice down.
"I don't know," Meg admitted, close to crying. She sat down in Traci's mom's rocking chair and propped her elbow on the table.
"If you don't know, why is he here?"
"I don't know," she answered again.
"Meg, the guy lead you on and then took off on you."
"I know, I know."
"And you're sure you want this? You want him to come with us?"
Meg sniffed and tried to hold the tears in. Having Cody around again was like picking at the scab of a mostly-healed wound.
Traci wrapped her smooth brown arms around her best friend. "Sweetie, if you want to have him come, I'm not arguing. I just don't want to let you get hurt again."
Meg nodded in understanding. "I'll explain later. It's just, I don't know. He has nothing else to do, and I want to be with him, even if--"
Traci didn't make her finish the unended sentence. "Come on, let's fix your makeup and get going. Everyone else has probably started without us."
Cody listened as the words floated out of the window on the breeze. He frowned to himself; was that really what Traci thought of him? From what she said, it sounded like he deseved it.
Why couldn't he just remember? He hit his head against the window of the car, as if it would jolt some memory. But his mind was just as empty of Meg as it had been before.
He winced at how upset and broken Meg sounded. He wished he could make things alright again for her, but it was impossible. Not until he could remember what she had meant to him.
After quickly fixing up her mascara, Meg followed Traci out to the car and sat in the back next to Cody, more out of courtesy than anything else. She didn't want to leave him in the back to quietly sit by himself the entire ride, though it was only twenty minutes.
Traci started the car and pulled out of the driveway. "So..."
The awkwardness was almost tangible. Meg couldn't bare it, but she couldn't think of anything to say to Cody or in front of him.