The Boy who Couldn't Remember
Jason SloanThe glare of light stung my face. Drivers honked and cursed at me for sleeping on the street. I didn’t understand why, so I did the most likely thing anybody would do, curse back. I seemed to know how to maneuver around this big city, and I could answer questions about how to get to where and how, but there was two questions that bothered me. Who am I? I thought. And how did I get here?
A person has this amazing ability to remember things. They can remember things that range from what they ate for breakfast (Waffles with whipped cream, blueberries, and strawberries with orange juice and and apple) or who won the SuperBowl in 2005 (New England Patriots). That’s my problem. I seem to know how to talk and what was the most popular thing to watch on TV, but I can’t seem to understand how or why I know these things. I mean if someone asked me about the TV show they saw last night, I’d know out of the top of my head. But if they ask me how I knew, I’d go blank. It bothers me all the time. I don’t know who I am, what I was called here for. I feel as if there was one part of me was gone, missing, torn away from my body. I couldn’t explain why I wasn’t close to my parents, or why my girlfriend suddenly wasn’t worth the time anymore, and most importantly, why everything in my life feels so wrong. It feels as if I left something important behind, and I’m diving aimlessly to find it. Ever single day feels as if I forgot to do something, or is missing the point of my life. I feel, well, missing.
Sarah, my girlfriend, always tries to talk to me. To see what’s wrong with me, and try to work it out. Yeah, I give her hugs from time to time, but nothing above that. When she tried to kiss me once, I pushed her away and she ran away, crying. And the strangest thing was that I walked away and didn’t look back once. I could feel her sad eyes burning a hole through my back all the time, but now I’m unaffected. A month ago, I’d have been so full of remorse that I’d give her a long hug right there, and say how sorry I was. I think she’s still waiting for that apology from me, and every time she sees me, she gives me the saddest little stare and shake her head ever so slightly, as if to show her disappointment. But now she’s dating someone else, someone “who’d tell me what’s wrong” as she put it. It’s not that I’d not tell her whats wrong, I just don’t know how to explain it to someone. I can’t just go up to her and say “Oh hey Sarah!! The thing that’s wrong with me is that I don’t know half of my life. Yeah, I should go to the asylum now.” She’d think I’m crazy. So her breaking up with me was technically a good thing, she would be happy with her new boyfriend now. And plus, she wouldn’t spread anything about me being mental. I’m invisible enough.
The thing was, I never felt this way before. Before this, I was a normal, average teenager. I went to my high school down the block, went to parties with my friends, threw food with my brother, went on dates with Sarah, and actually talked to my parents. Yeah, I never talk to my parents these days. I walk in and say “Hi mom, hey dad.” and get a snack and go upstairs to do my homework. When they’d ask about school I’d always shrug and say “Okay.” Now they don’t ask me anything as much as they did before. They think I’m going through “puberty” or something like that and don’t try to push it. They let me do what I want, as long as I come home before two am in the morning. Then there’s a long lecture about safety and all these terrible things that might’ve happened to me (1. Murder, 2. Robbery, 3. Kidnapping, and 4. Being forced into having sex with a girl. That would be the worst-case scenario). My parents are, I guess, highly protective. Very highly, protective. That’s all there is too it. Now, let me give you an overview of my siblings.
Full name: Denice Lauren Sloan
Description: Highly energetic and very cute.
Status: Youngest in the family and is currently in second grade
Full name: Angelina Mary Sloan
Description: In the state where she thinks she’s better then everybody and is obsessive over her hair, clothes, nail polish, and her boyfriend Oliver.
Status: 2nd youngest in the family and is in seventh grade
Full name: Michael Andrew Sloan
Description: Quarterback of the middle school football team and had all of the girls in the grade crush on him at least once (and made many girls crazy over him in the process)
Status: My only younger brother and is in eighth grade
Full name: Daniel Robert Sloan
Description: Is the aloof and too cool for you kind of guy. Always wears black or leather and looks like the “bad boy” of the high school. But once you know him he’s a real softy and is really nice. That’s why his girlfriend adores him.
Status: Oldest and the most delinquent of the family.
And there is my family. Or at least, what I think is my family. We are all not really that close, but the closest one to me would probably be Dana. I used to read her princess lilly stories all the time. She’s the only one I talk to now. When I come home, Dana would run up and say “JASON!!!!” and cover me in a hug. I’d hug her back and she’d tell me how stupid her teacher is or how cute Justin Symmons is. Either way, she’s the only person that I’d consider as family.
I walked down the crowded sidewalk and pressed my face against the most colorful window in all of Manhattan--Dylan’s Candy Bar display case. This window brought so much comfort to me, the colors shone down on me as if to say, “We know your pain, come in and be happy!!” And I’d walk through their double doors and breath in the sweet smell of chocolate and caramel mixed with the sugary smell of hard candy. Then, I would take a bucket and fill it to the brim with rainbow masses of sweet tarts, skittles, hershey bars, twixes, starbursts, and especially sour patch watermelons. Every time I’d eat a sour patch, it gives me alittle glimpse of my past that I had forgotten. My favorite TV show, how my home looked, how my real parents looked, and my name. Yes my name. I’d forgotten that too, until some man looked into my wallet and took a peek at my drivers license, which said: “Name: Jason Sloan. Age: 16. Birthday: May 30, 2994. Sex: Male.” Then the guy pushed my wallet back into my hands and walked away, obviously proud of helping a poor, crazy teenager who didn’t even know his own name. I bet he probably thought I was a drunk teen who got amnesia. But then again, when he walked away, he was stumbling and slurring at some mannequin displayed on Macy’s display case. And people thought I was crazy.
I walked down the crowded street eating my prize, often being pushed to the side by the shoulders of stressed mothers and their children and aloof businessmen who obviously think their better then us mere mortals. I turned left on the corner and shut my eyes close, waiting two seconds before letting them open and the magic dazzle me. It was Time Square, only thirty-first century style. 3D images bounced on and off of the hydroplasmic advertisement boards, which are boards using the power of water and plasma, telling strangers right and left of the newest handbag sold right at Macy’s, or about the latest episode of Wannabes and Drama Queens coming on TV at 8pm. Kids with their interactive playpals ran up and down the streets while their mothers screamed about their safety after them. Hovercars were speeding up and down the road, blaring their horns as if their life depended on them. The best of all, street performers were playing light jazz while the actors danced a waltz like they did in the twenty-first century. They invited the viewers to dance with them, and the few brave ones ran into the waltz with their girlfriends/wife/boyfriend/husband etc. while most of the audience stayed at the safety of the crowd. Many people would think of me as weird for being dazzled by something I’ve seen for the life I know of, but this is the one time when I let them think of me as weird. I strolled down the street and walked down to the familiar apartment, my home. My “parents” bought it at the center of Times Square, so you could always see the billboards, lights, and hear the music. “Hey Jason,” the doorman greeted as he tipped his hat up to me. “Hey Bill,” I replied as I walked up to the elevator. As I was about to press the button, the elevator door burst open and out came stumbling a girl. She was obviously a newbie to the hypotech elevator, which travels really fast and in any direction. Sort of like Willy Wonka’s elevator in his factory, but better and not as many cool floors. I stepped in front of the girls path and steadied her, but that only lead to her head resting on my shoulder. “Ah-hem” I coughed, and the girl quickly stepped back, blushing.
“Oh, I’m so sorry!” the girl apologized, and started to smooth down her hair.
“I didn’t realize that the elevator could go so fast.”
“No problem.” I heard myself say. I looked at her up and down, discreetly of course. She had long wavy dark chocolate hair that went up to the middle of her back. Her warm brown eyes looked at me behind long, dark eyelashes. Her arms were toned, and she was wearing a violet tank top underneath a jean jacket with no sleeves that went up to the end of her ribcage. She also wore jeans that were bedazzled sporadically around the end of the legs. She wore black converse sneakers that went up to her ankles, and her hair was put up in a high ponytail and was french braided on the side of her head. If there was one word to describe this girl, I’d say pretty. Hot. Stunning. Whoops, that was three words. The girl looked me up and down, and my face was slightly turning red from all of that examination. She stuck out her hand and said “I’m Arietty Corcoran.” I shook her hand and replied “Jason Sloan.”
“What apartment do you live in?” she asked
“Room 264 right wing” I replied
“Really? I live in 266 right wing!! We’re like neighbors!” she said ecstatically
“Great!” I said. Then there was that awkward pause, something that the twenty-first centurians called an awkward moment. Then Bill coughed and said “Ah-hem. I’m very sorry but you cannot loiter around in the lobby.” Arietty made a small face and said “Well, that can’t be helped. Bye Jason!” and she scampered down the hallway. Bill chuckled and said “You were exactly like that when you were dating that girl.” I whirled around as Bill put a hand to his mouth and turned pale.
“ I shouldn’t have said that.”
“Who is this girl I used to date?” I demanded. “Who is this girl? And when did I date her? And why can’t you tell me these things?” Bill only looked at me and sighed a huge, miserable sigh. “I can’t tell you because I can’t tell you. It’s better for everyone if you don’t know your past.” Anger and rage boiled inside me and threatened to spill over like an uncontrollable tsunami. “Why can’t you tell me? What are you keeping from me? Tell me, Bill. TELL ME!!” I yelled. The lady sitting next to me looked out of her newspaper and gave a small tcsh tcsh while shaking her head and mumbling something about how rude teenagers are to their elders. I didn’t care the least bit, something that was totally unlike me. Before, when someone would scold me I’d hide in my bed from embarrassment. But then again, I don’t know if that was the true me or the fake me so I can’t care the least. Bill only looked at me with sad and fearful eyes. It looked like he wanted to tell me, but there was something that was blocking him from blurting out my past. It couldn’t be something small, Bill fought men with guns that had atomic bullets without any weapons. No, Bill doesn’t get scared easily. But this person, this thing, was scaring him so much that he was shaking. Slowly, I walked over to him and put my hand on his shoulder and said gently “If it scares you that much, then don’t tell me. But can you at least tell me this girl’s name?” Bill opened and closed his mouth like a fish. He whispered “Gabby March.” Suddenly, a blinding light came over me and I stumbled, tripping over my own legs. I saw a girl with brownish/blondish hair and brown eyes running out of a house with her arms opened wide and her mouth in a grin. She was wearing a sweatshirt that said New York City High School that looked very familiar. She was saying something but I couldn’t hear what. I was running toward her too and grabbed her into a long, sappy kiss. Then black. Something washed over me like it was saying “You shouldn’t have seen that.” When I opened my eyes, a weird feeling washed over me. It was a mix of happiness and a mix of sorrow. I was happy to know who I used to date, but I was also sad because I never remembered these things until now. I quietly chuckled to myself and said “Hey Bill, thanks for telling me.” Silence. “Bill? Where are you?” I asked as I circled the lobby. “Alright Bill, enough. It’s not funny. You can get out now.” Silence. Panic washed over me as I walked around the lobby, each step becoming quicker and more panicked as I walked along. Silently I ran into his office, praying that he’d be there. I opened the door and what I saw was the most horrific thing I’ve ever seen in my life. There was a dead body sitting on the chair, its face gray and eyes popping out. There was no wound or any sign of attack. I slowly turned the chair over and read the lapel of the guys coat. It read:
New York City Square Condos
The next thing I saw was black and the hard ground.