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You Don't Remember
When I opened my eyes, what I saw shocked me. Flowers with teddy bears all along on the floor with Get Well cards attached to them. There was a balloon that was tied to a Get Well basket that said, We love you, Jordyn on it but that made no sense to me.The walls of the room where a calm blue shade with a TV sitting on a stand above the door. I was in a bed with sheets tucked around me, which made also made no sense at all. I went to lift myself higher on the bed when I realized there was one of those weird finger clamps my left index finger. Wagging my hand, I felt absolutely nothing. The window's curtains were parted slightly and I could see that it was getting dark outside.
The room was absolutely quiet until I heard a groan from a boy who was in a chair angled to face the bed. He had on a hooded Nike sweatshirt, jeans and white sneakers that were a little dirty from what looked to be dirt. He seemed almost angelic there in the chair, breathing softly as he slept. His dark hair was half-hidden by the hood of the sweatshirt, messing it up a little.
"Why am I here?" I wondered out loud and I propped myself up against the pillows behind my head. A sharp pins-and-needles sensation shot through my neck and head; it caught me so off-guard and hurt so much that tears welled up in my eyes and a cry escaped my lips, despite the fact that I had my lips pressed firmly together. After the first few tears rolled down my cheeks, I tried to sniffle softer so that I wouldn't wake the boy.
It didn't work. My sniffling got louder because I was so confused. Where am I? I asked myself, a headache coming on from all the crying. By the time I had calmed down a little, my eyes drifted over to the angelic boy. He was still breathing softly until suddenly, he woke up. He blinked his deep blue eyes at me, then his entire face lit up. Why this look of recognition was coming over his face at the sight of me was confusing, considering the fact that I had no clue who he was or why he was even in here with me.
"Jordyn...I can't believe you're up! You're finally awake!" he said, standing up and coming over to sit on the bed.
All I could do was stare at him in confusion. That was the name on the balloon, was that my name? "Who's Jordyn?" I asked.
"It's you, Jordyn," he said slowly, locking eyes with me. "Oh my God, the doctors said this would happen..." He said this to himself more than to me so I didn't say anything in response. I tilted my head, careful not to make any sudden movements to trigger that sensation again. My dark brown hair tumbled over my shoulders.
I felt like this was a good time to ask a question to break the silence. "Who are you and how do know who I am?"
He took a deep breath and I noticed that he had soft dimples in his cheeks. "I'm Taylor McConell and we've been dating for almost a year." My eyes went wide at this. Boyfriend? Almost a year? I had no idea who he was! But he continued on anyway. "You're Jordyn Daniels and we met a while ago in the fourth grade. We've been really good friends which is how we ended up dating at the end of freshman year." He paused, averted his eyes from mine and smiled to himself when he said this next part. "A lot of people said that it took us long enough."
"Aww, that's cute," I said, smiling and getting a fuzzy feeling in my chest. I must have been happy with Taylor when I knew him. Or remembered him.
Taylor went on to tell me that I had a best friend named Madison Harris that I'd known since the sandbox. I asked him what that meant and he said that we'd basically known each other since we were little. We grew up as next door neighbors to one another, always having sleepovers and all that good stuff. Apparently we played club volleyball in the eighth grade and went on to play for our high school team, the Greensboro High Gators. We went to the finals and became state champions for Greensboro's second time in a row. I pictured this in my head and smiled again. Madison and I were going to play some more over the summer, but...
"But what?" I asked eagerly, wanting to know more. I had an interesting and visually appealing life: a best friend that I played volleyball with and we became state champs, a boyfriend that I'd been good friends with, what more was there to it? Guessing from the expression on his face, I figured that what was up next had to be bad.
He sighed and closed his eyes, as if recalling whatever it was that he was telling me. "You were really excited about this party that your parents had told you about. They told you the last week of school that it was going to be for your cousin Aria who had just graduated from high school. It was June twenty-first." His eyes opened, a distant but warm look in them."You told me all about it, talking about how you were so excited for her and everything. I don't think I'd ever heard you so excited over a relative before."
"What's so bad about that?" I felt like I was missing a piece of the puzzle here. If I was excited and heading to party, where was the harm in that?
"That night on the way back from the party, you texted me and told me all about it. The food, the people, the music. The last text you sent said something about you being tired so you'd call me the day after. I said ok, I'll talk to you later. About a half an hour later, I was watching the ten o'clock news when the reporter came on with breaking news. The scene changed to a sky shot of an eighteen wheeler overturned and a small red Honda Civic smashed into the guardrail. I kept blinking because I knew I had had to be dreaming.
But I wasn't. The Honda Civic was your parents' car and I swear to God my world stopped and time froze. You were in there. Not only was my girlfriend in there, but my best friend was in there."
At this point, I was trying to fight back tears again but it wasn't working. Even thought I had no memory of the crash, the fact that Taylor had to go through that kind of emotional distress was heart wrenching to hear.
When I glanced back up at Taylor's face, there were tears in the corners of his eyes, threatening to spill. I reached my right hand up to his face and wiped them away before they rolled over onto his cheeks. He took my hand in his and stroked his thumb over my palm, a soothing motion. He pushed on with the story. "The reporter went on to confirm that it truly was you and your parents in the Civic and that the man behind the truck was believed to be intoxicated." The word came out as if it were sour and he wanted to spit it out.
"Are my parents still alive?" I asked in a small voice. Then out of nowhere I broke into sobs. It wasn't a good feeling when you had no idea what was going on, or when stuff happened. It made me feel like I missed out when I was actually there, it was just locked away somewhere.
Taylor pulled me into a hug where I cried into his chest, not knowing what to feel at all. It was like living but not living. "They're alive and well, just few bumps and bruises, thank God," he said quietly, muffled slightly by my hair. He still had my hand in his, still stroking. "But you were hurt the worst."
I leaned back, still in his embrace and searched his face for an answer. "What happened to me?"
"You don't remember," was all he said to me.