"I don't understand what
you're saying..." Tanya Becknun said slowly, her mind
Chelsey Camden drew her
eyebrows down in frustration, running an agitated hand through
her dark brown hair. "How many times do I have to tell you that
he can't remember anything? When he woke up he didn't recognize
any of us; in fact, he totally freaked out when we all gathered
around him. He won't know who you are. He doesn't know who anyone
is!" Her anger melted away and tears pooled in her deep green
eyes. "I can't believe my own brother doesn't recognize
Tanya felt like someone had
punched her repeatedly in the gut as she stood there staring
wide-eyed at her boyfriend's sister. It couldn't be true...it
just couldn't! How could Conner forget about her, about
everything they'd shared? Her eyes began to sting and she
realized she hadn't blinked once in the past minute. "This can't
be happening." She said quietly, not sure if Chelsey had heard
her. Grasping the kitchen table, she lowered himself onto a
chair, shock wrapping its arms around her body.
Two weeks ago Conner had been
in a horrible car accident while driving home from school. Until
two days ago he'd been in a coma that had everyone on edge...no
one knew if he'd wake up or not. For thirteen days Tanya had
cried herself sick imagining everything that could possibly
happen ...everything, that is, except him forgetting her.
That was almost worse than him
never waking up.
Sobs began to wrack her body
and Tanya buried her head in her hands. How could she go on with
life knowing that the man she loved had no recollection of the
bond they'd shared? Every touch, every kiss...forgotten. An ache
settled around her heart, keeping it captive of any other emotion
but pain. She longed to feel his arms around her, to look into
his emerald green eyes and know without a shadow of a doubt that
everything was okay. If only she could hear his sweet, soothing
voice reassuring her that he'd never forget her, never. But it
wasn't to be.
Tanya felt a hand on her back
and she looked up to see Chelsey, tears streaming down her pale
cheeks. Tanya stood up and wrapped her arms around Chelsey,
desperate to hold on to someone. They stood that way for a long
time, both shedding tears for someone who would never be the same
again, and for times they would never get back.
"It's possible that he has
retrograde amnesia." Weary-eyed Mrs. Camden, Conner's mom, said
as she, Chelsey and Tanya sat in the hospital waiting room the
Tanya shook her head. "No, he
would still remember all of us then. Retrograde amnesia usually
just erases memories that occurred shortly before the brain
injury. And most of the time it's only temporary."
"Then maybe it's a severe
case...and he'll get better!" Chelsey exclaimed, hope sewn in her
"Maybe..." Tanya looked down
at the ground, wishing she could find a way to believe Chelsey
but at the same time afraid to. If she let herself believe that
Conner would remember, she would be even more crushed if he
didn't. False hope would only kill her.
Mrs. Camden let out a long
sigh and rubbed the back of her neck. "I guess I shouldn't be
diagnosing him...It's just so hard." Defeat was evident in her
expression as she placed a soft hand on Tanya's shoulder. "Are
you up to seeing him yet? Or no?"
Tanya still hadn't seen him
since he came out of the coma...He hadn't asked for her. She
mentally shook her head. Of course he hadn't asked for her; he
didn't remember her. The thought brought tears to her eyes again
but she blinked them away. "Yeah...I guess I am...Though I have
no idea what to expect."
Mrs. Camden nodded
sympathetically but said nothing. Words weren't necessary in a
time like this.
As the three of them walked
towards Conner' room, Tanya could feel her body tensing up with
fear. What was she doing? How could she possibly look at her
boyfriend and not break down when she didn't see the love in his
eyes? Thoughts like that swarmed in her head and made her dizzy
but she continued to follow Mrs. Camden down the hall.
"Let me check in on him
first." Mrs. Camden said when they stopped in front of his
"Okay," Chelsey leaned against
the wall and stared vacantly at the floor as Tanya chewed on one
of her fingernails, nervousness threatening to engulf her.
Three minutes later, Mrs.
Camden came out of the room and motioned for Tanya. "Just
introduce yourself to him, hun. He...he has no idea who you
Tanya nodded sadly and slowly
walked into the room, her heart pounding out an irregular rhythm
in her chest. Conner was on the bed staring up at the ceiling but
he turned to look at her when she entered the room. She adverted
her gaze, not willing to look at him yet, not ready to see the
questions in his eyes.
"You cut your hair."
Tanya's head snapped up in
surprise, her heart skipping a beat as she fingered her
hair...the hair she'd cut the day of the accident. Had she heard
right? Conner stared at her intently, his eyes telling her
everything words couldn't.
He remembered her.