Addison. I feel like that name was the only one I knew. As if someone had randomly singled it out from millions of others, opened up my head, and just frivolously threw it in. It bounced around my subconscious, ricocheting off every corner and surface, leaving remnants in every nook and cranny. For a while, this was the only continuous thought I was capable of producing. And yet, I had no idea who it belonged to, who the person behind the name was. All I knew was that I’d be willing to give her my life. My time, my money, my thoughts, my breath, everything, it’s hers. Everything I own, everything I have yet to own, even everything under the possession of others, I’d give to her without the slightest affliction to my conscience. I had no fear of bankruptcy, deprivation, or inadequacy. Nor did I have any acknowledgement of where these feelings came from. They were just there; they felt right. I was fully committed to her. A chilling realization abruptly interrupted my thoughts: I had no idea who I was.
I opened my eyes. I was lying on a tiled floor; a low ceiling fan hung directly above me, motionless. To my left, sunlight was shining through cracks in the shutters, dimly illuminating the room, and revealing it to be a poorly accommodated space with a single chair and dresser. There was no mirror, no pictures, nothing willing to give even the slightest hint towards my identity. As I stood up, I felt something bend and press against my leg. I looked down and noticed that I was dressed in a dark blue jumpsuit with deep pockets on both sides. On the left side of my chest, in light gray stitching was a name: Noah. Could that be me? Am I Noah? Nothing about the name seemed adequate; no ounce of realization or reassurance came to me, no bells rang in my head, nothing. But I accepted it, nevertheless. After all, it was all I had.
Remembering the pockets, I reached into the left one that had previously pressed against my leg and pulled out a folded envelope. I unfolded the envelope and quickly analyzed it. Its condition was shabby and poor, as if it had been kept in the pocket for years. The edges were crinkled and worn, on the verge of tearing. On the back, “1992 – campaign a success!” was written in small, fancy cursive. Something about the handwriting seemed so strikingly familiar; I had a strong desire to study it. I ran my finger along the words and an overwhelming wave of reminiscence and longing struck me. Without warning, tears swelled up in my eyes and ran down my face. Caught off guard by my sudden flood of emotions, I dropped to the ground, the envelope flying out of my hands.
Reaching for it again, I frantically opened the envelope and pulled out an aged photograph of a young girl, and I immediately recognized her. It was Addison; there was no doubt about it. Seemingly in her teenage years, she was sitting on a chair lifted up by a group of people. A large banner displaying the words “Class President of ‘92” was held up beside her. My attention was then immediately drawn to her face. Although the photograph was faded, you could still clearly see the joy in her eyes, the enchanting smile showing off the dimples perfectly set on both of her cheeks, the expression of pure happiness. She was beautiful. I tightly gripped the photograph, afraid that it’d somehow be taken away from me. At that exact moment, a knock came from the door and, jerking my attention towards it, I watched as a slip of paper slid under the crack and landed beside me. I hadn’t even considered the fact that there might’ve been other people outside the room. Fearful, I picked up the paper and, written in the same haunting cursive, was one simple line: Follow me. – Love, A
The door swung open, and the room began to fall around me.
© Copyright 2016 K Nguyen. All rights reserved.
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