Chapter 1: Adeline

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Gay and Lesbian  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 430

“It’s February 14, 2012...cloudy outside.”

Her smiling face talked into the old camcorder with ease. She was beautiful without any makeup, but from up close, you could see a faint hint of brown penciled in just below her lower lashes. Her hair, normally straight, was styled to golden brown ringlets that hung over her shoulder, adding a soft effect to her porcelain complexion. The wind set in motion around her, disturbing her copper tresses, and her cheeks sported a rosy glow. Everything about her seemed to glow, in fact; even her eyes, normally an abnormally bright hazel, smoldered with dark determination.

“Today I’ve got a special message to deliver, but first, I wanna show you all something.”

The girl turned the camera back around and began walking, giving me a weird sense of vertigo as I watched the world onscreen shake. Steps of concrete came into focus, and the shadow of footsteps in the setting sun illuminated the sidewalks. Her ballerina figure graced the chilly afternoon, and then I heard the muffled click of doors and the camera was pointed downwards, into black and white laminate squares and white pastel bricks that showed some sort of hallway for another.

After an instant the scene she had to offer came into focus once more, and then the slow creak of yet another pair of double doors. A soft melody came into play, twisting around the air of the seemingly ancient auditorium, like so many fragments of mourning come together. It was a bittersweet song, and its performer seemed to give no indication of noticing the girl and her newfound company. Through the lens, I watched myself, and played the part of the silent audience. I could recognize that song from anywhere, a song that only she and I shared. She ducked, kept her head below the empty seats to keep from being spotted, and lowered her voice to a whisper.

“She doesn’t know I’m here,” the girl giggled, training the lens on the very familiar, femine pianist. Even in the dark, you could see her body sway gently, and it made you imagine the face she must be making from the concentration she exhibited. The watching girl’s expression changed from smiling to serious with her next words.

“I love to listen to her play...I love just sitting here. When she doesn’t know anyone’s here.” She paused, turning the camera back to her. “She lets it flow through her like a river.” She closed her eyes, humming in the place of lyrics.

“I have a confession to make. To you, Koda, and...not everyone out there who is going to watch this is going to like what I have to say.”

She took a breath, blinked, and trained her eyes on the device in her hands. They seemed to be looking directly at me when she spoke next. “From the moment we first met, I always knew there was something special about you. I knew that you meant something else to me, besides what you’re supposed to mean to me, what you probably don’t know you mean to me...”

Her voice trailed off. “I am in love with you. Completely, hopelessly head over heels for you. When I look at you, it takes all of my strength not to lean over and just...take your little hands in mine and just kiss you.” She paused, as if unsure what to say next. “Sometimes, when you talk, I just want to interrupt you with that. When you hurt, I hurt. Your tears make me feel like your windshield wipers, because I wipe them away for you, and I hug the pain out of your body. I’d stay there forever with you, as long as you wanted me to stay.”

Suddenly, the music in the foreground stopped. The pianist, startled, looked over and saw the girl’s camcorder peeking out, probably heard nothing but faint whispers over her music. “Hey, Cali! How long have you been there? Oh, tell me you weren’t recording!”

The girl giggles again and the scene goes black.

* * *

“You don’t remember at all?”

I shook my head, trying to make sense of the event I had just witnessed on screen. I was currently laying in a soft, plush recliner in my therapist’s office, opposite a wide pair of glass sliding doors that doubled as windows. The room was a smooth green, a color that you might find only on the stems of lavender. Across from me was a bookshelf made from old, preserved barn wood, with various tomes the likes of which I had never seen. Volumes of Psychology and You precariously perched here or there, in no particular order, and that made it seem orderly, as if it had all been carefully planned. I knew the entire point of these sessions was to help me remember, and that probably meant helping me feel at home.

“That’s alright, Abby,” she said with a smile. “Not everything will come back to you right away, like your name or your age did.”

She talked with experience, like she fully understood the extent of my situation, which I found strange, seeing as she probably had never lost her entire memory before. Still, I reasoned, she probably hadn’t just wasted all those years pursuing her master’s degree in college. She had probably spent hours upon hours breaking the books, learning about all kinds of people like me. To her, I was probably no exception.

As if to prove my point, a thin stripe of lightning cracked like a whip in the sky and illuminated the wall next to me, where several important degrees hung like public officials that shouted, Hey! Look at me!

Of course, I wasn’t intimidated by her. Oddly enough, she seemed quite young to have earned her master’s; in fact, I’d pegged her for maybe twenty-four, at most. It was oxymoronic how skilled and sure she was at her job, for someone who must be fresh off the hardbacks. That’s why, when she spoke, I didn’t completely shut her out, as I did with most people who were older than me these days. Ever since I lost my memory, things didn’t tend to make too much sense, and doctors were neither here or there with their important medical terms that sounded a little too much like accusations to me. Even though she probably didn’t really care, I almost liked to pretend that she did. As she predicted, everything would be fine as long as she kept showing me the slides.

“Cali Winchester was your best friend,” she stated matter-of-factly, as if the heartfelt confession onscreen three seconds prior had meant nothing, though I was sure we would get to that later. “This was her last video log that she made before she went missing two weeks ago. Do you remember anything about Cali at all, Abby?”

I shook my head slowly, not understanding what it was that I had to do to jog my memory. Had I really hit my head that hard? And why couldn’t I remember anything, anything at all about this girl who had just pronounced her love for me? And, most of all, why did my therapist insist on calling me Abby?”

“Uhm...well, there is one thing I remember...” I said, letting my voice trail.

“Yes?” The therapist stopped writing notes on her clipboard and looked up at me hopefully.

“I don’t think I went by Abby,” I said flatly. “I think my friends just called me Koda.”

I realized when I said it how right it felt. My full name, Adeline Dakota Rose, wasn’t my favorite name of sorts. My friends and teachers called me Dakota, or just Koda for short, since the accident, which meant that I must have gone by that before, too. I hadn’t yet returned to school, but it was written on everything: The get well cards, the chocolates, everything. During my hospital stay, I had been bombarded with visitors who whispered to me when I pretended to be sleeping, who kissed my forehead and said, “get well, Koda,” or with teddy bears holding silly little monograms that promised prayers for me, most all by the same name. Only my mother, who seemed an obsessive worrier, and my father, who seemed indifferent, addressed me as Adeline.

“I see,” she said, frowning into her clipboard as she scribbled some more. I imagined that she was writing something along the lines of, subject seems to have no recollection of past, other than name, age, and minimal relations to outside world. Subject is more hopeless than previously expected. A smile played at the corner of my lips.

“Is something funny?” She said, immediately noticing my change in expression.

“No,” I said, smiling. “I guess I just think its funny how you keep watching me. I keep expecting you to ask me how I’m feeling about this or that or just declare me hopeless.” In truth, I half wished that she would.

“Well, I wasn’t going to ask you, but since you bring it up, how are you feeling, Adeline?” She smiled.

“Lost. And a little bit confused.” I sighed and threw my arms up into the recliner behind me, feeling like I was entering one of those grey areas in life that my mother and father had talked of. “This is hopeless.”

“Nothing is hopeless,” she stated. Suddenly, the timer set for thirty minutes went off, declaring the end of our session that had somehow seemed way longer.

“Well, that’s all for today, Adeline, but I expect to hear more about Cali tomorrow.” She stood and opened the door for me. “Rest on it, and just try to remember the things that the two of you liked to do together.”

There was a hint of suggestion in her voice, as if she was actually implying that the “things” we liked to do together included more than just the typical female friend-friend relationship we had apparently exhibited prior. I tried not to let that bother me as I nodded and strode out the open door. What had everyone been trying to get me to remember that was so crucial to finding Cali? And why hadn’t the therapist reacted whenever she had announced her affections for me?

Better yet, why hadn’t I reacted negatively whenever she had finished delivering her message? Had I loved her too? If I had, did I even get the chance to tell her?

These questions swirled around in my head endlessly as I ran out in the rain to the silver Jeep waiting for me. I held my breath, opting to meet head on whatever came next.

Submitted: February 06, 2012

© Copyright 2021 Lywren Bellisario. All rights reserved.


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