“I don't understand what you're saying...” Tanya Becknun said slowly, her mind reeling.
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 me...”
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
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 next
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 voice.
“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 room.
“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 are.”
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.
© Copyright 2016 Adelynn Welby. All rights reserved.