This Cara girl must really be someone, everywhere I looked in this house I spotted pictures of me and her and yet to me she had no significance – or was that just the amnesia? The woman who claimed to be my mother led me into the sitting room and gestured for me to sit down in one of the squashy armchairs. I hesitated for a split second before lowering myself into it and looking around, the sitting room was quite spacious and had shelves all around festooned with a wide selection of different books ranging from HG Wells and The Complete Work of Shakespeare to the Harry Potter series.
“You keep a nice house” I said feeling slightly awkward especially when the woman’s eyes began to sparkle with tears.
“You used to spend all your time in here when you were younger, spent hardly any time in your bedroom it was always here because all your books are here” she said trying to keep her voice steady but I could see she was struggling. A sudden impulse to go across the room and sit with her and give her a hug and tell her not to cry suddenly overcame me, the fact that this woman was upset hurt me and yet I didn’t understand why.
“I have photos of you when you were younger playing in here, do you want to see them?” she asked gently and I nodded giving her a smile which she returned. She crossed the room and pulled out a small photo album with the name ‘Annabella Hawman’ embossed on the front.
“Ever since you were born, all your precious moments I have put in this photo album so that when you are older you can look back at them and smile as a flashback of the memory triggered by the picture hits you. Perhaps these pictures might help you get your memory back” she said wiping a stray tear which had slipped out of the corner of her eye.
She perched on the arm next to me and opened the book, which revealed a picture of a baby which I guessed was me.
“You were several hours old when this was taken” she said with a small smile,
“I can’t have been that small!” I said incredulously,
“Oh you were, you were premature as well, had to be in an incubator and then you stopped breathing.”
“I stopped breathing?”
“Yeah, you didn’t cry when you were born and you were whisked away to a table and people were making a fuss. Me and your father were really worried.”
“I bet!” I said, as she turned the page to show another picture of a slightly older me with a young girl with longish brown hair and brown eyes, sitting cross-legged on the sitting room floor with a colouring book in front of her.
“Who’s that?” I asked although I had a feeling I knew exactly who it was.
“That’s your best friend Cara” I was told and I smiled, “You two have been best friends for years, you both met in reception.” I glanced again at the photo and a spark of memory overwhelmed me.
I had been sitting on the carpet in front of my reception class teacher waiting patiently for her to start the day when a new girl plonked herself down next to me looking nervous. That had been how I met Cara, but I still couldn’t remember anything beyond that.
“I remember how I met Cara but that’s it…” I said looking down and feeling slightly ashamed as I knew that everyone was trying so hard to get me to remember and yet I just couldn’t remember.
“We’ll get there, we’ll there there” my mother soothed and I suddenly felt hot tears trickle down my face as she cuddled me in her arms like a mother should do. I remembered her.