She knelt, peering through the bushes, hands gripping the folds of her skirt. Every time she tried to remember something, she just came up against a brick wall. She knew that there was something there; she just couldn’t get to it. She was suddenly aware that she had been kneeling on the ground for quite some time, but she couldn’t feel the cold. Bare feet, bare arms. Not a thing.
“What are you waiting for?” a tentative voice whispered close by her side.
She winced involuntarily. She had forgotten that the boy was still with her. She shrugged her shoulders in reply. “I don’t know.” She whispered back. What was she doing here? What was going to happen? “I need something to jog my memory.” She told the boy and herself.
He went quiet again. Every minute or so she would hear an intake of breath, telling her that he had more questions. She didn’t prompt him. Her own questions were building up. “So, I was going to marry this man?”
She could hear him tearing grass up beside her. “I guess so.” He answered eventually.
“But I didn’t make it to the altar?”
Again he was hesitant. “No.”
“What happened? Tell me.”
Without withdrawing her gaze from the lit kitchen window and the figure silhouetted in it, she reached a hand beside her and clasped his arm, stopping him from tearing up the lawn. She felt him stiffen at her touch but chose to ignore it. A light breeze rustled the leaves of the bush they were sitting in. She felt the sensation but not the cold. “Please.” She pleaded.
“I only know what I heard on the tv though.” She stayed silent. “You were supposed to get married but you didn’t make it to the church.”
He sighed and shook his head. “They said that your bridesmaids found you in your bed with an empty bottle of pills in your hand. You killed yourself. You got all dressed up and then you just…. You killed yourself.”
Her gaze never faltered from the window. “Why did I kill myself?”
She heard his clothes ruffle as he shrugged his shoulders. “Nobody knows. They couldn’t think of any reason for it.”
She released his arm which he took back gratefully. She curled her hands into loose fists on her lap. There was still no trigger, no memory. None of this sounded familiar, it was just a story. But somewhere in her gut she had a feeling, a feeling that she didn’t kill herself. She didn’t know herself yet, but she felt strong. She wouldn’t do that. Ever.
“I need to speak to him.” She said out loud, but more to herself than the boy. As she stood up the silhouette moved from the window.
“Wait!” The boy hastened to stand up with her. “You can’t do that.” He warned.
“Because you’ll scare him to death, that’s why.” He frowned at his unfortunate pun and bit his lip. She looked up at the stars for a second. A siren sounded somewhere in the distance. That could very well happen. She could drive this man to madness if he really recognised her. But she needed answers. She needed a trigger. And nothing was more likely to give her what she wanted than to see the man that she loved; the man that she was willing to marry.
Before he could protest again, she was already on the move. Eerily silent on her bare feet. He tried to call her back with whispered shouts but all he heard was, “Go home.” in response. He stood in the shadows, unsure of what he should do, as she glided towards the house like a ghost. In many ways she was.
She skirted around the side of the building and made her way to the front door. It wasn’t locked. She slipped in and closed it softly behind her. The hallway was clean and spacious. A large mirror hung on the wall to her right, an archway to the left led into a luxurious lounge area. The only light came from down the hall, spilling out from the kitchen to illuminate the bottom of the twisting staircase and a small end table that held a phone and a wooden picture frame.
She stepped lightly, vaguely aware that she was leaving wet and muddy footprints in her wake. Her reflection in the mirror stopped her almost immediately though, nerves tense in fear that someone else was here, but it was just her. She had no idea what she looked like. Right now it wasn’t good. Her long dark hair was matted and clogged with dirt. Mud streaked down her chest and arms, staining her once white wedding gown. It had been pretty once. Fitted, with lace, and pearl buttons. She wondered if she had picked it herself. Had she designed it. She raised a hand to her face. The dim light of the hallway wasn’t much to go by, but beneath the dirt she thought she looked pale with wide eyes and dainty features. She wasn’t ugly but she was definitely scary. She dragged her eyes from the unfamiliar image and continued down the hall.
A momentary pause as a shadow passed over the lit doorway. She held her breath. She didn’t breathe again until she heard the sound of a glass being set down on a counter top. When she reached the bottom of the staircase she leaned forward to peer into the kitchen. What she saw was a bright and sparkling kitchen. Someone was bent over, looking into the fridge. One over exaggerated step took her across the doorway, and she leaned down beside the end table.
Her breath was slightly ragged now. If she walked in now, he might well go crazy. He might try to hurt her. Assuming that he even could. But she couldn’t just walk straight out again. Her body seemed to make the decision before her mind could second guess itself. She stood up abruptly to walk in to the kitchen, but it was too abrupt. Her elbow hit the end table as she straightened up. With quick reflexes she caught the picture frame just before it hit the floor. She held her breath again. The fridge door closed and he turned away from the doorway; he hadn’t noticed. With a quiet sigh she stood up and glanced at the picture in her hand. It was a picture of a happy couple. They were smiling and holding each other tightly. The man was broad shouldered, brown eyes and handsome. He looked like he would make a good husband. But it seemed with every answer she got a new question was uncovered.
She replaced the picture on the table and swept down the hall. She wasn’t trying to hide anymore. He caught sight of the train of her dress in the corner of his eye as it fluttered past the doorway. He set down his glass.
“Hello?” he called hoarsely. “Is there someone there?” He moved to the hallway, noticing that the picture had been moved. Then he saw the wet footprints glinting in the light from the kitchen. Small footprints. His gaze followed them to the open front door and his heart stopped. He saw a figure in white running down the driveway and disappearing into the darkness. A sob clawed its way up his chest as he realised it; the memories of her would always haunt him. She would always be running from him.