What happened that she wants to forget? Why does she hate the color yellow?
“Where do I begin?” Timidly, my voice rang all too loudly in the quiet space.
“Begin with one.” The therapist wore a yellow tie.
“No, zero is first.” I wished that tie would leave.
“So begin with zero.”
“Zero is nothing.”
“Indeed. What does nothing feel like?” The tie sat back, cascading over a ponch.
“Space. Empty, lonely space.”
“Good.” The tablet is yellow too, the one he writes on.
“And one is.. me! I am one.” Suddenly things flew into focus. Memories crashed into my head, two, three, at a time. All of them parts of me. I had two parents, three sisters, four cats, and a goldfish.
The sunlight glistened off the lake. It was early, too early to get up. My body protested. 4:56 AM. I rolled over. He was there beside me. He was cold.
I froze. The memory instantly vanished.
I had stopped it.
“Seven?” prompted the doctor.
“No. I gotta go!” I grabbed my jacket and ran from the office. The yellow was making me ill. And seven was too much to handle right now.
Numbers were safe. I counted my steps, my heart beat, things I passed, groups of people at the park.
I stopped running somewhere in the middle of the park when I ran out of steam. Panting, I collapsed onto a bench. Thankfully it wasn't yellow.
I thought about that lake in my memory. Where was it? It seemed every time I TRIED to remember something I couldn't, but when I wasn't looking it would jump up and smack me.
There was a pond in the park. Maybe if I went and sat beside it, staring out over its surface, something would pop up.
But though I sat there, bored, unfocused, and growing hungry, nothing ever triggered those vivid memories.
I walked to a diner a few blocks over. I liked it because they played good music and had interesting people walk in. The waitresses all wore retro uniforms of red. There were 6 of them tonight. I sat in my usual booth and ordered my usual burger.
How long had it been my usual? 2 months, 3? I'd lost all track of time when I had awakened that day with no memories. I spent 6 days wandering around, counting steps and things, trying to find myself. I was arrested for driving a car that I thought was mine.
I was sent to the yellow-tie shrink when released from jail. He'd been fascinated with the counting. I never said seven. I avoided the number altogether.
My basket of food arrived. It was a yellow plastic waffle patterned basket. I could see 28 holes on my side. The yellow was too bright, though. It turned my appetite off. I waved at the waitress. "Could you get me a red basket?" I begged, turning green a little as I handed it to her. She looked at me like I was crazy. But she took it.
As it left my hand, something flashed into my brain. Dietz Lake. Cabin. 43. I grabbed my head. Where did that come from? 43? Was that the cabin number? I had never heard of Dietz Lake.
By the time the waitress had returned with my red basket, I was ready to ask her. "That's up in Carbine county, Sug." She walked away even more perplexed. I would owe her a bigger tip than usual.