The door slams shut in my haste to get out. Swinging on my shoulder, this bag has every piece of material possession I have ever owned. My makeup is smeared across my face, following the patterns of my tear tracks. I suddenly loose all will.
Dashing across the road, I realise it's a mistake a split second too late. I hear the screech of brakes. The squeeling of tyres. My nose fills with the stench of burning rubber.
And then it hits me.
I feel my head smash against the road. Trickling out of my skull, the blood feels like my life. It's flowing away, trickling out: twisting and turning in ways I don't want it to. It's leaving my body: ebbing away.
I black out.
* * * *
It's like an old film at first, flickering and damaged, but as I concentrate it becomes clearer.
I see a young woman with sweat plastering her hair to her face. She seems determined - her face is set. With what seems like almost too much effort, she raises her head. I see her smile, and then she's limp. I'm taken somewhere else, and the pictures fade to black.
A young man this time. The rain is pounding down, I can hear the splashes into the puddles already made by hours of precipitation. He looks up. Before him stands a building with a sign that reads: "Orphanage". Once again his face blocks out all the splashes. When I look up again, the man is whispering something. It sounds like: "I'll love you forever and always." A single tear escapes from his eye and rolls down his cheek to land on mine. I try to hold on to these images, but all too quickly they fade away.
A new building. New people. I'm in a corner of a room - hiding. I feel the fear. It's wrapped around too tightly like claustrophobia. I feel my face get moist - tears are streaking down my cheeks and into my lap. Something changes in the atmosphere - the feeling. Something's coming. I'm not safe and I'm helpless. Just as the feeling climaxes at its worst, the imagery disappears and leaves me in darkness.
Am I dead? My life is flashing before my eyes.
* * * *
I open my eyes and immediately regret it. The overpowering whiteness of the room nearly blinds me and it takes a minute or two to adjust. When I'm able, I look around and see a worrying load of wires, tubes and screens of varying sizes and shapes.
I try to sit up and it happens, but slower than it would usually. I go to stretch my arms and feel a tugging sensation under my skin. I look down to see that it's a tube inserted into my vein. It isn't painful, but very uncomfortable. I choose to lie down instead.
A nurse walks through the door in the corner of the distasteful room.
"At last! You're awake!" She sighs - one of relief rather than sorrow. "We feared we might loose you. You scared us for a bit in the operating theatre!"
What an obnoxious woman. "What's happened to me?" I manage to slur.
"Well, honey, it's quite simple. You signed up for the new cybernetic implant, yes?" I nod - I'm too tired to argue. "On your way to the hospital, you were hit by a car. We had to change which part of your body was being replaced." She said this in a very selective manner, pausing between words. "Now, don't feel worried that you can't remember your past or anything about your life. We'll tell you everything you need to know."
"But what if," I started slowly. "What if I can remember everything?"