When Anne receives a video of herself that she doesn't remember recording, doing things she doesn't remember doing, her whole world starts to change.
I hit play and watch myself in the recording. But what I see isn't what I remember. All I can remember is being knocked down after seeing a wide shouldered shadow following me. Was it a man or a woman? I can't even tell. I sit back in my living room, curled up on my couch, trying to catch my breath after what I just saw. I re-watch the video, hoping that it will help reality sink in. The video starts with my face, a faint smile lies over it that can barely be seen, but my eyes clearly show that I'm just not there. Then a little child comes into the picture, wearing ragged clothes. He hugs me and calls me Mama. And the video stops. But there must be a mistake because I'm no body's Mama! I've never even seen this kid in my entire life. But who am I to say what's real and what's not? Right now, I'm not even sure of my own name. I throw my phone away because this doesn't make any sense. Why would anyone claim that I have a child? What do they gain?
I turn on the T.V and pretend everything is normal until I fall asleep.
I wake up screaming, the events of that night keep getting into my sleep. Minute by minute I start remembering more pieces yet many are still blacked out. I remember getting ready for the big party at Dalia's house. I remember going there and finding the crowd too overwhelming so I silently go out for some fresh air. I go for a walk in their backyard, I keep walking into the open gates to the woods. And just as I was mesmerizing the ancient trees stretching its branches to the deep blue sky, I hear a muffled sound of footsteps. “It's probably just a rabbit” I say to stop myself from panicking. I have never wished for anything in life more than for this to be true, but clearly, I was wrong. A few seconds later I see the shadow, it looks so big I don't even dare to look back. I tried to run away as I saw a shovel in its hand. And right at that moment I felt it smash my skull. I fell to the ground and that was it. The next thing I knew I'm in my own bed. Wearing that same dress I wore to the party and the calendar says it's been two days since the incident.
I completely ignore what happened and stick to my daily routine, I wake up early to run before going to work. I started this habit to help me clear my mind before tackling the day ahead of me. While I intended for running to be an act of solitude, it helped me make the strongest relationship I have so far. I remember noticing Will for the first time when I changed my route to a longer one, his fast running and muscular body was hard to miss. I was in a competitive mood that day so I tried to race him unconsciously, until I got my ankle sprained. It was embarrassing and awkward and we still laugh about it. He noticed my sudden stopping and approached to see if I’m ok. “What a run, huh? Mind if check your foot?” with the jolting pain I had, all I could do was pull up the hem of my pants so he can take a better look at my injured foot. “A sprained ankle, looks like it’s a nasty one though. Try not to step on it” he said while I leaned on his shoulder for balance. “That’s my shop right there, if you want you can get some rest and then take a cab home. I’m Will, by the way.” “Yeah, that sounds good. I’m Anne.” I nodded while checking the shop he pointed at, it was a toy shop, and for a second I was just watching him and the shop’s pink sign with pictures of cartoons on it and couldn’t believe that he owned it. I sat on a little chair inside and watched him guide the delighted kids who entered the shop. I thanked him for his hospitality and went home. From that day onwards, I’ve always took that route to run and what started as an accident turned to a strong friendship.
For my case, work is a welcome distraction from all the wreck I’m going through. I’m a graphic designer at a small advertising agency. When I work, I shut the whole world around me and completely focus on the project ahead of me. I hardly ever talk about anything but work with the clients and co-workers. I come on time, I sit on the computer screen for hours, and then I go home. So I can say I’m good at avoiding people, but what I’m really avoiding is their questions. What did you do before you come here? Where’s your family? Why are you so pale today? I don’t know.