To say that the room I woke up in was colourful would be an understatement. The walls featured a jarring combination of colours, and every piece of furniture served as a bold proclamation of audacity.
Yuck was the first thought that came to my mind.
The world was spinning, and the only thought in my mind was, who am I?
That’s silly, another voice chimed in my head. Of course you know who you are.
I tried to get up, but the floor was sinking. Or I was.
Any trace of my past was slipping through my fingers like grains of sand.
“Naina? Oh good, you’re finally awake.” I turned my head to see a tall woman leaning on the doorframe, her brown hair spilling out of her bun. She’s pretty, I thought.
“Who are you?” I asked, scouring my mind for any clue of her identity. I expected her to laugh at it, but she just bit her lip and said, “I’ll be right back.”
She slipped out and began conversing with another man who had a deep voice, as sweet and rich as chocolate. It carried the soft cadence of a breeze rustling through autumn leaves. The only words I caught between their tête-à-tête were, “Amnesia…forgot again…doctor…what do we do?”
It didn’t take me too long to piece together what was happening. I tried to quell the burgeoning anxiety inside me, but my mind raced. The woman, probably my mother, came back in. Her smile looked strained as she sat down next to me. I flinched when she touched my arm, and I could see her blinking back tears.
“Do you remember your name?” She asked. I shook my head. “You’re Naina,” she said. “You’re fourteen. You love music and bold colours.” Tears rolled down her cheek, but I couldn’t bring myself to wipe them off. That’s what her daughter would do, I thought. She left the room, hiding her tear-stained face.
The man - dad - walked in and said, “Forgive your mother. She’s just…emotional. You’ll be fine, darling.” I guess he could see the surprise on my face, because he asked, “Are you okay with me calling you ‘darling’?” I nodded. He hugged me tightly, and I wanted to melt into his embrace.
I went to the café on the next block to clear my head. The neighbourhood felt vaguely familiar. Of course it feels familiar, I thought. You’ve lived here your entire life. The café was a bustling building at the end of the street. I sat down on the table in the corner, and a man in a waiter’s uniform walked up and said, “Hi! How are you?” I feigned a smile and replied, “I’m fine. What about you?” He talked to me for a few minutes, then went to get my iced tea. The music playing in the background changed, and the lilting tune triggered something.
It was as if a floodgate opened, and all my memories began trickling back in. I saw faces and locations that I couldn’t recognise; I could feel myself again.
There was a clicking sound.
I saw a bomb in my mind, the timer ticking. Terror overwhelmed me in a surging wave. I yelled, “EVERYONE, RUN! THERE’S A BOMB PLANTED HERE-”
Not one person moved, flinched, or looked at me. The waiter came back and put a hand on my shoulder, sitting down next to me. “Naina, it’ll be alright. It’s just in your mind. Relax.” His tight grip stopped me from shaking.
My eyes were brimming with tears now, and my heart was hammering against my chest. It all came back to me- the bomb blast nearly two years back, and my worsening amnesia.
I was alright.
I had gotten my memories back for good. I remembered everything- Ma, Pa, my older brother, my friends.
It was just a nightmare.