Remember me (XI)- Short story

The story of fate and destiny

Chapter 11

Back to the start

Tara eyes opened to a room that blurred like an old painting yet welcomed her with the hum of a central air conditioning unit and the scent of lavender that was spat out in a hiss from air freshener device somewhere in the room.

A cheap analogue clock ticked loudly on a nearby wall, each second matched her breath as her eyes struggled to understand where she was. Her feet hurt badly when she tried to curl her toes. The pain felt only slightly better when she stayed still. It felt her feet was delicately wrapped inside a tightly woven bandage.

Whatever chaos got her into a bed, in what looked like a hospital, was anything better than being in the blazing morning sun outside that abandoned building.

The room looked oddly familiar, like somewhere she had been before- her personal hell. But she couldn’t think as fast as she would like, her head felt heavier when she tried to raise it from the pillow unaided. Then she noticed she was not alone in the room.

Perched at the end of Tara’s bed was an older bald man whose head was bent into a book . But from the rich white beards that adorned his face, she knew it was her father.

“What is he doing here?” she thought but her voice failed her when she opened her mouth. She needed to turn to her side, but she realized that her entire body was consumed in so much pain that made her feel sore all over.

Her father had obviously slept off while still bent over the book he was supposedly reading.

Just then, Ann emerged from behind a worn green curtain hanging limp on flaking chrome rings.

“You are awake now Tara. Good. Just take some rest. You hurt yourself badly.”

Her father was awakened at the mention of her name and the book he clamped between his fingers slipped onto the floor.

“Where am I please. Where is this place?”

“You do not recollect where you are, Tara?” Ann’s voice replied emotionlessly.

“Are you okay my baby? We have been so worried sick about you. You have been unconscious for about 20hours.” Worry had ruffled his beard into a comical knot.

Tara looked confused and her face did nothing to hide it.

“Daddy, where am I?” Her voice was raised enough to convey the urgency in getting a response.

“You are at the House of Order wellness center, owned by your cousin, Ann.”

More confusion glazed Tara’s face as the muscles of her face broke into a frown that left her eyes as slits on her face.

Tara knew that reality shifted and turned and that it certainly wasn’t as static as people pretended it to be. She had seen the cracks in it, the accidental repetitions, and faults. They can pause it, rewind and re-do, but some were resistant to the changes, and carried a residue they were never meant to have.

Now she was submerged in this matrix that gave life and she was convinced more than ever that she knew things they had no idea about.

“Ann…”she started to speak.

Ann’s face peered over her bed bearing a comforting smile as though to say, “everything is going to be alright. Its going to be okay.”

Just then, the door to the room opened and a slightly plump lady walked in with a medical file cradled on her left arm. She approached Ann and then whispered into her ears.

Tara did not bother about what was exchanged quietly, but the lady looked quite familiar. And in that moment, she recollects the receptionist at the wellness center when she came to enquire about Ann.

“I don’t understand Daddy.” There was no strength left in her to get out of bed, so she lay down on the bed in resignation.

“I understand that the drugs we administered last night may make you woozy. But you need as much rest as you can get. Do not get out of bed. You will soon be fine.” Ann’s soft and calming voice left her with no choice.

“If Ann owned the wellness center, how is Ann her cousin.” She thought as her misfiring brain started to shut down.

The last thing she saw before she drifted back into nothingness was the worried face of her father as it turned slightly around his neck to watch her sleep.

Bloody hell!”

Time doesn’t run in straight lines and logic in a circle, but the chances of Tara’s reality being the first and only one was almost zero.

******

Tara had never felt heartbreak the way she did with Levi. It was akin to grieving for a dearly loved one. Nothing could ever prepare her for the intensity of the emotional pain and how it transited quickly into physical pain of immense proportion crippling every muscle attached to her bones, leaving shockwaves that reverberated for weeks. It felt like Levi stuck a sharp dagger into her heart and left it there, causing so much discomfort as she tried to breathe.

How could he do such a thing to her?

She built her life around him and so she suffered so much pain accepting their irreparable relationship and walking away from the life she knew. Reality became obscured and soon strange things started to happen since he left.

Whilst inside her house, she would hear the door open as though announcing Levi’s arrival, sometimes she thought the television flickered on quietly at midnight and at other times she could swear she saw him walk out of her kitchen door moments before she walked into it.

Birds looked like they flew slower when she was outside, and trees looked like they had a strange ethereal appearance, like they are made of thousands of tiny squares. Sometimes she had to shut her eyes while shaking her head vigorously to restore the reality she wanted.

As her reality changed, she opted to stay indoors away from the life she enjoyed waiting perhaps that the door would open, and Levi would return to her begging for forgiveness.

She was the one hurting, he would have to come ask for forgiveness.

Tara turned into a couch vegetable, because after one long week of staying away from work, barely eating cooked food but pizza and other cheap unhealthy fast food, delivered to her apartment, a couch potato was not befitting of the skinny frame that was rushed to the Wellness center by her panic-stricken father.

Her father had tried to reach her by phone for the first three days. At first it rang repeatedly many times unanswered before it failed to connect for a few more days. She was found unconscious and half-dead, convulsing and in a fit. He arrived just at the nick of time, before her reality turned into celestial bliss. Tara had attempted suicide. Thankfully she left her door ajar.

Regret haunted her father for weeks. He felt pity for his only child and daughter, but angry at himself for not showing as much interest as he should have in her wellbeing.

He simply could not understand how Tara would attempt to end it all because the boy went off with another girl. He did that a lot while he was an eligible bachelor in the sixties, and everyone simply moved on. There was no desperation to fight for a relationship when one partner had opted to move on.

He started to regret not being available for her during her growing teenage years. He provided everything she needed and there was no reason why she would have a soft underbelly allowing a heartbreak to cause her to throw everything away.

To make matters worse, it wasn’t even her first one!

Ann and her retinue of nurses worked around the clock to revive her younger cousin while he stayed behind every day taking turns to wait on her along with one of her other aunts.

It was in that same room that Tara woke up that morning. That same room where everything looked familiar.

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9 thoughts on “Remember me (XI)- Short story”

  1. Adedamola ilori

    Don’t tell me we’ve engulfed in Tara’s hallucinations? So there was no bottle to start with?

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