Into a thousand pieces…

by Alethea Matthews

“Suddenly my eyes are opened and everything comes into focus. I am in a hospital room with walls white washed around me. After some time I realize that not only the walls but the furniture is also white washed.
My earliest memory is of standing near a lake smiling up to a faraway area that has a comparatively higher altitude. But I do not have a reason of my smiling up to it. It’s all so baffling. I give it little thought and turn my head towards the rear of my bed. A nurse is here, standing beside me. She passes me a smile; a triumphant one. I look at her with deep concern. She is in her late twenties, her face is wrinkled and show signs of long term stress, her face is wrinkled and I decipher in them a twinkle of sheer happiness. She doesn’t cease smiling for a long time and I am forced to wonder if she is mad. But then, I have other concerns.
The door opens and a young woman enters. She comes near me and smiles, showing a set of even, white teeth. Shortly after she smiles, I hear a series of uncontrollable squeaks and sobs. I’m forced to think the inevitable: am I in a mental asylum? She raises her slender hand and caresses my face and says, “Oh, Jasper, I thought I lost you forever.” And she begins to cry again.
The nurse comes up to me and even before I know it, I have been given a heavy dose of sedatives.

I open my eyes. I don’t know what’s happening. Nurses are here with me. The same woman is beside me. She looks up and says, “Do you remember me, Jasper? Do you remember me? I’m your…your……..” She stands up and gets out of the room and just after that, a nurse enters with a tray in her hand. No. I don’t want food. I don’t get the reason of their taking care of me like this. Maybe they don’t have the slightest hint of my being as healthy as they themselves are.

It’s been two months. The woman has not since returned. I don’t know who she is yet there is an overpowering sense of attraction that I feel as I look at her. And I deny it again and again and again. Why do I do that? Because some part of my brain tells me that she belongs to someone else, to another world.
I look outside at the fallen bluebells and a strong, overwhelming sense of jealousy swarms over me. They belong there and I…….?
The door opens and the woman enters. The feeling of aloofness that has been lingering over me for the past two months just fades away as I look at her. The white cotton frock that she wears makes her look even more exquisite. I dismiss the thought at the very moment.
She smiles and sits on my bed. It’s as if she has prepared herself, for she does not let a single tear escape her eyes but there still is the same twinkle of happiness in her eyes, as if she has a found a lost possession.
“I don’t know if you remember me and I don’t care.” She opens up a leather bag that she has been holding in her slender hands and from it she takes out a package. She hands it to me. I tear it open to find out a diary. It is considerably heavy and the cover has the woman’s picture on it. She says, “I’m sure that it’s all been forgotten by now, isn’t it?” she smiles and continues, “There is something I want to tell you. I am leaving and I’ll never come back. I sense that my coming to see you gives you pain and I don’t want to do that.” A nurse enters and makes a gesture to the woman. She nods and immediately leaves.

I open the diary. It reads, “Oh my god!!!! Jasper just proposed! I am so excited. I don’t know what to say. I just love him so much.” It is signed by Marisa Jones and is followed by a set of wedding pictures. I should rather say that it is followed by a set of…..of….my wedding pictures.

I can think of nothing now. My mind replies me but the reply itself is silence, a silence that never ends, a silence that hits me like a huge tsunami and my mind shatters me into a thousand pieces.
It takes me so long to collect them and when finally I have them all placed in their places, a feeling of alarm, despair runs through me and I look outside and again, once again my mind shatters into a thousand pieces.
A young man enters and closely examines me. “It’s nice to see you awake after such a long time.” She looks at the nurse that stands beside him and continues, “We’ve done it nurse, we’ve done it. We’ve cured the first patient of dementia.”
He leaves, with the nurse following him. I know what dementia is, yet I do not know who I myself am. It’s too perplexing for me to understand.’

Mareesa closed the small diary that the nurse had given her. She had been wrong. The very thought of the news that the nurse had given her made her cry. She had told her that the patient had left and they had been unable to find him in the whole village. She stood up and put the diary at the table and at the same instant the door opened and she saw him standing there with his arms wide opened…….