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Jan 08, 2021

Creative Nonfiction Coming of Age Friendship

Trigger warning: abuse

 

When Janet woke from what seemed like a dreamless deep sleep, her eyes caught the blinding light through the window. Struggling to open her eyes she pulled herself upright, clutching feebly at the blanket for support as she yawed. She had no idea where she was or how she had ended up in this unfamiliar place. A man was sitting beside her. Blinking her eyes to clear her view, she tried to search through her mind who the stranger could be but nothing came to mind. “Where am I? What’s the matter with me?” Janet was puzzled and her heart raised, not because of the man sitting beside her or the cot upon which she lay. She was terrified by not knowing who she was, where she was and worse, how her entire life got erased from her mind. “ I’m Timothy, your husband. Please get some rest, your Doctor told me you lost your memory, but it will all come back soon.” “Do I have parents and siblings?” “Yes you do dear. Your mother and sister never left your side. I guess they are on their way back. You’ve been unconscious for the past two weeks after a terrible accident. You just came back less than an hour ago.” Janet tried so hard to remember but her mind was like a new journal ready to be filled.

A few hours before the accident, Janet and her husband had a big fight that led her to finally take a decision to move out of their Matrimonial house She was on the way to see Molly her friend when she lost control of her car and hit an electric pole few metres off the road. Molly knew how to calm her down and make her forget her problems. This time she did not want Molly's sympathy but a room to stay to sort things out, but Molly never got to know about her plans. Janet enjoyed the first year of her marriage to Timothy. The two love birds spend as much time as possible together touring the world and growing their business. Janet worked as an accountant in their Filling Station and all financial matters were handled by her, where else Timothy managed and became the decision maker. Now and then they would join their friends for small gathering but a lot of their time was directed towards their business. Last year things started falling apart. Timothy developed a habit of drinking a lot at weekends and he had countless number of friends. Janet shared her husband with so many people and when she complained Timothy said bad and hurtful things to shut her up. He squandered their saving on gambling and became abusive. The morning of the accident Janet took a day off to work at home. Timothy did not spend the night home and when he came in the morning to change clothes and get ready for work, Janet had to use this time to ask him what his intentions are regarding their marriage and business. “Honey, is this how we’ll live our life’s from now onwards, Janet asked.” “ What the hell are you talking about. Is this the time to talk about stuff or time to leave for work? Your should have been at work already. Why are you still here anyway?” “When I need answers from you, you ignore me but you want your questions to be answered. I’m not going to work.” “Janet, you know that won’t be possible. Prepare yourself as fast as you can, I’m not leaving without you.” “ You really don’t want me to repeat what I said, do you? Let me spell it out for you, I’m not coming to that business ever, I quit.” Janet ran to the bedroom and Timothy followed her. “ You don’t mean what you just said right? Timothy stood at the door of the bedroom blocking the entrance with his entire body. “Janet, don’t fool yourself, I’ll drag you to work if I have to, don’t try that nonsense with me. Let’s us go.” Janet took her car keys and promised Timothy that she’ll follow him and she quickly apologised for what she said to calm him down. She saw that look on his face that always come when he’s about to abuse her physically, so she made him believe that she’ll go to work just to distract him. When he left, she packed her weekender bag and went to Molly.

Now as she lay on her hospital bed, her mind empty and not knowing where to start, she relied on this stranger calling himself her husband to at least fill him up. “ Is it alright if I call you Tim, Janet asked the man beside her.” “You used to call me Mo, but it’s ok, you can call me Tim.” “Please tell me , will you help me to remember? Tell me about our life together.” “ Off course dear, I will.” For few minutes before her family came to see her, Tim wrote a wonderful , happy life journey of their time together in Janet’s new journal. He made sure that he left out the ugly part of their marriage. When Janet’s mother and sister came, her mother explained to Tim how it will be beneficial for Janet to move in with her. “Son, maybe if Janet is with us for a week or so, she could remember things from her childhood and maybe later on, you can take her back home.” “Its ok mum, I understand ,Timothy said.” Taking Janet with him could bring back bad memories, so Timothy agreed to every suggestion Janet’ mum made. After been discharged, Janet’s family told her everything, from her childhood stories, her business and her entire life with Timothy, I mean Mo. With all the information, Janet’s memory about her past still could not come back. To everyone’s surprise Janet was not worried and did not make any efforts to get her memory back. Molly has been one of the people who were giving Janet support and feeding her information she needed to help her remember. This morning as they sat drinking coffee, Molly could not help but ask Janet why she seemed content with who she is now. “ My dear friend, I don’t understand why you don’t care to remember your past. We have shared so much together and I would really be glad if you make efforts to dig deep inside of you and remember at least if not all the time we spend together, then, a little of what happened recently. I don’t want to start over. I want my old friend back .” “Molly, you really seem like a good person, maybe that’s why we were so close. The life that you and my family painted about me is the only thing driving me to know more about myself, but to tell you the truth some of the stories make me not to ever wish my old memory to come back. If possible my dear friend, let’s just start over. Let’s bury the past because the life you all said i had with Timothy leaves much to be desired. I do not want to remember any of it. I’m better off without it. “ But Janet, do you still want to carry on with him?” “ The little time I spend with him in hospital, I felt a strong connection and not knowing the past would definitely give us a second chance to mend broken hearts. “ “Ok, Janet, if you say so. “ My dear Molly, I will gladly remain the way I am. I will not cry to God for help, never will I search for any more information. Please help me not to go back. Let the past stay behind, forward I shall go." Molly, with her mouth still open from Janet’s revelation, my friend you amaze me.” The two girls started laughing their lungs out. 

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6 comments

Great story Lerato!

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Lerato Moeketsi
23:19 Jan 13, 2021

I'm inspired by writers like you Laila. Keep up the good work.

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Oh wow...thank you SO MUCH Lerato!! Means so much to me!!! Thank you! ❤️❤️❤️

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Lerato Moeketsi
19:25 Jan 14, 2021

Pleasure

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Lerato Moeketsi
19:25 Jan 14, 2021

Pleasure

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