Déjà Vu Dolly

Submitted into Contest #30 in response to: Write a story about a character experiencing déjà vu.... view prompt




Sarah woke up and headed for coffee. Sitting beside her coffee maker was a note she’d written to herself. The library was holding a book for her, and had a date with someone named mark at 6. In small letters under the date she had scribbled, “So dreamy, your lucky!” Finished with her coffee, she hit the bathroom and got ready while thinking about the mysterious Mark, and wondering about tonight’s date. Walking to her car, she felt she was seeing the same people and going to the same destination as yesterday. Glancing to her left, she saw a little girl being pushed around in a stroller by her big brother, and she was holding a rag doll. She waved, and they waved back. Hadn’t the same girl and boy been there yesterday? A rag doll was not common for girls to play with, so it stood out to her, and for a moment thought it was hers. Getting in her car, she started the engine and put her coffee cup in the cup holder, but it hit the edge and splashed coffee on her shirt. How odd. She felt it had happened before, and was re-living the moment.                         

   Putting the car into gear, she turned and looked over shoulder. Backing out slowly, she pulled out and onto the road, put the car into drive and slowly pressed the gas. Suddenly, the young boy from next door ran in front of her car, chasing a ball. Sarah pushed the brake in time to avoid hitting him, then sat, shaking. Did this happened before? What’s going on? Sarah, lost in her thoughts, slowly drove off, mulling over how familiar everything seemed to be. Making her way through the library parking lot, she found a spot and parked, moving as if on auto-pilot. Glancing in the rear-view mirror for a quick check on her lipstick and hair, she found herself presentable. Turning off the engine and grabbing her phone, she got out, locking the car behind her. Thinking about meeting Mark later had butterflies in her stomach. She couldn’t remember what he looked like at all, but was it love at first sight? Was that why she had made the side note to herself? Real love took time to grow; built on the things you did for each other, sacrifices and actions. But his looks must have made her heart melt, or why would she write that to herself?

   Mark was at the library window, watching Sarah. She entered the library, and headed to the front desk. She scanned her library card, and within minutes, the librarian gave her a book. Sara thanked her, then headed for the small cafe in the corner. The luscious, heady scent of coffee and baked goods was making her mouth water. Mark followed her. Pretending he was talking to the donuts, cinnamon rolls and danishes in the display case, he loudly exclaimed, “Wow, you all look amazing! Who knew I would meet such a yummy treat in this place!” Sarah started laughing. “Oh, I love the cheese danishes they have here, especially cherry ones, and when I come to the library, I just have to have one.” Mark laughed, looking a little nervous. “Well, I love to eat any baked good, and happen to also like the cherry ones.”

   Sarah, done with her order, made her way towards the tables and got settled. Needing more sugar for her coffee, she went to the coffee bar. Mark was just getting his order and walked back to the tables with her. He waited for her to take her seat, but stood there awkwardly. Realizing he might want to sit and talk to her, she offered him to join her. He sat, and they chatted for an hour over the sweet treats and a few cups of coffee, until she excused her self to wash her sticky hands. As she entered the bathroom, an employee entered behind her.

   “Sarah!” Surprised, Sarah turned to see who had called her. “Yes?” she questioned. “Do I know you?” The lady looked at her and shook her head slowly side to side. “Well, Sarah, I know this will be a shock. Yes, you know me. I’m your best friend, and you come here every day. Mark and I have been trying to help you remember. Three weeks ago, you were in a car accident. You got a pretty bad head injury, and lost your memory. Mark will be so angry that I’m telling you, but I can’t go on like this. It’s been weeks, and you don’t remember your me, mark, not even your life.” Now that Sarah thought about it, what was her full name? She knew she was Sarah, and that was about all. Who and where were her parents? Did she have brothers? Sisters? “Well, I know my name, what is your name?” Sara asked the pretty blonde. “You really don’t remember?” asked the girl, tears in her eyes.

   “My name is Julie. Mark pretends to meet you every day. He sits for hours in the library waiting for you to come. The day before your accident, you had written a note to yourself to go to the library and get some book. So everyday, Mark waits to run into you, and you never recognize him. It’s like at night you go to sleep, then wake up and relive the day of the accident, over and over. We are desperately trying to help you, but this seems so pointless. I am sorry, but the way we are going about helping you isn’t working.” Julie looked deflated, and Sarah wanted to offer her hope. “Well, since I’ve lived the same day everyday for weeks now, I have felt a sense of being here and doing this stuff already, so maybe it is helping.” Brightening, Julie started smiling. “Really? Do you think that if Mark and I take you somewhere else your familiar with, it will help more?” Sarah couldn’t think of why it wouldn’t, so they headed back to talk to Mark about it.

   Seeing Sara and Julie coming toward him together, a surprised Mark stood up. He asked Sarah, “Do you remember Julie now?” Julie nodded no, and told him how she broke down in the restroom and told Sarah everything. “Well, I am glad you told her, maybe we can stop sitting here everyday wasting time. Maybe we should take her somewhere new and see if that will trigger her memory.’ Julie went to tell her manager that she was taking the afternoon off, then came back to Mark and Sarah. Discussing where they could go, Mark said he had the perfect place. They all group the coffee shop and got into Sarah’s car. Mark sat in the front with Sarah, and Julie got in the back.

   Mark directed her, having her take a left, then a right turn, and navigated until they hit the highway. They all sat quietly as Sarah drove, taking in the surroundings. She did not recognize the area, and Mark and Julie looked agitated. “So, Sarah.” Started Mark. “You really remember nothing about the day of the accident?” Sarah, keeping her eyes on the road, shook her head no. Mark continued. “Well, I can tell you all about that day if you like.” Sarah sensed something in his tone, it seemed frustrated now. “Actually, we were waiting on you to bring us something, but on the way to my house, you had a car accident. You were going pretty fast on a street when a kid ran out in front of your car. According to the police, you were putting a cup of coffee into your cup holder, and hit the edge of the holder, splashing hot coffee on your wrist. You looked down for just a second, but when you looked back up and saw the kid, you swerved to miss him. But you jumped the curb and hit a tree. The little boy and his sister, your neighbors, ran over to the car to help you, and that’s all they know.’ Sarah thought about all his words, but it didn’t jog memories of the incident. “Well, I don’t remember it, and wish I could. What was I bringing to you guys?” She asked.

   A look passed between Mark and Julie. “I don’t know if you will believe this, but you were bringing us some loose diamonds you stole from the jewelry shop you work at.” The information floored Sarah. She pulled the car over and brought it to a stop at the curb. “What? I stole diamonds and was giving them to you guys? Why? And what would you guys even do with them?” Julie grabbed Sarah’s shoulder in a tight grip. “Enough with the questions, we want answers. What did you do with the diamonds? We have went over every inch of this car, and can’t find them. We want them. You promised us you would do this with us.” Julie’s fingers were digging painfully into Sarah’s shoulder, making her cry out in pain, and Julie released her grip. “I don’t even know who I am, or about diamonds, I swear!” Julie let go of her shoulder and slammed back into her seat, frustrated. Mark told them both to calm down, and directed Sarah back to her house.

   On the way, Julie apologized and explained being upset. Sarah had agreed to steal the diamonds for them, they would sell them and use the money to pay off their student loans. Now with the diamonds missing, and bills looming, it was a problem for them all. They arrived at Sarah’s house, and Mark called for food delivery. He kept Sarah busy in the living room, and Julie went to get plates and cups. Julie slipped some sleeping pills into Sarah’s soda, and within two hours, Sarah was fast asleep on the sofa. Mark and Julie searched her house, but could not find the diamonds. Frustrated, they left her house and to wait for the next day, when Sarah would inevitably show up at the library, and start from scratch. Again.


   Sarah felt scared but wow, she had done it it! Home from the jewelry shop she worked at, she held a little pouch full of diamonds. She had told her friends that there was a bag of diamonds, just sitting in the safe for over three years now, and joked it would be enough money to pay off all their students loans and and then some, if she could just get her hands on them. That lead to a serious discussion, and a few days later Mark and Julie brought her a bag of high-quality cubic zircons to switch out when her manager went to lunch. And now, safe in her living room, she almost couldn’t believe it, she had done it! She had no clue where to hide them, though, until her friends could sell them to a man they knew, getting the cash within a week.

   Hunting around her house for a hiding place, she looked up on her bedroom shelf for a box or container. Spying her old dolls, she grabbed the rag doll her grandmother had made her when she was little. In the kitchen, she took scissors to the seam and pushed the small pouch in, the she carefully re-sewed the seam, then scrutinized it to ensure it was undetectable. Satisfied, she placed the doll on the counter to take with her in the morning. Before bed, she listened to her voicemails. One had come from the library. A book she had put on hold was in, so she scribbled a note on her calendar to grab it in the morning, and that she was to meet with Mark at 6. She jokingly wrote, “He’s dreamy, you’re Lucky”, knowing when he visited he would see it and laugh. She headed for bed; excited, scared and nervous. She knew that it was wrong to steal the diamonds, yet the lure of the money and getting out of debt was what she focused on.

   Hitting the alarm, she was out of bed like a shot the next morning. She quickly ate, showered and was out the door. She left the house and hit the nearest Starbucks drive-through. Waiting for her order, she realized she’d forgotten her purse and phone. As soon as she had her coffee, she headed back home.

   Sally, a cute little girl of 5, sat in her stroller and her brother was pushing her as fast as he could on the lawn. Her mother was forever scolding her, telling her she was a big girl now and needed to walk around, but Sally loved sitting and riding in it. Her brother Johnny loved pushing anything with wheels on it, and if his sister was in the stroller, he didn’t mind. Sally spotted her bright red ball on the porch, and asked Johnny to go get it so they could play. Johnny ran and grabbed it off the porch, but before he could throw it, he dropped it. It rolled and bounced into the road. Sally pouted when Johnny didn’t go after it, so he relented and headed for the street. “Look both ways like mama says,” Sally shouted after him. As johnny was standing in the street, about to grab the ball, he looked up and saw a car was heading right towards him.

   He screamed, and the lady, looking down at something, jerked her head up and turned her car’s steering wheel to the left, hard. Her car jumped the curb, hit a tree, coming to a sudden stop with a loud crashing sound that hurt Johnny’s ears. Getting out of her stroller, Sally tore across the lawn and ran to the car. By the time she reached it, Johnny was already pulling the driver-side door open. Staring down at their neighbor, Johnny saw her limp hand. Remembering what he learned in school, he told Sally to tell mama to call 911. Sally stroked Sarah’s face, pulling long, bloody strings of hair off her face. Sally looked around the car for something to wipe the blood of Sarah’s face, and her hand.

   Spying a rag doll in the seat, she picked it up. It had blood on it, too. She would clean it for Sarah. Telling her brother she’d get towels, she ran in the house shouting for her mom to call 911 then come help the lady next door. She threw the doll on the counter, grabbed the roll of paper towels, and flew out the door behind her mom. An ambulance pulled up, and two men got out and unloaded a stretcher and medical equipment. Sally, her mom and brother moved to the side to let the emergency workers do their job. They quickly had Sarah on the stretcher and in the ambulance, then drove off with her. The wrecking crew towed the car, cleaned up the mess, and soon it was as if the accident never happened.

   Sally and Johnny stayed outside watching the excitement, and their mom went into the house to start dinner. Their dad’s car pulled up, and they went in the house with him, telling him details about the accident and Sarah. Their mom called them all to the table for dinner. As they were eating, Sally’s mom asked her about the doll, and where it had come from. “I saw it in Sarah’s car, and brought it in to wipe off the blood. But Johnny told me to have you call 911 and I forgot. Can I sleep with her tonight after I clean her dress? I’ll give her back to Sarah when she comes home.” Her mom agreed, so after dinner, Sally took the doll to clean in the bathroom, and once the blood was off to her satisfaction, she curled up with it, singing it, and herself, to sleep.

   Sally watched from her bedroom window as Sarah came from the hospital a week later, two friends were with her, helping her climb the steps of her house. When they left, Sally asked her mom if she could take the doll to Sarah, and her mom gave her a bag of cookies to take, too Sally skipped to Sarah’s, and knocked on her door. Sarah opened the door and smiled down at the girl. “Hi, my mommy asked me to give you these, and hope’s you feel better.” Sarah’s eyebrow’s knit in confusion. “What do you mean, sweetie? I feel fine. That’s a cute doll, what’s her name?” Sally was surprised and couldn’t speak. “If I had a doll like that, I would name her.” Sarah continued. Sally explained it was her doll, that she took it to clean it, and kept her safe until Sarah came home. Sarah bent down, giving Sally a hug. “That’s so sweet! I don’t know if it’s my doll or not, but I’ll tell you what. You’ve taken care of her so well, and she needs a mommy to love her. You can keep her and care for her. Can you do that?’ Sally hugged the doll to her chest, nodded yes, adding, “I will name her Sarah. Is that okay?’ Sarah laughed, nodding. “Sure thing. I’m going to the library, but tell your mommy thanks for the cookies, and I’m fine.” Sally ran home hugging her new baby Sarah, unable to believe her luck.


   Sarah sat in her car, staring out the window as her car warmed up. A little girl was outside, pushing a rag doll around in a stroller, stopping to fuss sunshade. She was cute to watch, but, in a hurry to get to the library, Sarah pilled away from the house. As she passed the little girl, she lifted her doll and waved it’s hand to her. Sarah waved back.


February 26, 2020 02:42

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