I open my eyes to see a white ceiling. There is a small blob of red paint next to the light fixture, which looks like the death star mid-explosion. A lightbulb in the centre is surrounded by shapes attached to the fixture by long, thin pieces of plastic. The shapes look to be somewhere between triangles and trapezoids. There are two cords dangling from it, with small silver spheres on the ends. One of the cords is longer than the other.
I wonder, what in the world possessed the owner of this room to buy such a thing?
This thought is incredibly jarring, mostly because I do not, in fact, know who owns this room. I don't know how I got to this room. What I do know, is that there is a story behind the red blob on the ceiling. Something comical. Something on the tip of my tongue, which I cannot remember. Something I witnessed.
I swing my legs over the side of the bed I am lying in. It is not too far up from the floor, light grey tile with a dark grey rug in the centre of the room. The bed is also in shades of grey, with a black mattress, a charcoal blanket (which is incredibly heavy, probably weighted), and pillows in various levels of darkness and several different designs. I cross the carpet and pause in front of the mirror. My hair is dark, and dyed with streaks of silver. I am wearing a patterned silver dress, black leather jacket with silver accents, and black leggings and socks. My fingernails are painted black, and even my eyes are a stormy grey. I realize almost instantly that this room was either decorated for me, or I was dressed for it. Monochromatic, but not without its whimsy.
Unnerved by how seamlessly I fit into this unknown world, I cross the room and open the hallway door.
The rest of the house looks nothing like the bedroom. The hallway has a mural on one wall, and photos, artwork, and posters covering the other.
The mural is basically a quilt of painted scenes from anything like superhero movies to historical events.
The posters are musicals, movies, actors and musicians. The artwork is anything from children’s handprints to Monet.
But the photos all contain the same six people. Two adult men, clearly a couple, one with tanned skin and long blonde hair, the other one bald with a ginger goatee; two young girls, almost identical with dark hair, skin, and eyes but clothing in all shades of the rainbow; a teenage guy with a serious vampire vibe and an assortment of of t-shirts with enormously nerdy sayings on them, and me. Silver hair, stormy eyes, black and, grey outfit.
In these photos, I rotate through a limited selection of expressions. The pretending to enjoy myself look, the definitely plotting murder look, the not even bothering to conceal the fact that I’m bored out of my mind look, and the I’m not with these people look, to name a few.
I now know exactly where I am. This is the house of the Hassard family. Don and Seamus, Lila and Lily, Jeremy, and me, Vicki.
AKA the gaggle of strangers staring at me, demonstrating varying degrees of frustration and concern when I woke up in the hospital three days ago with no idea who I was.
Three days ago
I wake up to the sound of voices. Lying very still, I pretend to be asleep so I can eavesdrop. To my surprise, faking sleep comes naturally to me. The voices continue talking.
The one currently speaking is female, “concussion, which may have resulted in brain damage, a sprained wrist, and bruising on her left collarbone. She’s lucky.”
“Brain damage is lucky?” this voice has a slight irish accent. Or maybe it’s scottish? He continues, “If our daughter ends up… colourblind, or- mood swings,”
Another voice, “she’s a teenager, Shay, mood swings are her speciality.”
“Is Vicki gonna be okay?” a small child’s voice, a girl’s.
“Does she deserve to be?” the voice cracks on the word deserve. Probably a teenage boy, then.
The voices begin to argue, and I realize my head is throbbing. “Ow,” I mutter. Everyone stops talking.
I open my eyes. The scene that greets me is unsurprising, considering the chaos of their voices, but I still do a double take.
Considering this is a hospital room, the fact that the nurse seems out of place is a tribute to how unusual everything else is. Hair in a bun, dressed plainly, my eyes barely glance over her as I take in everything else in the room. I was right about the small child being a girl, but beside her is another girl, who could be, (and probably is, now that I think about it), her identical twin. On their right, two guys holding hands. One has a distinct surfer dude vibe, and the other is probably the scottish voice, dressed in a style that would probably be subtle punk-rock. Behind them is a pale skinned, dark haired teen, amber eyes glued to his phone, wearing glasses and a t-shirt that would probably make me laugh if I was a serious nerd.
My eyes sweep over the room, and I say the first thing that comes to mind, “Who the hell are you people?”
They are all staring at me. The teen has an expression on his face that is somewhere between disbelieving and offended. The girls look slightly confused, and the men concerned. The nurse tsks and makes a note on her clipboard.
“Well then,” she says, “unless you’re faking it, I was right about the brain damage. Probably amnesia. Give me a minute to talk to the doctor, and I’ll get back to you. And please- don’t crowd her.”
She leaves the room.
We sit in silence. The teen in the corner pulls out his phone and starts playing some video game. For a while, the bleeping and pings from his cartoon character’s mission to destroy the cartoon villain is the only sound in the room.
Then I speak, “No seriously,” I say, “who are you people?”
The teen scoffs. The blonde man takes a deep breath, then speaks, “I’m Don Hassard. This is my husband Seamus, and our adopted children Jeremy, Lily and Lila.”
“Oh. Hi. I’m…” here I have to stop, because I don’t know how to finish that sentence. I don’t know my own name.
The nurse must be right about the amnesia, I think. Somehow I’m calm.
I think about asking Don who I am, but from the way Jeremy is looking at me, I’m not quite sure I want to know. I remember one of the voices, either Lily or Lila, asking if ‘Vicki’ was going to be okay. I suppose that’s my name. I turn to Seamus, “Are you Irish or Scottish?”
Before he can answer, the nurse enters the room and gestures at the Hassards to follow her. They do, the twins trailing behind Don and Seamus. Jeremy stays.
“So,” I say, in a pretty pathetic attempt to keep conversation, “What does your t-shirt mean?”
He puts his phone down on the table next to him and looks straight at me. Even with the glasses, his amber eyes are piercing.
“Why do you care?”
His words catch me completely off-guard.
He continues, “You get yourself in an accident with that stupid charcoal grey car you made them paint over three times so they would get the right colour. You bruise your collarbone and hit your head and suddenly you are a different person?
“Just ‘cause you don’t have the same memories, doesn’t mean you have a different personality. You are still the same stuck-up Vicki Hassard who hates the world. And I don’t care if you don’t remember who you were.”
To Be Continued