After a terrible accident Sarah loses her memory. Will she ever get it back?
“Damn rain! I can’t see a thing” He says squinting with the windscreen wipers going full speed.
“Maybe we should pull over on the next turn in babe and wait for the rain to die down” The next exit’s just a few hundred yards up the road so I figured we should pull in there.
“Ok honey we’ll grab a coffee and see if the rain has eased. Flights not until 2am anyway”
I rest my hot face against the cold glass of the window and peer into the wing mirror. The lights of the car behind are really bright and seem to be swerving from side to side. The driver overtakes us and cuts too close in front. We’re forced to swerve and the car is thrown over the rail and Brendon tries to get control of the car but it’s impossible. There’s a deafening crash and everything goes black.
I awaken in a hospital bed with this strange guy at my side. He has his head on my bed and he’s holding my hand. “excuse me..” I start before being cut off.
“Doc! She’s awake!”
Several doctors rush to side and I take a look at this man. His face is tear stained and his eyelashes look dew dropped. One doctor shines a light in my eyes and begins to talk about an accident.
I interrupt him. “What accident? Why am I here? Who are you all and who am I?”
The stranger looks alarmed. “What’s wrong with her? Why can’t she remember things?”
Another doctor explains that I have amnesia. I have no idea what they’re talking about. They continue going on and I just lay back down.
After a short while the stranger starts to talk. “Hi darling.”
Darling? Who does he think he is?
“This is going to be a lot to take in and I want you to know I’m here for you and I’ll answer any questions you may have”
“Ok what the hell is going on?”
“There was an accident. The car crashed into a tree you’ve been in a coma for 4 weeks”
“I what?” I say in disbelief
“The doctor says you have amnesia and that it’s a 50-50 chance of it returning and that I need to help you remember as much of possible but first we gotta help you to walk again.”
“I can already walk” I say frustrated with this stupid man who knows nothing. Of course I can walk. I’ll show him. I try to swing my legs out of the bed but they refuse to budge.
“babe you need to rest.”
I was starting to get really annoyed with him, with everything. “Will you stop with all these nicknames! I don’t even know you and I can walk. I know I can” I try again and again and I end up crying with frustration. He gets my body and straightens me out.
“Now listen to me. I’m going to help you remember everything.”
“Good how about you tell me who you are and why you keep calling me all these stupid lovey nicknames!”
“Sarah I’m your husband”
“Don’t be stupid I’m not married, if I was married I’d have a ring on this finger” I say looking at my left ring finger. To my astonishment there’s a beautiful ring gleaming in the light. I gasp and Brendon smiles and shows me his ring.
“See? We got married and were heading off to the airport. It was raining and you suggested we go to the nearest exit and wait for the rain to subside. A drunken driver overtook us and I had to swerve and the car lost all control and we went over the motorway rail and into a tree. The doctor said it could’ve been worse. He reckons if I hadn’t swerved we would’ve died.”
“So… what happened to you?”
“I was in surgery getting my arm fixed. The bone broke in 17 pieces and I had to have a metal plate fixed in. As soon as I came round I rushed to your side. The staff were not happy about that and kept insisting I rest but I told them I’d rest better by your side. You were in a critical condition for days. You had to have several litres of blood transfused into you.”
“Why can’t I walk?”
“A huge bit of tree snapped off and cut into your femoral artery.”
A doctor walks in and flashes this big grin at Brendon. “This young man most certainly saved your life my darling, several times too so it seems.” I can’t even speak but she carries on. “He stumbled out of the car and flagged down other drivers to call for help, he then dragged you out of the car and when he noticed the bleed in your leg he held together the artery and stopped you bleeding to death. If he hadn’t have done that you would’ve died in seconds.”
Brendon’s gone quiet and I don’t know whether it was bashfulness or whether the memories were still so raw in his mind.
“It was instinct” he said in a small voice. “I couldn’t let her die”
“We all think he’s a hero around here” said the doctor. “His other instinct that also saved your life has made doctors and nurses go weak at the knees”
“oh? What did he do?”
“Well when the car was about to hit the tree he threw himself at you and grabbed hold. Police say if he didn’t then you would’ve been thrown through the windscreen and the tree would’ve impaled you through the chest”
Brendon is still so silent and so upset. I can’t believe this man married me and saved my life in so many ways and yet I can’t remember him.
The next several months were gruelling and agonising. I had daily physiotherapy so that I could learn to walk again but before that I had to have surgery to repair my leg. Every day I laid in bed waiting to begin the process to getting back to walking, then everyday I was learning I longed to be back in bed. I still didn’t have all my memory back and Brendon seemed to be a stranger to me but he was amazing all the same. He stayed by my side all day and night. When I had physiotherapy he was made to go home so he’d run home, get washed, shaved and changed then come back. Every day he bought me something new. New clothes and basic sanitary needs such as a tooth brush but then there were the treats he brought too. Foods such as my favourite sweets and fruits, teddy bears, jewellery and anything else he could find. I learnt that my parents were unable to fly but they called several times a day and demanded that Brendon called them every time something changed. When I had a long rest from physiotherapy I’d ask Brendon to help me walk. Only short distances such as to the toilet and back but he’d never moan once. He’d have one arm around me in case I faltered and fell and on the first few occasions he carried me back to my bed because I couldn’t make the whole journey. 7 months after the accident I was allowed home but had to return for regular check ups and therapy. I still couldn’t walk 100% but I was getting better and could now make short trips to the toilet and such alone. Getting upstairs was always a challenge though and Brendon held my waist from behind to make sure I was steady.
Brendon even seemed to understand that I couldn’t share a bed with him until my memory came back. If it came back that was. He made up the spare room for himself and he kept me in our room in the hope that it’ll bring back my memory of him. By now I could remember pretty much everything. Except my husband. It must have hurt him so badly but he never let on. One night when he was helping me get to bed I asked him some questions.
“I don’t know why you can’t remember me babe but I do know one thing, I will do all it takes to make you fall in love with me again. Even if I have to do it everyday.” He kissed me on my forehead and left to sleep in the spare room. I wasn’t comfortable with him doing more than giving me a quick peck on the forehead or cheek. I lay awake that night trying to remember everything. I can’t believe I was married but that our night ended so badly. I can’t believe my brand new husband saved my life, several times. There’s a strip of pictures on the drawer next to my bed. They’re of me and Brendon at the beach. There’s one of Brendon twirling me around on the sands, one of him about to throw me into the sea and one of me putting ice cream on his nose while we laughed. We looked so happy in these pictures and now I felt like I was tearing this man apart. I crept out of bed and went along to the spare room. Brendon was lying fast asleep. His face looked even more gentle then normal. I couldn’t bear it anymore. I slipped into bed with him and he woke up.
“What’s up babe?”
I started crying. He sat up, fully awake now and put his arm around me.
“Don’t cry. You’re nearly fully better now and I’ll help you in every way I can”
“Oh Brendon I’m such a burden to you. I don’t think I should live here anymore.”
“Look I know you still can’t remember me but I’ll help you remember. I promise”
“It’s not just that Brendon. I was looking at old photos of us and I can’t remember anything about them but we looked so happy and now I just think I’m being too much of a burden, I’m holding you back. You should forget about me and find another love”
I couldn’t look into his eyes.
“If you really want to move out you can but I want you to know something. You are not a burden to me. I love you more than anything in the world and on the day of the accident I stood up in front of all our friends and family and made a vow to be with you in sickness and in health. I don’t care what it takes I love you.” He finished that sentence with a kiss on my lips.
I started to cry harder. “Oh Brendon..”
“Babe I mean it, I’ll make you remember you’ll see and I know some doctors think you may not ever remember everything I’ll make sure you remember me and…”
“Brendon, shut up! I…”
“No I mean it. Even if you leave I’ll never stop loving you…”
“Brendon!” I said with a slightly raised voice “I… I remember you!”
“What? When? Really?”
“Yes really and just as you kissed me all these wonderful memories came back. Two in particular stood out though. Our first kiss, you were quite shy and blushed a little as you leant in. You wrapped your arms around my waist and held me close and the second kiss that stood out was at our wedding. You were braver this time and kissed me in front of all those people. I remember the round of cheers and applause as we ran down the aisle out of the church to head into our new life together.”
Brendon hugged me tight. “You really do remember!”
We both sat there for ages crying and Brendon started telling me about all these other things that we’d done together. He told me where we met, where we had our first date and promised to take me on a town tour the next day. That night I fell asleep with Brendon cuddling me from behind. For the first time in a long time I fell asleep happy and feeling safe. I could remember again. It was like the clouds in my mind had parted and the sun shined through onto our future.