[ONESHOT] Ray's past had disappeared, until he miraculously finds it and reclaims what's rightfully his.
“Gooood morning, LA!!” the DJ on the radio seemed to deliberately yell into his microphone to piss off half the Californians in a 60 mile radius waking up at 7 in the morning. My back faced the alarm, and I exhaled, annoyed, and grudgingly flipped over to slam the alarm clock off. I stayed in bed for a few moments, staring at the ceiling, not exactly asleep, but not fully awake either. Finally, I pulled myself out of bed, leaving it a mess of blankets and sheets, and proceeded to get changed. Thankfully, it was Saturday, and I usually took weekends off on sound mixing unless the project was important. This time, I had nothing to worry about as I had finished all that I had wanted to the day before. I never bothered to turn off the alarm during the weekends because I enjoyed waking up early and making the most of my day.
I tugged the shirt over my head, a little work needed to get the collar over my overly thick, curly hair, noting to myself that I needed to schedule a haircut. Sauntering into the kitchen, I whipped up a pot of coffee and waited for the hot liquid to drip into the pot. I turned on the radio to the same obnoxious DJ and listened as they played their morning music. Having nothing better to do, I mindlessly watched the little droplets fill up the glass container. Finally, the pot was full. I pulled out one of the various shapes and colors of mugs I kept in one of the cabinets, and poured the hot drink into it. The intoxicating, bittersweet smell filled the whole room, and I felt like one of those cartoon characters that floated through the air to take in the delicious scent of apple pie sitting on a nearby windowsill. I leaned against the counter for a moment, holding the warm cup in my hands, but made my way towards the small table and chair I had placed right next to the window. It was my favorite seat in the house, especially in the morning. The sunlight perfectly aligned with the table, warming the spot and creating a perfect, blissful seat. The window overlooked the busy streets of Los Angeles, and though my apartment wasn’t that high up off the ground, only the fourth floor, I enjoyed looking down at the people rushing around in the early hours of the morning, just imagining what it was like being in their shoes and what situation they could have been in. The people I enjoyed watching most, though, were the families with little children. It was endearing to see the small children aimlessly wander through the sidewalk, the parents chasing them around to finally catch them and hoist them up onto their shoulders or firmly hold their hand. I rested my face on my hand, my elbow lying on the tabletop and watched the people, wishing I had someone to share this with. I reminded myself that I did, or I used to, but it was more complicated than one would see it. Years ago, I had fallen in love and was recently engaged to a woman, Christa, but unfortunately, some accidents are inevitable and it’s really amazing how so much of my life has been determined by a quarter-inch piece of plastic. At the time, the door to the dishwasher in our kitchen always fell open because the latch was broken. At the time, I was cooking in the kitchen, and I had slipped on something. If that latch, that small little piece of plastic had been intact, I probably wouldn’t be where I am now, but it wasn’t, and I fell backwards and hit my head on the dishwasher door. Christa found me unconscious on the floor when she had gotten home. She didn’t know how long I was like that, but she told me how frantic she was. I woke up in the hospital and didn’t recognize or remember anyone. After testing and multiple CT scans, I was told that I had retrograde amnesia: an inability to recall more recent memories before the occurrence of my head injury. In a way, it was like I was given another life. I remembered general knowledge like social skills, or how things worked and functioned, but I couldn’t seem to recall specific recent memories. Thus, as hard as Christa tried to keep us together, we grew apart. I showed no interest in her, and I didn’t remember anything about her, and eventually, after trying so hard to take care of me and rehabilitate me, she gave up. I moved out of our house. I knew that I should have felt regret, but I didn’t know her at all and didn’t see any problem with leaving a complete stranger. I didn’t love her like I was told I did before. The day I left, she had broken down, crying hysterically, desperately trying to make me remember her. I comforted her as a friend, telling her that it wasn’t so bad and that a beautiful woman like her would have no trouble finding another man. That was more than a year ago and I haven’t seen her since. I can’t say I miss her, but I do feel rather alone. I don’t have many friends, as I hadn’t made an effort to reclaim my friendships with others after my accident. Fortunately, I had been sound mixing for years and years before, so I kept my job which paid more than necessary for my rent and daily needs. I wondered what would have happened if I had never been injured. I couldn’t imagine, now, being with Christa, and I can’t say I have many feelings for her. I sighed loudly to myself and finished my coffee. I got up to refill my cup. As I poured the coffee, I listened to the radio. The DJ announced,
“Next up, we have ‘I’ll Stand By You’ by The Pretenders!” I smiled to myself. I hadn’t heard that song in years. The first piano chords started playing, and Chrissie Hynde’s beautiful voice started, wonderfully adding to the simple yet clearly emotional notes. I nodded my head to the soft beat of the song, and hummed along softly until the chorus started to play.
“I’ll stand by you, I’ll stand by you. Won’t let nobody hurt you. I’ll stand by you.” I stopped humming. Like a 20-foot tall wave, recognition washed over me. I knew this song, but I realized how much of an impact it had on me. From the first notes to the last, they sparked something in my mind. At first, it was small; I couldn’t pinpoint it at first, like it was on the tip of my tongue, but finally, it exploded into my mind. Everything came flooding back and the 20-foot tall wave crashed into my mind and washed up the memories I had lost because of the quarter inch piece of plastic. I remembered everything I had forgotten. I remembered the years that had disappeared from my mind. I remembered my friends. I remembered the life that I had lived. I remembered Christa. This song, “I’ll Stand By You,” was our song. I sang this song to her while playing the guitar just prior to her accepting of my proposal. The memories were like dominos. The more I remembered, the more were triggered. I traced everything down from the moment before I hit my head to the moment when we first met. In my trance, I hadn’t realized that I had poured the coffee to the point of making overflow and splatter on the floor. Hastily, I placed the mug on counter and ran for the door, not bothering to clean up the mess. Grabbing my keys and slipping on my shoes, I stumbled down the stairs to the parking garage. I sprinted across the lot to my usual parking space and swung myself into the car. I had to go to Christa. My mind was racing and I couldn’t stop thinking about her. I loved her. I remembered that I loved her, and it was devastating to me that her image in my mind was less clear than I would have liked it to be. I remembered everything about her and all that she did, her quirks and everything, but naturally, because I hadn’t seen her in over a year, I was starting to forget every little detail about what she had looked like. I started the car and pulled it out of the lot, trying to maintain the speed limit in my excitement. Because I rushed, I realized that I didn’t remember her address, if she still lived in the house we had lived in before. I rubbed my temple attempting to conjure up the memory, but I ended up with a massive headache and no memory of the address. While I had been concentrating so hard on the address, I didn’t realize that I was driving, surprisingly in a familiar direction. I was driving myself to her house. I had amazingly remembered where we had lived. The whole car ride, which was about an hour away from my apartment, more and more memories came back to me, mostly about Christa, and I spoke to myself, narrating our whole story from the very beginning so I wouldn’t forget it again. I was still in a state of shock, I think, and all of my actions were impulsive and sudden. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do when I got there, if she even lived there at all, but I would be sure to ask her back. The more I thought about this, the more I worried. Like I had said in comforting her, she was a beautiful woman, and surely she’d find someone who would love her. I pulled off of the highway in to a Mission Viejo, and relatively small town in Orange County. I drove past the mall, past the playground, and all familiar places to me. It seemed like I had just seen these places yesterday or the day before. My small Toyota climbed up a steep little hill leading to a cluster of neighborhoods. I navigated through the nearly identical streets and finally pulled up to a small, brightly colored house with a reddish-brown roof. I opened the door and hopped out, taking in the fresh scent of the eucalyptus trees and fragrant breeze that somewhat smelled of the freshness of the ocean. It was still morning and the cloudy haze coming from the sea covered the sky as it always did in the morning that would give away a couple hours later to expose the bright sun. I had rushed here, but I stood, dumbfounded, next to my car, just staring at her house. From the looks of it, the house pretty much looked the same, but I wasn’t even sure if Christa lived there. Now that I was here, I wasn’t quite sure what I would do, but I summoned all of my courage and walked up to the door. Once I reached the door, I exhaled deeply, trying to stop my heart from beating so furiously, and raised my finger to press the doorbell. The recognizable tone penetrated through the door, and after a few moments I heard some movement inside of the house. Soon, I heard the lock being shaken and the doorknob quivered slightly. My heartbeat resounded even louder in my ears, until finally, the door opened, I hadn’t realized that I held my breath, but once I saw that Christa did, in fact, still live there, I exhaled in relief, though my heart did not relent its beating. I was surprised though. I looked her up and down and saw her depressing figure. Her face was sunken and thin, along with her body, which was drastically thinner in an unhealthy way. She wore only sweats and her brown, unkempt hair was sloppily tied into an uneven bun. The most painful to see, though, were her eyes; they were dull and listless, extremely tired, not only physically, but emotionally too. The inside of her house was completely dark with the curtains drawn and the lights turned off. I was distraught to see her unhealthy image, but once she saw it was me, she made an involuntary squeak of surprise and her eyes widened in utter disbelief.
“R-Ray. What are you doing here?” Her voice was raw and seemingly unused. I was choked up in seeing her, and I opened my mouth, trying to answer, but for a few moments, I just stood there and looked at her.
“I… I remember,” I said simply. The only thing I heard was the rustling of leaves, and general movement of the neighborhood. Christa and I stood across from each other, her mouth gaping open in incredulity. She didn’t move, and before I could think, I moved in to embrace her. Once I wrapped my arms around her, she started bawling. I felt her warm tears on my shoulder and held her tighter.
“I missed you so much,” she cried, sobbing between every word. She was hysterical, and in her shock, her legs gave way from under her. I fell to the ground, unable to support her thin frame. She was so delicate, I felt like the slightest fall could shatter her into pieces, not to mention her light movements that were so frail and resembled those of a weathered old woman. It broke my heart seeing her like this. She repeated,
“I missed you so much. I missed you-“ I cut her off, trying to calm her down.
“It’s okay. I’m here. I’m finally here.” She sat on the ground, her legs helplessly unmoving and I kneeled in front of her, still holding her. She held her arms around me, one on my back, the other on my head, her thin fingers intertwining with my thick curls. I held on to her, never wanting to let go.
“I’ll stand by you. Won’t let nobody hurt you.”
A/N: Yo yo yo! So, I haven't written a good oneshot yet, and I wrote this in one sitting. I know it's not the most creative story. It's actually really cliché, but I worked pretty hard on it, so tell me if you liked it! I usually don't write a lot of relationships between the band members themselves, but I'm willing to if you want! (Just so long as it isn't smut. I don't really want to write those :/) Rate & Review if you like it or don't like it! I haven't written a oneshot in a while and I'd really like to know what you think :D
Here's a link to the song "I'll Stand by You" by the Pretenders --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maAyfcO-X3k