Staring at all these familiar faces surrounding my hospital bed. So familiar yet so…so… strange. I look back at this small 3 by 5 inch notebook on my lap that have a collage of pictures on the front cover. There is a picture of what seemed to be my wedding, a picture of me when I was a kid with my parents, my childhood friend-Jacky and my late hamster-Jodey.
His cry took my attention away. He is so small. He moved a little and went back to sleep in his cot beside me. I can’t remember. I can’t. I am married? I just gave birth 20 minutes ago? I was pregnant for 9 months with him? I was in labor 30 minutes ago? Seriously? There is another cry now. And its from somewhere inside of me. So many precious moments I have missed.
A little boy, about four-years-old, I think, rush in abruptly into the almost crowded hospital room, and there he goes into the arms of my dad. He was followed by….Peter? I think that that is my younger brother, Peter. Yes, that should probably be him, only older looking.
“Where is the baby? Where is the baby?”, the boy demanded only to be returned by a couple of hushes. Dad carried him towards the new-born baby. Staring at the baby sleeping, his eyes wide, he shouted out, “He is so small mummy!”, suddenly turning and looking straight at me.
I jerked back at his face. The boy….he looked just like….me? I felt muscular arms wrapping around me. And my husband looks at me steadily. “That’s Jason our son…” he whispers.
Another string playing with my heart. It snapped. Tears trickled down only to be wiped off by my husband’s tender hands. And as if on cue everybody there was out of the room, leaving only us both and the new born.
He cupped my face and took a deep breath and start, “Jessica Jansen. You are 30 now. Not 18. I was your lover then, now husband of 10 years. As of today, 3rd January 2015, you just gave birth to our second son. We got married back in 2006. It was just a small wedding. There were roses. A lot. You like roses. The theme was your favorite color, red and white. Dessert was ice kacang, which was rather weird to serve on that day.” He chuckled and continues, “but you like it.”
“Though on that day itself, you were, well, of course like today, you were… shocked” he smiled, suddenly sounding more serious than ever, “you got anterograde amnesia. You cannot store new memories to long term memories. You…you will forget Jason in about….4 minutes. Your memory lasts for about 40 minutes….”
Remembering today, or 37minutes ago, I woke up in the labor ward with the most intense pain on the lower part of my body and in the most awkward position. Was that even possible? To wake up in a position getting ready to ‘push’?
I can still remember the accident on that day. I remember lights. A strong light that blinded me and was coming towards me. And I had actually believed that it is what had caused me to feel the pain. But I was wrong.
Better did I know I have physically recovered from that incident long time ago. And the pain was a means to get this beautiful baby out of me. Now something else was playing in my mind. How did I end up there, on the streets?
“But I cannot remember what happened on that day. You said I remember”, I enquire. Startled by the door, both of us turn. Jason’s head appeared at the doorway.
“Hey buddy! Come up here!” my husband ushered him over. He walked towards me, hesitantly. Pushing himself up slowly on the bed, he finally says, “Hi Mummy. My name is Jason. I am five years old.” With teary eyes he said, “I wish you would remember me every time. But it is ok mummy.” While hugging me, he whispers “I love you, mummy”
In a split second. I remembered. I closed my eyes, fighting back tears. I knew how I ended up on the streets.
It hurts me to think that I have missed so many precious moments spent with my son. And it hurts me more to think of what my mom had felt.
I was quarrelling with my mum before being there on the streets. And the last thing I said was “I hate you mum!”.
My mum have remembered all the precious moments spent with me. Throughout my life. And all those memories must have flashed in front of her when I said those words.
Waking up in a hospital bed hugging a child and tears in your eyes was pretty weird. And what’s weirder than the fact that the child looked like…you. Sitting on the bed beside me was Jake, my lover. He looked older though.
I remember lights. Strong lights that blinds me and coming towards me quickly. And I believe that must be the reason I am here now. There is a 3 by 5 inch notebook on my lap, there are some pictures there. At first glance, I thought there was a picture of me and my parents, but it is not. The child in the picture is the child in front of me. I could not help but ask him, “Who are you?”.
Edited version of my assignment.
I still feel like something is wrong with the few last paragraphs. Especially from “It hurts me to think …….in front of her when I said those words”. Like the paragraphs doesn’t link and it does not present itself as how I want it to be and this is because of my weakness in writing. Boohoo.
But all is well. Alhamdulillah.
Practice makes perfect.