I woke up with a start.
"It's ok, just breathe," came a voice, "She's awake, get the doctor."
I forced a breath through my lungs, ragged and weak. My whole mouth and down my throat felt like sandpaper. But all I could see was black.
There were footsteps - coming closer. The clatter of a tray being set firmly down.
I felt a sharp prick in my thigh, then another in my arm.
"Stay calm; we're almost done." This was a new voice, low and steady. I immediately stopped resisting.
Another prick in the opposite arm. Then, as if ablindfold was ripped off, my eyes flew open.
The colors returned in a blur. Sharp and sureal; I blinked, trying to process all the signals running through my head.
A blurry face came into biew. A man - a very tall man dressed all in white. HIs eyes were filled with extreme agitation and worry.
"Mira-" the deep voice came again. I realized it was the man speaking.
"Mira, can you hear me? I need you to nod if you can. Can you do that for me?"
I gave a slight nod, and instantly felt a vivid and cutting sensation of pain shoot down my neck.
"Thank God," the man breathed, "I thought I lost you, Mira."
He turned to the crowd of nurses now in the room. "She's going to be ok!"
A loud cheer broke through the formerly hesitant silence, and the doctor patted my shoulder.
My vision was clearing. It sharpened on the man's face. His eyes met mine - deep, emerald green eyes with just a hint of hazel. HIs eyebrows were firmly set, like brushstrokes on his face. A straight nose rested above pale lips, and the stubs of a beard were evident. His jet black hair was so black it almost shone purple in the dim light as it ran playfully over his forehead.
He looked so familiar - why couldn't I place it?
"Mira," his voice softened, "Are you alright?"
And who was Mira? Was that... me?
It was as if he expected memories to come rushing back to me, or at least the slightest trickle of realization to dawn.
But... what had happened? I didn't remember being attacked or injured.
"Mira?" the man asked softly.
"Who is Mira?" I asked, confused.
"That's your name."
I stared blankly back at him. My mind was empty. There was nothing at all.
No people I was sure I knew.
I didn't even remember why I was here. Or where I was.
And yet, I knew something was wrong. But... what was it? I knew something was wrong with me. This didn't feel right. And then, a flicker of horror awoke.
My mind was a blank slate - my life was gone.
I was gone.
And in that moment, I knew.
They had taken my memory.
I sat upright in the bed despite the flaming pain on every patch of skin. I bit back that pain, eyes watering.
The doctor seemed to understand.
"Leina, Suzie," he said quietly, "Could you finish with those vitals I had Elaine checking for Greg?"
The two nurses he had adressed nodded quickly and bowed out of the room. The rest of them seemed to get the underlying message and left as well.
THe man - the doctor - stared at me with those dark green eyes, perplexed, as if I were and enigma his mind could not work out.
I stared back, scared beyond reason. Who was I? Who was he?
"Mira, I understand I'm your boss, but noneteless, call me by my name, please." he smiled broadly, "Not back to that old joke. I don't respond to 'sir.' Ah, I knew you would recover quickly. You always do, darling. In fact-"
"Please," I interrupted, "but... who are you?" The weight of being fully alone with him was setting in.
His whole expression changed in one fleeting moment.
"Mira," he said, clutching my hand and moving closer, "It's me, Ray."
"I - I'm sorry, I don't know you."
The color was draining from his face, and a remorseful composure took its place. He looked crestfallen.
"Mira, you're my girl," he said softly, "We were to be married within the week. Well, before..." his gaze shifted to her steady heartbeat on a moniter above the bed I was lying in.
"What happened to me?" I asked, my voice hardly even a whisper.
"They took you." His voice grew dark with hatred.
"The Mastermind." he spat.
THe name resonated deep in my mind, the endless void of my helpless mind. It was cold; cold and bitter.
"Can you remember... anything?" he asked desparately, "Anything - anything at all?"
I would've snapped at him for the rea;eated questioning, but I was asking the same of myself.
"Mira-" his shaking voice was thick with emotion, "Mira, I loveyou. You love me, remember? You still do, please."
I didn't know what to say. How could I, after all?
"What did they do to me?" I asked, voice cracking from recent lack of use, "How do I fix it?"
THe man sighed, regaining his composure.
"To your first question, the answer is simple. They took you captive and held you ransom, but decided you had seen too much. When we paid their required price, they wiped your memory before handing you back over to us. You've been out for weeks. None of us knew what to think..."
"How do I get it back? How do I remember?
Well, that's easy. You either wait it out for about sevently years or take a lethal dose of mercury as an injection. Either way, you'll most likely die before the memories come back."
I looked at him, eyes begging for any other solution.
He looked back, offering nothing but silence.
He finally glanced away, gathering some stray papers on the counter. But just before he left the room, I found my voice.
"I never got your name."
It seemed a foolish and silly thing to say, I realized, when he turned back, his face a mixture of hopelessness and loss. He looked completely lost in the world.
"It's Leo." he whispered, "My name is Leo."
Apparently there had been some huge war that had ripped apart all the nations on earth. Apparently also, I had been a spy underneath a man named Jeremy Rockman. I had supposedly won the war single-handedly by gaining the key of information needed to turn the lock. But before I could return home to my dear country, I had been captured, tortured, and finally, memory-wiped before being offered in return for a handsome ransom.
I was now in Utah, at a huge hospital with the best nursing team from all over the country. They had flowin in from everywhere to help aid the spy who so bravely offered their life for everyone else's.
But the strangest part was, now I was on a date. A date with my fiancé who I still didn't remember.
Leo had booked us a restaurant in a nearby ciy after doing a thorough check to make sure I was physically up to it. We chatted comfortably over the mean of pasta and chicken. He had supposedly ordered my favorite. That's when it first happened.
A warmth grew in the back of my head. A spark, alive and burning, glowing across the chasm of nothingness. It expanded, becoming a blanket over the edges of my mind. I heard Leo speaking, but I didn't. The sensation grew as my hands fell slack. Suddenly, I was sucked into a scene that, for the first time since waking up, I really, trulyrecognized.
The room was bright and cheery. A woman stood in the kitchen, prepping dinner as she hummed a soft tune. The smells were heavenly - sweet and spicy mixed to perfection. I looked up at the woman with shining eyes before understanding. My mother. This was my mother. She smiled down at me before I was forced out of the dream back into harsh reality. When I woke up back in a white hospital bed, I didn't need to ask if I had passed out. I couldn't care less. Because the second Leo walked into the room, I sat upright and exlaimed -
"Leo, I-I remembered."
Little episodes as such, (minus the fainting spell, thankfully), continued daily. Little pieces - little glimmers of light shot up constantly, forming a rapidly growing picture.
Leo said it was a miracle, a phenomenon only possible in theory. I shouldn't be able to remember at all - let alone so quickly. And still, the memories flooded back; memories of everything... except him.
It was late at night when that breakthrough finally came. Leo and I were walking alone outside, just us two. I had honesly begun to fall for him all over again - he really was perfect, after all. He had given me the time and encouragement needed to start all over again, and waited patiently as I began to rebuild my life.
On a bridge hovering over a lake... typical romantic scene, right? You know how it goes. Small talk, more small talk, admittance of feelings - let's just skip to the kiss.
Yes, he kissed me.
It was amazing. I had forgotten just how amazing it could be, though. How breathtaking; how sweet. He held me with that firm, steady grip that I had come to associate with him. That steadiness; that surety. This man had saved my life, and I knew he would all over again if he ever got the chance.
So you can imagine the details of that scene. And all the details of the memories that all came back in that moment.
Just know: the earth never had another massive war in my time so that I had to go save the day.
Leina, Suzie, and Elaine, the three nurses who had also saved my life that day long past, became my best and closest friends.
And Leo and I? We were married - no more than a week later - and can you guess the end?
Yes, we lived happily ever after.
And all because of those sparks - little sparks - that flew, in order to make me who I am today. And when we let ourselves take the little sparks of ambition and dreams and bring them to life, that's when we live happily ever after, too.
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