What a fun blog title to kick off your Monday, right?
As an amnesiac, it’s been quite a challenge to write a memoir about memory loss and the events that happened both before and after the incident. (Side note: The book is still being released September 12th, though you can go to Amazon to pre-order the Kindle version, or hold off just a bit longer since the trade version – regular and/or autographed – and other eBook formats will be available in a few weeks!) Anyhow, the challenge comes because I’ve had to piece my life together in a way that is 100% accurate and that makes sense. I cannot rely solely on my fractured brain, of course: I’ve had to rely on other people, police reports, hospital records, information from doctors, decades of journal entries, and other sources. I have had to weed out what I know is true and what I feel is absolutely false.
Much to my surprise, I stumbled upon journal entries and other sources of proof regarding the following event. And while this wasn’t a pleasant experience to write about, it was worth sharing. So for this week’s fragment, I present the lead-up to what was one of the most intense, frightening experiences in my life – which occurred many years prior to the amnesia:
At the local bar the next night, I’m handed my normal rum and coke, but am surprised to see that Rick isn’t the one handing it to me: instead, a handsome man with dark hair does. And he looks incredibly familiar.
“Your buddy over there told me what you like to drink,” he says, smiling. “So I decided to pay for this round. Cheers, pretty girl.” He touches his beer bottle to my glass, and we drink.
“I know you from somewhere,” I say, glancing over at Rick. He’s staring at the floor, dejected.
“Don’t worry about that guy. He won’t miss you,” the man says. “I told him that we were together, so, he won’t bother you again.”
“What the hell? I work with him! I see him six days a week!”
“Well, he won’t be bothering you. And yes, you do know me. You’ve probably seen me every day. And if you haven’t, then you haven’t been watching TV.”
Ryan is a prominent newscaster in our state. And for some reason, he’s in this shitty little bar on the same night I am. No wonder people stare at him, I think. No wonder he could tell Rick to stay away without argument. This is a man people like and want to emulate.
This is a man with money.
“How old are you, anyway?” he asks me.
“18,” I tell him. “And you?”
“34. It’s not that big of a deal, is it? It’s just an age. A number. What matters is that we met on this night. You’re gorgeous. Have you ever thought about being on TV?”
“I’m a singer,” I tell him. “I perform on stage in front of live audiences.”
“I can get you on TV,” Ryan says. “A girl like you? No problem at all.”
It’s a line, and I know it. I know by now to trust nothing.
But Ryan asks me to leave the bar with him, and I agree. I have nothing better to do, and no one to go home to as it is.
And when we leave, he helps me inside an impressive sports car.
“You’ll be taken care of now,” Ryan says to me. “Whatever’s been happening to you? Wherever you’re living? I’ll take care of it.”
Maybe he’s an angel, I think. Maybe he somehow has the ability to save me from myself.
“Idiot,” the voice says. “Enjoy your delusion.”
“You’re the delusion,” I say in my head. “I know you’re not real! You’re the one who has been making me crazy. Without you, I’d be fine.”
“Without me, you would have died a long time ago.”
I ignore what I hear and focus on the ride to Ryan’s house. And I feel carefree. He’ll help me move out of my awful apartment and find something better. He’ll hook me up with a better job that pays more. My cat will be just fine. He has the power to take care of everything.
He does have power – I am right about that.
Because that’s the night he kidnaps me.
(For more excerpts from “Shattered: Memoirs of an Amnesiac,” please check back every Monday at 10 am. And pick up your pre-order for Kindle today right here on Amazon!)