My eyes opened suddenly, a rush of emotions and panic flooding my mind. “Who am I” I thought. “Where am I?” Laying on the bed I turned my head to attempt to look at my surroundings. The room was dark, it smelled slightly musty but I smelled a floral scent mixed in with slightly damp, and cold feelings. I moved my arms and legs, they felt different, like they haven’t been moved in while, but they all responded as if everything was fine. I sat up, but felt a little stiff and slow. There were a couple of windows in the room, they seemed large, but with hardly any light in the room I was struggling to see what or where I was.
Where was I? I felt calm, the panic was replaced by a feeling of excitement, but I didn’t know why? I remembered going to bed at some point wearing my yellow sun dress, with a white hairpiece holding back my hair.. I remembered running in the grass with my friends as we would ride our bikes around a neighborhood? The thoughts and memories started to flood in. I was 12. It was summer. The light wind would play with my brunette bob and blow it around my face, always forcing me to wrap the stray strands behind my right ear. My mom always getting after me about picking up my dolls. My white strappy sandals left in the middle of room.
The light was starting to peak into the windows around the heavy blinds. I decided to try to stand up. It went fine but I was surprised to feel hair falling at my back. I habitually moved my hand to place it behind my ear. What? It cascades down my back? I grabbed hold of it. It was full of ‘body?’ why did I know that term? It smelled floral, like lilacs in the summer just before their peak. “Why is my hair so long?” I kept walking toward the window, slightly shocked that walking in a sundress would feel so constricting. Still reeling from these mixture of sensations that felt both new and familiar at the same time.
His name was Jordan. I remember a Jordan. That day, “why do I remember that day?” the sun was bright, shining through the small oak in our yard causing the shadows to dance on the house. He lived across the street from us, though I remember it was a street where cars went back an forth. I remember standing at the curb and we were yelling back and forth about something. He was in a light blue t-shirt with muddy shorts. His ‘race’ bike with the orange handle grips sitting next to him tossed on the ground, the kickstand shoving up a mound of grass and dirt next to it. “You have to come over today!” He was yelling. “I can’t!” I yelled back. The sun was hot, I could see he was sweating a little, his two front teeth gleaming as he moved his mouth. “Why couldn’t I come over?” I asked my self?
Whoa!! I almost tripped on something on the floor. “What is that?” I felt something sliding next to me. The excitement also seemed to make me breathe harder. Something is restricting my chest? “What??” I stop. “Just stand here, calm down” I think, that decision causes me to start relaxing a bit. I was almost to the windows, for some reason it felt like opening the shade would allow me to understand why nothing makes sense. I start to explore who or “what” I am. I immediately realize that I must be a woman, no longer 12, long long past. I feel below my waist and my breath heaves in a panic, but an excited twirl of happiness. My pajamas seem to not be pajamas. I take both hands, and lean down at the waist. and it seems I have a dress on with a skirt full of luxuriant “where did that word come from” ruffles. They cascade and follow my body well past my legs and around the floor. This new body of mine is so confusing, but it feels like “me.”
Jordan kept yelling but the cars were too loud, the wind seemed to pick up and I remember the day feeling darker. I instinctively remember fixing my hair behind my ear, but there was a sound, a loud screeching sound. Everything slows down in that moment, but I remember turning my head toward the noise.
I steadied myself in the room, the sun continued to push more of it’s yellow light through the windows. It was time to finish this slow walk and see where I was. Moving toward the windows again, taking daintier steps, I heard my dress swish and swirl as my legs bumped against the skirt. At the windows I could see two of them had blinds, the type I remember were in my room, wide wood slats that would pivot to hide the light, forcing streams to pour in at the edges. However, the middle window was different. It seemed to hold something smooth, or attached to the window. There was a little light, but it was forced only at the square edges of the window. The beams shot out like a line, almost a sign with no backlighting for the words that would be seen if the light could shine through. I reached the wall, I felt what appeared to be cold brick, but the warmth from the other side was apparent. I moved my hand along the surface of the wall where the light could penetrate enough for my eyes to see my hand. Whoa, again, my heart quickened! Fingers so long, rounded nails, perfectly manicured with a light pink detail. The sun danced off my nails as they shimmered. Then it caught my eye. I gasped! On my finger sat a ring with a diamond.
The sound was deafening! The wreck caused one vehicle start coming my way. I sat there frozen as a hunk of steel was rolling toward the curb, I could see the panic in the drivers eyes, mouth wide, words streaming out but I couldn’t hear. I did hear something, or wait, someone screaming. “Judith!!! Judith run! RUN!” It was Jordan. He was screaming to run, but where? I turned away from the driver barreling toward me and tried to move my legs. It was like they were filled with lead, like a dream where I was running out of a classroom realizing I forgot to put on pants, but I couldn’t move. “I’m coming!” He yelled, I couldn’t see him, but his voice kept getting closer. I tried desperately to run but my legs were stuck, the car was still screeching towards me, and now I could smell burning rubber and smoke.
Something hit me. I remember that. But, it hit me from the side. Arms wrapped around me and I was “tackled?” I remember falling, fast, smacking my head, but there was a rush behind me, as dirt and grass and flying debris hit me and Jordan? “Jordan!” “Jordan tackled me and shoved me away!”
I sat there desperately trying to remember more. I remember my room, noises, people surrounding me, I remember being carried, I remember hearing a siren. I remember hearing words about Jordan, that he wasn’t answering, they were panicked. I remember closing my eyes. Nothing after that.
That foreign hand, with the large cut diamond moved over to pull up the blind. “It’s time to meet me” I think, “Judith is my name I believe, who is Judith and why does she have a ring on her hand?” I pulled up the blind and light streamed in, I quickly walked across the middle window and pulled up the other blind. The light instantly filled the room and my eyes blinked while attempting to adjust. There definitely was something on the center mirror, it appeared to be writing. I blinked again and gasped as I saw this room for the first time. Though, it felt familiar in a way, like I’ve been here before.
The bed I was in stood alone, but there was a framed photo of Jordan an I by the nightstand, I was in the yellow sundress, and he was just smiling at me. The sheets were white, but there were yellow notes posted everywhere. I couldn’t read them, but they had an order, and appeared slightly tattered, or well used. Turning toward the center window I saw what was pasted in the window. There attached somewhat permanently was a giant letter starting with the words “Your name is Judith Winters, on July 24th 13 years ago you hit your head but you were saved from death my Jordan Reetherin. You need to read the letter by the mirror next to you to catch up on what has happened to you so you can move forward with your life from this morning on.
The feelings of panic started again, “I couldn’t remember anything since that accident! I’m standing here a woman and I have to re learn who I am. I have a ring.” I turned toward the mirror and at that point is the first ( or thousandth ) time I met me. I had long brunette hair, floating past my shoulders, I was wearing makeup, light pink lipstick and earrings adorned my ears. I was thin, but not gaunt, I had the body of a woman but only memories of a child. The person staring back at me was familiar with her body, but the mind was trying to wrap that fact with missing memories. Who is this person staring back at me? The dress was gorgeous, my shoulder blades heaved in anticipation and fear as I removed the envelope from the far left of the mirror. I opened the flap and removed the new letter, folded three times. It was long, very detailed, and hand written in a mans handwriting.
This is Jordan. I love you, and today is our Wedding Day.
Image Credit: gabbytaangeles.tumblr.com