A week passed since Dave and Iris had made their announcement to go back home and things were uncomfortable, Susan and Melanie barely talked to them and just went about their business. But the day arrived where Dave and Iris left and both Susan and Melanie drove them to the station and saw them off. Dave hugged both Susan and Melanie; thanking them for everything they’d done. Dave said “I can’t thank you enough for everything you did for Iris and I, I will forever be grateful”. Susan planted a kiss on Dave’s lips much to his surprise and to Iris’s annoyance. Susan hugged him again exclaiming “Please let us know how you are once you get back to New York, we will miss you and don’t forget you both will always have a place to stay in Seattle, for real” Wiping a tear from her eye, she gained her composure and hugged Dave again and embracing Iris, kissing her on the cheek, Melanie did the same, embracing them both, crying, she had grown to care about these two almost like family, she was going to truly miss them. They all waved each other goodbye and Dave and Melanie, boarding the train, back home, to a new adventure.
Dave and Iris took their seats on the same train where so much had happened, life changing things, Dave felt a knot in his stomach, due the nervousness of going to New York and possibly finding his identity, the conflicting feelings he had about Iris and Susan, he cared for them both deeply and just being triggered from being on the train, he had no idea what lead to this amnesia but it brought shivers down his spine. Iris noticing that Dave was upset held his hand in hers and comforted him by saying; it’ll be alright Dave, I’m here, I won’t leave you”. That did give Dave comfort, he trusted Iris. But Iris herself was nervous but didn’t show it, she knew how fragile Dave was and couldn’t bear to make herself a burden but she was hurting. She kept thinking about her brother laying in that hospital in a coma, she was scared, she had always looked up to him, he had been her protector and she loved him dearly. She always thought about the strain within her family and having to deal with her parents who were overbearing, growing up and she felt like a prisoner living with them, she had to be free. She let out a soft sigh and took out her journal and just wrote. Dave saw her writing and let her be, he knew that her writing was her solace and she need that space. Dave just stared out the window as the train left the station, preparing himself for a journey back home, although at this point he had no idea what home was.
Unlike the train trip to Seattle, the train trip back home to New York was uneventful, the train was mostly empty, devoid of passengers. David and Iris talked throughout the trip but there were long stretches were both were lost in their thoughts; they were just emotionally drained from their time in Seattle and they had nothing to say to each other, it wasn’t bad or anything, that’s just the way it was at the moment, they both respected their need for space.
The train arrived in Buffalo a few days later and Iris had arranged for Dave and her to stay at her parents home, the one she grew up in, the one that made her so nervous to go back to. Iris looked around anxiously because her sister had said that she’d meet them at the station. Iris and Dave both heard a woman loudly exclaim “Iris!!!” They turned around and saw a very beautiful woman with black curly hair, glasses and a blue dress, waving toward them. Iris exclaimed to Dave “ Is that my sister?” she asked “let’s go” she added. She took Dave’s hand and headed to greet her sister. “Lucy” Iris yelled excitedly, she picked up her sister up hugged her and kissed her on the cheek, she hadn’t seen her sister in so many years and she was all grown up. when Iris left home, Lucy was only 11, now she was a grown woman at 29, and oh so beautiful, Iris couldn’t believe how much she’d grown. She’d seen pictures but this didn’t do justice to finally seeing her little sister in person. Dave extended his hand to Lucy, only to get a hug, she was just as affectionate as Iris. ‘It is such a pleasure to meet you, Dave” said Lucy, Dave nodded his head. When Dave wasn’t looking, Lucy mouthed to her sister “He is so cute” “I know” replied Iris.
They were so jovial; it was hard to imagine that Iris was here to visit her brother who had been in coma. They were only a short distance from the train station and arrived to the house in about 10 minutes. They arrived and were greeted by Iris’s parents who looked to be in their 70’s, her mother crying because she had not seen her daughter in so long, she ran from the porch to the street and embraced her daughter while her father stood by the door, trying to hold back his emotions. Both her parents were glad she was back home. Her mother kissed her daughter on the cheek and exclaimed “Honey, you don’t understand how good it is for you to be back, Bobby really needs you right now” Iris found herself crying again, realizing her brother was so seriously injured. She held back her tears and said “Of course, we’re family and as soon as I heard about the accident, I wanted nothing more than to be with all of you” Iris’s father slowly approached them and hugged his daughter tightly, he said “ Glad you’re home, honey” Iris not wanted to be rude, introduced Dave to her parents. She said “Mom, Dad this is Dave, the man I told you about, the one who lost his memory” Her mother said “ You poor thing, Iris told us about it when we spoke on the phone earlier, please make yourself at home and thank you for being there for Iris, she needs a friend like you” Dave replied “ Well, thank you for opening up your home to me, I really appreciate it”
Dave, following Iris’s lead walked into the house, it was a beautiful spacious home, with family picture adorned on the walls, a huge kitchen and living room downstairs and from the window, he spotted a pool and a spot for a basketball hoop, Dave knew this was going to be a comfortable stay.
Iris parents were named Jennifer and Bill. Jennifer said to Iris and Dave “ Iris, honey, we made up your old room and you can stay there, Dave you can stay in the guest room” They both went and put away their things. Dave walked into the guest room and it looked comfortable enough with a queen-sized bed and his own bathroom attached to the guest room. He always felt nervous in other people’s homes, he could never really sleep and it took so long to get used to his surroundings. He was still nervous about finding his identity and how would react when everything came back. He tried not to think about that and just enjoy his stay. Meanwhile, Iris stepped in to her old room and was instantly flooded with memories, photos of her high school days cheerleading, a medal she had won for softball, the walls were painted like clouds, something she had done as a teenager, it made her feel safe. She sat on her bed and let out a deep sigh, “nothing ever changes, does it” she said to herself. She opened the drawers of her old dresser and began to put away her clothes. She noticed an old diary, she remembered writing in from the time she was a small child to the time she left home at 17. She wasn’t ready to read it, too many painful memories, she was just focused on getting through staying with her parents and seeing her brother in a coma, it was a lot to take. “I can do this” she said to herself but she wasn’t quite sure as she could sense an anxiety attack coming on, not a good start. She took a nap, just being here was exhausting, but she knew with Dave her side, she’d make it through this, slowly but surely.