While Dave’s family and friends grew concerned about his whereabouts; Dave and Iris were settling into their new residence; an older home blocks away from the coffee shop. The house was big and Iris couldn’t help but wonder how these two starving artists could afford to live in such a spacious home when they made so little money. Iris asked Susan “How can you afford to live here?” Melanie answered the question “Well, my Aunt died a few years back and I inherited this house. “Oh” said Iris. “I’m sorry about your Aunt” Iris added. Melanie replied “ It’s ok, I didn’t know her at all but she didn’t have any children of her own and I guess she included me in her will, and it worked out perfectly because it so close to the art district” Susan chimed in “Yeah we love it here; there are so many cool people that we have to introduce you to: “I’d like that” said Dave.
Melanie and Susan gave them a tour of the house and Dave saw that they had a little room that was made to be an art studio. Dave exclaimed “Wow, who’s the artist?” Susan replied “That would be me; I’ve been painting for quite a few years and sometimes if I’m lucky I even sell one’ she said with a laugh; rolling her eyes. “It’s funny” Susan said. “When I went to college, I actually wanted to study nursing; I had volunteered at a hospital in High School and I realized enjoyed working with the patients. I guess I lost interest. I met this guy who was in the band and the next thing I knew; I had dropped out of college; moved in with this guy and some of his friends who were artists; this was all in New York and one day I just started painting; I can’t even remember how it happened but I realized I was an artist. I didn’t want to have a job that I had go to every morning; fight rush hour; put on a uniform; I wanted to be free to create and live on my own terms, you know? Although Dave had lost his memory; her story sounded familiar; he could relate somehow but he didn’t know why. He felt comfortable around both women; like they understood and could be his friends; maybe somehow, they could help him find his identity. Melanie said “Well, we only have two bedrooms and a couch downstairs; the rest of the rooms are for music and art. Dave, Iris do any of you mind sleeping on the couch? Iris thought of Dave and making sure he was comfortable and offered to sleep on the couch and not to mention she had slept on more couches than she count so she was used to it. “Sure” Iris replied. Susan said “Dave you can sleep in my room and Melanie and I can share rooms” Dave agreed; he was tired and couldn’t wait to get to sleep.
They all sat down and had a nice dinner; Iris was also beginning to feel more comfortable around them; they weren’t so bad but she still felt protective of Dave; he was vulnerable and in her care; she felt responsible for him in a way; he was like a lost puppy dog in need of its mother. She just hoped that Dave could find his way. They continued to talk and get to know each other. Iris asked Melanie about her music career. “So how long have you been playing music, Melanie?” Melanie replied “Oh my dad taught me guitar when I was little girl so I’ve been playing since I was 9 or 10 and I was also a band geek in school; I played trumpet; I had the braces and glasses and everything “she laughed loudly. “I moved out right after high school and played in a few bands; lived with a few guys and traveled from place to place; I actually grew up in Ohio believe it or not. I moved to Seattle about 5 years and both of our exes were in a band together and that’s how we met” “Interesting” said Iris. Susan said “Yeah ,we got along great and even though we both broke up with our boyfriends; we remained friends with each other and one day Melanie calls me out of the blue and says she inherited this house and if I could move in; I was like hell yeah. We were both living in small apartments; just struggling; so, this was a great step. We’ve been living here about 2 years, right?” “Yeah, it will be 2 years this May” said Melanie. Dave was fascinated with these women; they had such interesting stories but he couldn’t help but be frustrated because he had nothing to add; his memory completely erased and he feared it may never come back. Iris noticing his concern put her hand on his shoulders and said “You ok, honey?” He replied with “Of course” but they both knew that was a lie.
After dinner Melanie and Susan looked at each other and then asked both of them “Sooo… do you guys smoke?” she pulled a bag of weed from her pocket. Dave wasn’t sure if he had smoked before ( he had many times but those memories were gone) so he was little nervous but Iris look excited and exclaimed “Oh it’s been awhile but yeah, I’m down, Dave have you ever smoked weed before, oh wait I’m sorry, that was a stupid question” Dave looked embarrassed and replied “ I could try it, I guess” The girls ( including Iris) all giggled in excitement. Melanie said “Let’s do this” She grabbed a glass pipe from the table and packed it with a hand full of weed. “Dave, you can take the first hit” Dave nervously took the glass pipe in his hand while Melanie lit the marijuana and he took a deep inhale; his lungs felt like they were on fire and he coughed so much felt l he thought he was going to cough his lungs out. He took a few more long hits and Iris said while laughing “Pass pass puff, man” taking the pipe from his hands. They all took a few hits and soon were stoned beyond belief Melanie said to Dave “How do you feel?” when he she spoke, it sounded like an echo and it took him ages to respond and all he could muster was a “Huh?” which was followed by laughter from everything with Susan exclaiming “Yeah he’s gone” He felt scared; he had no idea what was happening in his own mind and felt anxious. Iris realizing that he had anxiety; sat him on the couch and tried to calm him down “Honey you’re alright, you’re just fucked up; lay here on the couch and we’re just going to chill, just chill, alright” Dave nodded silently; he was trying to enjoy it but maybe he wasn’t used to being high. Melanie turned on the tv and Dave got lost in a cooking show; suddenly he felt calmer and everything was funny; it was funniest show he’d ever seen and soon everyone was in a relaxed mood and was joking and having a good time; the anxiety had subsided. Dave was so stoned he couldn’t barely move and so Susan joined him; they cuddled on the couch and this would have normally made Iris jealous but she too stoned to notice. Dave thought Susan was beautiful and in his high state asked if she had a boyfriend; he never would have asked that straight but somehow it came to him and felt it was the time to ask her. She replied with “Man, I don’t even know right, now; maybe you are” she let out a loud laugh and kissed him on the cheek, Dave said “Maybe I’m am”. “Good luck” quipped Iris. Dave laughed and said “Damn, someone sounds jealous” Iris replied “Bullshit, I don’t get jealous. I just. You know. Umm” she trailed off and mumbled to herself. Iris picked up Melanie’s guitar and started trying to play to guitar unsuccessfully. “I wish I could play guitar” she said. Melanie quickly grabbed the guitar from her and started playing a nice melody on the guitar. Dave was impressed and he said “Wow, you’re good” I mean, it could have been horrible but at this point everything sounded amazing to him. Dave then went outside with Susan and they smoked a few cigarettes and just stared at the sky; both amazed by the stars. Susan said “Do you really have amnesia or are you just bullshitting us?” Dave replied with “It’s for real, I have no idea who I an or why I was on that train or where I was going, my past, my family; nothing” Susan said “That’s far out, a totally bummer, man., I’m sorry” She hugged him. “It’s cool” said Dave. “We’ll figure this shit out” “Yeah I guess we will” said Susan as lit up another cigarette. “This is nice; I’m not sure if I’ve been high before but I feel great” said Dave. “Yeah” said Susan. “With everything that happened, you need to relax and you never know, maybe it will spark a memory” she added. Dave wasn’t sure if weed was the answer but he hoping to find an answer soon.
Dave and Susan walked back and they all realized they were starving so Melanie suggested they head over to the diner that was close by; they all agreed. Dave had never been so hungry in all his life. They all walked toward the diner and Dave admired the neighborhood and exclaimed “This is such a great place to live; its so perfect here; I just love it so much; I’m just so; just so; I don’t even know” he said with a laugh. They all laughed and Iris cooed “Calm down, maybe some food will help” Dave figured she was right and replied with “You know best” and Iris retorted with an “You know it” She grabbed him by the arm and they entered the diner. They were greeted by a waitress who seemed to know both Melanie and Susan. At this point Dave was so high; he had forgotten why they were even in the diner; he just knew he wanted some food. The waitress asked “Who are your friends?” Before Susan opened her mouth to answer, Dave replied with “I’m Dave, I’m from New York.” It was unbelievable in his stoned mind; a memory finally came back to him; he WAS from New York. “New York huh?” said the waitress. “What brought you here?” Dave having forgotten what he said just replied with “What?” She knew they were high and realized that even small talk would impossible so she just said “Whatever, I’ll be back with your drinks”. The girls were not even paying attention; too busy laughing and staring at the menu or else they would have realized what just happened. A part of Dave’s memory had come back and no one noticed and Dave had forgotten it the second he said it. They ordered their food and Dave scarfed down a big hamburger with a huge plate of fries and an ice sundae; munchies in full swing; they were in heaven. They left the restaurant and walked back home. Dave and Susan walked arm in arm and he looked her right in eyes; not even caring that Iris was a few feet behind them and said “You know, you are beautiful” Susan giggled nervously and said “Really” “Yeah” said Dave in a hushed tone. “I mean it” he said. “That’s the weed talking” said Susan. “No” Dave said in a serious tone. He took her and kissed her on the lips; she blushed and he was amazed at his own confidence. She didn’t know how to respond but she liked Dave too but she didn’t know why; maybe it’s because he was mysterious; she wasn’t sure and she was too high to be able to figure it out. They walked back home; stomachs full; finally coming down and they were ready for bed. Dave thought to himself “This was a great first night, this is going to work out great” Iris was thinking the same thing but still concerned for Dave; she knew Dave needed her help but she wasn’t sure how helpful she could be; she just didn’t know. She was just tired and needed sleep; so, she shrugged her shoulders and said in a sing song voice “nite nite for me, see everyone in the morning” Dave and the girls went upstairs; leaving Iris feeling uneasy; maybe she should have stayed with Dave but she was too tired to fight her sleepiness; so, she crashed on the couch; telling herself she’d figure it out tomorrow.
Dave said goodnight to the girls but Susan asked “Dave, do you mind if I just sleep in my own bed tonight?” Dave was confused “So you want me to sleep downstairs or in Melanie’s room?” She shook her head and said “Wow, no, I mean do you mind if I cuddle up with you tonight?” Melanie headed back into her room and said her goodnights. Dave couldn’t believe his ears; this beautiful woman wanted to cuddle with him and sleep in the same bed. But what would Iris think? Oh yes, Iris. He remembered how kind Iris was and she also seemed to like him and care for him. He felt conflicted but responded with a “Sure, I guess” “Great” she replied. They crawled into bed together and she cuddled up next to him; she really was beautiful; he had meant it. He was nervous because he thought she might try to sleep with him and he wasn’t sure if he was ready for that and how that would affect Iris. “Why does Iris mean so much to me?” he thought. Dave asked “So do you want to…? Susan replied with “No, not now. I just want to be with you tonight, is that ok?” “Of course, it is” said Dave. She then said to Dave “Do you mind if I ask you a question” “Sure” said Dave. Susan asked “I know you don’t have your memory but do you think that you and Iris ever were a thing, I mean, is it something you can sense?” Dave answered “I don’t know, I feel she cares about me and that I care about her. Other than that, I’m not sure” “Fair enough” said Susan and then she turned off the lamp and they both fell asleep in each other’s arms.