Mystery train part 13

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.

The mystery train part 12

Back in New York, Harold woke up the next morning and checked the phone on his bedside as usual for any news about Dave being found,  He let out a huge yawn and stretched his arm and strained his eyes to see if any messages had been left but it was nothing.  He groaned to himself in disappointment, It had already been a few days and still no news. He was growing more and more anxious each day but he couldn’t show it, he told himself to be strong for the family.  He walked to the kitchen and called his wife’s name but got a response from his daughter Betty, who had stayed the night.   She replied to her father “ Dad, mom went out.  Sit down, I’ll make some eggs and coffee” she said with a sigh.  She too was anxious about her brother but told herself to be strong. It was a family trait, no one talked about their feelings, they just carried on, no need to get too emotional, it wasn’t going to bring Dave back any faster.   The kids were in the next room watching cartoons, unaware of the tension in the house. Harold loved his grandkids and smiled, knowing they were at home, they always cheered him up. “Maybe we can go the park today” he thought to himself.   Lost in his thoughts, Harold looked outside and noticed Betty’s husband Mark outside, sipping a cup of coffee and smoking a cigarette.   Betty noticed her father looking outside and they both looked each other and she mouthed quietly “I know”.  Harold asked his daughter “Honey, what’s going on with you two?”   Betty replied “ I don’t know dad, I mean, like we just have trouble communicating. I try to talk to him and he just shuts down, I ask him about things in his life and he just avoids the question, like he’s hiding something”.  Harold asked her “ Are you both still going to marriage counseling?”  Betty replied “ Yes, it hasn’t changed a damn thing,  I will talk with the therapist and Mark will sit there quiet as usual, arms crossed, tapping his toes, just waiting for the session to be over.  He even told me it is a waste of time and money” She added “ I asked him , so repairing our marriage is a waste of time and money. He said nothing and walked away from me.  I don’t know what to do anymore, dad”  She continued “ And as you can see, he doesn’t seem to be concerned about Dave”   All of a sudden she broke down crying, dropping the spatula she was using to cook eggs “Oh daddy, I am so scared. Where could he be?”  Harold held his daughter and comforted her “shh, its ok honey” he said.  She knew that whatever was happening in her life, she could always turn to her father.  Lisa ran in and exclaimed “ Mommy, why are you crying? Is it about Uncle Dave? Is he ok”   She was really concerned, she loved her Uncle.  She loved when he would visit and give her gifts, take her out to eat or play video games with her.  Betty wiped a tear from her eyes and replied “ No, honey I’m ok, go back to playing with your brother”. She hugged her mother and ran back to the other room.

Mark looked up to the kitchen window and saw his wife crying and being comforted by her father, and shook his head and continued with his coffee and cigarette.  All of a sudden, he got a text from Jennifer, his new coworker. It read “ Hey Hun, we still meeting tonight?”   Mark replied “Still with the wife, I don’t know. Give me a minute and I’ll call you”.   Mark took a walk and once the coast was clear, called Jennifer.  She picked up and Mark said “Hey babe, sorry, caught up in family shit, you know”.   Jennifer sighed to herself, she felt so guilty, she knew Mark was a married man but yet he had pressured her into this affair. It had only been a few weeks but she was beside herself and wanted to break it off, but a part of her really liked Mark. He was cute and so charming. She was caught up in this affair and had no idea how to resolve this.  She replied to Mark “So her brother is still missing”   Mark said “Who knows, maybe he just needed to get away or ran off to Vegas to get married. I know  I shouldn’t say this but I never liked him very much anyways but whatever”   Jennifer changed the subject “ So when do you want to meet”   Mark answered “ Right now, I think we should wait a few days until things calm down. Maybe sometime next week. I will let you know.  We always have our time after work” said Mark with a laugh.   Jennifer replied “Yeah, in your car, real romantic. What are we 16?”   “I know, look I’ll think of something for us soon, dinner and that bed and breakfast you suggested, I promise”  Jennifer smiled and said “ I’m holding you to that”   Mark said “ Alright, I can’t be gone or else the wife will suspicious.  See you at work, babe”   Jennifer blew him a kiss on the phone and Mark ended the call by saying “Right back at ya babe”

Jennifer hung up the phone and felt pings of guilt in her stomach, she had never been with a married man and all of her friends had warned her that this was terrible idea but yet she was turned on by the how dangerous this affair had become.  She was attracted to Mark the first she met him at her new job. He was so confident and a real go getter.  He took her under his wing, showing her the the ropes and in the process,  they fell for each other. They both didn’t mean for it to happen but it happened nonetheless.  Jennifer called her sister Rachel.  Jennifer said to her sister “ I know you said I should break it off with Mark but we now made plans to go to a bed and breakfast soon, I feel so guilty, I had no idea it would lead to all this.  Rachel replied “ Oh honey, you know I love you but you are making such a mistake, I worry about you. What’s going to happen when his wife founds out. What about your job? Is it worth the risk?  You always fall for the wrong guy and you never think about the consequences”  “I know” replied Jennifer. She knew her sister was right and had no more to say, she knew she was wrong.   Jennifer asked her sister “ How do I break this off.  I can’t do it now. His wife’s brother is missing or something and it’s chaotic with his family. He doesn’t need the added stress.  And if I break it off with him, then I’ll still have to see him at work and that would be super awkward”.  Rachel replied “ Honey. I get it.   I would suggest at least avoiding the bed and breakfast thing, it would only entangle you more into this thing, you know.  I don’t have answer yet but look, we can talk about this more, maybe meet for lunch, maybe Thursday”   “Sounds good” said Jennifer.  She hung out up the phone and smoked her last cigarette, and tried her best to forget about it for the moment.  She was grateful to have a sister who cared because god knows, her friends all judged her and that was the last thing she needed.


Later on in the day, Dave was in Seattle in the house with his new friends, unaware of that his family ( that he couldn’t remember) was worried sick.  Melanie who had been out all day, walked into the house and announced to everyone “ Hey, guys, just found out there is going to a poetry reading at the coffee shop this Tuesday, we should all go!”  Susan nudged Dave on the shoulder and exclaimed “ Dave, you’re going to love it. It’s chance to meet some of our other friends and who knows maybe it will inspire to start writing”  Dave nodded his head and said “Yeah I’ll go”   Susan excitedly hugged him.   She knew that this was just what he need to come out of his shell.  He still was shy in many ways and they just wanted to help him.  They had grown to care about him these past few days and just wanted to see him happy.

Iris was sitting on the couch quietly, sipping a cup of coffee when all of sudden she got a phone call. She looked nervous and took the call outside. She picked up the phone and it was her mother.   Her mother calmly told her daughter “ Honey, I need to talk to you. I know we haven’t spoken in a while but it’s about your brother. “What about him?” she asked nervously.  Her mother replied “ Well, he was in a car accident and he had been drinking, he umm well, he didn’t see where he was going and uh he crashed into a telephone phone, the other passenger died and he is in the hospital in coma”  “Oh my god” Iris exclaimed crying.  Dave noticed from the window and Iris motioned not to approach.  Her mother continued “ I realize that things haven’t been the greatest in our family but he is your brother and I know you love him. Can you come home and see him? He needs you”   Iris stopped for a moment and gathered her thoughts.  She thought about Dave being alone and vulnerable in a new city  with amnesia but she had a duty to her family, she couldn’t stay here while her brother was in the hospital.  She replied to her mother “ Mom, of course I’ll come back home. I am in Seattle now but I am going to take the next train right of here. Ok?”  Her mother said “Thank you, honey. Call us as soon as you get to town, we love you”   “I love you too” she replied with tears in her eyes.


Iris wiped the tears from her eyes and walked back in the house.  She said to Dave “ Hey can we talk for a minute”  Dave knew it was serious. They walked back outside and Iris hugged Dave as tight as she could and started crying again.  Dave asked “ What’s wrong, iIris?  Iris said through tears “ I’m really scared. My brother was in a car crash and he’s in the hospital, he’s hurt real bad”  Dave hugged her again, he hated to see his friend so upset.  She continued “Honey, you know I care about you and I said that I’d stay with you until you found your identity but my mom wants me to come back to New York, I don’t want to leave  you here all alone but I have no choice but to go back, I mean, you can go with me if you want”  Dave paused and said “ I understand and I think you need to be with your family right now, you don’t need me there”  Iris said “But, Dave you are from New York or at least that’s where we met”   Dave said “ You may have seen me in New York but who knows where my family is, they could be somewhere else, it’s just confusing. Look please, go see your family and I will be fine”   Iris replied “Honey, are you sure. Do you trust these two girls?”   Dave said “Yes, I think I do. Just like I trusted you. I have a good feeling about them.   Iris replied “You know, so do I”   Iris overcome with emotion exclaimed “Goodbye, I love you, never forget that”   She hugged him one more and kissed him on the lips tenderly.  Dave all of a sudden in that split second changed his mind.  He said to Iris “ Iris, I think I’m in love with you”  Iris taken aback asked “You do?”   He continued “Yes, you are beautiful and caring and have been my saving grace ever since I lost memory”  She didn’t know how to respond but she felt the same way but wasn’t quite sure how to express it.  Dave took a deep breath and said “ Iris, I don’t want to lose you and if it’s still possible I would like to back to you with to New York. I will be there for you like you have been for me. I don’t want to leave your side”   Iris couldn’t hold back her emotions “ Yes, of course you can come with me!  I need someone around who can help me through this.  And Dave, I fell in love with you the minute I layed my eyes on you. You are a beautiful man with a wonderful heart and I felt like that this whole time, I just couldn’t say because I didn’t know how you felt”  Iris continued with a laugh “ And you know, I was so jealous when I saw you talking with Susan. I thought you had forgotten about little old me”   Dave laughed too and said “ Now, how could I possibly forget about you and if I made you feel like, I am sorry”.   They sat out there for another hour or so, smoking cigarettes and just talking.  Susan and Melanie wondered what was going that caused them to be out there for so long.


They walked back in the house and Melanie asked “So guys, what’s going on?”   Iris said “Uh, guys, we have to talk”   They all sat down and Iris said to the two girls “I just got a call from my mother and my brother has been in a car accident and he is in coma in the hospital”   Susan asked “ That is terrible, do you know what happened exactly?”   Iris said “ Apparently my brother had been drinking and he crashed into a telephone pole and the guy sitting in the passenger seat died”  “Oh my God, is he being charged?” exclaimed Melanie.  Iris didn’t like the way she worded that question and sternly replied “ I am more concerned about my brother’s wellbeing, not whether is going to jail, ok?”  Melanie realizing her mistake backed off and quietly listened.  Iris said “ My mother wants me to go back to New York and I am leaving as soon as I can.  I talked with Dave and he offered to go with me.” Susan looking concerned turned to Dave and asked “ Is this what you really want?”   Dave look confused and turn to Iris for an answer.  Iris replied to the question with “ Yes, Dave and I already talked about it and he wants to go”  Susan asked again “ Dave do you really want to go?”  Iris was getting upset but she wanted to remain calm.   Dave reiterated what Iris has said “ Guys, I am leaving with Iris. I really appreciate your friendship but Iris has been taking care of me since I lost my memory, I can’t leave her.  Susan threw up her hands and said “Fine, whatever” and stormed out of the house.  She, like Iris, had really grown to love Dave and was hoping to get to know him more and now he was leaving. She sat on the porch smoking a cigarette, just trying to calm her nerves.  Back in the house, Melanie stated “ I apologize for her, she can be emotional at times. We just care about you, Dave.”   Dave nodded his head and said he understood but he needed to do what he felt was right.  He hugged Melanie kissed her on the cheek and thanked her for everything they had done for him.

Dave walked to the porch to talk to Susan who was still upset.  She turned to Dave and asked “ Why are you letting Iris tell you what to do? I thought you were happy here and we were going to help you too.”  Dave replied “ Look, you guys have been great and I really appreciate everything you guys have done for me but Iris was with me since I left New York. I can’t leave her side and I want to be there for her and her family. Also if we met in New York, then maybe my family is there. After all they are looking for me.  Do you understand?”   Susan nodded her head and hugged Dave. She said “ I am just going to miss you, Dave, I really like you”   “I’m glad we are friends, said Dave”  Susan told out a piece of paper and scribbled out the address to the house.  She said “Please feel free to write us and let us know how you are. And when you get a phone you can call and maybe visit us. I really hope you get your memory back Dave. Take care”  She like, Iris had tears in her eyes. She loved Dave but could never say it.  What was the point, he’d be leaving forever and besides she knew that he was really in love with Iris, it was obvious, she had known it all along but was in denial. She knew know that Dave would never be hers. She had no choice to accept that.  Susan said to  Dave, I just need to take a walk and clear my head. I’ll be back later. She walked off into the distance. Dave sighed and saddened by the outcome. He knew that he was doing the right thing.  He just sat on the porch, staying at the dusk sky, listening the hooting owls and cried silently to himself.  He knew was going back home and didn’t know what would happen in this journey and he was gripped with fear but could take comfort that he loved Iris  and she would be by his side so he  could rest easy.

Writing my first story

I am really enjoying writing my first story and I have no idea what is going to happen to the characters until I write it; so even I’m somewhat surprised every time I write.  I have all these ideas of how I want to continue the story and some of it is based on my own life experiences and feelings; in a sense the main character is based on me.   When I first began the story; I was really going to make it about one main character and every other person would be a supporting player so to speak.  I have managed to introduce several characters and give them personalities and a back story and hopefully plots of their own in the future. I really life writing and I feel fueled creatively.

I am also influenced by TV shows I have seen over the years. The whole story was inspired by an old unsolved mysteries segment about a real life event where a man woke up in the desert and had no idea who he was. He didn’t know his past or his family or even his name. Eventually he did found his identity and soon realized that he had a warrant out for his arrest because he stolen some frozen food ( along with their truck) from a company he had worked for. And of course these whole amnesia thing could have been a cover because he didn’t want to go to jail; I found it to be fascinating.  I also was influenced by the show Twin Peaks.  The show started with a dead girl washed up on the beach and the investigation that ensued. As the show went it became less solely focused on who killed the girl but more focused on the town’s people and the various subplots happening in the town of Twin Peaks. That’s where I want my story to go; I want the focus to be less on the original main character and more about the people around him; his amnesia is only catalyst to all these other non-related events.  It probably sounds confusing and convoluted but I really enjoy writing this way. It’s less of a book and more of a serial drama or soap opera.  This is exciting and I can’t wait to write more. Wish me luck


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The mystery train part 11

Dave spent the rest of day relaxing with his new friends; a few hours later there was a knock at the door. Melanie greeted the man with on the steps with a “Oh hey Johnny” and invited him in. Susan exclaimed loudly “Johnny!!!”  She ran to him and hugged him tightly.  Dave felt some jealous overtake him. He was a good-looking guy; the kind of guys that women fell for; he couldn’t help but feel inferior. He was a tall guy with long black hair and tattoos scattered throughout his arms.  He had was carrying a guitar case and had big rimmed glasses. Melanie said “Dave, Iris, this is my brother Johnny; he’s in a band too”.  Upon hearing that Dave’s jealously faded; he felt stupid for even thinking for that.   Dave extended his hand to shake Johnny’s hand and said “Hi, I’m Dave” Johnny said to Dave “So how’d you meet my sister, let me guess: the coffee shop?”  Melanie turned to give him a scowl. He added “You know, there are other coffee shops in the city” She ignored his statement and replied “Yes, we met Dave and Iris in the coffee shop; they are traveling from New York and we offered to let them stay with us” “Oh” said Johnny.  He continued “Oh I’m sorry I didn’t introduce myself to Iris, how are you?”   Iris lit up; she thought Johnny was so handsome; just her type but she still thought of Dave; so, did her best to hide her attraction.  She replied “I’m fine. Your sister is great; letting us stay here and all” Melanie replied “Don’t worry about it” Johnny said “Yeah Melanie is great and I love her but she can’t play guitar like me” Melanie retorted “That’s your opinion, I’m sure our new friends would disagree” “Whatever” said Johnny with a laugh.

Johnny lit a cigarette and sat on the couch; noticing the new records they bought; began to sift through each album.   Johnny then went on about his record collection and music tastes; Dave was intrigued when started listing his favorite bands.  Dave chimed in “I think I like those bands but I can’t remember” Johnny laughed and said “What do you mean you can’t remember, you either like them or not” Dave didn’t respond and looked slightly upset.  Melanie grabbed Johnny and took him to the kitchen to talk; he could see them from the distance. They talked for awhile and it looked like Melanie was scolding while Johnny just listened patiently; not responding. He finally shook his head and walked back to Dave.  Melanie sat next to Dave put her arm around him and kissed him on the cheek playfully.  Johnny sat on the other side of Dave on the couch.  Johnny said to Dave “I am sorry, man. I didn’t mean to laugh at you. Melanie told me your story about how you lost your memory; that’s sucks, dude and also how everyone is trying to help you” Melanie looked at Dave and hugged him and gave him a big smile.  Johnny continued “Anytime you wanna hang out I’m around, man, in fact I am playing a gig tonight, if you want to see me and my band” Melanie exclaimed “Johnny, you know I never miss a show, Dave, Iris you wanna go?”   Iris flashed a big smile; almost blushing and replied “Oh course we’ll be there, right Dave?”   Dave stated “Yeah” Johnny said “Solid, look I gotta go but I’ll be playing at Cool Kat’s at 9 pm, see you guys” He left. Dave liked Johnny; he seemed like a cool dude and possibly a new friend; someone he could trust.

Iris said to Dave “Hey you wanna take a walk just me and you?’   Dave said “Sure” Iris then said “Are you guys are going to here, because I don’t have a key” “Melanie opened a drawer and handed her a key replied “Oh yeah, here’s a spare key, I forgot” “Cool” said Iris and Dave and her left the house.  It was a bright sunny day and Iris was wanted to explore the area a little more and talk to Dave alone.  Iris linked her arm with Dave’s arm and said “Isn’t this a beautiful day, I am really started to really like Susan and Melanie, I know I said it before but I really do and Johnny seems cool too.   “Yeah, I still don’t have my memory back though” said Dave.  “It’ll come” said Iris in a soft voice.  Dave then said to Iris “I don’t know why but I feel nervous about tonight” “What do you mean?” asked Iris.   Dave said “I am not sure but I feel like crowds make me anxious; I feel fine with you guys but being with a whole lot of people” It was true, Dave suffered from extreme anxiety; he had been in therapy for many years and on medication. He stopped both about a year ago and had been struggling ever since; of course, he couldn’t remember it.  He was the most anxious in large groups of people and especially on dates; his anxiety kept his dating life non-existent and never had a steady girlfriend; which really hurt him; at his age and never having a steady girlfriend.  Iris hugged Dave and said “Sweetie, you may have had anxiety in the past, I have it too, you’re not alone” Dave replied “You do!?  “But you seem so confident” he added.  She said “Oh, honey it’s just a smokescreen.  I am always anxious, especially around new people and crowds” Dave responded “That is amazing. I’m glad I’m not alone” Iris smiled; it was rarity to be so open about these things but Dave needed a friend and he was so sweet.  It also wasn’t everyday she met a man who was open with his feelings; it was a breath of fresh air.


They walked to a park with a little playground that was empty. “Hey, let’s go on the swings!!” exclaimed Iris in a sing song voice. Dave shook his head no “I don’t think so, we’re a little too old, don’t you think?”  Iris said “Oh no way, Dave. Never too old”.  She ran to the swing and yelled loudly “Push me, Dave. Come on!”   Dave ran to the swing and pushed Iris on the swing as hard as he could.  “Weeeeee” she yelled; laughing her head off.  She was having the time of her life.  An old lady walking her dog looked at this scene and watched for a while; she chucked to herself and remembered the days she spent on the playground with her recently deceased sister so many years ago. She walked by with a smile on her face; it had made her day and brought back fond memories.   Iris jumped off the swing and said “You get on, Dave” Dave replied “Oh, I don’t know” Again with the sing song voice Iris explained “Daaave get on the swing” He complied and sat on the swing as Iris joyfully pushed him with all of her might.  Dave became a kid again; laughing and carrying on; not caring how stupid he looked.

After several minutes they both stopped and ran to the slide. The both slid down the slide and rolled on the ground; just laying there talking.   Dave turned to Iris and said “This was a lot fun” he said catching his breath. “I told you it would be” replied Iris laughing.   Dave turned to Iris and asked “You mind if I ask you something, it’s sort of a weird question” “Sure” she replied.   “Well, I don’t remember my childhood, I hope it comes back to me but what was it like you being a kid, do you remember?” asked Dave.  “Hmm” stated Iris.  She had to think about it.  She said “Well I grew up in Connecticut; it was pretty boring. The suburbs, you know” she rolled her eyes.  She added “I had two brothers, Tommy and Sam and we got alone pretty well.   Her smile faded “Sam actually died” “I’m sorry” said Dave.  “How did he die, if you don’t mind asking” he asked.  Iris didn’t want to answer that question.  Sam had taken his life while she was at college; she was devastated and never been able to get past it.  She regretted bringing it up.  She said “I shouldn’t have brought it up.  I don’t want to go into it” she looked down at the ground in sadness; her heart broke just thinking about Sam.  Dave said “I’m sorry, I totally understand. I’m sorry I asked” Iris looked into his deep blue eyes and said “It’s ok” but she wanted to cry and yet she couldn’t even when she was alone.  She continued the story “So my childhood was rough actually.  My parents divorced when I was young and my brothers and I lived with my dad for awhile and it was tough especially on Sammy he was sensitive like you are”.  She felt herself begin to cry and she just let go and the tears began to flow from her cheeks.  “Oh god” she yelled; crying uncontrollably.  “I miss him so bad, I mean it was so long ago but I still miss him. I just want him back” Dave hugged her and consoled her; she put her head on his shoulder and just cried without saying a word. “Shhh” he said.  “It’s alright”.   Iris said “Thank you for being such a good friend, you are amazing” “I am sorry about crying; I’m a little embarrassed” Dave replied “Don’t ever apologize for that.  Anytime you wanna talk to me, I’m here to listen” he added.  Iris said to Dave “Just don’t tell Susan and Melanie about this, ok” Dave replied of course “It’s between us, friend” Iris smiled and they both walked back toward the house.  It was a powerful moment between them and they were both left shaken and emotionally drained but Iris felt a sense of relief; letting out all of that pain she had held on to for years; she felt a little freer and she had Dave to thank.


That night they all went to see Melanie’s brother play at the club.   It was a packed house; full of noisy patrons drinking and the band (Not Johnny’s) was playing at full volume.  Iris went to the bar with Dave to order some drinks; a beer for both of them. Dave really wasn’t a drinker but he didn’t know that. He took a sip of her beer and recoiled at the taste; he didn’t want to seem out of place so he continued sipping on his beer despite how nasty it tasted.  Dave had only been there a few minutes but it was obvious he was nervous.; it was loud and he could barely think.  Iris yelled in his ear “Hey, you alright?   Dave tried to play it off and bopped his head to the band playing “Yeah, I’m fine” Dave turned to see Melanie and Susan dancing close to the band; he couldn’t help but notice how sexy they both looked.  Dave was pretty sure he wasn’t a dancer; so, he sat in his chair next to Iris; sipping on his beer and looking around; trying to remain calm.  He noticed a guy trying to dancing with both girls; they both ignored him; he looked defeated; he was in older guy in his 40’s. He went to the bar to flirt with the female bar tender who was too busy to respond to his advances and besides she was so used to being hit on by creepy guys that she was immune to it.  Then Dave heard Johnny’s voice and he joined him and Iris at the table.  “Hey guys”, he said in a loud voice.  Iris replied “Hey, man.  When do you play?”   “In about an hour” he replied.  “Cool” said Iris.  She really liked Johnny; she had a thing for guys in bands.  Johnny thought she was cute too but had a girlfriend; he wasn’t about to screw that up with some girl he just met. Johnny said to Dave “You doing good, buddy?” “Yeah” Dave replied.  Johnny said “After the show I can introduce to some people, I know a lot the people here” Dave said “Sounds awesome” It was so difficult to have a conversation and compete with all the news. Dave felt overwhelmed and Iris just looked at Dave and smiled.


Dave said to Iris “I’m going to the patio for a smoke, you wanna join me?”   Iris said “That’s ok, I wanna hear the band; you can go if you want” Dave walked onto the patio and it was full of guys hitting on every woman they saw; he couldn’t flirt to save his life.  He reached for his pocket; realizing that he didn’t have any cigarettes. “Shit, I don’t want to bum cigarettes” he thought. He asked an older woman and she angrily said “Why don’t you bring your own cigarettes, I only have a few left and they are for me” Another guy overhearing the conversation said to the woman “Why are you so mad” he said with a laugh.  She replied “Why don’t you mind your own business” Dave felt uncomfortable and moved to the other side of the patio.  He saw a muscular man with a cigarette in his mouth and asked for a cigarette. He just ignored him and went back to talking to the woman sitting beside him.  Dave was regretting going to this bar and he sat at an empty table; sipping his beer.  He looked up to see this gorgeous woman walk through the door; he was mesmerized.  She sat at the table with him and asked “Do you mind if I sit here” “Sure” Dave said nervously.  She pulled out a pack of cigarettes. Dave asked “Can I bum a cigarette?”  She laughed and said sure.   He asked for a light and she didn’t hesitate “She cupped her hands with his and lit his cigarette for him.  Her name was Kim. They started talking and she seemed nice.  She was talking about how she’d been in Seattle for a few years; she was originally from Los Angeles.  She told him a story about how she wanted to be an actress and had given up on her dream when she ran out of money and moved to Seattle to find herself (whatever that meant); she had gone to college here so she knew the area. She asked Dave about him and he didn’t want to tell her the truth because he was tired of explaining it to strangers so he bullshitted his way through a story about growing up in Michigan and that he was a writer; visiting his family here in Seattle.  She was intrigued by his stories and much to his dismay started asking him about his writing; he tried his best to avoid those questions; he could feel himself digging himself deeper and deeper into the lie.  She then said to him ‘I want to buy you a drink” Dave didn’t know how to respond but he said “Sure, thanks” She said “No, problem honey”


They walked the bar and she ordered him another beer. Dave saw his friends sitting at the table and walked over to introduce Kim to his friends.  Melanie and Susan recognized her instantly and Melanie got up to hug her.  Melanie exclaimed “Iris, Dave, this Kim; Johnny’s girlfriend” Dave felt so disappointed; he knew it was too good to be true. There had to be a catch.   Kim said “Well I met Dave on the patio and we got to talking; cool guy” Melanie replied “Yeah we know” She smiled at Dave.   Kim continued “Dave told me he is a writer” Iris quipped “He is, is he?” she said with a laugh.  Dave looked embarrassed but Iris decided to let it die and she decided that a little lie didn’t hurt anyone.  They all sat down and all of a sudden a man ran up to the microphone and said “Ok guys, this next band you are going to love, here are the “Laugh tracks” Melanie, Susan and Kim all clapped loudly “Yeaaah, wooo!!”  Johnny ran up to the mic and said “Alright guys we do mostly covers but we promise not to fuck it up” The band went into a cover of Stone Temple Pilots “Plush”

Iris asked Dave if he wanted to get closer to the stage and they both went.  Iris began singing the lyrics to the song as loudly as she could; along with a crowd of people who had gotten close to the stage. They all sang in unison; it was one of her favorite songs; she loved grunge music growing up. Dave felt he knew this song and suddenly he began singing along to the song; as if he’d heard it before. Iris looked at him and she sang the lyrics as she was looking at him.  A lightbulb went off in her head and she grabbed Dave by the arm and took him outside to the patio.   Dave asked “What’s wrong?”   Iris had a serious look on her face.  She replied “Nothing, but you remembered the lyrics do the song, your memory may be coming back slowly” Dave smiled and said “You’re right. I think I remember that song. Stone Temple Pilots, right” Iris exclaimed loudly “Yes!!”  “Oh my god, this is a breakthrough; it’s not much but it’s something” she added.  Iris hugged him; she was so happy for him.  She hoped that Dave would begin to remember; it pained her to know that he was struggling so much.  They walked back in; both a little bit more relieved.


The band played for another hour or so and afterwards Johnny walked back to the table where everyone was sitting. Kim got up and kissed her boyfriend saying “You did great as always!”  Dave and Iris both felt uncomfortable; somewhat jealous to know that Johnny and Kim were a couple.  “Thanks babe” Johnny replied.  He put his arm around Kim and asked Dave and Iris “So what did guys think?” Iris said “You were great, I love the Stone temple pilots!”  Johnny said “Yeah we do a lot of grunge covers” Iris said “I love grunge” Dave stated “Yeah, dude you really play good, man” Johnny replied “Yeah, man anytime you wanna see me play; I have gigs throughout the week” Melanie added “Dave I don’t miss a show of my brothers, so you are always free to join” “Thanks” Dave replied.

Johnny said “Hey you guys wanna get something to eat, the food here sucks” Susan laughed and said “You guys wanna go?”  They all agreed and headed to the diner where they had been before.  Johnny and Kim walked ahead of them.  Iris said to Dave do you mind if I tell them what happened?”  Dave nodded his head yes.   Iris said to Susan and Melanie “You won’t believe it but I think Dave is slowly getting his memory” “Really? That’s great” exclaimed Melanie; she was visibly excited.  “Yeah, well Johnny was playing Stone Pilots; Dave was singing the lyrics with me; like he knew the song.   Dave added “Yeah, I remembering like that song as a kid, I don’t know where I heard it or who I was with but I remember it” he said with a smile plastered on his face; unable to contain his joy.   Susan replied with “Yes!! I am so happy for you.  I told you the memories would come back” They all were filled with excitement; they were hoping it wouldn’t be long before Dave would get his memory back. But it was more complicated than that; and it would take longer for any of them to imagine. Yes, it would be a long road until Dave could remember again.  For now, he could enjoy the company he was with and his new life.


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Mike walked by Cindy’s locker and she didn’t notice him; she was talking to her friend and then he overheard her say “I know, I couldn’t help telling people; it was so funny. Like he was so nervous and he thinks I’m going out with him?” I have to come up with some excuse; like I’m sick or something” said Cindy. Her friend replied “You didn’t tell Derek, did you” Cindy laughed loudly “Oh, he’s the first one I told. I thought he’d be angry but he thought it was hilarious” Mike couldn’t stand it anymore and walked in the other direction. He went to the corner to cry; his heart was broken in a million pieces and he hated crying but he was so overcome with emotions. At that moment a few boys saw him in the corner crying. One kid motioned to his friend “Hey guys, Mike’s crying. Check it out” Another kid said “dude what a loser, is this about Cindy Peterson. I heard about that, it’s hilarious. I guess she told you, huh? Everyone in school knows” People started laughing. Mike wiping a tear from his eye yelled Go to hell!! Get out of my face” Cindy overheard it while walking by; she shook her head and exclaimed loudly “Oh,, wow” laughing with her friends. After that even into adulthood Mike carried a fear of women he liked; this moment ended up to be a catalyst to an irrational fear of women. And maybe that’s why he feared when women got too close; he had replayed that humiliation over and over again for many years after that. The irony is after his memory loss; he became a man more comfortable around women; in fact, he was surrounded by three women that genuinely liked him; who weren’t going to hurt or humiliate him. But he felt nervous and didn’t know why; his memory was gone but the feelings remained.


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Mystery train part 10

Deborah came home to her husband; who was overcome with worry; he was sitting in an easy chair just tapping his fingers; with his phone by his side; just waiting for the phone to ring with the news that Dave was safe as well.  She felt guilty because she had been off to meet a male friend that Alex was unaware of. He was less of a friend and more of an ex- lover she had met in college. He called her a few weeks back and wanted to catch up; she still cared for him a great deal and wanted to see him but she was married to Alex now and it didn’t seem right to meet with him. “And yet I was going to meet with him anyway” she thought.  She realized that she was too focused on this and needed to tend to the needs of her husband and the search for Dave. She put those thoughts out of her mind for the time being.  Deborah said to her husband “Honey, I am so sorry; this is so awful; surely by this time I would have thought we would have heard something” Alex replied “I know, I just don’t know what to do; I haven’t moved from this chair since I called you but I know we have to find Dave” “So you talked to Dave’s family?” asked Deborah.  “Yes, I spoke on the phone with his parents and I guess they have already made a missing person’s report” “I was hoping it wouldn’t have come to this, but please, let’s stay positive, I’m sure we’ll find Dave and he’ll be ok” said Deborah ‘You’re right, well, maybe it’s a good idea if we search for Dave in the city” said Alex.  Deborah nodded her head in agreement.  Alex and Deborah spent the day driving down Seattle streets; searching for Dave with no avail; they spent hours seeing thousands of faces and none of them were Dave’s. They even drove past Melanie and Susan’s house but Dave was in the backyard smoking a cigarette while Susan shared with him some of her poetry; Alex and Deborah were so close and they had no idea.  Alex said to Deborah “You know maybe Dave isn’t even in the city; maybe someone took him somewhere; kidnapped; I mean, maybe he’s dead somewhere; killed by some maniac”.  “Alex., why the hell would you say that?”  exclaimed Deborah.  “We are trying to stay positive, remember?” she added.  “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you” said Alex.   “Do you think it’s possible that he may have amnesia or something; I once saw this unsolved mystery episode and…”   Deborah interrupted him “That seems farfetched don’t you think?”  “I guess it is” replied Alex.  Right at that moment; Alex’s phone rang; it was Dave’s parents. He stopped the car and park right in front of the house where Dave was staying.  Alex picked up and it was Harold; Dave’s father.   “Hi Alex, I just wanted to let you know that we did file the missing persons report and the police in your area have been informed; they will be mobilizing soon and will start searching the area for Dave” “Wow” replied Alex. He added “I am really worried; I pray we will find him safe” “Of course” replied Harold.  “I have to go now but I just wanted to give you an update, we’ll call when we get more information” said Harold.   Alex said “Thanks for the calls, I will be on the lookout for Dave and you will continue to be in my prayers, take care.  “You too” replied Harold


Harold hung up the phone and put his arm around his crying wife.  “I’m really scared, our Dave!” said Margery through tears.  Harold held his wife tighter “I know, I know. We’ll find him, I’m sure of it” He hated seeing her so upset and wanted to cry himself but he needed to hold himself together for the sake of the rest of the family. A few moments later, Betty walked in with her husband and two kids, a boy and a girl; aged 9 and 6.  Betty gave her mom a big hug and they both cried; it has been a long night and Betty stated she hadn’t slept. Her husband seemed quiet as usual; going to the kitchen for a glass of water and to pet the family dog; he wasn’t good with emotional scenes like these; he cared; he just couldn’t express it. Betty sat down for awhile with her parents and tried to compose herself. She said to her father “I think we should tell the kids, what do you think?”  Harold replied “Honey, you do what you think is right” Betty motioned to her Husband Mark who was still in the kitchen; petting the dog. He sat next to her and she asked “Mark, I think the kids should know about their Uncle” Mark replied “Do you think they need to know, I don’t want to worry them” Betty said “Honey, they should know, I mean, they can see we are all upset and are probably confused” “Fine” Mark said.  Mark said nothing and walked back to the kitchen.  Betty hung her head down with a sad look. Betty and Mark’s relationship had been strained for some time and she was beyond hurt about Mark’s lack of response and inability to meet her emotional needs during this time. “I mean, my brother is missing for Christ’s sake and he could give a damn” she thought.  It made her parents so sad to see how Mark treated Betty. He had seemed so nice at first and now they could see this other side and it hurt to see their daughter treated this way but at that moment they had keep their thoughts on Dave.


Betty called her kids to the couch; Michael and Lisa.  “Michael, Lisa, can come sit on the couch with me and Grandma and Grandpa?”  They were busy watching tv but they jumped up and sat on the couch.  Betty said “I need to talk to you guys” “Are we in trouble?” asked Michael.  “Of course, not” replied Betty.  Lisa asked “Is It about Uncle Dave”  Betty looked confused and replied “Yes, it is, how did you know”  Lisa said “Well I heard you and daddy talking about him in the kitchen last night but I didn’t know what it was about”  Betty said to her daughter “Well, honey you shouldn’t listen to other people’s conversation, we talked about that ,remember?”  “Yes, I remember” said Lisa; rolling her eyes” Betty stated “Well your Uncle went on a trip to see a friend and no one can find him, He didn’t arrive to where he supposed to be and he hasn’t called us” “Uncle Dave is missing!?” exclaimed Michael.  “Yes, honey” Betty replied.  “And you know how much we love him, right” she added.  “Yes” the children added in unison.  “Well, Grandma and Grandpa and I went to the police station to let them know Uncle Dave was missing.  They are going to help us look for him, ok>” said Betty.  The kids look concerned and Lisa hugged her mom; now she was crying.  “It’s ok, honey” Betty said as she comforted her daughter. “We will find him safe and sound, ok/” added Betty. Lisa nodded her head.  Michael added “Don’t worry mommy, I’ll be strong for you, just like daddy is, he doesn’t cry” She looked to see her husband all alone in the kitchen; with a cold look on his face; not even being there for his children when they were upset.  “Yes, he doesn’t cry or show any emotion; even during times like these, and maybe that’s the problem” she thought.  She held both her children and said a little prayer; she wanted to find her brother and to hug him and tell him she loved him. She never appreciated him more than she did at that moment; she couldn’t bear the thought of losing her brother forever.


Back in Seattle at Melanie’s house; Dave and Susan continued to talk. Dave felt bad about finding her diary and confessed to her “Susan. I feel bad but while I was searching through the drawers upstairs for my clothes; I found your diary, I’m sorry” Susan laughed nervously “Oh, you saw that? No worries, I’ve shared most of those poems at the poetry reading so I have nothing to hide” Dave let out a small laugh and said “Oh ok, good. I feel bad for snooping” “Don’t feel bad, in fact if you want, I can share some of my poetry with you” she said.  Dave replied “Yeah, I’d love that. It means a lot that you want share it with me” She went upstairs to grab the journal and Dave couldn’t help but think that he was falling for Susan; she was sweet and really seemed to like him; she was willing to share her poetry with him and was giving him a lot of attention. But he also thought of Iris; she is the one that was there for him from the beginning; the one that vowed to not leave him until they found his identity; he cared deeply for her as well; he didn’t want to lose her. He wondered to himself; if something had happened between them prior to him losing his memory; he wondered what made Iris care for him so much.  This is what made the situation so difficult; his past was a blur and how could make present decisions when he couldn’t remember the past; he was so confused. As he was thinking; Iris looked at him from across the room; she was beautiful; the midday sunlight from the window illuminated her face; her beautiful curly hair bounced when she moved her head; her piercing eyes and red lips; never had a woman such as her taken any interest in him. As he was looking at Iris and she at him; he had momentarily forgotten about his feelings for Susan; he realized that maybe Iris in the short time of knowing each other had fallen in love with him; it was overwhelming to him; he didn’t know what to do with his feelings.   When Susan walked back downstairs; he look away from Iris’s gaze and said to Susan “Hey, do you want to go for a smoke and you can read me your poem?”   “Yeah” said Susan.  Iris turned away from Dave and her smile faded into a frown of sadness; she did her best to hide it from Dave.  It’s true, she had fallen in love with him but she’d never admit it.


Dave and Susan sat outside smoking while Susan opened her diary and shared some of her poems with Dave.  One poem was about a man she had been in a relationship for many years; someone who was in a band; who she’d been in love with and thought maybe she might marry him someday.  When she was finished reading the poem, Dave said “Wow, that really a great poem; very heartfelt, I can tell you really liked this guy” Susan replied “I was so in love with this guy; we had met in college; Gary was his name.  He was in a band I thought he cute and my friend introduced us and we just instantly got each other, you know?  We moved into together and at first things were great; he helped me write some his songs and play them for me; it was really sweet; you kind of remind me of him in a way (Dave blushed).  Susan noticing Dave’s blushing said “Aww your blushing that is so cute and I mean it by the way” Dave felt even more flustered which made Susan smile.  Susan said “Anyways, we along great and I liked him because he was kind and sensitive.  Gary had a lot of late-night gigs, so he’d be up all night but he’d always be home when I woke up or he would call and let me know he was alright. One morning I woke up and he was gone, no phone call, nothing. I called his cell and it went straight to voicemail.  I called my friend who introduced us and when she picked up the phone, I could hear a guy next to her. I said “Oh, Michelle, you got a guy with you”; I was joking.  She didn’t say a word but she sounded nervous. All of a sudden, I could hear Gary voice asking her if she wanted coffee.  I lost it.  I said “You know, what fuck both of you.”  Gary tried calling me several times and I would just hang up every time.  I never spoke to either of them again. It totally broke my heart” “I can imagine” said Dave.   Susan continued “When he finally got back home all of his shit was in the hall and I had kicked him out. I mean, I owned the lease and so he left and I sat in that apartment for hours crying and feeling betrayed.  That is when I wrote that poem; so, it means a lot to me” “I’m sure it does” said Dave.  Dave added “I am so sorry that happened to you; you seem no nice and you don’t deserve that” “Thanks for listening, Dave, you are sweet, I can tell you on a kind soul” she replied.  Dave said “Thanks maybe I am, I don’t know.  I could have broken so many hearts and not even realized it” Susan took his hands in hers and said softly “I don’t think so Dave” She gave him a big hug and kissed him on the cheek.

In fact, Dave’s heart been broken so many times he had lost count and yet he had broken very few hearts.  It had hurt him to the core; for years he thought of his inability to connect with women; the times he was rejected; the times where he’d daydream about the girls he could never have.  Before he had lost his memory, he often thought about the girl he liked in high school; she was gorgeous and popular and had plenty of boyfriends. He admired her from afar and never had to courage to talk to her until one day he got the nerve to ask her out; her name was Cindy Peterson.  He found her in the hall with her friends and asked her if he could talk to her.  Her friends laughed quietly but she said excitedly “Sure” Dave took her to the side and nervously asked her if she’d want to go to a movie with him (his hands were shaky and sweaty and he could his heart beating out of his chest; he was not good at hiding his nervousness) She sort of hesitated; taken aback by Dave asking her out; since they hardly knew each other.  She laughed nervously and she said “Yeah, that sounds great, here’s my phone number” She ripped out a page form her notebook; wrote down her number and drew a little heart. Dave was ecstatic; he couldn’t believe he had just gotten a phone number from this beautiful girl he had a crush on.   He told Alex about and he retorted with “Bullshit, man. She didn’t give you her number” As Alex said that, Cindy walked by and called out Dave’s name, waved and in a flirty voice exclaimed “Hiii, Dave see you on Friday” Alex was like “Oh dude, this is crazy. You weren’t lying, you’re really going out with her?”  “Yep” Dave replied with all the confidence in the world.  As Dave walked down the hall; he could see people looking at him and snickering. He had been bullied before but this seemed different.  Dave walked by Cindy’s locker and she didn’t notice him; she was talking to her friend and then he overheard her say “I know, I couldn’t help telling people; it was so funny.  Like he was so nervous and he thinks I’m going out with him?”  I have to come up with some excuse; like I’m sick or something” said Cindy.   Her friend replied “You didn’t tell Derek, did you” Cindy laughed loudly “Oh, he’s the first one I told. I thought he’d be angry but he thought it was hilarious” Dave couldn’t stand it anymore and walked in the other direction. He went to the corner to cry; his heart was broken in a million pieces and he hated crying but he was so overcome with emotions. At that moment a few boys saw him in the corner crying. One kid motioned to his friend “Hey guys, David’s crying. Check it out” Another kid said “dude what a loser, is this about Cindy Peterson. I heard about that, it’s hilarious.  I guess she told you, huh? Everyone in school knows” People started laughing. Dave wiping a tear form his eye yelled “Fuck you!! Get the fuck out of my face” Cindy overheard it while walking by; she shook her head and exclaimed loudly “Oh, Jesus” laughing with her friends.   After that even into adulthood Dave carried a fear of women he liked; this moment ended to be catalyst to an irrational fear of women.  And maybe that’s why he feared when women got too close; he had replayed that humiliation over and over again for many years after that. The irony is after his memory loss; he became a man more comfortable around women; in fact, he was surrounded by three women that genuinely liked him; who weren’t going to hurt or humiliate him. But he felt nervous and didn’t know why; his memory was gone but the feelings remained.



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The mystery train part 9

Dave woke up and looked to the side of him; only to see the bed was empty and Susan was gone.  He let out a yawn and a large stretch; looked at the clock and realized it was almost 1 pm.  “Wow did I sleep that long?” thought Dave.    Dave showered afterwards; he just sat on the bed for a while; thinking about everything that had happened in the past few days. He thought about how much he cared for Iris and how he may hurt her when he cuddled up with Susan the night before.  “But we didn’t sleep together last night so she wouldn’t be upset.  Why am I even worried about Iris; it’s not like she is my girlfriend; I barely know her.  Why does she even care about me? Did something happen between us before I lost my memory?”  He felt conflicted and had this little debate in his head for quite a few minutes.  He began to try and remember anything from the past but he was drawing blanks.  He tried to figure out who is family was, what is job was (if he even had a job), was he married? Did he have kids?   He tried his best but no memories came to him.  “Dammit” he said loudly.  He stomped his foot on the ground in frustration.  He knew that he had to rely on the others to help him find his identity; he felt so lost and weak. He opened some drawers to find some clothes to wear; Iris had been nice enough to unpack his suitcase.  While he searched through the drawers, he found a little black diary.  He thought that this was private and that he shouldn’t look but he curiosity got the best of him.   He opened up the diary and it was filled with poetry.  He wasn’t sure why but he really appreciated poetry.  Did he write in the past? Did he enjoy poetry? Someone inside him thought that might be the case.  Most of the poetry dealt with sadness and some romance.   Dave could tell she was sensitive from reading her beautiful words but he did feel guilty reading such personal posts; it  did just gave him insight to who this person was.  A very touching poem dealt with the pain of breaking up with her boyfriend of many years. “Maybe the one she mentioned” he thought to himself.   “My heart ripped from the seams as my soul shattered with your sudden goodbye” Susan wrote in the poem.  “Wow” Dave said loudly.  He closed the book and put it back in the drawer.

Dave went downstairs; expecting the girls to be there but he didn’t see them.  He looked in the backyard and they weren’t there either.  He thought of calling them and realizing that he didn’t have a phone or even a phone number.  He walked around for a clue and saw a note on the kitchen counter that read: Dave, you were asleep. We went out for a bit; we’ll be back soon, Love, you Iris” It had a little heart at the end. “Cute” Dave said to himself.   Dave walked around the house; looking at all of Susan’s artwork and was really impressed. Again, he felt that he appreciated art. Maybe he was an artist; he was trying to find anything to help him remember.  He sat down in the kitchen fixed himself a sandwich; lit a cigarette and waiting patiently for the girls to come back.


Susan and Melanie decided to take Iris to a local record shop that sold vinyl LPs; Iris had expressed interested in that earlier; so the girls thought it would be a good idea to take her. Plus, they figured Dave needed rest and didn’t want to be disturbed.   While they were walking; Melanie asked “So, Iris do you mind if I ask you a personal question?”   “Sure” said Iris.   Melanie said “Well, you seem close to Dave.  And I’m wondering did something happen with you guys on the train?  I know that you have only known each other for a short while but you seem to be really close” Iris was taken aback by the question and didn’t know how to respond and sort of silently just looked at Melanie.   Melanie sensing her uneasiness said “You know, I’m sorry, that is too personal. I’m sorry I asked” Iris laughed nervously and said “No, it’s alright, nothing really happened between us, I care about him; he’s a nice guy. I mean, ok, I kissed him but that’s it”.  Susan almost felt a little guilty when she heard this; she felt bad for coming on to Dave; not realizing that Iris liked him too.  An uncomfortable silence came upon them as they continued walking towards the store.  Susan broke the silence with “Dave is such a sweetheart, you know, I don’t blame you.  Iris said “Yes he is and I’m just trying to protect him and help him through this whole amnesia thing” They all nodded in agreement.  Melanie stated “I know we just met but we want to help Dave too” “I know” said Iris.  Melanie extended her arms and gave her a hug and exclaimed “I’m so glad we have become friends” Iris said “Me too”.    As they were walking; unbeknownst to all of them; Deborah (Alex’s wife) was walking by. She was off to meet a friend in the art district. While she was headed that way; she was on the phone with Alex and looked nervous.  She walked right passed  Iris, Susan and Melanie; not realizing that these were the three people that could leave her to finding Dave but at the moment they were just strangers on the street.

The girls spent about an hour at the record store while Melanie flirted with the male clerk; apparently, she was regular there and they knew each other quite well. “Damn do these girls flirt with everyone they meet” she thought.


They got back home and found Dave laying on the couch with his feet on the coffee table; watching tv and smoking a cigarette.  Dave got up and said “Oh hey, you guys are back” “Yes” said Melanie “We knew you were sleeping and needed you rest; we didn’t want to wake you” she added.  “Oh thanks” Dave replied.  Melanie took out a bag of the new records they had bought and spend the day listening to records and talking.  Susan showed Dave some of her artwork; although he’d already seen them.  She told Dave how much her artwork mean to her and how she could sense that Dave appreciated art.  Susan said “ I have this feeling that you are born artist; a sensitive soul; we just have to bring out in you”  Dave sort of scoffed “ I don’t know about that”   Susan replied “ You have gifts, Dave, that have yet to be brought to the surface; I believe in you”   Dave smiled at this compliment; he didn’t take compliments well but he was slowly learning to accept them.   Dave felt really comfortable around these women; he really got along with them well and they seemed to understand them; they accepted him and genuinely wanted to help him; which he appreciated.  Dave started wondering if his past life was even important; maybe this new life was better and he didn’t need to find who used to be but instead focus on who he was going to be; moving forward into this new life. Susan put her arm around Dave and asked “What are you thinking” Dave looked at the ground and replied “I’m just so happy here and everything you’ve done for me.  You guys seem to be care” He began to cry uncontrollably.  Susan put her arms around her him and cooed “Shhh, it’s going to ok, honey, I’ve got ya” She held him in her arms until he calmed down.  He wiped the tears from his eyes and said through sniffles “Don’t tell them I cried” “I won’t” said Susan.   “And you know what, nothing wrong with a guy crying, don’t ever be ashamed of that” she added.  Susan hugged him once again and Dave knew he was safe in this house.


Earlier that morning.   He opened his eyes and said a little prayer “God, please help us find out what happened to Dave, wherever he is keep him safe and out of harm’s way. Give his family strength and give me the strength to get through this. Amen” He saw his phone face down on the end table next to his bed; he hoped to God that Dave called him back. A message that said he was ok; that’d gotten his days mixed up and he’d be heading to the house any minute.  Alex hesitated and grabbed his cross from his neck and said out loud “God please help me” He finally picked up the phone and there was a voicemail message and a few texts; he was hoping that one of them was from Dave.  He looked at one of the text messages; it was from Betty; informing him that she had not heard from Dave after trying to contact Dave several times; she was really concerned.  He then played a voice message from Dave’s father he said “Hello Alex, how are you? This is Harold, Dave’s father. I woke up this morning and did not hear from Dave. Both his mother and I called him and got no response.  His mother is beside herself and I am really worried.   You haven’t heard from Dave, have you? If not, then It’s been over 24 hours and we have decided that we should file a missing person’s report soon. Please call us when you get this message” Alex felt a lump in his throat; he now feared the worst.  He decided to eat some breakfast before he called anyone back.  He peaked his head out of his door and called out “Deb?”  No answer.   He got dressed and walked out; checked his phone again and saw the message from Deborah.  It read “Honey, went out for a while; be back soon” He felt a little disappointed that she wasn’t here to help him search for Dave; he didn’t want to face this alone right now; he was really stressed out but made himself some coffee and eggs and tried to calm himself before he called Dave’s family back.

Alex finally picked up the phone and called Dave’s parent’s; Margery answered the phone. She was quick to pick up the phone she answered after one ring; eager to get some news from Alex “Hi Alex I’m glad you called, did you hear from Dave” Alex could sense her nervousness.  He hesitated for a moment and replied “No, I’m sorry” She let out a big sigh and sounded like she was on the verge of crying “Oh” she said.  “I was hoping to God that someone would have heard from him but he hasn’t contacted Betty or Harold or I, I am just so worried”.  She broke down crying.  Alex comforted her and let her know he prayed for them this morning and will continue to pray for the family.  “I appreciate that” she said.   Margery said” I keep thinking that maybe he’s… you know”   Alex said “ Don’t do that to yourself; we have to think positive, ok, I pray God is with us and we will find Dave safe”   She composed herself and apologized and said “You’re right, I am sorry I don’t know why I said that, I’m just upset”   “I understand” said Alex.  She thanked him.   She then told Alex that they had no choice but to file a missing person’s report. Alex understood and stated “I think you are right, I will help anyway I can. Please let me know what happens” She thanked him and they ended their conversation.

Alex sat down trying to gather his thoughts; deciding that when his wife came back, he and her would search the city for Dave; putting up missing person’s poster’s and they’d do everything they could to find him.  He called his wife Deborah as she was walking in the art district.  She picked up the phone “Hey Alex, did you hear anything from Dave” Alex replied “No, honey, I talked to his parents and sister and they haven’t heard from him either” Deborah “Oh wow, this is terrible.  Now I am really am concerned; something is seriously wrong.   Just as she said that; she walked right past Iris, Susan and Melanie, if she had only known the significance of seeing them at that very moment.  She walked past them and Alex said to her “If you can come home as soon as you can, they are filing a police report back in New York and I think it would be a could idea if we can search through the city and put up some missing person’s posters of Dave” Deborah agreed and headed back to Alex.   Little did they know that Dave was alive and well; in their city; but with no idea of who they were or even who he was.  This was the beginning of a long journey for all of them.


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