Remember Me (An Amnesia Story)

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bubeez
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Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:01 am
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Remember Me (An Amnesia Story)

Post by bubeez » Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:09 pm

Hi, i'm starting a new version of my defunct fanfiction which starred my OC character, Seiki. You can find it on my profile, but I won't be continuing that particular storyline. I've cut some characters out (Suzu) and it's not going down the same plotline.


Remember Me

What do you see when you look up into the sky now? I want to know where your eyes fall, where your flickering eyes decide to snap, and zoom, and pour all of your attention into.

I can tell that you’re looking for something in all that darkness. It looks like the bottom of your coffee cup this morning. I had never seen someone use a French press before.

I love it when I can guess what you’re thinking. You’re looking up into the sky and thinking of a cheesy line from your paperbacks, tracing a blob in the stars that you think I would find funny and have to spend five minutes finding.

I can see it in your star-gazers, though they are an odd color and look tired, and my telescope is better. But we can’t share that, it’s so narrow. And I need to see what you see tonight, before I have to go. It’s all collapsing inward again. I can’t have all of this in my head anymore.

You told me about binary stars from your textbook. They orbit around each other and rely on each other’s gravity to propel themselves, keep themselves stable, and that they are the most beautiful system out there.

I wanted to find one tonight. I wanted to make sure that you could look somewhere and find me looking back at you, like people who put their loved one’s ashes into the sea when they pass away.

Visual binaries look like a single star to the naked eye, and you need a telescope to see that they’re really just very close to each other. That’s how close they are. You might be looking at one person and not see the person behind them, the invisible lines pulling them closer and moving them forward, away from the observer. I needed to find one.

But you were a little mopey. So I ditched the telescope for you. The last thing I want to see is you being upset. I crawled towards you at the edge of the rooftop. We only had one blanket to lie on. If there’s only a few hours left, then this is how we’ll spend it. Who knows, maybe we saw a binary star out of the corner of our eyes, thought the same thoughts, and came to the same conclusion when your hand gripped mine a little tighter. They were us.

Wherever you are, help me find us up in the sky.

———————————————————————————————————————

Remember Me - Chapter 1
It’s getting very late tonight.

I stare through the lens of my telescope and peer into the cosmos. The cities near Yamaku get so dark at night, the light pollution never gets in the way like it used to on top of our apartment building back home. It’s Orion’s Belt up in the sky tonight, dangling off the hip of the giant himself, same as it has always been.

Van Gogh drew The Starry Night as if the stars constantly moved as he painted the night sky for hours, but that never comes through in the telescope. I think he might have been staring at a bowl of runny eggs instead. When I look up, everything is sitting still and pretty. I think you suffered for your sanity, friend.

It must be reaching 3 AM by now. I think I have school the next morning.

The wind is starting to blow through my hoodie and blouse. My body feels weak and my eyes are sunk into the back of my head.

I pick up my telescope, which is light given its size, and walk across the rooftop with it cradled in my hands. I crack open the door and store it in the stairwell, the “crib” as I call it. I don’t want to damage it by leaving it, but I lost the case a long time ago, so this is my compromise. No one else comes up here anyways.

The rest of the stairs are well-lit and each floor is marked with numbers. I flick open the button on the cuff of my blouse, the fabric slightly blackened just under the wrist. I check the code written on my skin in black marker: F1, R119. The combination is written so small that I have to squint at it, but my handwriting has adapted to my situation. Having huge blots of marker residue on my blouse is not easy to explain to teachers, but having the numbers on me is relaxing.

I head down the cold stairs, which connect all the way from the bottom floor to the rooftop. I stop at the big “1” written on the wall. These used to not be here, but after the third time I got lost, the school called maintenance and told them to mark the floors. I peer down the hallway first, but everyone is usually asleep this late at night, so I creep my way to 119, the only door on this floor without a lock. I creak open the huge metal door into a plain room: my twin bed with tan bedsheets, a single extra-fluff pillow, a desk with a lamp, loose change, an old bag of popcorn twisted shut, a stack of four books, and about fifty post-it notes that look like a tornado swept through them.

I slip off my flats and leave them at the door, walk to the closet and grab a big T-shirt hanging and a pair of shorts off of the floor. They smell clean. Another night well spent, stuck in the rut, stick in the mud, master of all things pertaining to me, myself and I.

I hit the pillow with a thud. My head feels heavy and I quickly drift to sleep.

I’m on a beach and I see a group of people in the distance. They’re waving and look as if they are calling me towards them. The sun is making the sand hot between my slippers, and even when I look forward I have to squint. I look down and i’m wearing my usual swimwear, a bikini top and jean shorts to match.

My alarm shocks me awake with a wind chime sound. The caption “CLASS 3-3” is blinking on the screen.

I get dressed in the reverse order of last night. I slip on one of the uniforms in the closet across the room, first the green skirt and then the blouse. I tuck it into the skirt like i’m reading from a manual. I am mostly on automation, after all. School has been going for a few weeks now, and i’ve mostly remained in a closed cycle. I can get to my bedroom, I can get to the class building, and even if I wander, the nursing staff is around twenty four hours a day. This boarding school is built for people like me and so far it has fit me like a glove.

Actually, not everything has been a great fit. I still have no friends and most of my days are silent unless i’m speaking to an adult like a teacher or nurse. And even I can manage that. Pleasantries are nice, succinct and they fade quickly for everyone. Quick hellos and goodbyes have gotten easier over time, and I always manage to sneak away.

By the time i’ve gotten to my door i’ve forgotten the number of my classroom. I think I saw my phone on the desk. I always leave my phones behind in my room, this new one being my second phone of the semester already, but it has my classroom number hidden somewhere in one of its apps.

Although it would be safe to write the number on myself, I don’t have time, my blouse is already buttoned up. I can’t hear anyone walking around outside. They must have already gone to class, but I wouldn’t have struck any conversations with them otherwise. I take the risk with my phone and stuff it in my skirt pocket, and is small enough to be concealed for the rest of the day. I don’t need a bag since everything is in my school desk already.

I grab the doorknob and push it outwar, but the door is stopped by something before I can open it fully, but I hope I didn’t hit anyone. I snake my head around the door and see a black shoe stopping the door on the other side. I look up the ankle to some tan pants, and lock eyes with the school nurse.

“Good morning, Seiki.” He retreats his foot from the door. “Some day, you’re going to kill someone with the way you open doors.”

He smiles brightly. He is holding a clipboard with five or six sheets of paper attached, and is wearing the typical white labcoat and dark dress shirt. He has a coffee stain along the lining of the labcoat. He would look more natural on the other side of a desk telling me about X-rays or dental hygiene. Unfortunately, it’s Sunday.You passed the memory test last week, so I was hoping you would keep it up.”

“Did you remember that I would be here? Or did you think you had class?” he asks, flipping a page on his clipboard over and starting a new line of chicken scratch. I can see his atrocious handwriting on the previous page. The nurse is a bubbly guy. He’s charismatic, cares about his job a great deal, and acts close to my age. I even have his number for emergencies saved on my phone.

Although I met him just weeks ago, he wears the same thing every day, speaks the same way. He really goes hand-in-hand as my stand-in caretaker.

“Doc, does it mean I can go back to bed?” I say while turning back towards my room. I thought about prodding him in the rib with my elbow. I know what it means, though.

The Nurse gives his jovial laugh that fills the empty hallway and looks up at me from his clipboard. “Nope, sorry, Seiki. You are my patient and it’s not in either of our interests to kick dust under the bed. May I?”

He motions towards the door, so I swing my head around and check for any items of interest I might actually need to kick under the bed. I see nothing pink or purple, but better safe than sorry.

“This isn’t a bad sign or anything, is it?” I ask, barring him from the door. I wasn’t surprised to see him standing right outside of my room, but I didn’t consciously expect him to be there either. He was just there, as usual, right on the clock, punctual as always. My perception is mostly instinctual and i’ve gotten used to it.

He taps his pen on the clipboard. “It’s hard to say one way or another, but this isn’t unexpected.” He motions his pen towards his temple and spins it in a small circle. “You can’t control what you keep in your head, things just constantly zip in and sometimes—”

He moves the pen farther away from his temple, stabbing the air while doing a high-pitched whistle with his mouth. “They go out.”

He jots down something in his clipboard, which he refuses to show me, but he looks keen on writing as many details as possible. “You... do know who I am this time, right?”

“I called you Doc this morning.” My head starts to itch. “You’re the school nurse.”

“Alright, glad that awful nickname is still in there.” He notices that i’m staring intently at the board. He hasn’t stopped writing on it since talking to me. “That’s a little strange. You remember the name, but this is the first time this month that you’ve forgotten the weekend test.”

He stops his hand for a moment to give me a big, toothy grin. His teeth are bright, and his eyes shut when he smiles. “It’s fine! Just a hiccup! I ‘m in charge of your therapy since you’re a special case and I happen to be the head nurse here. The details are critical for me.”

I sigh in relief and stop barring the door, letting my arm fall to my side. I guess there’s no further reason to keep him out in the hall. “I was starting to think this might have been all for nothing.”

I move away from the door and he waltzes in. He’s probably used to this, he does this every week. The bed is a mess, but i’m hoping that he overlooks it, or maybe even commend me for rushing to class and keeping my education a priority. Even if I had enough time, I still probably wouldn’t fix the sheets— it never even enters my mind once i’m out of bed.

The nurse beelines towards my desk, completely ignoring the rest of my room. I had thought he might just glance elsewhere out of sheer curiosity, but I suppose he’s got none for me. His professionalism is armor. He jots down on his paper and clipboard, peering over it onto my desk. He’s staring at the sticky notes that I was looking at last night, and now that i’m looking at them again, they are clearly destroyed.

He turns back to me, a curious look on his face. “What happened to your project?”

“What project?” I ask. I don’t know what he’s talking about.

He points down at my desk towards the scattered notes. His skin looks a few shades lighter just looking at it. What is he so worried about? I had glanced at the swarm of post-it notes on my way to bed, but I didn’t even sit down to look through them.

“What are you talking about?” I ask again.

He straightens up and scratches the back of his head.

“You know, just seeing them now…” he says, picking up a note from the desk. “You’ve shredded these, and you’ve scratched out the text on the ones over there.”

“Why does it matter? Were these important?” I ask. I ruffle the notes with my hand.

My head starts to spin trying to think about what this project could have been. “You’ve got me stumped… I honestly have no clue what I was doing with these, even if they were important.”

I usually treasure the random implements I use for record-keeping, whether it’s a post-it note, a diary, or a phone entry. “I’m sorry. It’s like i’ve never seen these notes in my life.”

The nurse furrows his brow and clicks his pen a few times with his other hand. “I’ll have to let your doctor know about this later. These notes showed that you were starting to build new memories and that the therapy was working well.”

Making the nurse upset makes my stomach turn. But I can’t remember, and it’s not as if I can feel empty space in my head. There are some things that stay and some things that go, just like Doc said— ever since the accident. I’ve already come to terms with that.

Maybe my mind just shunned it for a while and it will pop back up, when i’m sitting in class or having a snack, whenever is most convenient.

“I’ll try to remember. Please don’t look so upset.” I walk over to the desk to examine the mess, which has been damaged worse than I thought. Over half of the notes are illegible. Deep pen scratches and shredded paper tell a story far beyond a whim.

The nurse pinches the bridge of his nose and looks like a stern father or uncle taken aback by something a child has done.

Although wrinkled and cracked all over, some contents have survived. The note reads: “The ship’s captain falls into the void, and the crew are forced to watch from the observation deck of the Orion.”

“Yuuko is going to freak,” the nurse says behind me, sounding less upset, but eyes darkened with dread. “I don’t have the heart to tell her.”

The name “Yuuko” doesn’t ring any bells, either. She must be another teacher or nurse at Yamaku. I won’t press him, though, I think he’s had enough for this morning. I always have a hard time with names and numbers so this is par for the course anyways. I’ve found it easier to just let things unfold while I wait to see how i’m involved.

The nurse finally moves on from the desk, and now looks over at me. “But you’re okay, right? No headaches this morning? Any stress?“

He glances at the notes on his clipboard with hollow eyes, then stops to look down at his watch. He grips the clipboard so hard i’m afraid it might break. “Oh, no. I’m very, very late now. She’s probably gone overboard again.”

He must be talking about another student he has to check on today. I don’t envy the nurse’s job. I bet he has to keep tabs on virtually every student that steps foot in here, from regular physical checks to checking on prescriptions. I wonder how difficult it is to take care of me relative to everyone else. I can see from the nurse’s face that I shouldn’t even dare to ask that question.

The nurse paces around the room and mutters to himself, mixing mental notes with physical ones. “Well, I can’t do anything about it right now. I archived the pictures I took, so it’ll take a while for those to be pulled out—”

I finally snap amidst pangs of sadness. This whole morning has been one mystery after another, and I didn’t get enough hours of sleep for this. “Alright, just what is this project i’ve been working on? I’ve had no clue at all…”

I feel the frustration travel from my body to my words. I can hear my voice crack from desperation and i’m nearly whispering. “Please, just tell me. If you want to talk about stress, this is it.”

The nurse looks at me with bug eyes. He holds his free hand up in front of him as if surrendering. “Alright, alright. Sorry for riling you up.”

He heads toward the door and opens it, walking through at a brisk pace. “I’ll tell you on the way to the track. Our check-up is going to be a little field trip today. I need to know what you remember.”

“More importantly, what you don’t.”

He turns around and waits for me to go through the door myself.

“Maybe some free-hand discussion will open a few things up."

I shake my head, roll my eyes and head for the door. I don’t even have to lock it.



“You were in the middle of writing a story,” the nurse says as we leave the building, walking through glass double doors. The sun is almost at its peak. The light is reflecting off of the chalk-white sidewalk and a little off of the nurse’s labcoat, and it hurts to look at either for too long. “You never let me look at it in great detail. You said it was bad luck. I thought you were just embarrassed about it.”

“I don’t remember even having an idea for a story.” I say frankly. I’m confused. I read a lot, I know that for sure, but whatever I was doing with those notes, concocting a new story to write— all gone now. That’s a shame, but who knows if it was any good anyways.

Im staring at a mountain of proof but I hardly believe it myself. That was my handwriting on those notes, and the note itself reads straight out of a science fiction book. That’s almost all I ever read. Sometimes I look back at an old version of myself, one that’s long gone, and I wonder how I could have been so different.

We’re heading down the stairs of the building we were just in. There are patches of grass and trees that cover the walking areas between the school buildings made of red brick, each building at least three stories high. Some of the trees are large and obscure the view, but they make huge circles of shade that make me want to lie down under them and cool down, nuzzling somewhere between the roots. The grass is neat and pristine, perfect lines of grass cut to the sidewalk edge, possessing all of the elements of a college campus. Top quality for high school standards.

The school is a ghost town right now. I can’t see a single student or teacher walking around at this time. The nurse picks up the pace, darting down a sidewalk towards a clearing beyond the buildings.

“The project was my suggestion,” he says with ragged breath, probably because he’s still wearing his labcoat. I’ve never seen him take it off. The fabric is thin but probably still a burden in the direct sun. “For the last nine weeks we’ve been working on your new therapy program. It involves mental exercise— which, for you, means doing activities that require memory. And for me, that means a lot of data entry. The creative writing was one aspect of that.”

When I hear mental exercise, I think rats in mazes. So far i’ve just been following him down the sidewalk, I have no idea where we are headed. I still haven’t seen another person around, just empty office rooms in windows and the distant sounds of a lawnmower somewhere else.

“One day, I came to check on you and you were reading a long book. You had a big grin on your face, and you told me you were trying to finish the whole book in one day.”

“The next day, you said the same thing to me. And the next day. And the next day.”

“But the bookmark kept moving forward, even though you weren’t realizing it. You were nearing the end of the book and in one week, you finished it.”

” Although I can only see the nurse’s profile I can tell he has a smile on his face. “It made me happy to see that, Seiki. You found a way out of the hole.”

The glow on his cheeks fade away.

“...before that, you never made it past two or three days before your memory faded. We would build and build and then it would fall down. You were asking me where you were, or who I was all over again.”

Some of the nurse’s story sounds familiar, yet very far off like a deep childhood memory. What’s strange is that I didn’t have a problem remembering his face this morning. I know who he is. I remembered the white labcoat, the usual snark I give him, most of the details about him were familiar enough.

The nurse and I round a corner of a building and I see a track in the distance, with a small chain link fence surrounding it. There are metal bleachers on the opposite side of the track. From the buildings to the track is a parking lot and some empty blacktop.

“Then, I talked to your previous doctor. We talked about a new program, reviewed how I could administer it while you were at Yamaku, and then we got started.”

He turns to me so I can see the side of his mouth. “Do you remember when we talked to your doctor about it?”

I do remember my other doctor from the hospital before I transferred to Yamaku. She was very young and had big, circular glasses that made her look like a fortune teller rather than a doctor. I think her name was Hase. Dr. Hase. She was a specialist. I had physical therapy and some computer games meant to test me while I was in the hospital.

“Oh… I remember Dr. Hase. But I don’t think you were there too.” I can recall the nurse and Dr. Hase, just in very separate situations. I only remember the nurse when I teleported from the world of the living, to Yamaku.

“It was amazing!” He raises his voice and echoes into the open field in front of us, stomping his feet in excitement. We’re halfway past the blacktop and closing in on the track. I can see that there’s someone sitting on the bleachers wearing a white shirt, but I can’t tell who it is from here. The nurse doesn’t stop moving towards the person sitting in the distance. “You went from having a three-day memory to keeping nearly two months of memory in your head. The data showed it, it reflected in your writing…”

“Granted, some of those two months were still spotty. You still tried to go to class on some Sundays, and you got lost many times, building security had to remove the locks from your door and paint the floor numbers onto the stairwell for you…”

He’s just talking to himself at this point. I can hardly process what he’s telling me because just like this morning, this is news to me. I try to pay attention to what he’s saying but my eyes start to focus on the person we’re approaching rather than listen to the nurse anymore. When I try to focus on the last few weeks, there is nothing but pictures of flowers. Orange ones.

“But I think what pushed the new therapy over the edge wasn’t the writing. The therapy was intense when it came to social interaction. For people with mild anterograde amnesia, the strain of maintaining relationships has proven the most effective method for recovery.”

“Meeting new people was the absolute cornerstone of your therapy and it’s how you got here today. Despite the little hiccup this morning.”

I nod passively, but some of the details finally start seeping in. There is something getting lost in translation between me and the nurse right now.

“Doc…” I try to get his attention, but he doesn’t hear me as his attention is now faced forward.

We are walking on the track and the person we are heading towards is definitely a girl. The nurse has another cheek-to-cheek smile on his face as he waves to the girl on the bleachers.

“This all reminds me. You looked so happy telling me all about your new friends that you had made since Dr. Hase’s new therapy. It made me so happy to hear you say that.”

He looks proud and then points in front of me. “Now we’re finally here.”

He starts waving at the girl and I hear her shout. She’s looking at me and the nurse.

“Hey!!”

Before we arrive, I tap the nurse on the shoulder. “Who is that?”

The nurse, with a bewildered look, whispers. “That’s Emi.”

I squint hard at her. She isn't familiar.“Who’s Emi?”

The nurse stops and pinches the bridge of his nose. “Oh, boy.”

——————————————————————————————————————

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Remember Me (An Amnesia Story)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:47 am

NIce to see you back!
Your writing has improved a lot since the last time. Regarding the story...

Well, it's WAY too early to say anything about that. I assume the shredding of the notes was an attempt at self-induced amnesia - what I don't understand after what nurse told her was how it was so successful or how she knew it would be so successful...

But as I said: too early to judge. Looking forward to seeing where you're going this time.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

FinallyCaved
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Re: Remember Me (An Amnesia Story)

Post by FinallyCaved » Fri Mar 29, 2019 5:00 pm

Dude, you're back!

What made you decide to start over, instead of picking up where you left off? And cutting Suzu? Granted, she didn't get much face time in the last version, but it seemed like she was just about to.
bubeez wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:09 pm
“You never let me look at it in great detail. You said it was bad luck. I thought you were just embarrassed about it.”
Also, I'm going to hazard a guess and say she's met Rin, too.

bubeez
Posts: 71
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Location: UC Berkeley CA

Re: Remember Me (An Amnesia Story)

Post by bubeez » Sat Mar 30, 2019 4:01 pm

I didn't continue my old story for two reasons.

The plot was not planned out very well. I remember stalling at the last chapter because I didn't know where I was going anymore, I was constantly changing the ending between chapters, and other panic signs that the planing was poor. I've studied more since then, and I wanted this new one to show more technique. I didn't want to be bogged down.

The writing style is another reason. I just don't write the same way anymore, and as much as I would love to have ~10 chapters already in the bank, I would prefer to have cohesion. I read Katawa Shoujo and just got straight to writing, which shows in the way I was writing back then. Every sentence was short and flashy, and that was hardly fun to read at all. I'm trying to move from sentences as building blocks to full paragraphs as building blocks.

I cut out Suzu/Miki's friendship because they felt more like a crutch. They were covering up a huge flaw, which was introducing a new character from the ground up. I'm hoping to change that by sticking with the official cast, and design the story around interacting with them.

FinallyCaved
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Re: Remember Me (An Amnesia Story)

Post by FinallyCaved » Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:23 pm

Fair enough. Really looking forward to seeing more. One of my big pet peeves with the last version was how her amnesia seemed to be inconsistently portrayed. For example, I don't think she forgot Emi, or the nickname she gave her, once. But it looks like you're already off to a better start (at least, in my opinion,) here.

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Oddball
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Re: Remember Me (An Amnesia Story)

Post by Oddball » Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:03 pm

This is certainly off to a very interesting start.
Not Dead Yet

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