The Stolen Man, Endgame? Episode 5-7
(S.M. Table of Contents)
Your surprise Helen by taking her hands in yours, “Helen.” The word tastes pleasant in your mouth, rolls comfortably off your tongue, “Helen,” You say again because you do like the way it sounds, “I remember. I remember us.”
Helen looks relieved and you lean in for a kiss, when something flashes by in your peripheral vision. You jerk your head back trying to see, surprising Helen, and managing to catch a glimpse of the boy on the tricycle again, only on second look, there’s no boy. Just a tricycle in the middle of the driveway. A tricycle?
“What’s that?” you ask Helen, pointing.
“The Tricycle?” replies Helen, clearly troubled by your question.
You suddenly don’t want to know,
“Later,” you say squeezing Helen’s hand and leading Helen into the house.
“I remember Lorie, and my job, “ you say to her.
“Most of it anyway. I saw Dan today.”
Helen pulls her hand away abruptly. Her voice is almost a whisper, “You did? You saw Dan?”
“Yeah, he lied to me though. Why would he lie to me? After all the years we’ve worked together.”
“Oh. That Dan.”
“Is there another,” you laugh as you say it, but immediately it feels like a question you are sorry you asked.
Helen takes your hand again, leading you to the couch, where you both sit, “Troy, what exactly do you remember, about us I mean?”
You smile, “Everything. Everything about us. I know we’ve had some rough times, but I remember that I love you and that you’re pregnant. I remember that we lost the first one.”
“The first one?”
“Yeah, it’s ok. I know about the miscarriage. It’s ok.”
“Miscarriage? No, Troy wait. Danny’s not…”
Noise fills your head, drowning out Helen’s words. It’s like a rush of water, or voices, all speaking at once. Sirens, crowds, people yelling, talking, images now flashing through your head. Another memory dump. One particular voice in the garage, begins to sound insistent, demanding your attention, “Daddy,” a young voice is saying, “Daddy. Look at me daddy,”
A young boy, riding on a tricycle.
You open your eyes, staring at Helen wide eyed. She’s still speaking, but you jump up from the couch, a much more recent memory coming to you. A few moments ago, as you walked into the house you passed by a picture. You saw it, but you chose to ignore it. Chose to will it away, to not remember, but now it comes back. A picture.
You jump up from the couch, moving quickly to the entryway and there it is… a picture. You, Helen, and a small boy of 5 or 6. Who is he? How could you forget him?
Helen has followed you to the picture. She’s still talking in very rude words. Rude, because they won’t arrange themselves in a sensible pattern. Words that mean nothing. Words that aren’t communicating. You’ll have to sort out this sudden inability to understand human speeh later, right now you’ve got something else to do, to see. Another sudden certainty without memory. You practically run past the living room down the hallway to another door. A closed door You push the door open and move inside. A small bed, toys neatly arranged in a closet, a small dresser. Clearly this is a boy’s room. The same boy in the picture. But, who is he?
Helen’s words finally settle into sensible patterns, angry, scared patterns but completely truthful, “Troy I’ve been trying to tell you, There was no miscarriage. Dan was 6
years old when he was taken. 6 Years old. How could you forget your own son!”
Slowly you turn to Helen. You look at her carefully. Yes, you definitely remember her, an it’s real; you’re sure of that. But she’s different than you remember. She’s…older.” You nod slowly, trying to quell the emerging panic.
“6 years. I’ve lost 6 years. I have to go back. I have to go back to Sunnyvale for the rest. I have to go back.”
This ends episode 5, Endgame?. Next Wednesday, Episode 6, Victory, Begins.