Part 1 of 3
"Good morning, Michael. How are you feeling today?" His girlfriend smiled.
"I'm doing all right, I guess. Thanks for asking, Ms-- what is your name again?"
Padding the pillow behind him, she replied with a soft smile, "Charmaine... Charmaine Jackson."
"Ah! Yes-yes, now I vaguely remember. God! How hard did I hit my head?"
"Pretty bad. You took quite a nasty fall when you stood up from your wheelchair."
As a perplexed expression formed upon his face, he uttered quietly, "wheelchair? Why would I be in a wheelchair?"
"Well.. unfortunately, you broke both of your legs while practicing a new dance routine for an upcoming awards show," Charmaine explained sympathetically.
"Oh, Yes! Now I remember. I was supposed to perform at the Grammy's. But that's about all I can recall."
A few weeks prior, Michael had an accident at his home. He had suffered a bad concussion after breaking both of his legs the month before. One day while trying to reach for the new stereo he had recently purchased, he took a nasty fall to the ground.
As he was retrieving the large sound system from a high shelf in his bedroom, he slipped while tugging on it, causing it to fall and hit him in the head. When he finally awoke some hours later in the hospital, he had trouble remembering what happened before the accident. Though 90% of his memory was entirely shot, he still knew his name, but then there were other important things that he couldn't remember at all, such as his career and his girlfriend.
After being notified by phone of Michael's accident, Charmaine rushed to the hospital as fast as she could. Before being allowed to see him, the doctor informed her that Michael was suffering a severe case of amnesia, one in which he may or may not fully recover from.
The doctor also informed her that he would have to be monitored 24/7 and not pressured into remembering things, for it could stress him out. He suggested that she should be gentle in her approach, or he might become frustrated & give up on remembering all together.
After running through a list of things to do and what not to do, the doctor's final word of advice was to be patient with Michael. Due to the severity of his head trauma, it would be difficult for him to retain new information.
"Char," Michael whispered, grabbing her wrist. "How come we both have the same last name? Why are you doing all of this for me? Why are you taking care of me?"
Charmaine giggled. "Wow! You're full of questions today."
"I know... But I want to remember. Were we something more? Are we married?"
"No, Michael. We're not married."
"Hmm. That's too bad; I wouldn't mind being married to a pretty lady like you." He frowned disappointedly.
Sitting down beside him, Charmaine took a deep breath before speaking. "I'm your girlfriend, Michael. We just so happen to have the same last name. We used to laugh about it all the time."
"How come you never told me that you're my girlfriend?"
Holding back tears, she spoke softly as he took hold of her hand. “I have sweetheart."
"Oh, I'm sorry, Char... I promise that I'll remember this time. There are things that I can recall easily, but it's all a blur most times. Damn it!" He exclaimed, feeling flustered.
"Michael, honey. It's all right. Just relax, OK. I'm sure your memory will get better with time."
After placing a small kiss on Michael's cheek, Charmaine left the room, slumped down against the door, and then wept silently.
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