By C.E. Pereira
TAMARA was coming home today. It had been two weeks since she woke up from the coma. The panic that she felt at first had ebb away slowly. She was faced with the fact that her mind was completely blank. There was no memory at all. However much she tried, she couldn’t remember anything. She felt drained of energy but what was worst was the feeling of being alone and afraid.
The doctors couldn’t tell her if her memory would ever come back. They told her not to push it. Jess was there everyday answering Tamara’s questions and easing her fears. Jess was becoming a friend and someone Tamara could lean on.
The saddest thing she’d learn in that two weeks was that her parents were dead. Getting to know her brother Jack was tough. How do you learn to love again the most important person in your life? She felt this warm feeling whenever she saw Jack so maybe love was already there.
With Byron, she felt unsettled and afraid to be alone with him. His smile made her feel like smiling too. But his eyes were so intense, like he could see through her soul. The first few days, she got tongue-tied whenever he talked to her. She didn’t like it one bit. She tried to avoid having to talk with him. But most of the time that was impossible as he was there with Jack.
So today, Jack and Byron were bringing Tamara home. Jess was busy cooking and baking. And the ranch hands were decorating the house with balloons. They hung a huge colourful banner with the words “Welcome Home Tamara” over the front patio. Daniel was supervising and driving Jess nuts.
“Jess, they’re here,” yelled Daniel.
Going outside, Jess stood beside Daniel’s wheelchair as the jeep came to a stop.
Tamara stepped out of the jeep slowly. Everything looked foreign. She didn’t recognize the house or the man in the wheelchair. On the drive from the airport to the ranch nothing was familiar at all. Both Jack and Byron pointed out things to her, trying to gently jog her memory. She felt the panic rising up and choking her again. They were all strangers to her. She was frightened and felt very alone.
Jack saw the look of panic on Tamara’s face. His heart broke, as once again his sister faced another battle in her life. One where he was a stranger to her. How can God be so cruel?
He reached out and took Tamara’s hand in his. Squeezing it slightly, he smiled gently at her. With love in his eyes he tried to convey to her that she had nothing to be afraid of.
“Welcome home, Tamara.” Jack whispered.
For the first time since coming out of the coma, Tamara smiled when she saw the colourful banner. Then looking at the man in the wheelchair she said, “You must be Daniel. I don’t remember you but I’m looking forward to getting to know you again.”
Nodding his head, Daniel felt a lump in his throat. Softly he answered, “You’ll get to know yourself again too, honey. We’ll all help you remember.”
“Come on in, all of you. Tea is ready and I hope you brought your appetites along.” Jess stated.
Murmuring, they all followed Jess inside the house. Still holding Jack’s hand, Tamara made her way into the house. Once indoors, her eyes scanned the living room. It looked cosy yet unfamiliar but she felt a warm feeling settle in her heart.
Without doubt she knew this was home. She couldn’t explain this feeling of such certainty so she didn’t try too. She looked at Jack and whispered, “I’m home.” Then laughing and crying at the same time, Tamara said loudly, “I’m home.”
Laughing too, Jack said, “You’re beginning to remember.”
Tamara shook her head. “No. Everything still looks unfamiliar.” Placing her hand on her heart she continued, “I don’t know how to explain but inside here I feel I’ve come home.”
Then Byron said, “Sometimes the heart remembers even when the mind forgets.”
When Tamara shyly smiled at Byron, he looked into her eyes hoping to see some sign of recognition, but there was none. Byron’s heart broke a little more. How could he go on seeing her everyday and not tell her of their love. It wasn’t fair. They’d just declared their love to each other, only to have it torn away like this. Silently, he prayed, “Please God, let her heart remember even if her mind has forgotten.”
And silently, Tamara also prayed “Please God, let my heart remember even if my mind has forgotten.”
Go to Chapter 13