Tossing and turning. Elanora was trying to force sleep to embrace her unsettled mind. Thoughts rampaging back and forth across her highly alert brain. These were the kind of thoughts Elanora believed that a nineteen year old should not be worrying about for many years to come. Yet her mind couldn’t stop pondering the meaning of life and death. Why was she alive? What was her purpose in life? What happens after you die? The answers to these questions eluded her. Echoes of what that boy Lewis had said to her at work, rebounding off the walls of her mind.
At first she thought that he was flirting with her as they exchanged money for a lotto ticket. His amazing deep blue eyes were like pools of water that she couldn’t stop gazing at.
“I hope this one’s a winner.” He said. Elanora was still hypnotised by his eyes and didn’t say anything. Silence followed. Lewis broke the silence and continued talking as if he wasn’t having a one-sided conversation with himself.
“I live out of home and I need the money; if I plan on becoming a famous musician that is.” He explained. Elanora rolled her eyes and let out a little snort. He is just like all the other guys who believe they are going to be rock stars someday. So immature she thought. Elanora started blushing and realised he had seen this. In that instant his deep blue eyes seemed to have almost turned black as he started to frown.
“Oh, and I suppose you know what your going to do with your life.” He spouted angrily.
“Well no.” she said hesitantly.
“I bet you still live at home with your parents too.” Lewis said smugly before spinning around and storming out the door. Elanora just stood there with her mouth gaping open. What a rude guy.
She rolled over in bed trying to will all these thoughts out of her head. Maybe he was right. She was doing nothing with her life. Tomorrow she would change that. Eventually sleep caught up to these thoughts and her mind stopped running.
When Elanora woke, her eye lids felt heavier than usual. She slowly pulled the covers off of her and stood up. Every bone in her body creaked in rebellion. What had she done yesterday to feel so sore? Every bone, joint and muscle in her body ached. She felt weird. She wondered what time it was. She would be due at work soon. Peering over at the clock on the bedside table Elanora realised that something was terribly wrong.
This wasn’t her bedroom. Confusion and panic started to take over. Where was she? The bedroom that she knew and loved was full of posters on the walls, pictures of her friends and childhood stuffed animals on her bed. This room was different. The smell of lavender wafted through the air. The walls were painted an overly cheerful yellow and there were picture frames hanging with photos of people she didn’t recognise. Elanora felt as if she was in some strange nightmare.
She had heard somewhere that the best way to determine if you were in a dream was to pinch yourself. Without looking down at her arm, Elanora quickly gave herself a gentle pinch. Unbearable pain followed. That had been a mistake. She looked down at her pale white arm. Instantaneously there was a bruise. A surprisingly large bruise for such a small pinch. Moving her gaze down from her arm and towards her hand, she noticed that they were very wrinkly. Kind of like when she had spent too much time in the bath tub. Elanora got a sinking feeling. There was something very wrong.
“Mum…Dad?” A strange voice croaked out of her mouth.
Elanora tried to remind herself not to panic. Maybe she was just ill and this strange room was a hospital room. Slowly she turned to face the large mirror across from the bed. First glance she was shocked. This wasn’t a mirror; this was some kind of window. On the other side of the window was an old lady. The old lady looked as shocked as Elanora felt.
“Hello?” The alien voice came out of her mouth again. The old woman mimicked her movements. Elanora and the old woman started screaming. A high-pitch deafening scream. Her heart started to race a million miles an hour; making it hard for her to breathe or swallow. Her first thought had been wrong. This was no window; this in fact was a mirror.
A lady came bursting through the door, she was wearing some sort of nurse’s uniform. The nurse convinced Elanora to sit in the big round armchair in the corner of the room.
“Calm down Elanora.” Urged the nurse. Obviously the lady knew her, because she said her name. She looked at the nurse with imploring eyes.
“Where am I?”
“Oh it seems you have forgotten again. We were making so much progress yesterday as well.” The nurse looked disappointed. Elanora ignored her comment.
“Where am I?” She repeated.
“Well you are at Northridge Nursing home. You have been here for almost eight years now.” The nurse replied in a matter of fact tone. Elanora tried to blink away the tears swelling in her eyes. She was trying to think of how to reason with this lady. It was some kind of nightmare, it had to be. This lady must have the wrong person. Elanora didn’t belong in a nursing home. She was a young healthy nineteen year old girl. This lady was obviously confused, but Elanora decided to go along with it.
“What do you mean by I have forgotten. Do I have amnesia?”
“No, not amnesia.” The nurse said sternly. She took Elanora by the hand. The nurse’s hand felt warm and soft against her own cold clammy palm.
“Let’s have a look at some photos to help jog your memory.” The nurse smiled whilst leading her to a wall fall of pictures frames. Elanora was silent.
“These are all your family and friends.” The nurse said pointing to all the pictures. Elanora looked around scanning the photos and the faces in them. She didn’t recognise any of them. Elanora snapped.
“No they’re not.”
“Yes they are, you just don’t remember.” The nurse stated calmly. She started rattling off names of all the people in the photos. One photo in particular caught Elanora’s attention. It was of an old woman and an old man holding hands. The old man in the photo looked slightly familiar. She slowly moved closer to get a better look. He had amazing deep blue eyes that were like pools of water.
“Who is that man?” Elanora wondered aloud.
“That would be your husband.”
“Lewis?” Bits and pieces of a journey forgotten started to dimly fill her empty mind.