Lungs filled with smoke, skin burning from the heat of the blaze , the words become stuck in my throat. Coughing and wheezing, I run through the forrest, the earth beneath my feet charcoal black. The fire raged around me, its flames licking my dark skin as I desperately look for an escape.
"Dad! I- I cant see!" My voice is lost to the screams of the embers, consume by its hunger as my eyes dart from left to right. Up and down. But there was no escape. Oranges and reds and yellows surrounded me, walls so high that the sky was hidden. Smoke threatened to suffocate me, drown me in the burning depths of hell. "Dad?!" I scream once again, fear surging through my tired legs, turning them to lead. They were so heavy, each step sapping more and more energy from my already depleting source.
A loud crack.
Sharp shooting pain.
The gentle hum of machines surrounds me. A rhythmic beep beep beep hooks into my subconscious, dragging me into reality. Forcing my eyes open I take a glance around me. My vision is blurry and I blink rapidly to try and clear it. After a couple minutes my vision clears, becoming focussed. My dark eyes land of the sleeping figure beside me. Gentle snores escape his lips, the dark curls of his hair messy and unkept.
A small smile dances on my lips as I pull myself into a sittting- owwwwww. Oh my god, what was that? My head felt like it was about to split in two. Pain radiated through mer shooting down the back of my necks, down my arms. "Ouch," I groan, squeezing my eyes shut.
"What the hell happened? Where am I? Dad?" His sleeping figure begins to move, my voice rousing him from his sleep. "Why- why am I in the hospital?" Hospitals weren't much in district Eleven. Only the bare essentials.
My father quickly climbs from his chair, his disheveled hair falling into his eyes as his hands glass one of mine. Worry and fear and relief surge in the depths of eyes identical to my own. "Tally, you're awake," he breathes in relief, his pulling back into a small smile. "How do you feel? What do you remember? I have been so worry! So so worried!" He shuffles the pillows behind me, fretting over the way they didn't slide perfectly behind me. I almost push his hands away, dodge my head to the side as his hands move to touch my forehead. My face.
"Dad! Stop it," I grunt, shaking my head impatiently, causing the pain to intensify. I close my eyes to enduring the wave of pain. "My head hurts." I managed through my teeth, breathing through the pain. "I remember a fire- running, calling for you." I recall, the memory of inferno that tried to engulf me. "I remember hearing a loud crack and then pain... the pain was blinding... Then... Then darkness." My eyes turn back to meet my fathers, "What happened?"
"There was a fire," He starts. "It burnt down our home, everything... but your uncle has given us refuge and a place to live." Dragging his chair closer to the bed, signalling at the door to call for a nurse. "Your brother found you. Your head was covered in blood. You were unconscious. We brought you here as soon as possible." He draws his hands through his hair. He looked so tired. The bags under his eyes bigger than I could remember. "Its been weeks." Weeks? "They had to put you into a coma. They- we, didn't know when- or if- you were going to wake." His voice trails off, his eyes staring into space as he becomes lost in his memories.
My gaze softens and I reach a hand out to touch his shoulder. "I'm okay. It will be okay."
He grabs it, his eyes shining with unshed tears. "I hope so."
One year later...
Sunlight slips through the cracks in the blinds. Bits of dust glide in and out of the rays, they looked like they were dancing weaving to and fro between the light and the shade. A small smile pains my full lips, my eyes watching the small speckles as they dance around my head, around the light cheerfully. My eyes travel around the room, taking in the images on the wall, the picture frames beside the bed. One of the image was of me and a girl, my arms wrapped around her shoulders, our lips pulled back into two face splitting grins. A frown knits together my brows as my fingers brush across the image of the unknown girl. Who was she? Where was I?
Quickly I climb from the bed, my arms hugging my torso as I walk around the room. My eyes catch a notes stuck to the small mirror by the closet.
Your house burnt down in a fire.
This is your room.
I turn away, confusion gnawing at my stomach. This was my home? No. No I lived on a small apple farm at the edge of the district. My room was small, but the window had been so big that when the morning flight spilled into it it painted it with the colours of the sun rising. Not this dark, closed off room with blinds that shield away the light.
My eyes catch another note.
Find your brother, he will tell you everything.
What the hell was going on?
Quickly I climbs down the stairs, they creak from age, sending shivers down my spine. In the kitchen I spot Jacob, he sits at the table, a cup of steaming tea in front of him. His eyes meet mine and he nods at the spot across from him, another hot cup of tea sits before an empty chair. Nodding good morning I take a seat, wrapping my cold hands around the mug. "What going on? Why are we here? When did we move? Why cant I remember?" The questions stable past my lips, one after the other, no breathe in-between. Jacob only smiles, taking a sip. "Jacob?"
"Good morning, Tally. Take a breath." He instructs, placing his mug down. "There was an accident-"
"An accident? Is dad okay-"
"Dad's fine. It happened a year ago-"
"A year ago? Are you playing tricks on me? Is this whole thing a plank? I think I would-"
"Tally!" He breathes between his teeth, controlling his frustration. "Shut up and let me speak!"
I shut up, brining the cup of tea to my lips.
"There was a fire, about a year ago. It burned through the farm, the house, we lost everything... Then we found you, head bleeding, unconscious. I pulled you out and we brought you to the hospital." He pauses, his eyes searching my own closely, "we were so worried that you were going to die. They- they put you in a coma. Warned us to prepare for the worse." He leans back in his chair, running a hand through his hair. The same way dad does when he worries. I smile at the thought, taking another sip.
"Then you woke up. Things were looking okay. Physically you seemed fine. They did a few more tests- but lets be real, this is dirtcit Eleven! We don't have the resources that they do in the upper district or Six. They kept you in for observation for a few more days... Then sent you home. You still don't remember any of this?" He tilts his head to the side slightly examining her with a careful eye.
Did I remember anything of this? I couldn't even remember yesterday- apparently. My heart begins to race, panic buzzing through the surface of my skin. How did a year slip by without me taking notice? How can I not remember a minute that passed from the moment I woke a year ago? Nothing. Not the hospital. Not this house. Or the events that occurred over the past year. Who was that girl? In that photo? Why? Why could I remember nothing.
"I- I don't understand." I frown, pushing myself from my chair, pacing back and forth. "I can't remember anything. Not yesterday! Not the day before! How? How do I forget a whole year?" Tears well in my eyes, desperate to seek answers that I knew were there, had to be there, but were out of reach. Buried in the depths of my mind, my memory that seemed to be wiped away. "Jacob what's wrong with me?" I plead, coming to his side. "Why cant I remember?"
Gentle he pulls me into a hug, pressing my head to his chest he holds me tight. "They say you have are suffering from a rare memory loss disorder. During the fire you were knocked on the head. Damage to the brain occurred in the area where new memories are formed. They cant tell us much more about it. Maybe.. Maybe if we lived in the capitol, or the upper districts, we would know more... But we don't. And.. And-" he struggles, the words stuck in his throat.
I pull back, wiping the tears from my eyes. "It's okay. Tell me."
"They don't think there is a cure."
"I'm going for a walk."
Sunlight slips through the cracks in the blinds. Bits of dust glide in and out of the rays, they looked like they were dancing weaving to and fro between the light and the shade. A small smile pains my full lips, my eyes watching the small speckles as they dance around my head, around the light cheerfully. My eyes travel around the room, taking in the images on the wall, the picture frames beside the bed. One of the image was of me and a girl, my arms wrapped around her shoulders, our lips pulled back into two face splitting grins. A frown knits together my brows as my fingers brush across the image of the unknown girl.