That was all she could feel. 

The throb of her head, the ache of her fingers, the creeping shiver slithering up her spine— she could not calm the racing beat in her heart. Darkness was all that encompassed her vision. 

Words caught in her throat, a cry for help was all she wanted to scream out. Except, not a single word escaped from her lips. 

She gave herself a moment of silence. Silence to allow herself a chance to take a breath. Albeit slowly, the prickling sensation in her eyes found itself simmering as she opened her eyes; digesting the white walls and odd smell of medicines surrounding her. The young woman forced herself to remember what was the last thing she remembered before arriving at the hospital.



Not a single memory found its way into her head. 

Why… why was this happening? How could she not remember a single thing about herself? Not even a name. 

Anxiety bubbled the crimson liquid in her body, her breath grew heavy as sweat started to profusely trickle down from the crevices of her skin. It was a struggle, but she pushed herself up against the bed; eyes following the trail of the incoming doctor entering her hospital room.  

Dr Roberts was his name as he explained her condition. Her head was split in two as she tried to catch her bearings whilst urging herself to listen to what he had to say. Yet, the moment her eyes caught his– a suction of air left her lungs. 

Graduation… 1998. 

Smiles and admiration from the crowd filled her chest with a sharp feeling as her lips moved against her will. Tears prickled her cheeks— or, were they even her cheeks? The words that left her felt like a heartfelt speech. However, before she could make more sense of all that was happening, her surroundings grew blurry by the second before pulling her back to the present.

Blinking up at the doctor who was none the wiser, her brows scrunched up from the returning throb of her head, as well as confusion from being described as quite young to have an accident

Clearly, she had to be a middle-aged woman, no? Especially from the sudden memory she remembered just moments ago. “No. I’m sorry, you must have mistaken me for someone else,” she weakly interrupted. 

“I can assure you that you are young.” 

“Um, no. I graduated high school in 1998— I think I can remember my own memories,” she hissed, glaring up at the slightly shocked doctor. She watched him fumble his words, a confused expression etched on his face before ultimately shaking his head whilst clicking his tongue to dismiss the matter.

“Perhaps rest is all you need. We’ll have you discharged in the next hour,” with that, she was left all alone. 

She had no plans of waiting any longer to be discharged. Forcing herself off the bed, her feet wobbled as she trudged out of her room, discreetly avoiding every doctor or nurse who made their way to her. 

The cool air stung her cheeks as her barren feet pressed against the rough edges of the ground, reopening healing wounds. But, those were the least of her worries. Especially when only fragments of memories were coming back to her, even if they seemed all the stranger the more she thought back on it. 

. . . 

How many days had passed since her unfortunate show-up at the hospital? She could not even remember. Each day that went by felt like a new one. As though she was a new person. One morning she would be walking down a street, greeting old people with a smile— the next, her bones would start aching, almost rendering her immobile. 

On a particular night, however, the young girl sat on a bench; admiring the lake across from her. Her attention would occasionally draw over to an old man sniffling his nose as he read a book– his fingers adorned with papercuts. 

How nostalgic. The scent of books wafted around her as she was brought back to a time that echoed warmth and fresh pages of books. Was it a memory? Perhaps. A giddy feeling started to bubble inside her at the thought of her returning memories. Although each and every memory she got back was different in almost every form, she still found herself grateful. 

Gulping back a few tears, her nose sniffled slightly as she made her way back home. Or, well, a home she was able to scrape by with the few bucks she had on her person.

The night was a cooling breeze, a familiar brush of the past that made her feel almost melancholic. It was as though she was an old lady taking in the present and relating it back to her earlier days. How funny was that?

Days would start to go by in flashes now, sporadic memories etching into her brain. She should be happy, right? She should be happy that she has been humming the tunes of a friend’s favorite song— she should be grateful that she can show off her newly confident personality that appeared all suddenly. 

Everything had started to get weirder the more she tried to make sense of it. How was it that every time she looked at someone, bursts of memories flooded her senses, surging her into a world that did not fit in her otherwise bleak life?  

No. It was too good to be true. These could not be her memories. 

She felt it from the day she awoke on the hospital bed. She, obviously, did not want to admit it. But, she knew as much that nothing good had come out since the moment she woke up. 

At least now, she finally knows what was the problem. It had been her all along. 

These uncontrollable powers in her have awoken a building rage that had been biding its time until it reached its breaking point. Gone were any solace of peace. 

She was enraged. 


The life she was leading was all a lie— the life she could have been leading did not even matter. Not when she could not even remember a shred of her memory. 

It was as though she was not even a person. She was a Jane Doe. 

This was enough for her to live a life through others. One would even consider her as a con artist. 

What else did she have left anyway? She was a nobody. Her own life was meaningless. What better way of making use of her life than by perceiving it through the eyes of others? 

Was it ethically wrong and perhaps illegal? Maybe. Did she care enough to think it through? No. 

On one day she would be taking the life of a socialite she exchanged glances with, the next she would live through the life of a professional surgeon— breezing her way through medical exams as though she were an actual doctor. 

And yet, at the end of the day, all she could feel was pain. 

Pain that her life was stolen from her. Pain, that she would never know if she had a family or a life. 

Written by: Lavanya

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