Memories of Forgotten Love
By Cheryl Headford
Publisher: Featherweight Press
Genre: Young Adult, Gay Romance, Mystery
Length: Novella (135 pages)
After waking from a coma, Noah discovers that memories are tricky things and sometimes blissful ignorance isn’t such a bad thing.
Noah wakes from a coma with no memory of who he is. As his memories return they become stranger and more sinister at every turn. He begins to suspect the accident in which he was injured wasn’t an accident at all, and refuses to accept what everyone is saying that he threw himself off his balcony in a suicide attempt. It just doesn’t feel like something he would do. Struggling to come to terms with the shocking story he gradually uncovers, he’s helped by his friends. Yet, his best friend, Luke is acting strangely, leaving Noah to wonder just what exactly he isn’t telling him.
By the time I was allowed visitors I could sit up in a chair and even manage a few simple sentences, more if I was writing. I was so proud of myself, my achievements, my pathetic stammering and feeble attempts to gain back control over my own body. My mother cried even more, my father was grim and somehow angry, and my sister wouldn’t look at me. After that, they didn’t come every day, and I was glad.
It was then that my ‘friends’ started coming. New people, all around my own age, bright and full of forced cheer and encouragement. They confused the hell out of me, talking about people I didn’t know, things I had no concept of…like ‘school’ and ‘sports’ and ‘boyfriends/ girlfriends’.
At first there were a lot of them. Some came only once or twice, and others for a couple of weeks, but there were three who kept on coming back. It was one of them who finally opened my mind to the biggest leap in understanding I’d yet undertaken.
We were sitting in the conservatory, the four of us… Beth, Aiden, Siona, and I. It was beautiful in there, very relaxed and calming, filled with pastel colours and cane furniture. The view overlooking the valley was stunning.
Beth and Siona were perched on the window seat, gazing out over the trees at the summer-blue sky beyond, chattering away about something or other, their heads close together.
Aiden was sprawled in an armchair, one leg draped over the arm, and we were talking about football. Well, to be exact, he was talking and I was listening. He was on the school football team, and you would swear he was David Beckham the way he talked about himself. At least that’s what Beth said. I had no idea who David Beckham was, and I had only the vaguest concept of what football was all about and only because Aiden had explained it to me about a hundred times.
“God, you should have seen us, Noah, we had them by the short and curlies. It was awesome. They didn’t have a chance. That’s the first time we’ve won the cup for years. Coach was made up. He took us all out for burgers, and you’ll never guess who we bumped into.”
“Erm, of course not…yeah…Well, anyhoo, it was Luke Farrell. You remember him, he…What?” He stopped, looking over my shoulder, and I turned my head to see Beth glaring at him, making a strange face. Her eyes flickered to me and turned soft, concerned.
“Nothing…nothing, Noah. Don’t worry; it’s just the idiot getting carried away as usual.”
“What did I say? I was just testing. I just thought Noah might remember Luke, what with them having been so close.” Aiden turned back to me, grinning, and I had to smile, I always did when Aiden smiled at me. I’d heard someone say once his smile was contagious. “You know what was weird? He didn’t know about you, I mean, about you getting better. No one told him. I thought that was weird. He was your best friend so I thought someone might have told him. Mind you, he says he’s been away. I haven’t seen him for ages. He dropped out of school after…well…you know.”
“Aiden,” Beth hissed. “Shut up.”
“You’re just…you’re so…Just shut up.”
“What’s the big problem? It’s not as if you two haven’t been talking to him incessantly about stuff that he doesn’t remember.” Aiden paused a moment. “It’s not as if there is anything he does remember.”
“Aiden!” Siona appeared shocked, and Beth was completely irate, her face flushed and her eyes burning.
I remember seeing her, almost as if it was the first time. She was outlined against the window, the sun lighting her red hair to flame, and I thought, in a completely dispassionate way, that she really was quite beautiful. I wondered if she was my girlfriend. Maybe that was why she was so upset…upset that…that… Something went ‘click’ inside my head and everything became very, very clear.
“I…don’t remember. I…don’t…don’t remember… anything. I…don’t know who you are. I don’t know… who I…who I am.”
“Fuck, Aiden. Now look what you’ve done.”
I don’t know what Aiden said then; I don’t know what any of them said because I was flooded with a sense of absolute panic that blotted out everything but a single, overwhelming truth. I didn’t remember…anything.
I have a brief recollection of there being people around, lots of them. People talking, people touching me…I have no idea what they said, what they did. I was lost in the panic, in the sea of horrified understanding. I didn’t know my own mother and father, I didn’t know my friends, I didn’t know myself. For me there was no life before I woke in the hospital, no existence other than the one I was experiencing right then and there. I was lost, completely lost.
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PAX6FYW/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00PAX6FYW/
Featherweight Press: http://www.featherweightpublishing.com/BookStore.php?YA=CH_MEM_OF_FL
About the Author
Cheryl was born into a poor mining family in the South Wales Valleys. Until she was 16, the toilet was at the bottom of the garden and the bath hung on the wall. Her refrigerator was a stone slab in the pantry and there was a black lead fireplace in the kitchen. They look lovely in a museum but aren’t so much fun to clean.
Cheryl has always been a storyteller. As a child, she’d make up stories for her nieces, nephews and cousin and they’d explore the imaginary worlds she created, in play.
Later in life, Cheryl became the storyteller for a re-enactment group who travelled widely, giving a taste of life in the Iron Age. As well as having an opportunity to run around hitting people with a sword, she had an opportunity to tell stories of all kinds, sometimes of her own making, to all kinds of people. The criticism was sometimes harsh, especially from the children, but the reward enormous.
It was here she began to appreciate the power of stories and the primal need to hear them. In ancient times, the wandering bard was the only source of news, and the storyteller the heart of the village, keeping the lore and the magic alive. Although much of the magic has been lost, the stories still provide a link to the part of us that still wants to believe that it’s still there, somewhere.
In present times, Cheryl lives in a terraced house in the valleys with her son, dog, hamster and two cats. Her daughter has deserted her for the big city, but they’re still close. She’s never been happier since she was made redundant and is able to devote herself entirely to her twin loves of writing and art
The prizes are 2 5$ Amazon Gift Cards, 1 ecopy of Memories of Forgotten Love, and 1 ecopy of The Face in the Window.