Amnesia

The story I’m writing is one that is still affecting me today.

I am telling this story to the best of my knowledge based on the information I have learned since regaining my memory.

The story goes I was working outside my house on the roof. Suddenly, the ladder fell back and me with it. I landed on the floor and hit my bed, becoming unconscious. I had ripped the gutter off the house as I tried to hold on.

For reference, I own a 3 story architectural home by the woods in the outskirts of Vancouver and it was necessary to keep the gutters clear every week or so. I was on the the highest part of the house at the time.

I was found by my wife some time later who phoned 911 and I was taken to hospital where I woke up some weeks later.

I woke up with amnesia not knowing who anyone was, not knowing where I was and forgetting my own name. Every time I tried to think of who I was and where I lived, I drew a blank, like a faded memory and I tried so hard to remember. I remembered everything else I had ever learned i.e. what a man is, how to speak English, what cold and hot was, etc but just the part about who I was and where I was.

I trusted the doctors but the woman who kept visiting me, my wife did not seem familiar. This upset her hugely. Some my friends saw me as well but they also didn’t seem familiar. I was terrified but it was a result of the trauma I had suffered.

Weeks later, I was cleared to go home. Unfamiliar with my surroundings and my wife, I started to suffer from anxiety and became very paranoid. Nothing felt familiar to me until I came home. Over time things started to come back to me albeit very slowly. Things still felt foreign but I did my best to remember and get on with life.

I worked at a local hardware store so I met with my boss. Even though I had no idea who he was or working there, he was very accomodating to my new condition and kept me employed as I was their best worker and was much loved by the regular customers. I returned to work when the doctors said I was okay to do so within a limited capacity and I took to the job like fish to water.

The customers were happy to see me back and I could tell that I had found myself again, at least at work.

But at home was a different story. I remember the house and remember how it came to be. I started to remember flashes of building it. Unfortunately I still didn’t remember my wife. I did remember her vaguely as a person involved in my life but I didn’t remember the happy days of our lives such as the first date, the wedding or the honeymoon.

It was extremely hard on my wife but she was very caring. She attended to my every need even though each day was hard for her. She would tell me about how we met, how we fell so madly in love with eachother and the day we eloped, days before I had my fall and lost my memory.

She told me that she had only moved in a few days before so the house was still decorated like a bacherlor pad. She had canceled the lease on her apartment and moved in with me so had’t assimilated into my house yet. This explained the lack of photos we had together, the “me-style” house and how little of a presence she had in the house.

My colleagues were surprised that I had met someone that quick but knew me well. It had been years since I last dated anyone since my girlfriend lost her life and they told me that I’d know when the right girl would come along, so they weren’t surprised by my sudden arrangements. They met my wife for the first time at the hospital after I didn’t make it in to work the next day.

The only family I had was a brother who lived in New Zealand but it was evident we didn’t speak, so I had no reason to contact him and let him know of my fall or my recent marriage.

Fast forward a few months.

My wife was becoming more and more upset. My amnesia was taking a toll on her and we had not sex since I came out from the hospital. I could see that she was barely keeping it together, so one night we sat down to speak about our future.

I told her that I can’t bear to see her this way and she deserved more than what she was getting. She burst into tears at the signs of an obvious breakup cliche but I knew it was the right thing to do by her, at least until I got my head together. I told her that I needed some space but maybe we could remain friends and hang out.

I offered her one of the bedrooms and to live in the house until she found her own way but she insisted of moving out to her own place. She worked as a receptionist for some sort of fabrication company so she was able to support herself as she had done before. Honestly, this gave me a massive sense of relief as I already felt terrible for putting her through all of this even though it was out of my control.

So on the last night, we sat down to have dinner together – my idea of a send-off. We ate risotto and drank red wine. After we had dinner, I took our empty plates to the kitchen as I was hosting the event. When I put the plates down by the sink, I turned around to find my wife standing there with tears running down her face. Her eyeliner ran down her checks and her arms were held behind her back.

I told her she gave me a fright. She apologised and said “let me make that up to you”. Confused, I stood there as she walked towards me. She came right up, staring into my eyes, coming close to me and putting her arm around my neck. I stood frozen as it was obvious what she was doing. She was attempting to seduce me. Maybe it was the fact that she had too much wine but she was obviously attracted to me.

I didn’t hold her back but I didn’t embrace it either. Her lips neared mine, then suddenly… I felt a sharp pain in my abdomen. I stepped back to look down and saw her other arm holding a knife in me. She pulled the knife out of me and the blood ran everywhere. She stabbed me again, this time in a different spot. She had the most horrifying look of aggression on her face as she repeatedly stabbed me.

She stepped back with the final pull of the knife and I clenched my wounds trying to stop the bleeding… falling to the ground as I gasped for air.

My wife dropped the knife on the floor beside me and disappeared out of my sight. I looked around but couldn’t see her anymore. My vision started to blur and I was quickly losing conciousness. I felt my shirt become heavy as it soaked up my blood. My cell phone was in my pocket and with my last bit of what ever power I had left in me, I reached for it from my pocket and put it on the ground beside me.

With my bloodied hands, I tried to press on the Emergency. All I could think to myself in that moment was why anyone would design a touch screen, but I suppose it wasn’t designed to be used while you’re bleeding out.

I dialled 911 and begged for an ambulance. I don’t remember the rest after that but I woke up in hospital under police guard.

The police were there to protect me and gather a statement from me once I had regained conciousness. Thanks to CCTV footage at my house, police were able to identify my wife as the suspect and had taken her into custody.

After speaking to police, I learned why I could remember everything except my wife or our life before my fall.

My wife wasn’t my wife. She was known to police under a different name for a string of charges including assault and battery, aggravated burglary, drug abuse, drug dealing and grand theft auto. After her capture, her DNA also matched the DNA form my dead ex-girlfriend’s body.

CCTV also showed that there was a person at the bottom of my ladder that day when I fell to the ground and lost conciousness. I was also injected with something called benzos, a type of drug which caused me to lose my memory. And the elopement was obviously fake.

As I said at the beginning, this still affects me today. I’m just glad that my girlfriend’s killer is now found.

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