Sorry for the delay, but I finally sat down and banged out a few pages. This is where it’s gone this go round.
Elise had prepared a small study in the cabin when she had first occupied it several weeks ago and had yet to put it to much use. As sparse as the rest of the cabin was, the study was a drastic move in the opposite direction. The walls were lined with bookcases from floor to ceiling, most of which were books that she’d consumed during her collegiate studies. There was one full section that was dedicated to pleasure reading, which for the moment contained three volumes she had picked up from the local library. She had yet to read a single page as she had been so devoted to preparing the cabin for her current, self-imposed sabbatical from the rest of the world.
The rest of the office appeared as though it had almost literally been removed from a high-tech office complex. She had paid a large sum of money to have the room prepared for all potential needs and it had been outfitted with a server in the closet, to store her previous work files. She had made sure that she had contacted the phone and cable companies in the surrounding area and had settled on a cable line for internet service as the phone company had not yet made high-speed internet a priority this far from town.
Elise wasn’t much of a TV watch, but since they provided such a discount for both when you bought both internet and television she told the salesperson to go ahead and install both just so she could get him off of the phone. She had been surprised that she actually used the television more than she thought she would, but it mainly provided a background noise so that she didn’t feel completely alone and isolated. The part she enjoyed the most was the ability to turn it off if she became too annoyed by it, something she had always wished she could do to other people before.
She thought about that wistfully for a moment as a sly smile crept over her face and she laughed as she remembered a heated exchange with a previous colleague. She had always loathed him, mostly because he was a supreme letch and was constantly making crude sexual remarks at her expense. She extended her hand holding her imaginary remote and slid her hand over the mute button, just as he opened his mouth to spew more of his rancid overtures and she pressed it with delight. In her mind’s eye, he became frantic as he realized she had silenced him and he pantomimed sorrow and begged a silent plea for forgiveness.
As she stood over him, true glee was filling her and she was actually experiencing a joy that she hadn’t felt prior to her grandfather’s death. While she stood basking in the glory of her imagined triumph, John had walked in the room and startled her when he spoke.
“What are you laughing about?”
“Shit!” Elise said, jumping back as she snapped out of her reverie.
“I didn’t mean to startle you.”
“Well, you sure failed there, but I’m almost ready for you, so don’t go far.”
“Okay, I was just going to the bathroom.”
“Thanks for the update, John. I don’t think I need a play-by-play.”
John looked puzzled as he walked down the hall towards his destination. He was still not sure about a lot, but he was definitely getting the basics of day-to-day life down including these pressing needs.
When he returned, Elise had situated a small basket-weave cane chair in front of the chaise so that she could attempt a hypnosis therapy with John to try to regain anything that he’d lost. She wasn’t exactly sure how well this was going to work because she’d never seen anyone that had been wiped so clean before. As she thought about that, her mind wandered to possibilities of brain washing and terrorism causing her to shudder.
She wasn’t prepared for this as a possibility and hoped that this was merely a product of her new found anxiety. She knew that when a mind had been poked and prodded in these ways, memory extraction could, in some cases, prove to be damaging and dangerous.
John seemed to be a willing enough participant, which she hoped would prove to aid in the return of something they could use to determine exactly who he was. She also thought that by tampering with a fresh brain trauma that she could make his condition worse, but John seemed ready to try it and she wasn’t about to rain on his parade.
Elise had John rest on the large chaise-style, leather chair she had recently purchased for this space, which he found to be very comfortable. She reached over and wrapped her fingers gently around his wrist and gave it a soft squeeze.
“Are you ready to find out who you are?” she said in an almost whispered tone.
“What have we got to lose?” he said, shrugging his shoulders.
“It’s what we may gain that has me concerned.”
“Well, you could have endured any number of traumas to cause such a substantial loss of memory and your mind is most likely in a very tender state right now. If we poke around, we could risk further trauma.”
“You sure know how to instill confidence in a guy,” he said sheepishly.
They locked eyes for a moment and she could sense the apprehension pulsating through him. For a moment, she thought that it would be best to delay their session a day or two so that he could focus on healing and maybe remember something on his own, but she looked back into his eyes and noticed a calm sweeping over him that she couldn’t explain.
“Alright, let’s begin.”