“You know each other?” I ask.
The younger, lookalike version of Silas nods his head. “We’re brothers.” He says this loudly while pointing first to Silas and then himself. “I am your brother,” he says again, looking at Silas.
“So you said,” Silas says with a slight grin on his face. He glances at me, then back at Landon. “Mind if I take a look at your ID?”
The boy rolls his eyes but pulls a wallet out of his back pocket.
“I like that cool, rolling your eyes thing you have going on,” Silas says as he opens the boy’s wallet.
“What’s your name?” I ask him.
He tilts his head, narrowing his eyes at me. “I’m Landon,” he tells me, as if I should know this. “The better-looking Nash brother.”
I smile weakly as Silas looks over Landon’s ID. He’s a good kid. You can tell by his eyes.
“So,” I say, looking at Silas. “You don’t know who you are, either? And we’re trying to figure this all out together? And every forty-eight hours we forget again?”
“Yeah,” he says. “Sounds about right.”
This feels like a dream. Not reality.
And then it hits me. I’m dreaming. I burst into laughter, just as Landon hands me a sack. I think my laughter caught him by surprise.
“What’s this?” I ask, opening the sack.
“You asked me to bring you a change of clothes.”
I look down at the gown I’m wearing, and then at the clothes. “Why am I wearing this?”
He shrugs. “That’s what you were wearing last night when Silas found you.”
Silas pushes open the bathroom door for me. The clothes have tags on them, so I pull them off and begin to change. A cute black top with long sleeves and jeans that fit like they were made for me. Who gets new clothes in their dreams?
“I love this dream!” I yell through the bathroom door.
When I’m finished changing, I swing open the door and clap my hands together. “All right, boys. Let’s go. Where to?”
I make a quick check of the hotel room as Charlie and Landon file out. I grab the empty trash sack out of the small can under the desk and shove all of our notes into it. When I’m certain I have everything, I follow Charlie and Landon outside.
Charlie is still smiling when we reach the car. She honestly thinks this is a dream, and I don’t have the heart to tell her it isn’t. It’s not a dream. It’s actually a nightmare and we’ve been living it for more than a week now.
Landon climbs inside the car, but Charlie waits for me by the back door. “You want to ride in the front with your brother?” she asks, forming air quotes with her fingers.
I shake my head and reach around her to open the door. “No, you can ride in the front.” She begins to turn when I grab her arm. I lean down to her ear and whisper. “You aren’t dreaming, Charlie. This is real. Something is happening to us and you need to take it seriously so we can figure it out, okay?”
When I pull back, her eyes are wide. The smile is gone from her face and she doesn’t nod. She just gets in the car and closes the door.
I claim my spot in the back seat and pull my phone out of my pocket. There’s a reminder set on it, so I open it.
Go to the police station first. Get the backpack and read every note and journal entry you can…as fast as you can.
I close out the reminder, knowing I’ll get about five more reminders in the next two hours. I know this…because I remember setting every single one of them last night.
I remember writing all the notes in this small hotel trash bag that I have clutched tightly in my hand.
I remember grabbing hold of Charlie’s face right before the clock struck 11:00a.m.
I remember whispering never never to her, right before I kissed her.
And I remember ten seconds after our lips touched…she pulled back and had no idea who I was. She had no memory of the last forty-eight hours.
Yet…I remembered every single minute of the last two days.
I just couldn’t tell her the truth. I didn’t want to scare her, and making her believe I was in the same situation as her seemed to be the more comforting option.
I don’t know why I didn’t forget this time, or why she did. I should be relieved that whatever the hell has been going on with us seems to be over for me, but I’m not relieved at all. I’m disappointed. I would rather have lost my memory again with her than to have her be alone in this. At least when we were in it together, we knew it was something we could work out together.
What seemed to be a pattern has now been broken, and I feel like this just makes it even more difficult to figure out. Why was I spared this time? Why was she not? Why do I feel like I can’t be honest with her? Have I always shouldered this much guilt?
I still don’t know who I am, or who I used to be. I only have the last forty-eight hours to go by, which isn’t much. But it’s still better than the half hour of memories Charlie has.
I should just be honest with her, but I can’t. I don’t want this to scare her, and I feel like the only comfort she has right now is knowing she’s not alone in this.
Landon keeps glancing back at me, and then looking at her. I know he thinks we’ve lost our minds. We sort of did lose our minds, but not in the way he’s thinking.
I like him. I wasn’t sure if he’d show up this morning like I asked him to, since he’s still doubtful. I like that he doubts us, but his loyalty to me trumps his reasoning. I’m sure very few people have that quality.
We’re mostly quiet on the way to the police station, until Charlie turns to Landon and glares at him.
“How do you know we aren’t lying to you?” she asks him. “Why would you even humor us unless you have something to do with what’s happened to us?” She’s more suspicious of him than she is of me.
Landon grips the steering wheel and glances at me in the rearview mirror. “I don’t know that you both aren’t lying. For all I know, you’re getting a kick out of this. Ninety percent of me thinks you two are full of shit and have nothing better to do. Five percent of me thinks maybe you’re telling the truth.”
“That’s only ninety-five percent,” I pipe in from the backseat.
“That’s because the other five percent of me thinks I’m the one who has gone crazy,” he says.