'You're not abnormal Bella, know that?' the father figure of my life said looking straight into my eyes with my hands captured into his larger one.
I smiled through my car's driver side window and gave him a squeeze, 'I sure do, Albert.'
'Have a safe journey, dear.'
'Bye.' For the last time Albert gave me a squeeze and let it go. I left the house named 'Spencer's'.
Every one does not have some unique qualities, but those who have, world becomes a tough place for them. In another word, that quality makes them to be different separated somehow. And then comes a day when they start asking themselves, 'am I normal?'
This is my story. I'm Isabella Bradshaw. Don't ask me any further details because I can't satisfy you. I don't know my past. That's why I needed to come to my Councillor, Albert Spencer.
In his words one day he found an eighteen year old girl freezing beside some dustbin barely clad with adequate clothes on an evening of chilly December.
He took pity on that girl and brought her home. He gave her warm clothes, provide her food. And the girl slept until next afternoon. Then that betrayer ran away from his house. The only thing she took with herself was the chart he made collecting information from this girl.
That chart said that my name was Isabella Bradshaw. I was approximately 5'9"; my weight that time was 120lb. I represented a shaven head, an anaemic, ill-nutrient skin and some other medico stuff that didn't penetrated my thick skull. Only one thing I memorised; my name. I recited it like that was the only word I had ever learnt. I roamed about for several days but ultimately gave in and returned his house.
There his tried his best to make me recall my past. But I was too blanked out. I was helpless and ready to give in but he made me realise that even without knowing much about ourselves like anyone.
'You're the one who has lost her memory Bella, not the one who has lost her past,'
'But what the difference does that make?' a frightened young girl cried in severe insecurity.
'It does Bella. We live in present. Neither past, nor future dictates what we should do and what should not. But every passing moment does. If you believe in God I must say, he has given you the chance to make the one of your own. He took away your past so that it can't be an obstacle in your future. He has done this because he wants you to make your future brighter. Not anyone has this chance Bella. Don't put your back against it.'
Albert's soothing words were like warm blessings to me. He did everything for me even knowing I might not co operate. About one and half year later I found myself in a better way, a newer Isabella Bradshaw.
My health recovered and I coped up with strong muscles. My physical fitness and quick reflexes made me eligible for the job Police. Not in higher ranks but it was enough for me to bear my own expenditure. But the main problem with this job was they used to transfer their employees throughout the state. So when my transfer letter came, Albert, the sixty five year old 'kid' cried at the news, as if he was separating from someone of his own. I came to know gradually that he had a five year old grandchild who died four years ago. My heart ached seeing his eyes get moist. But I convinced him somehow and left for my job at Seattle, Washington.
Since that day I used to spend my holidays at Olympia with Albert when ever my busy work schedule provided time. And I came to know the fact that I love driving. The journey from Seattle to Olympia was always great; it always felt like homecoming.
But returning Seattle was difficult. Today was no exception. When I hit the Highway my eyes pricked and started getting wet. Every 'good-bye' from Albert made me pathetic. As I discovered myself I found I wasn't that 'crying' type of girl? Even in much pain I don't feel like break.
I was a peculiar girl and the most peculiar thing about me was I was a Mentalist.
It didn't hit me until I wasn't at Seattle.
It was one of the early days of my work. I was investigating on some murder case and my duty was to interrogate a suspect. As I remained looking at his eyes, everything went black for an instance. Then it filled with bright white light and later the picture in front of me was a room. As if I was sitting in someone's living room. It felt too known to me. But that instance I couldn't remember the exact place. But a cold wave passed through my pine as I saw the lady arguing with someone. She was the lady who had been murder a day ago. The scenes kept going on and I just watched how the lady was murdered. Then again every drop of light washed away and I was back in interrogation room.
I was totally spellbound. What had I just seen? Was that real? Did I dream that? Oh God! For heaven's sake, I couldn't now start daydreaming with open eyes!
I felt nausea tic for a moment and I went for washroom. I splashed cold water on my face over and over. Then a realisation hit me. I didn't know the clothes the lady was wearing at the time of murder. I even didn't hear about the name Will Parker anywhere in her history. But when I was in that trance I knew his name, as if I was into that suspect's body. As if he witnessed the crime.
It was bullshit. But it was so real. It felt like if I wished I could almost touch the lady.
But the fact was that the suspect was not her murderer. I didn't know my senior officers would listen to me or not but I had to save that innocent person. I took a deep breath to gather my courage and asked my fellow officer to search this Will Parker, the nephew of this older lady.
Any information about the case was true and Will Parker ultimately confessed his crime.
But I went sick with the realisation about the fact that I was some kind of Freak!
I thought for a psychiatrist and contacted him. He informed that it was normal for some people to see what was not real. He kept on telling his bullshits and I started getting distracted bit by bit. Then I felt goose bumps rose at the back of my neck as I kept looking at the picture kept on his table. It was a picture of baby girl. I saw for a moment that the girl fell form cliff into the sea and died. My eyes broadened as came to the reality. I gulped and asked the doctor with breath caught in my throat,
He stopped as if someone had slapped on his face
'What the hell you're talking about?'
'She is in Florida, with your wife. Isn't she? Call her immediately and tell her to stay away from any cliff or anything.
The words came out from my mouth but I wasn't actually saying them. I was horrified and terror captured me like it was going to engulf me. I left the doctor's chamber immediately and started running through the Alley. I didn't know where to go or where to find rescue from the terror. I felt extreme terror to look at anyone or make eye contact. I put on a sunglass even at night and roamed about. After two or more hours roaming aimlessly I stepped inside a bar and drowned myself in the alcohol.
Next day when I woke up I felt my whole body ache with pain. But in my mind I was too numb because I had cornered myself as a psych. I don't know when I called the doctor; his secretary informed that he left for Florida where a pathetic accident happened to his child.
The earth down my feet engulfed me as I remained there standing with the phone kept in my hand. The day passed like blur. I didn't know what to do with myself. I felt the terror again, terror to face anyone. I thought if I look at anyone I'll watch them die. I locked myself in the apartment and called sick at office. I paced back and forth in my apartment trying to figure out, trying to rationalise incidents happened with me.
I thought over and over but found nothing to recall from my past. I wasn't sure if it happened with me or not because I had no memory. But the way behaved in both incidents like I knew what I had to do. As if I knew I had to tell the doctor about his daughter as early as possible so that I could save the girl. It almost felt like an easy going reflex. As if I was familiar with these type of incidents. But unfortunately I had no memory to recall.
I kept locked up in my apartment for next two days. Then that night I saw him.
Earlier at Albert's I used to have night mares. Those were most of a particularly topic. I dreamt I was locked up in some tube with my hands tied up in hand-cuff. I was naked. My head was spinning with severe cold with in the tube. As I opened my eyes in surge need I saw the face smirking with evil smile. This time he said something. He said, 'welcome home Bella'.
When I woke up I was shivering even under two blankets. I was horrified, scared, frightened, and insecure. I didn't know how to win that face which always intruded my mind.
Next morning I woke up and even without the second thought I went for Albert.
He listened all of it with great attention. Then he stopped for w while and said, 'as you describe, it looks like I found you just you ran away from him. But I don't have the minimum idea what the hell he wanted to do with you.'
'Albert, how did you know my name? I mean when I woke up I couldn't remember my name. Then how did you?'
'It surprised me too when next day you couldn't remember your name. Because it was the last thing you said before you passed you that night.'
'Did I tell you my name?'
'Yes.' Albert placed a hand on my shoulder and said,' I don't know what happened to you kid. But my heart sank when I saw a little horrified girl coiled near gutter. I've never seen anyone with this large span Amnesia. It even stopped me from going to the Police Station because I felt you'll be harassed even more.'
'Thanks for everything Albert. I'll never be able to convey how much gratified I am to you.' I hugged him in fierce grip and started crying for the first time in all these days. His touch reassured the security I needed.
Those were two years ago. Things started to change after Albert made me realise that I should actually accept the 'special quality' I possessed. It wasn't something evil I felt when those visions came. So I could accept it. Though they were not something I could stop if I wished but co-operating with this was always a wise decision. So I started compromise with the fact that I was something different, somewhat kept aside. But I was who I was, myself.
Might be this was the cause that kept me aside from people, from making friends. It was this way might be because I had nothing to share when my colleagues shared stories from their hometown, grad school or family or crack a joke. The feeling that how lonely I was actually, always made my way blocked to call them friends. I was like a blank page, erased out everything once written on it. But my colleagues were kind to me; they always tried to involve me into their chats. I used to interact for a while then used to listen to them being a dumb.
So I clung onto my job. I really liked it. And the special power helped me to get promotions too. Though I never disclosed my talents anyone other than Albert, all knew I had some kind of 'gut feeling' which helps me to solve mysteries.
Things seemed to be okay. The journey from Olympia to Seattle was always tiring. It was mid November and rains were on their full strength. Even at 6:30the sky is too dark and temperature might have fallen below 7 degrees. All these made my journey even longer.
The radio was playing one of my favourite songs by Dana Kirstein.
I hear silent whisper & I know you're close,
I watch you shadow linger & I feel your ghost.
How long, how far do I need to go?
Before your splintered heart opens up and takes my soul?
I can't stop singing with Dana whenever I hear this song. I mouthed the song and kept on steady speed. It was when I turned a right turn and my headlights enlightened a lone figure standing near a car.
Inside the darkest corners of a haunted mind,
I see scattered pictures of a lonely child.
How long, how far do I need to go?
Before your splintered heart opens up and takes my sole?
The figure's left hand was signalling for a lift. I automatically slowed down and stopped just crossing her. It seemed like the person hesitated for a moment to come near my car but ultimately came.
As I glided down the passenger side mirror, my world stopped spinning.
If I would ever be able to describe the beauty standing in front of me, I would declare myself the luckiest one. She was a petite woman, assumingly at her early twenties. She was wearing a huge pull over with the hood fell upon on her head covering almost mid of her forehead. As I looked at her brown orbs, I felt captivated. They were the darkest shades of brown, gently placed under perfectly sculptured eyebrows. A pair of black rimmed glasses was placed on her raised nose. The high cheekbone of creamy white skin prominently declared that she wasn't wearing any make up.
Her eyes were to die for. I had heard about smoky eyes but, never really met anyone having that treasure. That day when I laid my gaze at her I felt captivated. They were the most beautiful pair that hypnotizes you, makes you feel powerless at their gaze.
I don't know how long I stared at the stranger's treasures; suddenly her voice tore me from my silent musings.
'Hi..... Um I was actually heading Seattle and was in hurry but suddenly I skipped and my car struck there. It seems worst day for me because my car battery has died down... so...um... if you're heading Seattle too can I have lift?'
Her rapid encounter and embarrassment made me smile. I don't know if I smiled or not but then I heard her saying,' but its okay if you're going to reject. Thanks anyway.'
And there she started to return back. It sucks when you're a silent person and your silence creates misunderstandings.
'Hey I'm not going to reject you. I'm heading Seattle too. So if you're.... just hop up' I'm never good at conversations so I thought to make it as short as possible.
'Are you sure? I mean it's not like that I haven't been rejected before but......um....... Are you sure?'
It's a quite funny thing when a damn beautiful stammers in front of you. But it's miserable to keep yourself from laughing. I tried really hard.
'Yes, I am. Now please get into the car before you get wet all over.'
I saw her cheeks become scarlet. Did she really blush because of my words? Or it was the cold? I felt confused.
Then she hurried, 'let me take my bag and I'll be right back'
And she did. After securing her bag at the back seat she got into the car and I increased the car heater. Settling down she turned at me and smiled,
'Thank you so much for the lift. I don't know what I would do if you passed too as many cars did. I'm Amanda by the way. Amanda Long.'
She offered her hand and I lifted one hand from the stirring and shook it.
It was too cold. But it wasn't the cold that made an electricity pass trough my spine. At least I didn't feel the electricity was such innocent because it made the thing pulsating down there. I almost tore our connection because I had no intention to bump against the car in front.
A silence then fell between us. I desperately wanted to talk to her but found no word. I searched and searched, then she talked again,' Isabella, you mind if I ask your cell phone? I think my phone has died too.'
Oh crap! I don't use cell phones. I just hate how these things occupy someone's personal time.
'Sorry I don't have any.' I saw a perfect disappointment in her face,' but I guess I have a walky-talky. You need to inform someone?'
'Yeah I guess so. I mean if you can call a nearby garage to take care my car then it would be great.'
It was just then we were entering Seattle. After securing the car at side lane I communicated to the nearby garage.
'They say they will take care of it. You give me your car number.' She did and I disconnected the call and start driving again.
'Thank you for everything Isabella; I don't know how to thank you.'
'You're welcome Amanda.' I smiled genuinely. For the first time in my life I felt really good to help someone.
'It's a nice car. I love the interior.'
'Thank you. But this isn't my own. I was given after the promotion.'
'So you're in.........' she left the question unasked and I completed,
'Yes, I'm in investigation department, Seattle State Police.'
'Wow! Now I know why you have a Walkie-Talky instead of cell phone.'
I smiled the way she said this.
We chatted for a while and then there was the last turn I had to make to head my home. But she didn't tell me where she wanted to go. So I asked, 'Amanda, where should I drop you?'
Again she went crimson. What the hell man! Did I have to wash my tongue before I talked?
'Um... I was heading to downtown. Can you drop me to the exchange?'
She retrieved the bag from the backseat and started to sort out something.
I don't know why, but I was feeling sad. I've met this pretty girl just an hour ago and I was feeling low because I had to let her go? Wasn't that enough weird? I was about to ask her for her phone number just when I heard her muttering something.
'Yeah! I...uh... I can't remember where I had put the booking slip into my kitbag.'
'Well, search the whole bag then.'
'I'm doing so.' And she searched again. After a couple of minutes I asked her, 'you sure you had packed them?'
'As a matter of fact, no, I couldn't remember and now I'm sure I hadn't.'
'So? You even don't have an e-mail?'
'I have. But I didn't bring my laptop.'
Well, now that seemed a real problem.
I opened my car GPRS and asked to tell the name of the hotel. She did and we found the hotel easily.
I decided to stay in the car but the insecurity I saw in her mesmerising eyes made me to walk her to the reception.
Receptionist tried to help us but couldn't because she wasn't able to show exact proof to be the eligible holder.
I tried to help too but rules were rules and we were unlucky.
After arguing a while she abruptly started walking towards the exit, but I didn't notice at first. When I did I started following her. She came outside the lobby and stopped at the corner. Unmistakably she was crying, but I felt unable to make her feel well. I stood near her but didn't say a word.
She noticed me just then and said offering a smile,' hey I'm so sorry I put you into this. Thank you for everything you did.' She shrugged and offered her hand,' it was nice to meet you Isabella.'
I looked straight into her eyes ignoring her offered hand. She was shivering under her formality and those expressive brown eyes were pleading me not to leave her there.
'You trust me?'
'Huh!' I made her surprise but I was sure at my decision.
'You feel okay to come with me?'
'Yes, but Hell! I..... WAIT! What are you......?'
She kept fumbling as I started walking, taking her bag in one hand.
She ran behind me and stopped grabbing the sleeves of my jacket.
'Wait! I can't take your help any more. I mean this is insane! You can't take me to your home.'
'Why?' I encountered.
'Nothing... Besides, I wasn't actually taking you my home without your permission. But I could manage a shelter for tonight.'
'Why are you doing this?' she pleaded.
I wanted to say, because I couldn't let you feel helpless when I was near you.
'That is because it's one of my duties to help someone who is in need.'
Without wasting another word I walked to my car, placed the bag at the backseat and opened the passenger door for her. She hesitated for a moment then got into the car.
I started the car and kept going. After a while she finally asked, 'Officer, where are you planning to take me?'