Carson - the lead character of this story - has lost his memory. He had been in prison for the most youthful 6 years of his life. The only problem though is - he even does not remember the crime for which he went to prison, because he had lost memory before even going to prison. He has distanced himself from the family and finally when he is set free, he is struggling with memory, emotions, people and their reaction. This story will mostly shed lights on his past, how he recovers from the memory loss and whether he will be accepted in the normal society. Whether he can forgive himself. Whether there will be anybody to help him out.
Chapter 1 - Meet the World
I finished the paperwork and moved my legs in the direction of the big gate. Running my fingers on the white towering walls, I was now recollecting the six years I spent here. With each step I put forward towards the other life that was waiting for me, I started to rethink whether I was ready to adapt whatever was coming for me. Could I be somebody else outside, whom people would accept, like I was accepted here? Could I face the real world from which I had been away for these taunting long time? Anyway, did I remember anything that I would consider as my real world? I had started believing that the place where I was standing now was my world. I stopped as I saw the big gate through which once I was brought in here. That day I did not know why I was brought in here, now I knew, but I really couldn't remember.
The gates cringed and led me outside to believe that finally I could have all the sunlight, all the air, all the space and all the freedom I wanted. I blinked so many times to adjust to the brightness and beauty of nature. Had I missed this? How could I miss this when I didn't remember if I were ever a part of all this? I had heard that the world outside was different; I had read about it, I had watched it on TV and I had talked about it. But I didn't remember anything.
Once I was out of those so familiar huge walls, I turned around to have a final look at the surrounding - Once these giant walls surrounded me also. Once? Some minutes ago, I was behind these walls, I was out now. Did I really want to come out?
There would be rare people like me who could manage to smile at themselves - standing in front of this so-called unfortunate closure, which was called "California Correctional Institution" - in short Tehachapi Prison. The person, who came to me, saying I was allowed to set free, was in uniform and he looked happier than me for I was set free. His name was Zack, I found him most of the time roaming outside my cell, guarding me and the other person with whom I was sharing the cell for last 3 years. I was still in doubt - should I go back and tell them that I wanted to stay here forever. Because I seriously didn't know any reason for which I should've been happy. Why? Why would someone not be happy about being released from a prison, after spending six youthful beautiful years there? There was a reason for it.
See, I didn't remember anything that happened or would have happened before I was sent to this prison - in short, I had lost my memory. Not that nothing had been done to bring back my memory, but the thing was, probably I never paid more attention to it. In this prison also I was getting some treatments which would bring my memory back, but all in vain. At first I cried, I shouted, I got punishment, but now I was kind of habituated with it. Sometimes I thought - how it would be if I could remember what crime I had done, so that I was sent here. But nothing came to my mind. I had heard the doctors saying that I could get back my memory, if at least part of the incidents would repeat. As a smile was creeping at one side of my lips, I didn't even remember how I lost my memory. Anyway, I had been asked to look forward and forget this life which I spent behind the bars. What an irony, I had been asked to forget the minimum things which I remembered of my life. Yes, the only time of my life which I remembered was - the last six years.
"Anyway, let me find out something for me." I looked up ahead and found out two middle aged people standing outside the smaller gate which was hardly 100 meters from where I was standing. I had been seeing these two people from the time I had been brought here. They claimed to be my parents and I couldn't even think of to be their son. In these last six years they would have come 6 to 7 hundred times to meet me, but each time I had refused to meet them. I mean, why should I meet somebody whom I couldn't remember and on top of that those stupid crying faces. I still remembered the first time they came to meet me and I denied recognizing them. They tried to convince me and I shouted and scolded them. Later I was dragged to my cell and given punishment for displaying such harsh behavior to visitors.
Zack's words still echoed in my ears, "Look man, I understand you don't remember anything and you don't like people claiming their rights on you and throwing their relationships at you. I can understand your state of mind, but out there, those are the only people who would stand beside you. They are your parents and how much ever you deny it, it cannot be changed. Please be good to them, they have suffered a lot in these last six years. Now that you are set free, allow them to be happy and celebrate their happiness."
Zack had told me opening my handcuffs. Actually true, I didn't think anybody would turn up to meet me and shed tears for me so often if they would not love me so much. Even if I didn't agree that they were my parents, I knew that it was true and at least I could behave for the unconditional love I had seen from them in all these years.
The man might be in his fifties and the woman also was approaching that age. They had dark circles around their eyes. Their smile was like one in a billion, as if they had got the most desired thing in the world. Probably it was me, I was back to them, and so they were happy. I, though, was still in doubt whether I wanted to be really back to them. The worst part was I didn't know where I belonged. Other days, when they came to meet me, they were allowed inside, at least to the room where people met. Today they had just decided to stay outside and wait for me. I didn't know the reason for this and definitely I didn't want to know. I could see the old man blinking his eyes to avoid tears, where the woman did not bother to wipe her tears. Her tears were a mix of happiness and sorrow. I could understand about the happiness part, but what about the sorrow. Well maybe because I didn't remember her - of course it must be awful on her part to see her son not remembering her.
I walked towards them shrugging the emotional scene away and before I could go to them, they both rushed towards me and hugged me tightly. Though I felt uncomfortable, but this time I was determined not to disappoint them. I also hugged them back slightly.
"How are you son?" The woman asked, her voice heavy with emotion, well I could tell that 'my mother' asked. I hoped I would take time to adjust to call them mom and dad. I just smiled as an answer to her question.
Now it was turn of my dad to speak. "You know, today is your birthday. You are 24 years old now. Happy birthday Carson!"
The whole story will be written in Carson's POV. Let me know what you think of this story. Is it good? I will post one chapter every week. Sorry if the chapters are too short unlike my other stories, I have written up to 13 chapters already and they all are written with almost this length. So please bear with this one.