Thursday, January 10, 2019

Microstory 1014: Gertrude

My name is Gertrude Feldt, of the Blast City Feldts, or so they tell me. I’m kidding. I actually do remember who I am, and much of my childhood, but the closer you get to the incident, the hazier it is. I remember virtually nothing from the last few years of my life. The doctors called that the robot’s law for Mercury retrograde amnesia, or something. I wasn’t really paying much attention. Anyway, I was apparently there when Viola died. They tell me she and I were pretty good friends, and we liked to hang out by Masters Creek, but that must have been a fairly recent development. It’s funny that, uhh...was it Rolof who told you to start with the classmates who knew her the least? Sorry, I’m still relearning names. I knew most of these people when we were younger, but I was kind of in my own world back then, and didn’t have the inclination to memorize my contemporaries. So yeah, I might be able to tell you less than anyone else can, even though apparently I was part of that whole group. The others girls in that clique haven’t spoken much to me. Wanda’s been the nicest, but even she’s rather distant with me. If I had my memories, I might be offended by this all, but it means so little to me now. When I first woke up, I was confused and belligerent. I was getting over some pretty bad physical trauma, of course, so I wasn’t capable of thinking clearly. Once all that passed, and the pain started subsiding, though, life became clearer. Not a single memory has returned from the threshold since then, but I’ve fully recovered emotionally. I truly don’t care about those memories. Sure, it would be nice if I could answer the sheriff’s huge array of questions about what went down that day—maybe give the Woods family a little closure—but other than that, I’m great. I feel like I can start fresh, and I don’t even know why. What am I missing? What events unfolded in my life that defined me, and what I became, and what am I without them? I’m still Gertrude Feldt, right? Right? Who else might I be? I have all the knowledge I learned in school all this time, even though I don’t recall the moments I learned them. I have all the skills I grew up with, and all my credentials. I have a caring family who have been rockstars in the face of this adversity, and I have several prospects for colleges. Do not misunderstand me, I wouldn’t recommend losing your memory, because again, what am I missing? Did I experience something so phenomenally beautiful, and unique to me, that I will never get back. Did my former self know the loving touch of another woman, but that woman has not taken the opportunity to tell me about it, and no one else knows? Could it have been Viola? Could we have been closer than anyone else realized, and could that have played a part in her ultimate demise? Could it have even been the driving force behind the terrible crime? As freeing as I’ve considered my new reality, these questions you’re making me ask are really bumming me out. Thanks, Alma, for the positively depressing wake up call. Maybe it’s exactly what I need. You seem to know me so well, but I don’t remember a thing about you. Were you and I friends as well?

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