Alex watched as his dad’s coffin was lowered slowly into the already dug grave. Everyone around him cried with all their might. The scene reminded him of his mother’s burial fourteen years back. He remembered how he cried for months hoping that his mother would come back to life, but his tears didn’t bring her back yet here he was trying to force tears out of his eyes to show remorse for his dad’s death but he was emotionless. He couldn’t bring himself to feel any sorrow or pain.
Memories of times he spent with his dad over the years came screaming in his head but it still didn’t help in feeling the mood of the moment. Right there, he wish he could be sympathetic for once in five years, but his lack of emotions always got the better side of him. At least, he knew he loved his dad but he couldn’t express it. His grandma hugged him from behind and whispered into his ears, “You don’t need to keep your tears from flowing, it doesn’t mean you’re weak”
He Found Peace And Serenity In His Loneliness
“I’m trying to at least let out a drop.” he replied. She gave him a slight pat at the back and moved to where the other relatives were. No one really understood why he was that way. He had explained to his dad before he passed away and he had told him to connect more with people. That was a difficult task for him because he disliked people. Ever since his mum died at the age of eight, he had been alone. His friends conspired against him, his school mates bullied and rubbed his mum’s death in his face. There was a girl he used to like but she played him and mocked him in front of her colleagues. Life was always cruel to him and he never really had a special connection with anyone.
He was a rich, spoilt guy yet he was very lonely and he found peace and serenity in his loneliness. He got used to the feeling that he didn’t even realize it was already a part of him. Two years back, he was in a therapy session for three months and none of the talks got to him. The therapist termed him as an alexithymia patient.
He clocked twenty two months ago and here he was still battling with alexithymia yet he was less bothered about it. He could hear the voice of the priest but he wasn’t ready to listen. For some strange reasons, he couldn’t stand the atmosphere, so he turned and left. He needed to drink and pass out.
Flora Was A Soon To Be Graduate Of Business Administration
Flora couldn’t stop staring at the text from her boyfriend. She was certainly reading it for the thirtieth time. It couldn’t be true, she said to herself in a bid to keep herself from tearing apart and crying. John, her boyfriend, had sent her a long text that he was no longer interested in her and that he was tired of the relationship. She couldn’t stop wondering where she had gone wrong over and over. Another text came in from her best friend, reminding her of the class they were to have by 2pm. She looked at the time and realized she had almost forty minutes to prepare for class. She got up from bed angrily and moved to the bathroom to freshen up.
Flora was in her finals at the University, a soon to be graduate of Business Administration. She met John in her second year and it was love at first sight for them. The only thing on her mind as she started preparing for class was how to see John face to face and talk things out with him. He was probably playing games with her.
Tears Rolled Down Her Cheeks Uncontrollably
Soon, she was in school and when the class had ended, she immediately dialed John’s number. He answered on the other end. “Hello?”
“John, what’s the meaning of the text you sent to me?”
“Flora, I’m sorry, I can’t continue anymore. I’ve been wanting to tell you since last week.”
“John, if this is a joke, I want you to stop it. You’re messing with my emotions.”
“Flora, there’s someone else. I can’t deny my feelings for her anymore.”
“On hearing those words, she cut the call. Tears rolled down her cheeks uncontrollably. She had loved only John ever since they were in the relationship and sacrificed her all for him. She looked around to see if anyone could see her crying. Relief filled her when she saw that nobody was looking her way.
The Scent Of The Lady Caused Memories Of His Late Mum To Start Flooding His Head
Alex stood at the entrance of the bar and contemplated going in to drink.
He wondered if it was the right way to mourn his dead father. He tapped the screen of his phone to check the time, it was exactly 9pm. Notifications of calls he had missed rolled in. He ignored them and entered. The whole place was noisy and bubbling as usual. Loud music kept banging as if it wanted to sweep him off his feet. He moved to the counter and ordered for an alcoholic drink.
While he awaited his drink, something struck his senses that made him turn to his side immediately. The lady that was standing right next to him smelled exactly like his mother. The scent of the lady caused memories of his late mum to start flooding his head. For the first time in years, he felt. He felt the pain he felt when he lost his mum. Confusion set right in his mind and he wondered who this lady was. He stylishly watched her with the corner of his eyes.
Why’s Your Heart Weak? You Lost Someone?
“I’d prefer Vodka.” He heard her say. “Plenty ice, please.” She added.
He thought of starting a conversation with the lady and without wasting time, he chipped in. “Wow, didn’t know ladies have strong taste for vodka.” She ignored him and waited for her drink to be served.
“You should be a fan of the beer too.” He added
“I’m a fan of soda, but in times like these, I need something to make my weak heart stronger.” She replied.
He liked her voice. “Why’s your heart weak? You lost someone?”
She nodded and collected her drink then faced him. Young, rich, handsome, spoilt, she thought when her eyes landed on him.
“Mind exchanging your emotions with me so I could know how it feels like to be in pain?” He asked. What am I doing?
“Be careful what you wish for”, she said as she took a sip and gritted her teeth hard while digesting the taste.
He Paused And Wondered Why He Was Sharing his Thoughts With A Stranger
“My dad was buried today and I don’t know how to mourn him. I’m not even feeling it. I know, I understand that I have to be sad but nothing’s making me feel that way.” He paused and wondered why he was sharing his thoughts with a stranger.
“That’s sad. I’m sorry about your father.”
“My name is Alex and you are?”
“I’m Flora” She replied. “And I’m trying to force vodka down my throat because my boyfriend broke up with me. Dumb, right?”
“I wouldn’t say dumb but I’d call it waste of emotions.” He answered and forced a smile.
She gulped the drink and shook her head while fighting with the effect of the drink.
A few more conversations, Alex and Flora were already relating with each other as if they had known each other for ages. When Zayn Malik’s ‘I don’t want to live forever’ started playing in the background, they went to the dance floor to dance in each other’s arms. They each came to the bar to let out their burdens by drinking and passing out but the tables turned and they were enjoying their night with each other instead.
She Hoped He ’d Return The Call
Two days after, Flora didn’t hear from Alex. He didn’t call her nor text her as he had promised. She decided to swallow her ego and call him. He answered on the other end. “Hey” He said coldly. “It’s Flora. The other night?? Remember?” She said as he wondered why he sounded cold. “Yes, I know.” He replied. She took in a deep breath and hung up. She hoped he’d return the call but after waiting for minutes and he didn’t call back, she angrily got up and decided to go for a walk.
As she walked, she plugged in her earphones and ensured the song she was listening to was at its highest volume. As she walked along the roadside, she wondered why she had been facing rejection all her life. She wondered why people she loved never loved her in return. A pity, for she was so lost that she didn’t hear the honking of vehicles around her until she was hit by a bike that tried to avert colliding with a trailer. The hit lifted her off the floor and she came crashing down and slammed her head on the gutter. She passed out. Immediately, people that were around her rushed to her rescue.
Her Phone Rang But There Was No Response
Alex decided to call her back after hours of questioning why she made him feel that way. Since that night, he had been feeling. He was already in love with his alexithymia that made him invulnerable. The fact that it was already breached by a girl he met at the bar seemed ridiculous to him. Her phone rang but there was no response. He dialed it two more times and she didn’t pick.
“She’s probably angry” He thought aloud. His grandma looked at him and smiled. “Son, just admit you’re having feelings for this girl.”
“Grandma, what are you saying?”
“Just call her one last time.”
He didn’t bother arguing with his grandma and he dialed her number again. It was a man that answered the call. “Hello, are you a friend of Miss Flora?
“Yes.” Alex answered, his eyebrows furrowed.
“She had an accident a few hours ago and the doctor said she came down with amnesia.”
“What hospital?!” Alex sprang to his feet and was already out of the house, inside his car and on his way to the hospital.
She’s Been Diagnosed with Amnesia
“She knows her name is Flora. That’s the only thing she knows at the moment.” The doctor said to Alex.
“Can I go in to see her now?” He asked impatiently.
“Not yet. Her parents are having their moment with her and the patient said she’s not interested in seeing anyone. You see, it’s a lot to process for her. She bled a lot, she could have died.”
“I’ll wait for her.” He said.
“Okay” The doctor smiled and left. Alex sat in an empty chair and began regretting not answering her politely over the phone.
After days of requesting to let him see her, he was not allowed. He gave up on her and moved on with his life. Weeks rolled in, months passed by and his emotions were back to zero. He stopped feeling abruptly and avoided people like plague. On a particular evening, he needed to get a few things, so he dashed to the mall. He kept checking the content of the cologne he wanted to buy but he wasn’t satisfied. A lady came to stand beside him and that familiar scent attacked him. He immediately turned to face her. It was no one else but Flora. “Flora?” He asked.
Amnesia Meets Alexithymia
She turned to face him. He threw her into his arms and Flora pushed him from her immediately. “Who are you?” She asked, feeling disgusted.
“I know you don’t remember me, but it is me. It’s me, Alex.”
“I’m sorry, you’ve got the wrong person. My best friend didn’t mention Alex to me.”
“That’s because we met at a bar”
Alex kept on talking hoping he’d make her remember but all his talks were futile.
“I’m sorry, Alex. Even till now, I don’t remember anyone. All I live on are who my parents remind me of and who my best friend talks about too.”
“Okay, it’s fine. I’m happy to see you by the way. I haven’t felt this happiness since you left. In fact, I haven’t felt anything.”
She didn’t understand what he said but she nodded anyways.
“Care for a drink tonight at the bar?” Bills on me.” He said
“I’ve always wanted to go for a drink there but it keeps slipping my mind. Now that you mentioned it, I don’t mind.”
“So, that’s a yes?” He asked desperately.
She nodded in agreement.
He Took Her Hands And Led Her To The Dance Floor.
Night came and Alex was already at the bar waiting for her. She arrived minutes after, the same scent intriguing him. They talked briefly and he ordered a bottle of champagne for them.
“So, are you a regular customer of this bar?” She asked while sipping a glass.
“I haven’t been here since our last night together.” He replied while looking into her eyes intensely. She faked a cough when she noticed his gaze on her. “So, why were we here that night?”
“You’ll be reminded after our dance.” He said confidently.
The background music changed to ‘I don’t want to live forever’ by Zayn Malik and Taylor Swift.
He took her hands and led her to the dance floor. He had already arranged for the song to be played before she came around. This was the same song they danced to the night they met.
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Alex Smiled And Hugged Her Deeply, Her Scent Reminding Him Of His Mother
While they danced, Flora didn’t like the way she was feeling. It felt like if her brain was traveling. She closed her eyes to avoid the pain but it didn’t help. It was like if her head was going in circles. She heard Alex asking if she was okay but the voices and sound around her grew faint. She freed herself from his arms and ran to the bathroom. He ran after her.
She locked herself inside one of the toilets and ignored Alex constant knocking. Was it the drink? She knelt on the floor and memories she lost began to flood her head, each scene rushing back like flashes. She screamed in pain and began to cry.
“Flora!” Alex continued to knock.
She gathered strength, stood up, unlocked the door and threw herself in his arms.
“Are you okay? Do you need a doctor?”
She shook her head in disagreement and cried. “My memories. They’re returning.”
Alex smiled and hugged her deeply, her scent reminding him of his mother. Tears rolled down his cheeks. He hadn’t cried since his condition but tonight was different.
About The Writer
Writer: Iwayemi Iyanuoluwapo Olubunmi
Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria.
She’s also known as Star Writer. A passionate writer who creates her universe with just ink and pages. The stars in turn blesses her always with stories of old and myths the world doesn’t know about. She loves reading, music, researching and science.