Memories are the islands in the vast sea of life. And when we look back upon our lives, we don’t remember the choppy water. We remember the islands, some filled with treasure, others filled with sharp stones. Those islands (those memories) map out who we have been, who we are, and even who we are likely to become. Most every conscious moment is spent either planning for the future or thinking about the past. And even when we plan for the future, it is with the utmost consideration of the past. Of our memories.
Jane Austen wrote in Mansfield Park “If any one faculty of our nature may be called more wonderful than the rest, I do think it is our memory.” She got that one right. Our memories are the wonderful foundation in which our lives are built.
I often wondered what amnesia would be like. Not the sitcom type of amnesia, where Gilligan knocks the Skipper in the head and the old captain forgets everything. The real amnesia. The kind brought on by a traumatic event, sometimes physical but often emotional. What happens when a person is severed from the lines which have anchored her to her life? She can’t help but drift away, relying on the stars and her moral compass to direct her. But she does drift away, time passes, and on her new path, her life is forever changed.
That’s what happens to Aileen in Forget Me Not. (Ironically while doing a little research for this posting, I found the title for that episode of Gilligan’s Island was also called “Forget Me Not.” Small world.) Without giving away too much, Aileen finds herself with all memories of Addison, her one true love, vanquished from her mind. She doesn’t recognize him when walks into her life for what seems like the first time. His touch and his kiss are foreign concepts, and the lightning in a bottle which had sparked their romance is nothing, not even a memory.
Yes, I wonder what kind of nightmare it would be to forget the moments, the memories which have brought me to where I am. Granted, some memories I would like to forget. Those embarrassing gaffs I had made during my formative years, the words I wished I could forget (or simply take back). I’d give anything to forget the pain, the betrayal, the vicious look in another’s eyes when a part of my life had been destroyed. But other memories are treasures. Love at first sight, for example. I remember every cloud in the sky, the cool whip of the wind, the fragile smile on the delicate face, and the lilt in the voice.
If I lost my memories, sure, I would lose the bad ones. But I’d also lose the good ones, the great ones. Assuming I was given the chance to do it all over again, I doubt the stars would ever line up the way in which they had when magic happened the first time, when I tried to capture lightning in a bottle. And I would drift away from the life I had been destined to live. And so does Aileen’s, the voice who tells you all my secrets and most of my memories.
About the AuthorShawn Martin calls Springfield, Missouri, home. After graduating from Missouri State University with majors in Economics and Political Science, he bounced around the Midwest only to end up right where he started.
His day (and night) job is being a firefighter. Aside from rescuing cats in trees and removing burnt pot roasts from ovens, he spends his time finding the hardest way to do the simplest of things. The rest of his time is spent weaving words into another installment in the Shadowflesh Series.
Fortune has smiled on seventeen year old Aileen McCormick ever since Addison came back into her life, giving her the love she has so desperately longed for. That is, until a mysterious man slithers across her path and slips a spellbinding cameo around her neck. The cameo holds more than just the image of an enchantress who hungers for souls. It possesses a curse that strangles away every memory Aileen has of Addison.
Addison, a three hundred year old fugitive from the netherworld, recognizes the wretched woman inside the cameo and the curse she has cast on his unsuspecting love. The enchanted cameo has but one purpose: to torment Aileen with hints of love she can no longer recall.
Nothing more than a stranger to Aileen, Addison insists that she knows him, that she has felt his lips on hers. Thinking the handsome young man in his leather jacket and dark Wayfarers is playing some cruel game, she pushes him away and runs into the arms of Geoff, the one person who could ever rival Addison.
Geoff has waited oh, so long for Aileen. Before the opportunity slips away, he sweeps her off her feet at the Christmas masquerade ball. But fate thrusts Aileen into Addison’s waiting arms. One passionate kiss later, she knows beyond a shadow of doubt that she loves the icy stranger with smoky blue eyes.
Her newfound love is overshadowed by tantalizing hints of the first love she shared with Addison, just beyond her memory’s reach. And remembering comes at too high a price. Aileen cannot escape the deadly cameo. She runs for her life with the curse only a breath away. If she truly wants her memory back, the enchantress is all too willing to restore it. It will cost her, though. Cost her everything.