Losing It

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I opened my eyes and stared at acoustic ceiling tiles. ‘Strange’ I thought to myself, ‘I don’t recall having acoustic tiles in the ceiling of my bedroom. I turned my head to check the time on my clock radio to find it strangely missing, and in its place there was a plastic jug and a glass.

“Awake at last I see.” The voice was unfamiliar. “What do you have to say for yourself?” It was a strange woman, and she didn’t sound happy.

Something in my head told me that this woman was someone that I should know and who was close to me, so I decided to play it safe. “Hi Darling.”

“Don’t you ‘darling’ me you sleaze bag. How could you do this to me?”

“Do what?”

“Don’t come the innocent with me. You rang me last night to tell me that you had an important meeting to go to, and that you’d be home by twelve. The police rang me at two to tell me that you had been picked up from the gutter outside a brothel in Kings Cross. I was told that you had been there for some time and when it came time for you to pay up you told them that you had no money. When they got upset with you, you went crazy and were thrown out onto the street, apparently into the path of a passing car.”

“I rang to tell you that I had a meeting? Why would I do that when I didn’t have a meeting?”

“To cover for the fact that you were going to a brothel.”

“But why would I do that?”

“What do you mean why? How would I know why?”

“Have you looked at yourself lately? If I had someone like you waiting for me at home, do you think that I’d go to a brothel and have sex with a tart?” I was on safe ground here, she was very easy on the eye.

“Don’t try to smooth talk your way out of this.”

“Is that what you think I’m doing?” I was really in danger of losing it, my mind that was.

“What other explanation is there?”

“A good question. I don’t know, but I intend to find out, just as soon as I get out of this place. Where am I exactly? And while we’re having a Q & A session, who are you?”

“In hospital, and as if you didn’t know, I’m unfortunately your wife Hannah.”

“I had managed to work the fact that I’m in a hospital out for myself. Which hospital?”

“St Vincents.”

“Okay. Have the doctors given you any idea how long I’ll have to stay here?”

“They need to look at their test results before they’re prepared to release you. I don’t know when they’ll be here.”

“Soon I hope. I want to get out of here and try to clear my name of whatever I’m accused of doing. I can’t have people thinking that, with a beautiful wife at home, I should be roaming the streets looking for sex. I might be mad at times, but I sure as hell ain’t stupid.”

Right on cue a man with a stethoscope hanging around his neck strolled into the cubicle and picked the file from the end of my bed. “We have just gone over the test results and you’ll be pleased to know that you can go home as soon as you get dressed. I have to warn you not to be too shocked when you look in a mirror, that’s not a pretty face.”

“It never was.”

“It’s even worse now, but what do you expect when you go around head-butting cars.”

“Thank you Doctor.” Hannah said as she dragged some clothes from the chair in the corner. “Put these on and let’s get out of here, you have some explaining to do.”

“Whose clothes are these?” I was holding up a suit jacket. “I’ve never worn a suit in my life, except for weddings and funerals.”

“What are you going on about, you wear a suit every day.” It was beginning to sink in that something wasn’t right about this.

I began to dress and quickly reached the conclusion that these clothes weren’t mine. They didn’t fit me, they were close but, if I was supposed to wear a suit every day I would have thought that I would wear one that fitted better than this did. “This doesn’t seem to fit very well, are you sure that it’s mine?”

“You have lost a little weight recently, but you haven’t got around to seeing your tailor for a new fitting.”

“Oh.” Tailor, that’s a new one for me, I’ve never bought anything from a Tailor in my life. Something very strange is going on here and I mean to get to the bottom of it, and soon. Why was she so desperate to establish that I am her husband?

The paperwork signed we left. I’ll give her this, I like her choice in cars, and Audi A8. She pushed the button and the doors unlocked and she climbed in. I slid into the passenger’s seat and she fired it up. “I’m impressed.” I told her as she drove out of the car park.

“I don’t know why you say that, after all you bought it for me. I would have chosen something a little less ostentatious, like a BMW.”

“And they’re not ostentatious?”

“Oh some of them are, but not the one I like.”

If I was impressed by the car, I was even more impressed by the house. “Wow.”

“I can’t work you out. If I didn’t know better I’d think that you’ve never been here before.”

“This may come as a surprise to you, but I haven’t.”

“The doctor said tuzla escort that you’d suffered some trauma to the brain and that it may affect your short term memory, or memory over a short term, I can’t remember which, but that you’d get over it in time. I hope that it doesn’t take too long, you have some important decisions to make in the not too distant future.”

“They’ll just have to wait until I’m ready, if I can’t remember things then I don’t want to be forced into making a decision that is not in my best interests.”

“Well don’t wait too long then, we need to move on this quickly or the chance will be lost forever.”

“Apart from the fact that I wouldn’t have a clue what you’re talking about, I’m going to crawl off to my bed and attempt a recovery. If you could just point me to my bed, I’d appreciate it.”

“I hope that you don’t keep up this charade for very long, it’s frustrating to say the least.” She led the way down the passage to a bedroom that was no more familiar than anything else. I stripped off my clothes and was just about to crawl into bed. “Aren’t you going to wear your pyjamas?”

“I don’t see why, I never have.” This brought a frustrated ‘huh’ from her, but I did notice her checking me out before storming from the room. I crawled into bed and was soon asleep.

I don’t know how many years it was later that I drifted back into the land of the living with a feeling that something wasn’t quite right, I had a massive hard on and there was a hand on it that wasn’t mine. That was bad enough, but then a pair of lips enclosed the head of my cock, and the hand was sliding up and down its length. Not even that part of it was strange, I’d experienced it before, what was strange was that I was in someone else’s bed, and it was that someone else’s wife that was doing those things. Was I going crazy, or was there a logical explanation for this?

“At least one part of your brain wasn’t damaged.” She said as she held him while she straddled me.

“Should we be doing this?”

“I don’t see why not. I need you to accept that you and I are husband and wife, and get on with our lives. I need you fully functional as quickly as possible.”

“I don’t know what the hurry is, I’m sure that my condition will be taken into consideration and I will be given time to recuperate before I sign anything.”

“It’s not as simple as that. There are many people whose very lives depend on you making this decision quickly.”

“Are all of those people as heartless as you?”

“What do you mean by that?”

“You are more interested, not in how I am, but how quickly I can recover. I think that paying attention to the now will assist me in the future. If I can’t remember anything now I will not be signing anything until I can understand it and its implications. What I am saying is that you should be concentrating on me in the now, or I will never reach the stage that you want me in the future. I don’t know why I can’t remember you, I don’t know why I don’t remember this house. All that I do know is that I am in a strange house with a strange woman, and by that I don’t mean strange weird, and I’m being asked to do something that I know nothing about.”

“You have an appointment with your doctor this afternoon, maybe he can help you remember things.”

“I wouldn’t hold my breath. The other thing that I know is that I have a large lump on my forehead and a massive headache.”

“I’ll get you something for that.” She left and came back a few minutes later with a tablet and glass of water. I slipped the tablet into my mouth, under my tongue, and took a mouthful of water before handing the glass back to her.

“I think the best thing for me at the moment is to try and get some rest.”

“In other words you’re kicking me out of my own bedroom, is that it?”

“It looks that way.”

She said nothing, but I could tell that she was unhappy that I didn’t want her near me, she did, after all slam the door behind her. I heard a muffled voice so I picked up the phone beside the bed. “How long before he snaps out of this?”

“He should have regained his memory by now.” A male voice was on the line.

“I’ll bring him down at three, see what you can do, we can’t wait forever.”

“I’ll give him something that should speed up the recovery.”

“You do that, there’s a lot of money riding on this if I don’t see results.” She hung up. I quickly put the phone down and when she looked in a few minutes later I was well ‘asleep’.

If I hadn’t already prejudged the doctor from the overheard conversation I would have taken an instant dislike to him anyway. He came across as sleazy from his very first words which were, “Good afternoon Mr Willoughby, it’s good to see you looking so well. There’s still a little swelling and the bruise is colouring up nicely, but that is just what I would expect given what you have been through.”

“I’m glad you think so, I, on the other hand, am not so sure. Tell me, just what is the damage?”

“There is bruising to the tuzla escort bayan pre-frontal lobe of your brain, that’s the part that is responsible for your short term memory. Once that has gone down your memory should return with little or no long term damage. I’ll give you a jab that will help reduce the swelling.” He took a vial from his draw and stuck a syringe into it, drawing the liquid into the syringe. He did the thing you see on TV, you know the one where he flicks it with a finger to get any air to the top and then pushes the plunger up until some squirts out the top. I wouldn’t want the possibility of an air embolism getting into my brain, and I didn’t think that he did either, I needed to live for a little while longer.

“Before you get carried away with that needle, I need to know more about my condition. Is there any other damage to the brain?”

“We think that there may be some slight damage to the hippocampus, but we can’t be sure, the MRI was inconclusive.”

“What does this hippocampus thingy do, and is it important?”

“It’s part of the brain that decides what part of the short term memory from the prefrontal lobe should go into long term storage.”

“Don’t you think that we should wait until we can be sure that that part is okay before we go shoving stuff into me that may have some adverse effect?”

“I don’t think that will be a problem, we need to reduce the swelling.”

“I don’t have a headache any more so I think that the swelling has been reduced anyway, and I would want to be cautious when dealing with my brain to not do anything un-necessary.”

“I think that I am the better judge of what we should or should not do, medically speaking that is.”

“I have an aversion to medication of any form. I don’t even take paracetamol for headaches, so if you think that I’m just going to let you shove that needle into me, you’ve got another think coming. I want to get a second opinion.” I got up and legged it out of there before he could grab my arm and stick his fucking needle into it.

My imagination had him on the phone to my darling ‘wife’ before I’d even left the building, and I’m not known for my vivid imagination.

It came as no surprise that my new doctor identified the pill that I had secreted under my tongue was not a pain killer of any sort. It also came as no surprise that it was a drug that was manufactured in some backyard lab and could be bought at any rave party or dance club. My new doctor also ordered a new set of blood tests, the result of which he would have in a couple of days. In the mean time I had work to do. I had to find out more about me, not the ‘me’ that I was supposed to be, but the real me. The first thing I did was to find an Internet café where I could flog Google for all the information that I could lay my hands on. On the off chance that I was an important person, I ‘Googled’ my name and low and behold, there I was, the CEO of a large multi-national corporation with branches and subsidiaries all over the world. The photo sort of resembled me, it appeared to either have been taken a couple of years ago, or had been enhanced to make me look younger. There was a news item that had me flying to Europe on some business deal to do with EU commodities. What I knew about commodities I could write on the head of a pin, but I decided to find out as much as I could about them and ‘my’ involvement in them, and this was going to take some little time, given that I was starting from scratch. It cost quite a lot of money, to print off from the computer, the information that I needed to get an understanding of what was happening.

I spent most of the afternoon in a café with a highlighter, and an endless supply of excellent coffee provided by an understanding waitress who rationalised that, at the end of the day, she stood a good chance of doubling the tip that I had given her when I had first sat down. I had explained that I would be there for a while, and to only approach with fresh coffee when I signalled for a refill. She was right, and by the time that I had read through the pages a couple of times, I was close to understanding what it was all about.

“Are you at Uni or something?” She asked as I paid for my coffee and left her a substantial tip.

“No, been there, done that. I have applied for a position with this company and I was just doing some background research before the interview tomorrow. I have the necessary experience, I just needed to know whether I really wanted to work there before I had the interview, or whether I should cancel.”

“And are you going to cancel?”

“No I’m not. I think that they and I can get on quite well.”

“Good luck.” She said to my back as I left.

“Thanks.” I said to the door as I reached it.

“Where have you been?” I was asked as I walked through the front door. “Doctor Hendricks rang to say that you had refused the injection that he was going to give you, and walked out on him.”

“Yeah. I didn’t like him, and decided that I needed a second opinion.”

“Did escort tuzla you get one?”

“Yes. It was interesting, he has ordered a whole new blood test and I’m scheduled for another MRI scan in the morning. He was not satisfied with the treatment that I had received up until now, he said that, given what I had gone through, it was contra-indicated. He has also made arrangements for me to see a Forensic Pathologist to check on the Head wounds, he didn’t think that they were consistent with me having head-butted a car. He seemed to think that it was blunt force trauma caused by a club or pipe of some description, directed at where it would do damage to the part of the brain that was required to be damaged.”

She stared at me for some time, as if trying to work out if I was serious, or just pulling her leg.

“Oh, and I thought that I might call in to the office after the tests, just to touch bases and catch up.”

“But I’ve arranged for the papers to be sent here.”

“Why would you do that, I am quite capable of sitting at a desk and going through some papers. It will give me a chance to go over the papers that I am supposed to be signing before I put my signature on the line.”

“I understood that you had already agreed to sign, and all you needed to do was get the amended copies that reflected the changes that you wanted made, and sign them.”

“I need to go over them one more time, just to be sure that I’m doing the right thing.”

“Do what you will, I give up.” Somehow I got the impression that she wasn’t about to give up.

“Welcome back sir.” The attractive woman, the name plate on her desk told me that her name was Isobel Broughton, in the office that I’d been directed to said as she grabbed a pile of mail from her desk and followed me inside. I’d been directed to this office because Hannah had rung and explained that I was not feeling well and was suffering from short term memory loss and would need assistance, not the least of which was in finding my own office. “We have a lot of work to catch up on. I’ve taken care of everything that I could but there are things that you need to do yourself.” She squatted next to my chair and whispered to me. “You’ve been through a lot over the past few days so if you need any help I’m here for you.” I looked at her, I guess in the wrong way because she placed a finger on my lips. “Not in that way, never in that way, after all you are married to a perfectly wonderful woman, any thoughts of screwing that up have had to be suppressed.”

“Are you saying that . . . .?”

“No, it has never reached that stage, I tested the water but you weren’t interested. I understood that and gave up, but that hasn’t affected our friendship, and the platonic affection that we have.” With that she stood and kissed me on the cheek. “Now, down to business, have you made a decision on this take-over?”

“No, despite some people’s opinion, I haven’t and, until I have gone over the papers in minute detail, I won’t be making one. I want all the paperwork, and could you get me all the information available on the company making the bid.”

“I thought as much.” Isobel said as she walked from my office, only to return within seconds with a huge stack of files. “You’ll get no calls or interruptions until you say so. Buzz me once if you want something, and twice for coffee.”

After the third tour through the take-over documents I was even more convinced that this was not about to happen. I buzzed Isobel. “Yes sir?”

“Would you come in please?” She came in with a puzzled look on her face.

“I am assuming that the highlighted parts and the margin notes are your work, true?”

“Yes sir.”

“Thank you, you’ve made my life so much easier. I gather that you have concerns about this offer.”

“The first alarm bell was the inadequate explanation as to the reason for their interest. They have had no involvement in the commodities import business in the past and it just doesn’t fit into their portfolio as it stands now or into the future. The second alarm bell was the finance structure of the deal, twenty percent up-front and the rest in instalments. The profit breakdown of that part of the business suggests that they are banking on a greater return for investment than we have ever been able to achieve, even in the best case scenario. They don’t have existing profit margins or future growth to be able to cover that commitment.”

“I’m sure glad that you’ve done a business degree, you’ve been able to understand my concerns exactly. Could you rustle me up something to eat while I get stuck into this info on their company, it should make interesting reading. I presume that you’ve already gone through it so I’ll be interested in your input when I’ve finished.”

“I’ll be back in about fifteen minutes with your favourite lunch.” She lay a reassuring hand on my shoulder as she left.

I was so engrossed in my reading that I didn’t hear her come back, and it wasn’t until a plate was placed on the desk next to me that I looked up. She put her plate down opposite and sat down. “It’s Pad Thai,” she said in response to my puzzled expression.

I took a fork full. “Nice.” And proceeded to work my way through the dish.

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