Light. Then, darkness.
That’s all I remember about the day I woke up on a table in the hospital. Nobody knew anything about me, not even I did. I have no records, no missing people reports filed about me. Nothing. The only thing I know about myself is that my name is Jamie, and I’m 16 years old. Even the doctors are puzzled. They’ve sent me to the best psychiatrists, the ones that have worked miracles on other amnesia victims, but nothing has helped. For the time being, I’m just a freak, a girl who practically fell out of the sky and into the world, with no one to look after me and no memories of my life before this.
Beep! Beep! Bee- I slap my alarm clock button and turn onto my side in bed, only to be met with unwelcome sunlight. It streams through the blinds, blinding me and forcing me to open my eyes. Great. Another day on the farm with my foster mom, Ms. Ashton. Not that I dislike it – in fact, over these last two months, I’ve come to enjoy mucking stalls, feeding chickens and milking cows – it’s just the fact that it’s spring that bothers me. Ms. Ashton is loaded with sheep, and spring means lambing. Lambing means work. Work means…well, work. Not a word I’m particularly fond of.
Lambing season wouldn’t be such a bad thing if it weren’t for Ms. Ashton’s lack of helpers. She has one stable hand that helps with the six horses she owns, and the rest of the farm work is up to me and her. Her only sheepdog, Harley, fell ill with an unknown disease and is resting, so it’s up to us to herd the sheep into the areas where they can safely give birth.
I’m falling asleep again when Ms. A bursts into my room. She’s wearing her usual overalls over her checkered shirt, with a straw hat to top it all off. Grinning, she dances over to my blinds and opens them, letting in the dim morning sunlight.
“Rise and shine!” she chirps. “Remember what I told you: best to be up before the rooster! Put a move on, girl. We got a lot of work to do today!”
With that, she disappears out the door, closing it behind her. I wonder what’s into her on this particular morning. She’s always been hyper whenever I’m around, and I’ve come to think it’s not her work that makes her this way, it’s me. I understand it must have been lonely for her to live her by herself before I came, but why she can’t wait until six in the morning to see me is beyond me.
Yawning, I pull myself out of bed and yank on my own shirt and overalls, which are getting a little small, but I’ve decided she maybe can’t afford to buy me new ones, so these will do. Next, I proceed to untangle my thick brown hair, dragging the brush through it and wincing. It falls in a long cascade down my back, reaching my hips. Ms. A says it’s not suitable to have such long hair when working on a farm, but I refuse to get it cut. For what reason, I’m not sure…I just feel like it’s the only thing left that’s me, the only part of me from my past I still have. Cutting it is unthinkable.
I make my way down the creaking stairs, through the small living room and into the even smaller kitchen, where Ms. A is flipping flapjacks and eggs. I sit at my spot next to hers, and she serves me a plate of the stuff, and I gobble it up, with only a few reprimanding words from Ms. A. This, too, is unusual, as she will usually scold me for eating so fast. There must be something special about today.
When we’re both finished eating, I help her wash the dishes, and we chat about today’s work. Then I unceremoniously pull my rubber boots on, eager to see Rosepetal, my favorite horse, before I have to spend the day working.