I am in a cloud of blackness. Nothing to see. Nothing to hear. Nothing to feel. Then a piercing light breaks through the darkness. I squeeze my eyes closed as hard as I can, trying to stop the glaring light from reaching me. Then I begin to hear noises. The constant, steady beeping of what seems to be a machine. The quiet rustlings of something or someone moving about. This fills my curiosity and as much as I want to go back to sleep, I have to know what’s happening.

With a little bit of effort, I prise my eyes open. A bright light enters my vision. I wince and close my eyes again. Then, with more determination, I open my eyes again. This time the light is less blinding and I can look around. I am in a room with pale blue walls and whitewashed curtains.

Why am I here?

I move and something rustles. It’s a white sheet that smells strongly of bleach. I’m in a bed. With an enormous effort of will, I sit up. Something touches my arm and I shriek, only to realise that it’s my hair, long and red.

I try to remember why I’m here but to no avail. I try to remember anything, growing more frantic but it’s like a wave swept over my mind, taking my memories one by one, back out to sea.

Who am I?

I can’t even remember who I am. My vision blurs and wavers and tears fall down my face. It’s like I’ve woken up in a nightmare with no way out.

With a slight creak, the door opens and a woman walks in. She has a kind face and sparkling blue eyes. She takes one look at my tearstained face and wraps her arms around me.

‘Oh honey. Are you alright?’

I gently push the lady arms away and try to compose myself. I can’t rely on other people. I need to be strong.

‘Who are you?’ I ask.

‘I’m Sandra, a nurse. I work here’

She pauses and looks me in the eye.

‘Sweetie this is a hospital. You were in an awful, awful accident’

My head starts pounding as the nurse’s words flood into my brain.

‘Who am I?’ I ask, my heart beating faster and faster.

‘You’re sixteen and from what we know, your name is Keri’

Sandra looks at me, her blue eyes sad and sorrowful.

‘We don’t know anything else. You were found just outside the Harvest Countries and were airlifted to Epona’s hospital’

I nod, my thoughts racing like a hurricane.

‘I’ll give you some time alone to think things through’ Sandra says kindly before walking out of the room. I head over to the bathroom, desperate to see who I am and to remember something. A pale face stares back at me from the mirror and long, red hair frames my face and accents my green eyes. I close my eyes and try to reclaim my memories. Suddenly something clicks and my hard work pays off as a word enters my mind. With the word comes a sense of longing and familiarity.

‘Justin’ I whisper. The name sounded so familiar, like I was used to saying it over and over again.

‘Justin’ I say again before everything turns black.

______________

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