The Unwanted Memory

Haz was stunned – the stranger in front of him looked exactly like the girl he’d been dreaming about for over a week without fail. How was this possible? He asked himself over and over as he studied her face, trying to find a feature that might convince him that this wasn’t the same girl. But he failed. There was no doubt that it was her.

In that library, she didn’t notice Haz was watching her every move. She was too preoccupied with all the books. Her eyes was like that of a child in a toy store; looking at all of the books but only waiting for one that might catch her eyes. She looked happy, like nothing in the world could break her. And by just watching her, Haz didn’t even realised he was smiling all by himself like an idiot. Other people would think he was a crazy stalker. Perhaps he was crazy. How else would he explain this situation? Of course, he once read about a fact that human only dream of the people they have already met. But the things he dreamt of didn’t feel like a dream. They were like…memories.

But Haz didn’t remember ever knowing her, let alone to have memories with her. And he was determined to find an answer. So he followed her after she was done browsing the books. Haz thought that this was the perfect moment to say ‘hi’ and maybe even ask her if she knew him. With the last courage left inside him, he called her out from behind. “Excuse me.” And he stopped walking. By reflex, she stopped as well, and turned around. But the weird thing was, the sweet smile on her face slowly faded the moment she laid eyes on Haz, replaced by a deep surprise. And she was shaking. If he didn’t know any better, he thought she looked frightened.

“Do you know me?” He began. Now that she was close to him, he realised it really was her. But she was silent. Though the reaction on her face somehow conveyed a lot of meanings that Haz mostly couldn’t quite fathom. And then slowly, she started to fall back and ran away. Haz was taken aback by her move. “Wait!” He called out to her. But she kept on running. Once or twice she would look back to him and her face seemed to change from frightened to horror. Haz didn’t understand why but this confirmed that she indeed knew him.

Haz wasn’t ready to give up yet. Not until he got the answer he was looking for. It was her fault anyway. The dream or memories of her was messing up his life. He needed to know the truth. So he kept on following her. Wearing high heels was a bit of a disadvantage for her. He caught up with her pretty easily. “Hei, wait. I’m not trying to hurt you or anything. I just want to know if we know each other. Come on!” The noisy crowd made him shout. Surprisingly, she began to slow down her steps. “I promise I won’t hurt you.” He convinced her again that he wasn’t some pervert or homicidal maniac. She turned around. This time, her face looked almost sad, like she was about to burst into tears.

“Why can’t you just leave me alone! Why did you have to remember me?!” She shouted with tears streaming down at the side of her rosy cheeks. Haz frowned. What did she meant by that? He whispered in his head. “What? Have we met before?” He asked again. She seemed confused when Haz asked her that. “You don’t remember?”

“I kept having this dreams about you. Memories. Like I know you, but I don’t.” Haz explained to her but her face was still confused. “Yes. We knew each other before.” She paused and then continued. “But just let it go, Haz. It was in the past. We both have our own lives now.” Her words didn’t make any sense to Haz at all. In fact, it just brought up new questions for him. “But I need to know. How did we know each other? Please.”

She shook her head and sighed. After a while, she began. “We were married once. A long time ago. We were in love. But things didn’t work out and we got divorced.” She paused again. Haz frowned for the umpteenth time. He never knew he was married before.

“But you couldn’t accept it. You were angry and…abusive to me. One day you suffered a trauma in your head after getting into a fight with someone, and you–” She cut her words half way. Trying to catch her breath under the sobbing. “I what?”

“And you lost your memory of me. So I took the advantage and pretended like we’ve never met.” Haz was dumbfounded. This was not the kind of answer he wanted. He had just found out that he was an abusive asshole. And this made him hated himself in ways he never thought was possible. And just like that, all the memories came flooding back into his head. All the horrible things he said, the punches he threw, and the beatings he gave her. All of it.

“I’m sorry.” That was the only thing he managed to say to her. “It was all in the past. Let’s just forget everything.” She gave him one last painful smile like the one she used to give him after all beatings, and walked away for the second time. Haz cried as he wished he had never tried to find out the truth.

As it turned out, the sweet dreams he had about her was nothing more than an unwanted memory.

I think. I feel. I write. Welcome to my reality.
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