Never Never

Page 12

If I knew her better, I’d hug her. Hold her hand. Something. I don’t know what to do. There’s no protocol on how to console your girlfriend of four years who you just met this morning.

“Well, according to Ezra, I’ve loved you since before I could walk. I guess that’s hard to let go of.”

She laughs under her breath. “You must have some fierce loyalty, because I’m even beginning to hate me.”

I want to reach over and touch her cheek. Make her look at me. I don’t, though. I put the car in reverse and keep my hands to myself. “Maybe there’s a lot more to you than just your financial status and who your family is.”

“Yeah,” she says. She glances at me and the disappointment is momentarily replaced by a brief smile. “Maybe.”

I smile with her, but we both glance out our respective windows to hide them. Once we’re on the road again, Charlie reaches for the radio. She scrolls through several stations, settling on one that we both immediately begin singing. As soon as the first line of lyrics comes out of our mouths, we both immediately turn and face one another.

“Lyrics,” she says softly. “We remember song lyrics.”

Nothing is adding up. At this point, my mind is so exhausted I don’t even feel like attempting to figure it out at the moment. I just want the respite the music provides. Apparently so does she, because she sits quietly beside me for most of the drive. After several minutes pass, I can feel her look at me.

“I hate that I cheated on you.” She immediately turns up the volume on the radio and settles against her seat. She doesn’t want a response from me, but if she did I would tell her it was okay. That I forgive her. Because the girl sitting next to me right now doesn’t seem like she could be the girl who previously betrayed me.

She never asks where we’re going. I don’t even know where we’re going. I just drive, because driving seems to be the only time my mind settles down. I have no idea how long we drive, but the sun is finally setting when I decide to turn around and head back. We’re both lost in our heads the entire time, which is ironic for two people who have no memories.

“We need to go through our phones,” I say to her. It’s the first thing spoken between us in over an hour. “Check old text messages, emails, voicemail. We might find something that could explain this.”

She pulls her phone out. “I tried that earlier, but I don’t have a fancy phone like yours. I only get text messages, but I barely have any.”

I pull the car over at a gas station and park off to the side where it’s darker. I don’t know why I feel like we need privacy to do this. I just don’t want anyone approaching if they recognize us, because chances are, we won’t know them in return.

I turn off the car and we both begin scrolling through our phones. I start with text messages between the two of us first. I scroll through several, but they’re all short and to the point. Schedules, times to meet up. I love you’s and miss you’s. Nothing revealing anything at all about our relationship.

Based on my call log, we talk for at least an hour almost every night. I go through all the calls stored in my phone, which is well over two weeks’ worth.

“We talked on the phone for at least an hour every night,” I tell her.

“Really?” she says, genuinely shocked. “What in the world could we have talked about for an hour every night?”

I grin. “Maybe we don’t actually do a whole lot of talking.”

She shakes her head with a quiet laugh. “Why do your sex jokes not surprise me, even though I remember absolutely nothing about you?”

Her half-laugh turns into a groan. “Oh, God,” she says, tilting her phone toward me. “Look at this.” She scrolls through her phone’s camera roll with her finger. “Selfies. Nothing but selfies, Silas. I even took bathroom selfies.” She exits out of her camera app. “Kill me now.”

I laugh and open the camera on my own phone. The first picture is of the two of us. We’re standing in front of a lake, taking a selfie, naturally. I show her and she groans even louder, dropping her head dramatically against the headrest. “I’m starting to not like who we are, Silas. You’re a rich kid who’s a dick to your housekeeper. I’m a mean teenager with absolutely no personality who takes selfies to make herself feel important.”

“I’m sure we aren’t as bad as we seem. At least we appear to like each other.”

She laughs under her breath. “I was cheating on you. Apparently we weren’t that happy.”

I open the email on my phone and find a video file labeled, “Do not delete.” I click on it.

“Check this out.” I lift the armrest and scoot closer to her so she can see the video. I turn the car stereo up so the sound can be heard through Bluetooth. She lifts her armrest and scoots closer to get a better look.

I hit play. My voice comes through the speakers of my car, making it apparent that I’m the one holding the camera in the video. It’s dark, and it looks like I’m outside.

“It’s officially our two year anniversary.” My voice is hushed, like I don’t want to be caught doing whatever it is I’m doing. I turn the camera on myself and the light from the recorder is on, illuminating my face. I look younger, maybe by a year or two. I’m guessing I was sixteen based on the fact that I just said it was our two-year anniversary. I look like I’m sneaking up to a window.

“I’m about to wake you up to tell you happy anniversary, but it’s almost one o’clock in the morning on a school night, so I’m filming this in case your father murders me.”

I turn the camera back around and face it toward a window. The camera goes dark, but we can hear the window being raised and the sound of me struggling to climb inside. Once I’m inside the room, I shine the camera toward Charlie’s bed. There’s a lump under the covers, but she doesn’t move. I move the camera around the rest of the room. The first thing I notice is that the room on the camera doesn’t look like it would be a room in the house Charlie lives in now.

“That’s not my bedroom,” Charlie says, looking closer at the video playing on my phone. “My room now isn’t even half that size. And I share with my little sister.”

The room on the video definitely doesn’t look like a shared room, but we don’t get a good enough look because the camera points back at the bed. The lump under the covers moves and from the angle of the camera, it looks as though I’m crawling onto the bed.

“Charlie baby,” I whisper to her. She pulls the covers over her head but shields her eyes from the light of the camera.

“Silas?” she whispers. The camera is still pointed at her from an awkward angle, as if I forgot I was even holding it. There are kissing sounds. I must be kissing up her arm or neck.

Just the sound alone of my lips touching her skin is enough reason to turn off the video. I don’t want to make this awkward for Charlie, but she’s focused on my phone with as much intensity as I am. And not because of what’s happening between us on the video, but because we don’t remember it. It’s me…it’s her…it’s us together. But I don’t remember a single thing about this encounter, so it feels like we’re watching two complete strangers share an intimate moment.

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