I woke up to see the note written in marker on the palm of my hand. ‘Read file this is your life on the computer.’ So of course being totally lost in space, I opened the laptop and began to read. Actually I carried the laptop into the bathroom and read it on the toilet.
I had always been able to speed read. The file was scary, but also represented a lot of work. I was able to skip over a lot of things, since I just didn’t care at that moment who my grandmother had been. I looked at the picture gallery and tried to remember the most important ones. The last entry in the file was see folder JOURNAL.
Journal had one file titled ‘day one,’ which appeared to be a recount of a day in my life. Presumably yesterday, I understood that it was in fact my first real day outside the facility since the incident. I had copied what the man Royce had said, “You ain’t stupid just because you can’t remember. Something had changed since I went out for a day. I accepted that I could function outside, even if I couldn’t remember it, somethings had obviously managed to find their way into my brain. Maybe it was more a different way of looking at things. Maybe I had somehow managed to keep the confidence I was building, even without a memory of it.
I drew one more conclusion from the ‘day one’ file, I was definitely no author or English scholar. Even I had to struggle to understand it. Somehow I seemed to understand a lot of mechanical things. I suppose it was possible that those memories were stored in a different part of my brain. It was hard to believe I needed a picture to recognize Charlie and Cindy, but I could operate the computer unassisted.
That kind of information seemed to piggyback into my short term memory. For instance I could barely turn on the laptop when I first woke up, but once I began moving around in it, I was able to find and understand things on Google. I could probably find porn, if I was a mind to do that. What I did pull up on Google was a map of the area showing the facility and it’s relationship to Ayers.
Without a car it was going to be hard to ease myself back into my old life. It appeared that it was going to be all or nothing. So I chose all. I was already packed to go when Royce showed up.
“Holy shit,” were the first words out of his mouth. “What in the world happened to you?”
“I have no idea. As far as I know I could have been the same yesterday,” I said truthfully. “I know that today we are going to be busy.”
“Oh, what’s the plan?” Royce asked.
“I’m going to sign myself out of here even if I have to go work the street to pay the bill. Then you and I are moving me back into my apartment on the 6th floor of the Jefferson Family Bank Building Condos. Yes I had to read that in the journal from yesterday. It was yesterday wasn’t it?” I asked.
“Yes Ma’am, it was just yesterday,” he said. “So what are we doing right now?”
“Right now we are waiting for a doctor to come sign the release,” I said.
“Well in the meantime tell me what I should do to get things ready,” Royce said.
“Like what, I’m kind of winding it up here,” I admitted.
“Well do you want me to tell Sam you are coming home. If so, should I open the office. You know I have to tell your dad.” Royce informed me.
“Who is my dad?” I asked.
“It’s in the file along with the narrative about how I came to work for you. You might want to read that part of your bio before you get me to involved in your life.”
“Okay, but you are here and you are my link to the world. I think that unless you chopped your last employer up and mailed him or her to California, you are in it to stay a while. Well at least as long as I can afford to pay you,” I admitted.
“Sam had some thoughts on that. You want to hear them?” Royce asked.
“Sure why not, it looks like we are going to have a while,” I replied.
“Your law license is not affected by this, at least not without a ‘for cause’ hearing. It’s how all those ninety year old senile fools keep showing up in court. So until you do something to force a hearing, your practice is good to go. Understand?” Royce asked.
“As a brilliant man once said, losing my memory did not make me an idiot. I am paraphrasing there. What you are saying is that I can still work and earn money, I just have to make damn sure nobody calls for a ‘For Cause’ Hearing before the Bar Association.”
“Exactly, Sam has twenty years experience and he knows everyone of the clerks and secretaries in town. He swears he can do everything, but go to court, while you sit at your desk and sip iced tea.”
“There is no way we can pull criminal law off. I can remember or look up most of the procedures, but there is just too much thinking on your feet involved,” I advised him.
“Oh Sam knows that. What he suggested is that you switch to doing much less specialized law. You really need to talk to him about all this. Let me know when you are ready, and I will set it up. You will also find a file in your list of files called check me out. Jeff said they were websites with information you might find useful in your day to day life.”
“Jeff seems to have become very helpful,” I said remembering the message in my journal to prick Royce about Jeff now and then. Before I said it, I could only guess why I made the note. Once I did say it, I knew by his expression why I made the note. Royce was jealous on some level. I also knew that I was flattered.
“Okay, will you arrange a meeting with Sam. Make it somewhere casual and private, someplace different. I can check out the websites after we finish the day.” I knew that I was trying to get too much into the first day. What the hell. I thought, I will go till I get tired, then I will just stop.
“There is one more thing you should know, I didn’t write it in your index because I didn’t think you would want it there unless you put it there yourself,” Royce said.
“Okay, what is it. Am I some kind of serial killer, or child molester and you are hiding it?” I asked.
“No, you are under the protection of a gang. The one that showed up to help you capture the bad cops. That does not look good for a criminal lawyer.”
“Then I will just call them off, we do know how to do that don’t we?” I asked.
“You can try, but it means nothing, it is a blood thing.” Royce said. “Besides they will not always be around. I am your day to day security, but if they hear rumors, they will be back.”
“So who is paying them?” I asked.
“I don’t know for sure. Your dad did for a while, but these days I just don’t know. They have this really strange sense of honor. They can walk into a room and kill the mother, father and every child old enough to recognize them, then carry an infant five hundred miles and leave it on the doorstep of a church.”
“I see, well let’s just worry about that another day. I’m not paying or requesting their help, so it’s not my problem right now.” I would have gone on but the doctor walked into the room.
“So you think you are ready to leave? I have to admit that you do seem to be adjusting to the new you.” The doctor said.
“Well I might have stayed, if you have a decent hair stylist,” I replied.
“One thing about you Lucy, nothing beats you down. You will do just fine. I might be checking back with you from time to time. I’m not sure anyone ever recovered so well from your kind of brain injury.”
“I get half of anything you make writing about me, or I will not sign a release.” I informed him. I know it was the lawyer in me.
He said, “Fair enough, the girls from the administration office will be up just as soon as I call them. It shouldn’t take long.” With those words he was out the door.
“So when do you want me to make the meeting with Sam. He is bugging the hell out of me to get started,” Royce said.
“Royce, I haven’t even met Sam yet,” I said.
“Lucy I knew you for a short time before the incident and I have to tell you that you were and still are the most level headed and genuinely bright woman I ever met. What I am trying to say is don’t second guess either the old or the new you.”
“Thank you Royce I will try to trust myself and my past as long as I know it is my past and not just what someone tells me was my past.” I said hoping it wouldn’t upset him. He was my link to the other world and I needed him.
“First of all I could never do the things you do, but if I were you, I would meed Sam and trust my first impression of him, then decide from that what I wanted to do. Listen to him but remember you didn’t lose your smarts, just your memory.”
“I know, but you keep right on reminding me.” I must have been reading from the city’s website, because I bookmarked a page about the Marina. “How about we set the meet for a picnic table at the marina? We can watch the sailboats and make all kinds of wicked plans.” I suggested.
“That sounds like a perfect plan. We can take your things by the condo, then head out to the Marina for lunch with Sam. We can stop to pick up food along the way.” Royce suggested.
“How about barbecue from Marie’s?” I asked.
“We had that for lunch yesterday. I know you don’t remember, so you wouldn’t get tired of the food from there, but I do remember. How about we stop by the dog house and get a bag of hot dogs and some fries,” he suggested.
“Hold on a second,” I looked in the index and found no mention of the dog house. “I guess I will just have to try it to see how I like it.”
The woman from the office came in to tell me that I needed to sign the insurance forms so they could finalize the bill. Even if I came back the next day, they still had to close the account out before they could bill in the middle of the month.
“I had no idea I had insurance,” I commented. “There is a policy with Ayers, Ayers and associates and a second private policy that your husband has on you and the kids,” she said.
“I looked at Royce. “Ex-husband,” he informed us both.
“Right the woman said there was some initial extra hoops to jump through since there are two Mrs. Jeffery Ayers at the moment.”
“If you say so,” I said. Just tell me where to sign, but be forewarned people will be checking these papers with a fine tooth comb.”
The woman looked at Royce for help. “She is a lawyer, so is her father in law, and her ex husband, they all have a vested interest in Lucy to different degrees.”
The clerk from the administration office smile but looked confused. So did I actually.