Chapter 40 Awakening
Lauren looks up at me with confusion in her eyes. She says, “Mom! When did you get home?” I look up at Rob and he just shrugs his shoulders. “Lauren, I’ve been home for a while now. Do you remember the party you planned for me? “, I say hesitantly. “Party? I didn’t plan a party. I’ve been so busy with school and finals. I haven’t had any time for parties! Oh, my goodness. I’ve overslept, I have a final today!”, she exclaimed.
Lauren tries to get out of bed, but of course she is too weak and almost falls to the floor. Her father catches her and says, “Honey, you’ve been… um, sick and have been in bed for several weeks. Don’t you remember any of that?” “Sick? What are you talking about? Wait, where am I? I remember coming home from boarding school and visiting you in jail, Dad. I remember the rooms the girls and I rented in the house close to the new school. That’s it, I can’t remember anything after that, until right now. Was that yesterday? How did you get out of jail so quick? When did you get home, Mom?” I sit down next to Lauren and try to explain that she has been sick for several weeks and we are in the new house we have rented. Rob slowly leaves the room to call the physician. “Oh, Mom. My head hurts so bad and I’m so tired.” She starts to cry. I pat her hand and tell her to try to get some sleep and she might feel better when she wakes up. I sit with her until her breathing becomes deep and regular, she looks so peaceful sleeping like this.
I rush out of the room to Rob. He is speaking with the doctor downstairs. We sit on the couch and he tells us that she must have selective amnesia. It happens sometimes when people have experienced a traumatic event.
“Should we tell her what has happened? She doesn’t remember anything, not Moe, not aging up, not the baby!”, I ask him. The doctor says that we have to let her remember things on her own. Not to rush her into remembering anything, to basically let her carry on as she was before all this happened. Rob and I discuss what to do after the doctor leaves. He tells us to bring her to the office tomorrow, if she’s up to it and he will do an exam on her to make sure that physically she is ok.
“We have to move her out of that room, Rob. We can’t have her so close to the baby if we aren’t going to tell her about him yet.”, I say. We make arrangements to switch bedrooms with her. We will move her to the bedroom on the first floor and we will take her room. We can just tell her it will be easier on her, so she doesn’t have to climb the stairs every day. I start boxing up some of my things and start moving them up to her room. Lauren wakes up several hours later and we help her move to the new room.
She is very weak and exclaims that she is starving. So, once I get her settled I cook her one of her favorite meals of pancakes. I take it to her room and set it on the nightstand. She takes one look at the pancakes and starts crying. “Why do I feel so sad? I love pancakes, but it reminds me of something. I don’t know what, but I feel like I’m missing something or someone. I can’t eat this, Mom. I’m so sorry! I just need to lay down.”
I bring her a nutrition shake and she drinks that. I guess she just isn’t up to real food yet. Once I get her settled back in the bed, I call all the other children into the living room to update them on what is going on.
“Lauren is awake, but she doesn’t remember anything. So, we have to be very careful about mentioning Lance or Moe or anything that could upset her. She still doesn’t realize that she isn’t a teenager anymore. Does everyone understand what I’m saying?” The girls nod their heads yes they will help with Baby as much as they can, but the boys are full of questions. They are still young and don’t understand everything themselves. “So, we can’t talk about Baby in front of Lauren, right?”, Robbie asks. “That’s right, don’t mention the baby at all to her or around her, ok? We don’t want to upset her, right?” I say slowly. “Ok, but don’t she like Baby?” he asks again. “It isn’t that she doesn’t like Baby, it’s just that right now she isn’t feeling good and it might make her feel worse if she realizes she doesn’t remember Baby. So, we are gonna let her rest and remember Baby on her own.” I explain as best I can. “Ok, we can do it. Right, Mason?” Mason nods his head dramatically. I hug the boys, they are sweet and innocent in all this. They are the only ones not touched by Moe. We kept them sheltered and safe. I wish we could have done that for all our children.
The next morning, we find a bouquet of flowers with a note this time attached to it. It said simply, “Good Morning, my love.” I run into the house to show it to Rob.
Moe is out there and he is watching us. Somehow he knows exactly what is going on in this house. We call the police and show them the note. They tell us there is no way to know who it is from, but they will put an office on patrol 24 hours a day. Since we thought they were already doing that, we are a little disappointed. Rob calls and gets a new security alarm installed in the house, it feels like the least we can do. Rob has been talking about getting a guard dog, but I’m not sure we need any more added stress right now. Rob also thinks we need to go ahead with the plan to send the boys to boarding school. He thinks they will be able to lead a more normal life there, here they can’t play outside or ride their bikes to the park anymore. We keep them inside practically all day long and growing boys need their space. So, we discuss it with the boys and they think it is a great idea. They are really excited. We make the plans and luckily school starts next week. I take the boys shopping to get new clothes and school supplies, at last something that feels normal.
Lauren is slowly gaining back her strength, but not her memory. She is able to walk from her bedroom into any room on the first floor. She isn’t strong enough for the stairs yet, which is I guess a good thing. She can’t find Baby, hidden away in the attic.
Rob drives the boys to school, I hug them at the car and cover them in kisses. “Now, I want you to email me every day!” I joke with them. “Mom, we can’t email every day! We are gonna be so busy!”, Mason says. I smile at them at say” OK, well email when you can and call me sometimes, ok! I love you and will miss you like crazy” I watch them pull away from the house and feel so sad.
As I walk back into the house, I see something out of the corner of my eye. It looked like a man. I run into the house and call the police. They come and search the entire house and property but find nothing. I’m sure they think I’m paranoid, but I know I saw someone.
I check in on Lauren and see that she is sleeping, so I sneak upstairs to see how Lance is doing. Merri is upstairs playing with him. I give her a break and tell her to go relax in her room for a while if she wants.
Both girls have been so great, they take turns taking care of Lance. They even manage to sneak him outside for a little while each day, just so he can get some sunshine. It can be tricky trying to get a newborn in and out of the house without letting Lauren see him, but so far we have managed it. Lance is growing so quickly, he seems to be thriving with all th attention he gets. I just wish Lauren would remember, I know he needs his mother.
Later that evening as Rob, Lauren and I sat in the living room watching tv. I look at Lauren and tears are streaming down her face.
“What’s wrong, sweetheart?”, I say. “I can feel that something is wrong. I know I’m forgetting something, you don’t have to tell me. Something important happened, but I can’t figure out what it is. I can tell I’ve aged up, I know I’m not a teen anymore. I’m not sure why though. Why would I rush into it?” Rob is sitting next to her and tries to comfort her. I get up and walk out of the room. I have to do something to make her feel better. I call the doctor and ask him if it would hurt to show her the baby and see if she remembers what happened. He says that he would advise to keep the secret for a while longer, to see if she will remember on her own. He thinks it won’t be much long considering how emotional she has been. She knows something is different. I tell him that I’ll give her a few more days and then I may just let her see Lance and we can go from there. I can’t bear to see her suffering so.