I’m so glad for scheduled blog posts, I won’t have to worry about this on vacation.
“That’s her!” he whispered. One side of her head was bandaged, and her right leg was in a cast, but the hair not covered told Rob what he dreaded to know.
The nurse looked at the photo again, then at the unconscious woman. “I think you’re right,” she whispered back. “Let me buzz the doctor and he can explain the situation.”
“She’s not seriously injured,” Doctor Dikembe explained in the waiting room. “She has a broken leg and has suffered a mild concussion. She seems to be suffering from amnesia, though—is your wife German?”
“Dutch, originally,” Rob said. “But she’s been living here for 15 years.”
“Ah, that explains it. She’s mostly speaking Dutch, with a few words of English thrown in, when she’s awake. From what we’ve been able to gather, she knows she’s in New York, but isn’t sure where she lives or even what her name is. Sometimes she calls herself Monica, other times Monique.”
“She was born Monique, but she goes by Monica,” he said.
The nurse came in. “She’s awake,” she told them. “You can see her, just don’t get too excited.”
Monique looked at Rob. “Hello,” she said, “are you an investigator?”
“It’s your husband, honey,” the nurse said. “He’s here to take you home, if you think you’re up to it.”
“Am I? I can’t remember…”
“You will, in a day or so,” Doctor Dikembe reassured her. “Being in your own home should help you with that. Remember: don’t try to force it, and if you start doing something on your own, let it happen.
“And that goes for you, too,” she told Rob. “Give her time, don’t try to push it. If she doesn’t seem to be fully recovered in a week, you might need to contact mental health professionals in your network. Where are you from?”
“Oh. I won’t be able to refer you to anyone, at least right now. Here’s my card, though; if you need it, call me and I’ll write a referral.”
The nurse rolled in a wheelchair. “You ready to go home, Monica?”
Around 1:30 a.m., Rob brought Monique home. He helped her up the stairs and into the bedroom.
“Rob,” she said. “I know we’re supposed to be married, but I just can’t remember right now. I won’t feel comfortable with you here…”
“It’s alright,” Rob sighed. “I’ll sleep on the couch. Right now, I’m so tired—and so relieved you’re okay—I could probably sleep in the driveway.”
Monique smiled. “You’re a kind man, Rob. I hope when I remember, that I’ll know I was worthy of you.”
Rob nodded, turned off the lights, and went downstairs. He swung into the kitchen to grab the Scotch before getting a blanket out of the linen closet.
Monica woke up just after nine on Sunday morning, much later than planned, which put her in a grumpy mood. She threw everything together, checked out, and got on the road. She was almost to Connecticut before she realized she’d forgotten to call Rob. She swore at herself and drove on.
Rob woke up on the couch around ten, just a little hung over but not enough to forget about the situation. He crept upstairs to find Monique still sleeping. Good: she might wake up in her bed, in her room, and have her memory back. He slipped back downstairs for a glass of milk and a cinnamon roll. A cup of coffee might be good too.
Glancing into the den on the way by, he finally noticed the answering machine light flashing. “Will you accept—” a mechanical voice began, then cut off.
Rob hit ERASE. “No, I will not accept your scammy refinancing offer,” he snarled and walked away.
Just before two, Monique awoke and asked for something to eat when Rob came up to check on her. He quickly rolled downstairs and brought back a tray with coffee, juice, toast, and the other cinnamon roll. She nibbled her food while Rob talked to her. To Rob’s disappointment, she hadn’t recovered any memory of their being married or of other parts of her life. He would probably have to call Framintek tomorrow morning and explain the situation; she wasn’t in any shape to get back to work just yet. “I’m going to change my shirt, if that’s okay,” he said. She nodded, and he pulled off the shirt he’d worn all day and all night.
Monica walked into the house, and saw the blanket spilling from the couch to the floor. Rob must have been watching a late movie, she thought. He was probably outside—good, it would give her time to drop her bags in the bedroom and brush out her hair before he saw her.
Climbing the stairs, she heard Rob talking with quite a bit of animation—but why would he be on the phone in the bedroom? She walked in: “Rob, what—”
Rob looked up, fresh shirt halfway on, and froze. For a long moment, nobody spoke or even moved. Rob stood bug-eyed in the middle of the bedroom, looking to the puzzled woman in his bed, then to she who stood glaring in the doorway, back and forth. Except for the clothes—one was wearing them, the other wasn't—the two were identical.
“Who are—” the clothed woman began, then stopped, seeing her double clearly for the first time. She blinked, rubbed her eyes, then took a hesitant step into the bedroom. It was like looking into a mirror. The woman in her bed stared back, with the same puzzled expression. At the same moment, both of them reached up and brushed the hair back from their foreheads.
Seizing the opportunity, Rob pulled down his shirt and dashed out of the bedroom. If there was any Scotch left in the living room, he intended to finish it.