For months I have been trying to remember. I try walking down familiar streets, and try entering stores that I seem to recognize somehow. But they are all dead ends. So I keep searching, all the while looking for something to spark my memory in the hope that something will help me remember my name.
My family tries to help. At first they simply tried repeating it over and over. But whenever they open their mouths, the sound goes out, like the silence that follows when you mute the TV. Its startling, and I end up looking around; the people in the room suddenly appearing without warning. Such a experience should be temporary, but in the end the silence persists for me. The sound simply cuts out, and my name is gone.
Lately it has gotten worse. Now my voice is lost to me as well. People say they can hear me fine, but when I speak it feels as if my ears are plugged with water, muffling my voice no matter how loud I scream. My throat tightens every time I do, and now I try not to speak at all. The effort is simply too painful, too isolating. The only solace I find is in a girl I have been talking to lately. She hasn't asked for my name, and does not ask me to speak.
I cannot remember when I first met her. I simply woke up one day, only to find her talking with my parents downstairs. She smiled and some part of me realized that there was something familiar about her. They said her name is Susan, and since then we have been inseparable. My parents don't mind, since her presence has been so beneficial to me. Together we look over old family albums, hoping it will help. Sometimes we look at the other side of the photos, only to realize that I cannot read one of the names of the back. If I didn't know what I looked like, I might struggle to think I exist at all.
It's hard for someone in my condition to not dwell on what I am going through. Distractions are very hard to come by, and despite all the new experiences I have been having, I still find myself plagued by questions. I went to the fairgrounds the other day, only to wonder where Susan came from. I sat on the steps of one of the attractions, listening to the sound of the rain and the machines, and began to question how any of this could be possible. How can someone lose so much, and yet have no way of explaining it?
Susan helps as much as she can, but I am beginning to realize what is it that has made her and I such a good match. The other day I called her by name, trying to get her attention. She didn't hear me, even though I was right next to her. I have asked her about her family, about her life and her friends, and yet all she can admit to is that she knows me. Everything else is lost to her, and this has become just as much as an attempt for her to recover her memory as it is mine.
It seems strange for us to be as close as we are. We know virtually nothing about one another outside of each others names. We look for the familiar, but there is no way to determine what it is that makes these things recognizable in the first place. Despite this, I still find myself enjoying my time with her. Even without a name of my own, and even a voice, I feel as if I still exist, so long as I am around her.
I have since spoken with the girl's family, and have come up with a few answers. It turns out that Susan and Chris are in fact twins. When twins are young, it is not uncommon for them to share an identity, including information and memories. One twin will know where they live, while another will know a telephone number. In most cases the twins separate and develop their own personalities in time. However, according to their parents, the two of them experienced a deep trauma at a rather young age, causing them to forcefully forget the experience.
This made them develop an even tighter bond than normal, forgetting the key elements of their lives that would make them distinctive from one another. Things such as their names, or the sound of their voices. They are aware that they are different people, but they are incapable of developing a sense of self. This has continued to get worse, and I have found out since I first started researching their case that Susan has stopped talking altogether.
They have since been separated, in the hope that the distance would help. The damage, however, is still pronounced, and despite daily work with a local therapist, as well as numerous attempts to recover the memories, there have been few positive results. Their parents, however, remain hopeful.
It is unclear what type of experience could create such a conflict. Whatever it was had to have involved both of them. To this date the parents have refused to comment, and attempts to get answers from the girls have had the expected results.