The ornately carved necklace felt warm and familiar in his hands. As small as it was, the necklace, a small wreath of holly crafted into the shape of a heart with a tiny dove sitting atop it was the first thing that caught Malcolm’s eyes.
A totem the nurses called it. An object in which patients suffering from Amnesia and Alzheimer’s would use to slowly help invoke memories from their past. Although he found out a while back that this treatment was never in any book or medical paper, the nurses through observation saw that these ‘totems’ gave the patients a calming effect as if their sentimental memories were locked up in another part of the brain. A less damaged one that still retained all the memories of past loves and laughter.
Two days after recovering from the accident Malcolm was told that he suffered from Amnesia. Unable to remember anything prior to waking up in a hospital bed, a young nurse, Suzy, suggested he get a totem of his own. Malcolm willingly obliged.
Walking around the house which he was told was his, he noticed a glint of sunlight rebounding from what seemed a tiny object sitting above the fireplace. Malcolm picked up the trinket and stowed it away inside his pants pocket and made his way to the front door. He found what he was looking for.
Twirling the necklace in his hands, Malcolm would always be reminded of a certain memory. Whether it was real or not, he never knew, “good things should never be questioned” he told himself.
The memory of the ocean usually came to mind. The sights of roiling waves and rough sands that were accompanied by the stinging glare of the morning sun on his face and the colour red would always taunt him. If he allowed his mind to wander deeper he swore he could almost smell the scent of the ocean. He let the memories consume him.
The sounds of footsteps coming closer snapped him out of his reverie. He saw the glint of green and instinctively stood straight. He loved the sight of Nurse Suzy’s deep green eyes.
As she passed, she gave a half-hearted smile Malcolm’s way and continued walking, her emerald orbs glinting in the sunlight.
He was always too shy to return the gesture…
Nurse Suzy was on her morning rounds on the western end of the hospital but she always made it a point to pass through the northern wing.
“Morning Suzy” Dr. Alvarez greeted her. She smiled lazily and returned the greeting.
Alvarez noting the smile asked her, “He still doesn’t remember you?”
“Not today. Maybe tomorrow” she replied more to herself than to the doctor’s enquiry.
Suzy grabbed her clipboard and brushed her auburn locks out of her eyes and continued walking.
“Nice perfume. The ocean?”
“Yes… it was always his favourite” Suzy replies as she looks back at Malcolm absentmindedly twirling her necklace. The same necklace that two weeks before had been an engagement gift from him to her.
‘Not today, maybe tomorrow’ she hoped to herself.