Melanie Greenwood is a creative writer and poet. She currently resides in New Jersey and is pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing for Entertainment at Full Sail University. She is no stranger to the writing world having had poems published in anthologies and winning numerous awards. Her Professor describes her writing as very strong and having a knack for particularly vivid imagery. She’s an artist with a wild imagination, bold determination, and enjoys dancing on the edge of uncertainty. Meet Melanie at: melaniegreenwood.com
This story is dedicated to James Petermann.
A Short Story
By Melanie Greenwood
It’s a cheesy motel called Amnesia Junction. The name holds more significance than the motel itself, which I attribute to the influx of the psychologically weary. The irony is that it once was a hospital, in the 70’s, for patients suffering from amnesia. However, the clientage here do not suffer much from amnesia other than just wanting to forget. Which is apparent in the tone of their voice.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Nothing,” he said.
“Professor Brayden,” I said, “please don’t lie to me.”
“I’m curious,” he said. “You obviously come from wealth. Amnesia Junction? It makes me wonder, that’s all.”
“No need to wonder,” I said. “I’m writing a book about this place and you come highly recommended. So, why don’t we begin?”
Words teach us many things. The awkwardness in some words is worth waiting for. My favorite is hesitation and silence.
“Something else you’re wondering about, Professor?” I said.
I waited because some treasures are worth patience.
“I can’t shake this feeling that we’ve met before,” he said.
To admit his concern held truth—well, that would be a cliché and I am not fond of those. I kept quiet and smiled. Nothing too distracting!
“How long have you been blind?” he asked.
I smiled with the smart man sitting across from me. Giving myself a mental note to be extra careful and said, “Most of my life.”
“You do know that—” he said.
“You’ve never tutored anyone blind,” I said. “Yes, I do.”
The next few hours were many things. Learning. Laughter. Questions. And, of course, eating. He admitted to never eating such a fancy meal for lunch when I mentioned my step-parents and I grow the food we eat.
“I think this is the best honey peanut butter and apricot jelly sandwich I have eaten,” he said, enjoying every bite.
Another two hours passed-by and we covered simpler topics such as family, hobbies, and the darkness.
“That’s not a simple topic,” I said.
“I know,” he said. “It’s just that—”
There’s my favorite word, again. Hesitation.
“It’s strange,” he said, “but I want to know everything about you.”
I placed my hand in the pocket of my sweater, holding the photograph that I know would change everything.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I hope I didn’t make you feel uncomfortable.”
“No,” I said, releasing the photograph. “Not at all.”
“Good,” he said.
“Okay! I’ll tell you about the darkness,” I said, “if you tell me about the light.”
Another moment of silence passed with his chair shifting.
“Deal,” he said. “I just need a quick bathroom break.”
When he returned, we wasted no time-sharing my darkness and his light.
“By the way, how did you lose your sight?” he asked.
“Car accident,” I said.
“Your parents?” he said.
“Both died,” I said, lying.
“I’m sorry,” he said.
“It was a long time ago,” I said.
“How old were you?” he asked.
“Seven,” I said. “Ten years ago, the sun set for me.”
Some silence carry great affliction.
“Emilia,” he said, “does your father know you’re here?”
“Yes,” I said, tempted by the irony to show him the photograph.
I too wanted to know everything about him.
“Nick Drake’s Northern Sky,” he said.
“Yes,” I said, when my phone rang. “It’s my father’s favorite song.”
“Your father is a man after my own heart,” he said.
Stopping the temptation of another irony, I answered the phone. “I’m getting ready to leave now.”
“Your father?” he said.
“No,” I said, “my chauffeur.”
“Oh,” he said.
“Emilia,” he said, “how long do you anticipate needing me?”