“Remember?” A simple question; asked simply and answered in a “yes”, “no” or a safe “maybe”. “Remember? We went to that place when we were in college and we had such an awesome burger; Remember? You stole your Dad’s car and we drove all night and ended up hitting a tree; Remember? We got so drunk and got married last night.” How hard can it be to answer this question? A “yes” or a “No” or a “Maybe”.
Well, in my case this question ends up being answered in an unbelieving and un-comfortingly long stare meaning “Have you gone crazy? When did this happen?” or “I don’t remember it like that?” It did not start like this. You and I talked for hours about things we did years back. All those crazy things that we did, things about which you tell me now that we did them back then, things about which I do not believe that I did them with you. Believe me, I want to remember. I see your disheartened face, which you try to hide behind all that excitement of showing me a souvenir, trying to make me remember the story behind it. Like that blue mini surfboard on my desk; you tell me that we bought it as a memoir, when we went to Miami and I wanted to settle there, teaching sea surfing to the tourists but could not learn it myself. Like that fountain pen in the frame on the wall, you tell me that I literally stole it from Mike Tyson after he gave me an autograph.
Then all those memories started fading. There was nothing to talk about anymore. I looked at things and wondered when and where did I get them from. You thought I was kidding with you. I thought you bought those expensive and thus were trying to convince me that I got them and not you.
I have not forgotten everything. I remember seeing you first day in college. I did not like you much and you tell me that the feeling was mutual. I remember the day I asked you out and you came even when you were not sure. It was an awesome night. We went out and sat on the shore; all night long, listening to songs. That is perhaps the most treasured memory I have with you. But your face; was it really you? What a curse it is, to know that it was you but not remember you as you are. And yet, you keep playing those songs again and again so that I do not forget this single memory I have. Do I have the courage to tell you that I do not think it was you that night who danced with me in the moon light, that I do not think it was your lips that I kissed and it was not your eyes I kept looking into?
Sometimes I try to convince myself that I am suffering from amnesia, which the doctors have neither confirmed nor denied, but then am forced to think otherwise when you start acting weird as I ask you about my family and friends. You remember everything like it happened yesterday and you have all this stories to prove what you said; but then why do you prove everything when I do not doubt you. I have no doubt that you love me and that I once loved you, but then why my handwriting is different in all those love letters you keep showing me?
What is written in that notepad that you keep erasing every night? I hope they are not my memories. But if you could erase, could you not write new memories for me?
I can ask you these questions. But then, I may have possibly asked you these questions in past and you may have answered knowing well that I will not remember what you said.
I have all these questions and I have all these doubts. I have one sweet memory with a face which is not yours. But above all, I have you.
Remember? This is the question I ask you hundred times in a day, knowing well that in answer you will just keep staring at me in disbelief. So many stories and I must have told them to you endless times, somewhere knowing deep inside that you will never believe them. I have become comfortable with this feeling now. I keep talking for hours to you and you keep sitting staring at me, as if you don’t know me. I know that you don’t remember me, and why should you. I know that you remember someone else in your dreams, and I do not blame you.
I do not wish to miss out a single detail while narrating a story, an incident, a memory as I can recall it. So I keep writing, erasing and re-writing it, while you are asleep. Sometimes I think that I make my narration so real that it starts sounding unreal to you. If in my story, it was raining when you first kissed me, then you should hear the sound of rain drops trickling down my hair. If in my story, we sat on a shore and hear songs all night long, then you should remember those songs by heart.
You have so many questions, which I have no answers to. But how can you blame me for that. I barely knew you when we met. You barely knew yourself when we met. And yet you saved me. I could not bear loneliness any more. I would have jumped if I did not see you there, lost; without a clue of who you are and where you live. I brought you home. I failed in searching for your family. I told you this and you cried all night and yet when you got up in the morning, you had forgotten all about them.
So what if all the stories I tell you, I have lived them with someone else? So what if I wish to remember your face in all my memories? I am recreating my life, why cannot you?
I have so many stories to write, so many memoirs to plant, so many imaginations to prove. I have so many of your doubts to fight with, many questions to answer. But above all, I have you.