She couldn’t remember her past, and she didn’t have any grasp of what the concept of future even meant.
She only knew that she couldn’t walk right, they said it was because of the car accident, and that they had no hope of recovering her memory, also because of the car accident. So she tried, she really did. She tried to walk down the streets of that small Minnesota town and learn to love her family who seemed like frightening strangers to her and fall asleep listening to the wind blow through the fields on the farm. But no matter how much she told herself that this was her life and that she was happy, it never seemed to work. She felt as if she were dying on the inside. As if in the accident the essence of who she was had been stripped away, leaving only a feeble shadow of her former self.
But one day, while she was in one of the town stores, she heard a sound. And oh what a sound it was. Soft and serrated, gentle and violent, all these things at once yet and yet never at precisely the same moment. She rushed through the aisles searching for it and found ambiance music playing in dusty corner, playing on repeat the sound waves crashing against the sea shore. Mesmerized, she stood there listening to this thing she seemed to have never heard before, ignoring her angry family as they caught up and asked what had gotten into her, because for the first time her soul was sparking back to life. Coming alive at the thought of the sea.
She didn’t know why she had never heard of such a wondrous thing as the ocean, they all said it must be a strange side effect of the car accident as they avoided eye contact with her, but she fell in love with the sea and looked up every book and learned the name of every coast and studied the currents and all the wildlife and listened to album after album of the ocean waves and devoured every and anything that had to do with the shores of the sea and the mysteries that lay underneath the miles and miles of pure poetry blue. But her family got worried, their faces got harder, and they tried to take the sea away from her. She couldn’t understand why they hated the ocean so much until she listened to an album where the seagulls sang, and she realized in a moment made of melded delight and confusion that she knew the meaning of every word they were saying. That’s when the memories came flooding back. The peaceful days living in the endless waters, the bloody war that began, filing her teeth to razor sharp points to defend her country and to go to war. Becoming a prisoner, being tortured, injected, and slowly but ever so surly being unmade.
In a horror that illuminated every dark shadow of her life she looked around the farm, at the family who was guarding her, at the landlockedness of this state and the fact that she was ever allowed near a body of water. And as she slid her fingers slowly down her legs remembering what they used to be, she began to cry so that the sea could run from her eyes, down her face, letting her taste waves on her lips.
The siren was now a damsel in distress.