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Remember

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By Gabbie SpeirsPublished 4 months ago 16 min read
2
Remember
Photo by Max Kleinen on Unsplash

Walking through London City was something I did every single day. I worked and lived there. I have done this for 15 years. I was a shop manager; a clothing shop. I got to the top through hard work, blood, sweat and a few tears too.

It felt like a normal Wednesday morning, walking through the streets of Soho. I did all of my usual things: stop for coffee, get a bagel and a newspaper. The only thing was, at each place, there was a man there I had never seen before. Was I being followed? But who would want to follow me? I manage a clothes shop!

He approached me, and my body froze. Was I about to be killed? He got closer, touched my arm and said, “You’re allowed to remember everything I told you to forget.” and then he walked away.

The next thing I remember, I’m in hospital being woken up by a nurse calling a name that is supposed to be mine. “Amelia? Your boyfriend stopped by, isn’t that nice?” she said, pointing at a man. He can't have been older than 35, his shoulder length brown hair was slightly wavy, he had these piercing green eyes, so beautiful and bright. He was wearing a charcoal coloured three-piece suit with a black shirt and a burgundy tie. He looked quite dapper. I wouldn't have minded him being my boyfriend; but he wasn't, as far as I was aware.

I didn’t say anything, but my ‘boyfriend’ was the last person I remember seeing before being here. The man who told me to remember what I had forgotten. Thankfully, the nurse left so I could speak to my 'boyfriend'.

“Amelia, sweetie, are you okay?” He said loudly enough that anybody outside of the door could hear him.

“Cut the bullshit. Why did you say that to me? Why do I have two different memories of who I am?” I demanded in a lower tone.

“The serum didn't work as quickly as we'd have hoped then. What do you remember?” the man asked.

“Well, for starters my name is Clara and you're not my boyfriend. I remember travelling a lot...” I paused, having hundreds of flashbacks all at once. So many images were running through my mind suddenly, I could hardly make sense of them. I saw myself running through city streets, in a lot of cafes and restaurants and in an office building. A building that looked vaguely familiar... “Wait a minute, am I...”

“MI5 Special Agent Clara Moss.” he whispered.

MI5? Suddenly, more memories came flooding back. The last assignment I was on, I nearly got caught doing some rather illegal things. I had my team with me in Krakow undergoing surveillance on a group of terrorists who were supposedly plotting to blow up all of the foreign embassies in the city. We had established that they wanted anyone who wasn't Polish out of the country, as they saw them as doing more harm than good. Legislation in Poland was changing rapidly and so much of their own culture was being stripped away from them.

“Clara, I'm going to get the discharge papers for tomorrow, as long as you are stable and willing to leave. I will fill in more blanks for you then, okay?” he said.

“You still haven't told me who you are. How do I know I can trust you to tell me about me?” I asked, with everything I suddenly knew about myself floating around my head mixed with what I thought I knew. I didn't know who or what to trust anymore and I couldn't tell what was real and what was fake. My fake life had taken over my thoughts.

“You are right to be cautious, but more will be revealed tomorrow, I promise. If your memories are coming back, you'll know where to meet me. 4pm.” and he walked away.

Things were still hazy the next day, but a lot more of my memories came back. I knew that I drove a Mercedes Benz G Class, I had a house by Holland Park and an apartment in Soho. Both of which are nicer than my current apartment in Camden. I remembered having regular salon appointments for my hair and nails while I wasn't away on missions, having friends over for dinner and going to visit my family up north.

I remembered having an argument with someone I worked with from MI5 before I was forced to forget everything. I think it was someone from the team from Krakow, but I couldn't remember what it was about.

I was discharged from the hospital at midday, so I had four hours to figure out where I was supposed to meet this impeccably dressed mystery man. If your memories are coming back, you'll know where to meet me. I had absolutely no clue where he was talking about, so I decided to go check out my house, have a hot shower and change clothes.

While the boiling hot water was collecting in my long chocolate hair and dripping down my back, I couldn't help but think about why I was forced to forget and who that man really was; I got the feeling that we worked together. But to what extent? Were we partners? Was he my handler? Were we something completely different? I couldn't put my finger on it. But then, as I put my finger on the tap to turn it off, I quickly realised I knew exactly where to meet him. The Milestone. Our favourite hotel. If I remembered correctly, it was where we went for all of our anniversaries and special occasions.

I put on a emerald green evening gown and shoes to match and made my way there for 4pm.

I was greeted at the extremely grand, dark wood desk by another impeccably dressed man who seemed to know me. “Good afternoon Clara. It has been a while, how are you today?” He had a dark blue waistcoat with a very crisp white shirt and a black bowtie tied perfectly around his neck. his brilliantly bouffanted brown hair looked like it had taken years to get right, but didn't look like any product held it up.

I glimpsed his name badge subtly, just in time. “I'm very well Christopher, thank you. And how are you?”

“I'm very well thank you. Are you here for your usual 4pm early dinner?” he asked.

I wasn't sure, so I just said yes and followed him through to a beautiful room; mahogany furniture, heavy dusky pink drapes and Swarovski chandeliers. He sat me at what was, apparently, my usual table on the far side of the room and away from any potential eavesdroppers, brought me a bottle of champagne, two glasses and a small glass with what I found out to be Limoncello in. Whoever it was I met here, we really must have come a lot for them to remember to bring the Limoncello with the champagne.

A few minutes later, Christopher came back through with the mystery man. Today he was dressed in a beautiful burgundy three piece suit, white shirt and a navy blue textured tie; possibly velvet. Christopher moved the chair for mystery man, sat him down and poured him a glass of the champagne and Limoncello.

Once Christopher left, I wasted no time at all getting straight to the questions. “Who are you? How do we know each other?”

He sighed, took a large gulp of his drink, and said, “My name is Special Agent Teddy Moss.”

“Teddy, Moss...” Realisation hit me like a freight train: he was my husband.

“How can I remember everything else but not the fact that I am married?" And to, probably, the most attractive man I've ever seen, I asked, careful not to say the last part out loud.

The left side of his mouth twitched in to a half smile and a few more memories came flooding back: meeting, getting engaged, the wedding, the honeymoon. Everything in-between was coming back too,

The smile vanished almost as quickly as it appeared and he started talking. “In Krakow, you were so close to finding out the order of which the bombings would happen. There was a man in their parliament whom you had befriended; one of the terrorists, each time you got him drunk you got a few more secrets out of him. You always made it seem like you two were having an affair, smudging your lipstick on him when you would move him back to his room. There was one night, one of the bellboys of the hotel spotted you coming out of his room rather soon after going in to it, far too soon for it to seem like anything was happening between you two. He was one of the look-outs for the group. He called one of the other top dogs to let them know he thought you were a mole. When I intercepted the call, I knew we had to get you out of there or you would have been captured.” He paused, as is memories of his own came flooding back.

“But why the memory loss?” I understood the stress this would put a spouse under, especially one who worked with theirs in conditions like these, but that was the one part I didn't get.

“You're a stubborn woman. You wanted to go back and finish what you started. I had to do something to protect you. There was a guy who worked for us a few years ago now, who claimed he had mastered this serum which helps people forget things. We had tested it on a few detainees, so once I was sure it worked, I gave you some and told you exactly what to forget and who you should remember yourself as.” He reached across the table for my hand, carrying on, “Amelia Rosenhart was one of your aliases that you had never used before. You never used it as it was your Grandmothers name, and you only wanted it to be used if you absolutely had to. You had all of the documentation lying there in the draw, so it wasn't a difficult thing to sort out.” There was a piece of this puzzle I was still trying to piece together. I couldn't quite place my finger on what exactly it was, but I certainly knew I need to figure it out.

“Teddy, how did we meet?” I asked.

“We met in university. We were both in Markham's Literature class and you were sat in the courtyard reading Great Expectations one day and I just knew I had to talk to you. You had the most beautifully long hair that glistened in the sunlight, the face you make when you concentrate is amazing and you made the room light up when you walk in anywhere. I remember watching you read Far From the Madding Crowd, the way you looked, so engrossed in the book, the way your hair hung perfectly over the back of your chair, that's when I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you.”

“But that was only two months after we met...”

“Exactly.” he smiled. I remembered loving that smile, feeling like I would give him anything whenever it graced his face. “I've loved you since the moment I met you, and everything I have done since then is to protect you. To make sure that you can carry on living in this world and catching the bad guys, side by side with me. We're a team, Clara, we always have been.” His eyes glistened against the sun setting through the window and I opened my hand to hold his.

Everything he was saying was exactly how I had remembered it. How we met, the classes we took, when we married. It all matches, but I couldn't shake the feeling that he wasn't telling me something.

“Teddy, I feel like there is so much about myself still I am unsure of, what am I missing?” I asked, entirely unaware of what would come next.

“We had a son, Clara. We named him Oscar. He was 5.” His eyes told me the tale of what happened without him saying it. There were tears starting to roll down his cheeks.

“Who was it?” I asked, unsure of how to feel in that moment.

“The Polish spies. They knew you were close to figuring everything out, so they threatened everyone in the family, and eventually got to Oscar,” he paused for a moment, and his face told me that reliving this was painful for him, but then he took a breath, “we usually had a nanny pick him up from school while we were on assignment, the school didn't think anything of it as the man that picked him up knew the password to give.”

I didn't want to give away that I didn't believe the words coming out of Teddy's mouth, so I stayed quiet and pretended to contemplate what he said instead. When he spoke, there was a feeling originally that I couldn't place. I was so entranced by the words he spoke, giving me back my history that he had also claimed to take from me. I wasn't even sure if this man was who he said he was.

"Clara? Are you.. okay?" Teddy almost lured an answer out of me, as if he had a magical hold on me. His demeanour changed when I didn't respond immediately; he started shifting in his seat and twitching his hands together. "Clara. Please. Talk to me." He tried to sound soft, but it came across as almost demanding.

I almost wanted to stand up and walk away, ignoring my husband as I went back to my life as Amelia; back to managing my little clothes shop in SoHo. I had only been gone for a couple of days, but damn did I miss it.

Instead, I stood and offered my hand to Teddy, "I'm fine. Can you take me home now please?" I looked into his emerald green eyes and sensed a small amount of terror when I uttered the word home. Was he scared I wouldn't remember?

Or was he scared I would?

We walked for a short few moments and arrived at an apartment building with a concierge waiting to greet us. "Ah, the Moss's. How we've missed you two! How are you two?"

I looked to Teddy, not knowing what story he had concocted to explain my five year absence. "We're good, thank you Thomas. Clara has finally finished her assignment in Thailand! I'm so happy to have her home." he lied, snaking his arm around my waist and holding me close while kissing my cheek.

"Yes, I am so happy to be home, finally! It felt like a lifetime away!" I chose the words carefully, knowing that Teddy would probably scold me if I mentioned the true reason for my absence.

"Well, it's very good to see you again, Mrs Moss." Thomas took a small bow, and gestured to us to come through the door he held open.

I followed Teddy to the lift, watching the buttons he pressed. 15th floor. The lift doors opened to these beautifully grand, bronze coloured double doors as tall as the 10 foot wall. He took a card out of his wallet and tapped it to the pad on the left side of the doors then entered a code. I missed the exact numbers but I saw it was a six digit code ending in 8-5. It could be one of our birthdays, but I couldn't remember my own, let alone his. I was disturbed from my thoughts by a hand on my arm. The smile that came with the touch made me melt ever so slightly, but also gave me an uneasy feeling.

I entered the apartment first, half excited and half nervous to see where we had lived in what felt like another lifetime. Teddy came close behind, being careful not to let me wonder too far on my own. The high ceilings and the beautiful winding staircase left me in awe and got me wondering why I didn't see any of this in my flashbacks. It looked like we lived in a much smaller place, nowhere as near as fancy as this. Unless I only saw snippets of before we'd moved here...

"Would you like a tour?" I heard from behind me, nodding as I turned to face the voice. He gestured towards a closed door opposite the stairs. I'd assumed it was a bathroom, but I was very wrong.

I opened the door to meet the business end of a gun pointed directly at me, feeling another being dug into my ribcage which was presumably to stop me from turning and running. I didn't speak as a third person took me to a chair and, using several sets of cuffs, secured my hands and legs then used some rope to tie my waist to the back of the chair.

They all then started talking in Polish and more memories came back to me.

I was in the process of discovering who on my team was a mole; information had passed to the Polish terrorists that only a small group of people knew. Three of which were in this room, not including myself. Where was the fifth person? Were they in on it too? Or did they get themselves killed while I got my memories wiped?

"I'm sorry, they said they'd kill you if I didn't go along with it." Teddy whispered into my ear when he realised I'd figured out what was going on.

"I- I'm not sure I can believe anything you say anymore. I knew there was something up, but I'd never have thought you were with them, Teddy. How could you?" My voice started to crack, but I kept my face as stoic as possible. I knew I didn't want to cry, I didn't feel strongly enough; but how could a loving husband act this way?

"I do love you, Clara. You are the reason I am in this mess in the first place." He pointed to the others, "These people wanted to KILL you Clara, do you understant that? I couldn't let them, so I offered to join them in the hopes that you would be left alone. That's why you you became Amelia, that's why I did it, for you." He actually started crying. The prick cried actual tears, as if on queue.

I closed my eyes to get a moment of peace. I couldn't believe all of this had so quickly unfolded; my entire life was a huge lie, I didn't know who I was, my husband was.

It was quiet for a moment. Nobody spoke a word to each other, or to me; for a second I forgot where I was and who I was with. I brought my head back up and went to open my eyes again when I heard a loud bang. A gunshot. I looked down my body and saw the blood rushing out of the gaping hole now in my abdomen, then felt the warmth of the red river down my legs. I couldn't see properly, my eyes losing focus until they closed again.

fiction
2

About the Creator

Gabbie Speirs

I write fantastical short stories that keep you coming back for more

Engish writer, world lover

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