“This is my room!” Rosemary thought. She couldn’t remember how she got there, or anything else about her life before being in it. From the rocker she was resting in she could see playful blue and golden patterns on the wall and large French doors that opened onto a balcony overlooking the ocean.
The wind blew through them and filled the muslin curtains with ghostly bodies, and that disquieted Rosemary a little. She whimpered softly and then remembered that the people who lived in the next room seemed to hear even the slightest sound she made and showed up immediately to provide assistance of comfort. As much as she appreciated their efforts, she wanted to be alone with her thoughts for a while, to familiarize herself with her new surroundings.
She knew her name was Rosemary, she had heard them call her by that name, but she couldn’t remember it from before, nor could she understand any other word they were saying, which made her feel awkward, really, because they spoke to her without ceasing and she would have liked to respond.
One thing was sure: they all loved her unconditionally, and it felt good to be so loved, even though she couldn’t understand why.
The sun cast afternoon rays on the wall, making the golden patterns gleam. She followed their movement for a while, until she tired of them. Her vision was blurry and she looked at things as if through a veil; trying to focus on details required too much concentration.
The breeze blew in a heavenly fragrance and her whole being dwelled upon it and nothing else for a while, breathing in the perfume, filling her lungs with it. The scent soaked her in love and peace and made her happy.
She would have wanted to remember something, anything, from her forgotten life, and she tried to, scrunching her forehead really hard. Vague pictures sometimes came through, of places she couldn’t recognize, or people she interacted with briefly, the image of a little dog, white and fluffy, and the sound of children laughing, but they were fleeting memories, like a cloud of butterflies that touches the surface of a lake for only a moment.
A tall lady, all smiles, entered the room to bring fresh linen, glanced in her direction to see how she was doing, adjusted her blanket and left. The lady’s scent lingered behind her for a while, enveloping Rosemary in its fresh chamomile and citrus aroma like in a warm embrace. There was also another scent mixed in, one that Rosemary couldn’t identify, but which made her feel warm, nurtured and safe.
The tall lady had tried many times to figure out a way to communicate with her, but unfortunately, Rosemary could only utter inarticulate sounds, even though she desperately wanted to join in the conversation. The fact that everybody was swarming around her, talking, moving things, opening and closing doors, without her being able to express any opinions about it unsettled her. She cried at times, and then everybody came in, all at once, smothering her in a sea of affection and comfort, but Rosemary only wanted the lights off, or felt a little thirsty, and it was frustrating to watch them try to guess her need and go through everything but what she wanted at the time.
The sun set, painting the horizon in orange and violet hues, and then the sky grew darker, to Rosemary’s dismay. She couldn’t understand why the light dimmed around her, she didn’t want it to dim, she liked the afternoon sunshine on her walls. Her eyes reached across the room, trying to grasp onto something that would relieve her anxiety, and her gaze rested on the plush dog. The realization that this object didn’t belong to an old memory disappointed her.
She worried about the people who might have been in her life before, wondering if there was another tall lady somewhere, who missed her, and then figured out that as soon as she was able to communicate she would try to find that tall lady and let her know she was alright, that she lived with people who loved her dearly, and she would visit her when she could. But her mind couldn’t focus on such a long thought process, the lights, the movement, the scents, they all distracted her, and she felt suddenly comforted by the presence of the plush dog, even if she realized pretty fast that it was an inanimate object and as such, it couldn’t do much.
She eventually got tired and thirsty, and weary of all the people who walked in and out of her room, and because she felt like it, she suddenly started wailing. The strength and timber of her own voice scared her, which made her cry even harder.
She wished somebody would come in, because the pangs in her stomach were growing stronger, a very unpleasant sensation, not exactly pain, but irritatingly persistent and harder to push out of one’s mind than a bad memory.
The people, for once, were nowhere to be found. Where did they all go, she wondered? Goodness knows that they never stopped wearing down that door at all times in order to fret around her to the point of discomfort! Finally a lady she had never seen before came through it and fitted her with a device. It was somewhat rubbery, not at all like the tall lady’s embrace, fragrant with citrus and chamomile, but it made the stomach pain subside.
The substance made her groggy and she sensed, almost through a haze, how the new lady changed her into fresh clothes, put on soft music and turned down the lights. So many changes, all at the same time! Rosemary panicked, she wanted to know where the tall lady went, and if she was ever coming back, because she already missed her scent and her warmth, and the love in her eyes, so much love and only for her, but it was late, and she was tired, and groggy from the substance she had ingested, and the bed felt reasonably comfortable. The strange lady noticed she was staring at the fluffy dog, so she placed it next to her face, where she could see it better, right before she left.
Rosemary was left in the dark alone, all her sleepiness now gone, her eyes wide open, trying to reach into the shadows and find a familiar image, the one of the tall lady, preferably, but there was nothing in the room other than the summer night and the heavenly fragrance brought in by the breeze.
She felt lonely, fearful, hopeful, and she really missed the tall lady, and then her psyche experienced a few other emotions she didn’t know how to describe. Her mind started wandering again, in search of a veil of slumber to ward off the weariness of the day. She reached out in a vague desire to step through that door that opened and closed so often and expand her knowledge of the universe beyond the limits of her now familiar room, but the slumber veil descended quickly, making the darkness of the room feel softer and lulling her to a world of dreams.
It had been an exhausting afternoon, a few hours can feel like forever with respect to the length of one’s life, and Rosemary was only one day old.