One Woman

One Woman

Status: Finished

Genre: Romance

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Romance

Summary

Love, Crime, and Amnesia Paul’s memories begin from when he wakes up in his parents’ home to find his ex-girlfriend, Cassandra, as his caretaker. Though he can’t remember her, he falls for Cassandra once more while she keeps him at arm’s length. He can’t conceive of why he’d ever let Cassandra go. Neither can she. He never told her why he left. As Paul strives to regain his memories and win Cassandra’s heart once more, complications set in. His mother dies. He’s stalked by criminals. Another ex-girlfriend arrives on the scene. A nurse in a psychiatric hospital plays a mysterious role in the events that unfold. Haunting visions hold the key to an unbelievable fate. Paul wants answers. Only one woman has them all. This book contains explicit sexual content and is intended for mature readers.

Summary

Love, Crime, and Amnesia
Paul’s memories begin from when he wakes up in his parents’ home to find his ex-girlfriend, Cassandra, as his caretaker.
Though he can’t remember her, he falls for Cassandra once more while she keeps him at arm’s length. He can’t conceive of why he’d ever let Cassandra go. Neither can she. He never told her why he left.
As Paul strives to regain his memories and win Cassandra’s heart once more, complications set in. His mother dies. He’s stalked by criminals. Another ex-girlfriend arrives on the scene. A nurse in a psychiatric hospital plays a mysterious role in the events that unfold.
Haunting visions hold the key to an unbelievable fate. Paul wants answers. Only one woman has them all.
This book contains explicit sexual content and is intended for mature readers.

Chapter1 (v.1) - One Woman

Author Chapter Note

Love, Crime, and Amnesia Paul’s memories begin from when he wakes up in his parents’ home to find his ex-girlfriend, Cassandra, as his caretaker. Though he can’t remember her, he falls for Cassandra once more while she keeps him at arm’s length. He can’t conceive of why he’d ever let Cassandra go. Neither can she. He never told her why he left. As Paul strives to regain his memories and win Cassandra’s heart once more, complications set in. His mother dies. He’s stalked by criminals. Another ex-girlfriend arrives on the scene. A nurse in a psychiatric hospital plays a mysterious role in the events that unfold. Haunting visions hold the key to an unbelievable fate. Paul wants answers. Only one woman has them all. This book contains explicit sexual content and is intended for mature readers.

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: December 12, 2012

Reads: 305

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: December 12, 2012

A A A

A A A

Part One

[1]

Before the alarm clock rings, the sun shines through the window or I hear the chirping of birds, I open my eyes. The light flicks on and I hear the door open. My sleep-blurred vision and tired mind can’t make out who’s there. I don’t think I have any guests. I don’t recall having a roommate, girlfriend or spouse. I don’t remember anything.

I think this is my room. Maybe it’s my parents’. How would I even know? I don’t have any context for it, or anything else. This could be the first day of my life if I’m even still alive. A few random thoughts swirl my head along with a feeling that something terrible happened.

I hear a rattling sound just beyond the door. I try to focus, but my eyes struggle with the light from above. I turn away and blink a few times until my eyes get used to the abrupt change. My attention goes to the door again, which is now open.

I see a cart. I squint, and the details slowly appear. On it are a cup, a bowl and a plate resting on a tray. I see a hand reaching for them.

Breakfast! The word echoes in my mind. I sit up and watch the door open further. The hand has an arm, then a shoulder, a head and a body. My eyes have adjusted now, and another pleasing word hits the back of my head.

Woman! I think to myself and my eyes widen in anticipation. I lift up the sheets and note my lack of pajamas. The scene begins to add up, and it’s looking a whole lot better.

She sets my breakfast on the nightstand. I first look at the tray, noting the two sunny-side-up eggs, wheat toast and bacon on the plate. There’s oatmeal in the bowl, and coffee in the cup. My mouth waters expectantly.

The woman looks to be about twenty-two, maybe twenty-four years old at most. Any younger, and I’d call her a girl. She’s pleasantly pale-skinned, and her complexion is smooth as silk. The proportions of the body are just right: thin but only where it’s appealing, tall but not to an intimidating extent. I admire her long, naturally blond hair, and at the same time suppress a giggle over how messy it is. Her light blue eyes look as tired as mine feel. The contour of her nipples showing through the silky white nightgown arouses me.

She smiles, turns away, and pulls up a chair. I want to smile back, but I can’t help but yawn. When I bring my hand politely to my face, I notice a hospital band on my wrist, but this is no hospital, and she’s no nurse.

There’s something familiar about her. She cares about me, but in what way I’m not sure. She’s a beautiful woman serving me breakfast in my parents’ home. For all I know, she could be my sister. At that thought, I mentally slap myself for the way I’ve been looking at her.

“Good morning, Paul.”

At least she knows my name, so there’s some promise of answers.

“Umm, good morning,” I respond plainly, hoping the non-name-knowing on my part doesn’t become an issue.

“It’s Cassandra,” she states with no hint of upset in her voice. My mind is telling me to be afraid, but my heart is calm, yet curious. My initial apprehension fades as I take comfort in the sound of her voice.

“Nice to meet you Cassandra,” I respond, keeping my eyes on hers and nowhere else. As hungry as I am, breakfast can wait. She’s far more appealing.

She sits up in her chair. A light giggle passes through her lips. My heart sings from the sound of it, and from her just being near me.

“You still don’t remember. It’s all right. The doctor said it would take awhile.”

“I know my name, and I think I’m about 25 years old. I don’t remember you. Umm, are you my sister?”

“No,” she says smiling back once more. I’m relieved. Memory loss or not, I find the concept of being attracted to my sister disturbing.

“Cousin?”

“No.”

“O.K., well, you’re certainly not my mother…”

The smile widens at this. I am developing quite a liking for all this smiling!

I look to the other side of the bed and wonder, “Where did you sleep last night?”

“Well, not with you. I slept in the next room. You and I haven’t done that for awhile.”

“Well, now there’s something that I can look forward to remembering!” I blurt out. She doesn’t respond or even change her expression. My face burns hot in embarrassment over what I’ve just said.

“Sorry,” is all I can say.

Still no response.

This is getting awkward. I don’t know where to start here. I study her a bit more, struggling to remember who she is and what she means to me. Maybe she’s an ex-girlfriend? Wife? Ex-wife? Maybe I married her, and we’re in a rut. I look to her hands. No ring and no indication one was there either.

Well, whatever we had, it’s apparently over. Did my memory loss have anything to do with it? How long have I been like this? I don’t even know that. Maybe she’s waiting for me to remember her so we can be intimate again? I have to confess, remembering would not be a requirement for me.

“Are we supposed to be doing that?” I ask dumbly. Part of me wonders if I just dug myself a deeper hole.

Her palm plants firmly in her face and she roars with laughter. I can’t get a word in edgewise. Who knows when she’ll stop? Having no clue what else to do, my attention turns to my toast. Somehow nibbling on some food lessens the awkwardness of the moment.

Halfway through my eggs she composes herself.

“Paul, we dated then we broke up. I’m here because no one else is available to help you recover. We’re in your parents’ house now. That’s where I took you after you were released from the hospital.”

I nearly spit out my coffee. This is my parents’ place! “I need to get dressed! They could walk in any minute!”

She scoots her chair closer, takes the cup out of my hand and sets it down. She places her hands on mine and draws a deep breath. The feel of her flesh on mine gives me comfort and security. I fear she’s preparing me for something I don’t want to hear. It’s just a feeling, an intuition. I don’t know anything. Feelings and intuition are all I have.

“Paul, you’re not seventeen anymore. Your parents don’t live here. Your mother’s in a nursing home. Your father…”

A tear rolls down her cheek. This isn’t going well for her either. She seems happy enough with me, but whatever it is I’m suspecting, she knows. I take my best guess.

“He’s dead, isn’t he?”

“He is. How did you know? Do you remember that?”

“It’s in the tone of your voice, Cassandra.”

“Yeah, you always could read people,” she responds with a quick smile that shows through her tears.

“Cassandra, I’d like you to tell me about that. I’d like you to tell me about us.”

She wipes the tears from her eyes and sits up straight. “One thing at a time, Paul,” is all she has to say.

She goes to my closet to pick out some clothes as if that’s what I had just asked her to do. Is she going to answer my questions or not? I’ll have to ask again later if I can remember to do so. Unfortunately, that memory thing looks iffy at best.

Damn it! For the life of me, I can’t remember who I am, where I’m from, or even who my father is and why he died. Yet all I can think of is Cassandra. My heart craves to know how I won hers, and why I lost it.


 

 

[2]

The sun comes out, the alarm goes off, and I hear the birds chirp. Was I just dreaming? I look to the nightstand and see my half-eaten breakfast. Good. I can remember something, and I haven’t altogether lost my mind.

“Can you shut that off? I’d run in there myself, but I’m not decent right now,” comes Cassandra’s voice from the next room. I hit the top of the clock, an old windup that looks like it was made in the seventies.

Cassandra must be changing in the next room. My change of clothes rests on the chair. I glance at them, I smell my breakfast, and then I smell myself. Of the three, I decide that last is the one I should address first, and slip out of bed naked and into the bathroom, which is conveniently located between our bedrooms. I hear Cassandra humming through the wall, and I entertain the thought of asking her to join me. I decide not to. I don’t want to scare her off by being too forward. She’s the only link to my sanity right now.

While the water is warming up, I take a proper look at myself in the mirror. My hair is short and nearly buzz cut. It’s blond, and I like that. I gaze at my blue eyes in the mirror.

“Paul,” I say to my reflection. Is that my name? I say it again several times. It sounds right. I can’t think of any reason Cassandra would lie to me about that. Paul it is. I like the name.

I back up from the mirror to admire my muscular build, and my tallness. Wow! I flex my muscles below my chest, in true Arnold Schwarzenegger style. I’m disappointed in the few extra pounds on my belly. I wonder, was I vain? Maybe I still am. Do I still have to be? The thought of being a blank slate is freeing and confusing all at once.

Cassandra bangs on the door. “Don’t take so long! The hot water’s only good for fifteen minutes. I keep telling you that!”

“Of course you do! I can’t remember a thing, right?”

She can’t argue that one, I quip to myself. Oh well, I’m sure she’s got all sorts of reasons for me to get my memory back.

At least I can remember what a shower is and how to take one. I welcome the sensation of the water blasting on me. As I lather up, a comforting thought comes to mind. For the next ten minutes, I am simply a man taking a shower. It doesn’t matter if I’m a poor man, a rich man, a good one or a bad one. I can let my mind be a blank, which at this point is not that difficult. I get the feeling all sorts of people would be envious of my mental  state right now. For the first time today, all forty five minutes of it, I’m quite happy to be clueless about myself.

A used white towel with “HIS” printed on it lies on the floor. The “HERS” towel hangs neatly on the bar, clean and pristine. Rather than run around wet and naked trying to find another “HIS” towel, I decide to go with the “HERS”.

I towel off and responsibly throw both towels into the hamper at the other side of the room. No one need know I used the wrong towel. This odd little secret amuses me.

I’m also glad that I know how to dress myself. I can only imagine how embarrassing it would be to have a grown woman help me get dressed. Who knows, for as long as I’ve been here after my memory loss, maybe she did have to help me? I don’t think I want to remember that.

Once I dress myself, I down the rest of my breakfast. The food is disgustingly cold now. Coffee, however, seems to taste good at any temperature. I gleefully suck the rest of it down. I’m clean, caffeinated and ready to go! Cassandra knocks at my bedroom door. She’s got decent timing, I’ll say that for her.

 

I still want more coffee. Cassandra already has more brewed. She’s so accommodating.

I haven’t quite established who’s in charge here. According to Cassandra, my father left me a large chunk of change when he died, and I’m inheriting the rest when my Mother goes. I’m footing the bill for everything while she does the legwork. I suppose that makes us equals.

I have many things, but what good are real things if you’re out of touch with reality? Cassandra seems levelheaded enough to help me back to it. She answers my questions. Well, most of them.

She smiles often while we chat at the kitchen table.  Did we got along this well when we were together? If I remember, will that change things? Part of me likes things the way they are. As far as I’m concerned, we don’t have a history, and I can fall in love with her again. She’s a different matter, though. If I do have a second chance, I pray I don’t ruin it.

“How long were we involved?”

“Over a year, I think.”

“Where did we meet?”

“We met at a fancy restaurant in Cleveland. You used to take your clients there all the time. I was your waitress every time you went there.”

“How did that happen?”

She leans forward and smiles at me again. “You kept asking for me.”

I like this! I envision myself with an ultra-important client at some high-end restaurant, going over folders, proposals, sipping cocktails, the standard power lunch. I close my eyes and envision Cassandra with her white dress-shirt, bow tie, black dress slacks. She’s mesmerizing. It’s a marvelous daydream, but I still don’t remember.

“Try not to push it,” Cassandra advises. “It’ll come back by itself. Actually, it’s better if I ask you questions and you answer than the other way around.”

I open my eyes. She’s still there, across from me at the table, pouring me another cup. Dressed in a plain white T-shirt and cutoff jeans, she’s just as sexy if not more so than the imagined-waitress Cassandra. Those dress slacks just didn’t do her legs justice.

“Paul, it’s essential that you remember what happened. Not just because of us, but for your own sake. Please, tell me the last thing you remember.”

“I remember waking up this morning to you serving me breakfast,” and that’s true. I don’t remember anything else. I remember how to speak, how to think, how to take a shower. I suppose some things get so hardwired into your mind they come naturally.

“Well, I guess that’s better than yesterday, and the day before, and so on and so forth.”

“Cassandra, how long have we been at this?”

“You don’t want to know Paul. For all I know you’ll forget this conversation tomorrow. For now, I’m just glad you’re up, taking care of yourself, and talking.”

I think about her dressing me, feeding me and bathing me. It’s by no means a turn-on, and so unfair that she sees me naked, and not the other way around. I wonder if she’d taken advantage of me, or me of her, for that matter. Memory or not, a man is a man and women have their needs too, whether they admit to them or not. I doubt she’s seeing anyone romantically, or on any other level for that matter. I decide to test the waters…

“Umm, I know you want to show me around the estate and all, and we could do that later. I was just thinking… you said we were involved for about a year, right?”

“Yes.”

“You know, maybe all this talking isn’t the right direction to go. Maybe we should try muscle memory if you know what I mean?” I nod my head toward the bedroom upstairs.

She closes her eyes and shakes her head. Her arms fold, and her legs cross. I’m no expert in body language, but all this tells me is, we’re not doing that anytime soon.

“I guess there are some things men just never forget! That’s the fourth time you made a pass at me in the last few days.”

“I’m sorry,” I say humbly.

She rises from her chair and heads to the living room. She stops in the doorway and looks down. “Paul, we just didn’t work out.”

I walk up behind her. I place my hand on her shoulder and calmly assure her, “We need to work something out, Cassandra.”

“Paul, you’re not you. Not yet. Not the you that I remember. Not the man that I loved.”

“So what? That’s over. We can start again, can’t we?”

She takes a few steps away from me. I decide it best not to follow. She turns around. “Paul, you have to be you!”

“Right, I have to be me so that you can change my mind, even though you couldn’t before. Now that you have me without whatever it was that stood in our way, you won’t take me?”

“It’s not that simple,” she responds. It’s what you didn’t like about me. You could remember that at any time. You’ll just let me go again.”

“Just tell me what it was, then we can talk it out!”

“Paul, you broke up with me and never told me why! Got it? I just don’t fucking know!”

Now this could be a problem.


© Copyright 2017 evamariepaulliere. All rights reserved.

Chapters

Add Your Comments:

Other Content by evamariepaulliere