After a week with examinations, conversations with neurologists and psychologists Amy came to take Dudley home. They said he had got a retrograde amnesia.
“The best thing you can do,” the doctor told Dudley and Amy, “is to watch some pictures or videos from your wedding, holidays and other events. Possibly, you’ll recover spontaneously, but I can’t say how long it will take. It can take from weeks, to months to years.”
“We have a video from our wedding,” said Amy. “Maybe you’ll recognize something when watching that.”
“I can’t believe I’m married,” said Dudley. “I don’t feel ready for this – much less becoming a father. Can’t I be released for that responsibility?”
“Well, let’s see how it goes,” answered Amy. “You’ve got four and a half months to come to terms with the thought of being a father.”
“Amy, I wish I could get to know you better before we have a child together. Couldn’t we wait another year?”
“Dudley, for God’s sake, the child comes when it comes. I can’t keep her inside till you’re ready for her,” laughed Amy.
The “old” Dudley would’ve said that she didn’t have to carry through her pregnancy, but something held the “new” one back. Amy obviously looked forward to the child that he didn’t remember he had procreated. Besides, the law might be different in the U.S.A. than in the U.K.
Before Dudley left the hospital, Hannah gave him a calling card. “I have an alternative clinic besides my job as a nurse. Feel free to call me if you want some more help than the doctors here can give you.”
“Thank you.” Dudley put the card into his pocket without looking at it.
“Is this your car?” Dudley went disappointed into the landrover.
“No. We only had the one car that crashed at the accident – but I’m glad you didn’t crash just as much as the car,” Amy added, a wry smile on her lips. This landrover belongs to Brad, our neighbour and your best friend. He was so kind to help out at our place while we were in hospital.”
“Were you also hurt?”
No, you were the only one in the car. You were on your way home from job when you glided out in the icy curve. But of course, I couldn’t find rest at home when you were hovering between life and death.”
Whatever Dudley might have thought about Amy, she was a faithful wife, and that wasn’t a bad quality. He began to get confidence to her.
“Okay, and which jobs do we have then?”
“We work at the local boarding school. That’s where we met, too. “I teach creative subjects, and you’re a cook. You’re good at conjuring healthy raw food to the pupils and the staff.”
“Blime me,” he muttered.
“Where are you taking me, Amy?” Dudley was a little nervous when his wife steered far out of town – out to the middle of nowhere.
“We’re going to our country house, dear,” she smiled.
“Country house!” he snorted. “I can’t believe that I should’ve agreed to get a country house.”
She smiled wryly. “You were the eagerest one of us to get one.”
“Next thing you’re going to tell me is that I harvest crops and feed animals, wearing blue overalls and a John Deere cap, isn’t it?”
“Well, right now it’s February, so you don’t harvest crops – but you do feed animals. We have twenty sheeps, and I use their wool to dye and spin, and finally, I knit sweaters of the yarn. We also have chickens to give us fresh eggs.”
“Well, don’t we get drumsticks sometimes, then?”
“Nope! It’s egg-legging chickens, only. As for your question about crops, we don’t have agriculture as such, but we do grow vegetables in our garden when the season is for that.”
“Now, we’re home.” She steered into a big yeard. A big New Foundlander came running to meet them. Dudley’s only experience with dogs was Aunt Marge’s little aggressive Ripper. He made a step back.”
“Don’t tell me you don’t remember Sirius,” Amy said with surprise.
Sirius? Who gave him that strange name?”
“He’s named after the dogstar,” smiled Amy.
Without thinking, Dudley began to pet the dog. At that moment he knew there was a tie between him and Sirius, though the old Dudley used to be afraid of dogs.
“Howdy, folks,” a cheerful voice greeted. “ Welcome home, Dudley.” A redheaded and freckled man smiled broadly. “Nice to see ye’ again, mate. Lucky you got off with a concussion.”
“Well, it seems like I’ve got a serious amnesia. I’ve lost ten years of my life. I can’t remember you either.”
“I’m Brad, your neighbour and friend. So you can’t remember what happened the last ten years?”
“Nothing at all. On the other hand, I do remember all that happened before the summer of 1995, and still I feel I’m another guy than I used to be.”
“Really?” Brad raised his brows. “Your character in itself seems pretty much the same as I used to know.”
“Didn’t I use to be terrible? As far as I remember, I used to make troubles and be hysterical if I didn’t get my way.”
“You might’ve been like this ten years ago,” answered Amy. “However, the Dudley that I’ve always known is funny, charming, attentive – and yes, a bit pampered, but still a nice guy.”
Brad laughed a bit. “Well, Dudley, you’re a tease, and you can spin people quite a yarn. The best story you’ve told me is about your cousin being a wizard – though, I had nearly begun to believe you at your wedding. Your cousin and his wife are really special – in the funny way.”
“Did my cousin and his wife attend our wedding?” He acknowledged that cousin Harry had actually saved his life, but did that mean that they had become so good friends that Harry and his wife attended his and Amy’s wedding?
“Yes, they did,” confirmed Amy. “I can show you the video from our wedding, then you may remember something, such as the doctor suggested.”
He watched himself standing at the altar, his cheeks red from excitement. Brad stood beside him as his best man, patting his shoulder encouragingly. His eyes ran full of tears when Amy walked towards him together with her father.
Why did he choose that Brad for his best man? Well, he was quite a nice guy, but Pierce Polkiss used to be his best friend. However, Pierce didn’t appear anywhere, neither when they cut the wedding cake, sharing euphoric looks, nor when they danced the wedding walz – which was Lambada.
“Man, can I really dance like that?” he asked with surprise.
“You’re quite a good dancer, Dudley,” answered his wife. “We also practiced a lot.”
After Lambada, they danced cheek-by-cheek to Phil Collins’ Groovy Kind of Love.
“This is our melody,” whispered Amy affectionately. “You must remember, don’t you?”
“I do remember the song, but not as our melody. My mother has that song at an old single record that she inherited from her mother. It’s a band called The Mindbenders.”
Amy looked a bit disappointed. Then she got thoughtful. “Mindbenders? Maybe that’s what you need to help you get your memory back.”
“You can bet I’m not going to attend a mindbender. Do you think I’m abnormal?”
Amy couldn’t help but laughing, though her husband was deadly serious. “I thought that’s what you wanted to be – as a counterbalance to your normal parents?”
“Shut up! You make things seem like my only mission is opponating against my parents.”
“That’s exactly the impression that you used to give me.”
Now the guests had begun to dance, too. Harry and his wife appeared in front of the camera. They danced close, too.
“Ginny is expecting, too, ” Amy told her husband.
“Your cousin’s wife. I believe she’s going to deliver in the late spring or the early summer.”
Dudley watched Ginny on the video. She was a pretty woman with a pleasant smile. For the first time, it struck him that although, cousin Harry could do things that Dudley couldn’t; Dudley was just as able as Harry to make children. He began to feel proud of soon becoming a father. But still, there was a little worm gnawing within him.
“What do you think, Dudley, isn’t it a romantic wedding?” Amy interrupted his thoughts.
“Guess it is,” he muttered.
“What’s the matter? You seemed so happy that day, but now, I see no recognition in your eyes.”
“It’s true, I look happy at the video,” he admitted. “However, I miss three persons: My mom, my dad and my best friend Pierce Polkiss. On the other hand, I can’t work out what my cousin and his wife are doing at our party.”
“That was your own choise,” answered Amy. “You didn’t want your parents to participate, though – as I’ve told you – I tried to make you invite them. I’ve never heard you mention that Pierce before. On the other hand, you insisted that your cousin joined us with his wife, because he saved your life – in a way that I’ve never really understood.”
Sirius joined them in the sofa. He stretched out over both of them. Dudley would’ve chased him away, but for some reason he couldn’t get himself to do it. Nor did Amy. She just petted the dog.
Dudley sighed. “Nor do I understand. For the time being I don’t understand very much. I just know I miss my parents and my friend from home.”
“Well, let’s try to Google them. I don’t want you to accuse me for keeping you apart from your parents.”