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I walk with this man down several blocks.  We walk a leisurely pace.  He is nonchalant which lulls and soothes me and it feels like a chemical to sedate me is swimming through my brain.  But I don’t think he could have drugged me since I don’t remember drinking anything since…

…he’s just caused me to forget the most recent moments of my life, including my daughter.  It happened quickly.  One moment I was desperate and determined, the next I was content with the world.

He got me out of prison, and now we’re walking.  His presence sedated me to the point that I forgot my intention.  But I remember now.

I remember that I don’t know who I am and I never did.  He called me Doan and it made me realize I didn’t know I had a name.  I have no idea where we’re going, or if I can trust him, but I don’t know of another option.

We enter a coffee shop and I presume he has a magnificent plan, or perhaps he’s meeting someone here who will help me.  I’m convinced we’re about to embark upon the kind of journey that you would read in a book, or see in a film.  However, I don’t know where any of my knowledge comes from or if I’ve ever seen a film or even read a book as I glance around at the people in the shop.  These are real people.  Real people with real lives.  They have family and friends.  They have homes and jobs.  They have had struggles and joy.  Their lives have meaning.  I am not like them at all.

I’m like a phantom that people don’t notice, never see, have never known.  My past is all illusion that was implanted in my mind.  My entire life is a hallucination.  I never had a chance to mourn or reminisce or feel sad to see things and people change around me.  I’ve never had that gift of human connection.  I thought I did, but I wonder now if I even had it with Fay, if Fay is even real.  She could possibly be an element or fixture in the false life I have known.  As could be my mother.  But I won’t believe that.  My only choice is to trust that this man knows what he is doing.  I can’t speak to him because I don’t trust him enough to reveal either what I know or what I don’t know.  Talking could potentially expose a weakness that is not perceptible to me at this time.

Memories circulate within my mind and I remember my recent captivity, the torture and abuse.  Waking up in that box where I was confined naked within, sitting in my own urine, excrement, and vomit.  All my physical needs were neglected and I was trapped in my mind, in the box.  There was only a small vent at the top through which to breathe.  I was nauseated and weak.  I would get up on my tip toes in order to get fresh air, but I needed to lean so as not to put weight on the leg with the gunshot wound and the torn flesh from the rats.  I’d slip in my own waste. I began to fear myself, my own mind.  I had thoughts of suicide.  Since I had no implements with which to die, it would’ve had to have been something like my gnawing through my own flesh to cause me to bleed to death.

How can these events not be real?  In the prison cell, I began to have visions.  I thought they were memories, but they may not be.  Perhaps they are prophetic, or maybe clues I need to follow.  The visions are too vague to lead me anywhere.  My only direction is where this man will lead me.

I put all my faith in him as he orders two coffees and two doughnuts and seats himself comfortably at the counter.  He smiles at me, his moustache curves up at each end, and he says “I love doughnuts.”

I slowly seat myself beside him not sure if I should feel eased by his casual approach to all of this, or if I should punch him in the face and say What the fuck asshole!? Take me to my fucking daughter now!!!

I am hesitant to say or do anything, so I just stare at him, trying to solve the puzzle of his existence.