The only conversation I actually remember having is when he asked me if he could watch my memory. That, when the drugs did their thing and my chosen memory kicked in, whatever I saw would be relayed on a screen on his brother’s computer. Turned into a movie of sorts. I don’t remember my answer. I figured he’d watch it, no matter what.
When the brother finally returned and released me from my one-on-one time with Felix (thank GOD), he ushered me back into he laboratory and handed me the product on a petri dish. He wanted me to take the drugs in front of him, so he could record my vitals and monitor my brain waves and whatever else scientific types did.
I popped them into my eyes, one after the other, relishing that tingly sensation. It felt just like the last time, except…
Except I saw my mother. Standing in front of me with her overlong hair pulled into a low pony. Light blue apron strings dangled by her skinny sides, too frayed to stay tied.
And I was there too, the eight-year old version of me, sitting at the kitchen table sucking on an orange with peels littered across the table. I was fully brunette back then, not blonde with spider web roots. I looked happy. Clueless about what was going to happen.
I only had a second to look at the fifteen-year old version of my sister – to see her blue-lined eyes and pink-dotted braces – before I realized she was screaming. About how unfair it was that mom wouldn’t let her leave the house alone to go on a date with a boy. About how she was old enough to do what she wanted. To fuck who she wanted.
Mom yelled back. About how she had banned make-up from the house. About how cuss words weren’t allowed to be said under her roof. About how sex wasn’t something a young lady should even be thinking about.
Mom’s tone was harsh, but everything she was saying seemed reasonable. Until Emma made a low blow (Is that why dad left you? Because you wouldn’t fuck him?) and mom lifted a knife.
“What are you going to do?” That was Emma, of course. She laughed, lifting her neck, giving mom the perfect place to slash it. “Are you going to kill me? Yeah, great idea. Go to jail for the rest of your life because you can’t deal with the fact that your daughter is hotter than you. That men actually like me.”
Mom turned the knife. Aimed it at herself. Held the handle with two hands and let the tip rest right against her stomach. There were tears on her under eye bags as she said, “You want to grow up so quickly. To wear make-up. To stay out past curfew. To fuck. But how would you like it if I died? Then you’d really have to grow up. You’d be forced to take care of your little sister. You’d be forced to get a job. You’d be forced to get your shit together, Emma. You don’t have a clue what it means to be a grown up. You don’t have any idea what I…”
It was hard to hear the rest. Emma was screaming over her. Not listening to a word. Not absorbing any of it. Just screaming: “Do it. Fucking do it. I’m not going to miss you. Nobody gives a fuck. DO IT.”
And she did.
Repressed memories probably stayed repressed for a reason. That’s what I told Felix’s brother when the drugs wore off. I can’t remember if that was before or after I vomited over his heart monitoring equipment. Memory’s a funny thing.
Maybe even an evil thing.