Drake and Missy hugged Charles. What was amazing to everyone was that Charles needed and enjoyed the hugs more than anyone. They sat at the table and Charles related events from the morning he woke up on a park bench in Des Moines, Iowa.
“If I’m tracking this right,” Drake said, “after you left here three years ago and you have no memory of that. From our standpoint there is about two and a half years we don’t know where you were.”
“That’s your recollection of events,” Charles said. He turned to Missy, “You’re the med student what do you make of it.”
“I’m going to set bones and replace joints,” Missy said. “I’m no better qualified than anyone else at this table. That’s why I think it is prudent to seek the help of someone who has the expertise. Everything I’ve been taught is that mistakes happen when the wrong people are involve.”
“I don’t know why I feel this way,” Charles said. “But I really don’t feel safe with anyone else. I have no problem talking to people about my condition, but I’m afraid to see a professional.”
“Maybe,” Gayle said and paused, “Maybe it is because you don’t really want to know.”
“That’s what I’m afraid of,” Charles said. “What ever it is, it is something that Charles could not deal with.”
There was a long pause. Every one was trying to come up with a an insightful word. There was nothing, only blank minds and pensive looks.
“I guess we are at an impasse,” Charles said. “I keep thinking that some small thing unrelated to anything will trigger something; the first domino to start events in motion. I look at things, objects, I hold them and study them looking for or trying to feel a connection. Gayle and I have poured through photos and videos and I see me, but I’m with strangers. It’s like somebody projected my image into everything. I thought about going down the dealership and looking around and trying to remember things that way. I thought about having Gayle invite old friends for an evening. I think that would be a disaster. In fact, if I should remember everything right now this instant I still don’t get my life back. Things will never be the same.”
Gayle reached over and patted Charles’ hand. “We can survive. Just having you back we can endure anything.”
“I just don’t know what you are all putting yourself in for,” Charles said.
“Daddy,” Missy said. “You put up with my teenage years, you all did; this family can stand anything that comes its way.”
There was some laughter and Gayle and Missy began relating some old family stories. Charles enjoyed them.
Drake was quiet and forced a smile and interest.
Charles looked at Drake. “What’s wrong.”
“I have something on my mind that may confound everything. It‘s disturbing to me,” Drake said. “But I know no other way to approach it other than head on.”
“What is it?” Gayle said.