The Untold Truth

Osborne Lopez, Writer

“Good Morning Amara. How are you doing today,” Doctor Beth says as we both sit. The room is bright from the light of the windows and inspires a feeling of warmth. It may be the only peaceful place in this whole facility, though the feeling of hatred still lingers.

“I’m fine. No…I’m great.” I speak with a smile to conceal my lie. Maybe she’ll lay off me today because of it. “You know what Doctor Beth, I want to thank you. The talks we have are always pleasant and they mean a lot.”

“Well, thank you Amara. That is very sweet of you to say,” Doctor Beth says. “That is actually why I wanted to call you here today. To talk.” Suddenly her tone changes. It becomes more focused and alert, the way it does when she is about to bring up a tough subject. I’ve had enough of these talks to know what that subject is, and it creates a feeling of insecurity in my mind.

“No, no, no. I know what you want to talk about, and, no, I don’t want to,” I say.

“Well, Amara,” she sets her clipboard down on the table between us, “progress means being able to bring up your past without getting flustered. Without putting up defenses.”

Just then I feel the heat from my cheeks. The walls seem closer, confining me in a space that makes me feel heavy. My heart races to the point that I can hear it in my ears. I can’t stand to be here anymore.

 “I want to go,” I say. 

“Now, Amara-” 

“No, I want to go!”

“Please just listen to me!” Doctor Beth puts her face in her hands, takes a deep breath, and stares at me, just stares. I feel her frustration, like it is radiating off of her, and it doesn’t do anything to make me feel calm. “Amara, what happened? We had a nice groove going. I mean, you enjoy our talks don’t you? You said it yourself.”

“Not when you speak like this; when you use this tone. I can’t stand to talk about it today and that tone means I may have to, so, no,” I reply.

“And what is it that you think I may bring up today, Amara? I mean, you’ve suffered a substantial memory loss, making these sessions all the more meaningful,” the doctor says in a voice that almost persuades me. She’s right in a way, my memories haven’t returned yet and my medication only makes that a harder feat to accomplish. Although the way she describes my past makes me see a version of myself I didn’t think possible. It’s only terrifying. 

I sigh. “The woman you describe in our talks, I don’t know her. She isn’t me. Okay?” 

“Oh, Amara, please.” The doctor looks at me with a look of disbelief, as of accusing me of a lie. “I’m getting impatient. I need you to remember. It is extremely crucial that you remember.”

“How am I supposed to remember when you won’t even tell me what it is I have to remember,” I almost yell. “You bombard me with all these allegations but won’t even tell me why?!”

The doctor’s voice gets low. “Amara, listen. Your past, and the event that caused your memory loss, affected a lot of people. A family is somewhere out there grieving. So please try.”

“Why would I want to remember something like that? Huh? Why?! What do you have to gain, Beth?” My voice gets cold. I’m tired. Session after session. The same routine over and over. Why?

A moment later, tears fall from the doctor’s eyes. She leans back in her chair and sighs. “I tried to be patient, you know?” A short laugh escapes her mouth, and she pushes her hair back in frustration. “I really did but, oh my goodness, you have made this difficult.” I find that when people cry and laugh at the same time, it is a sign that they have reached their breaking point, that they have given up, but what has the doctor given up on?

“What do you mean?” I’m scared now and I think it shows in my voice.

“Amara, oh, Amara,” she takes a deep breath. “You really have no idea what you’ve done, do you?”

“Doc, what’s going on?”

“I mean, it’s been two years, Amara. Two,” she gets loud. “And you still don’t remember!”

“Remember what?! This is what I’m talking about. What do I need to remember?”

“A lot actually.” She looks at her shoes for a moment as if to think of what to say next, and looks back up quickly to meet my eyes. “You see, Amara, you killed my sister.”

Silence. That’s all I hear. Thoughts start to race around in my mind, searching for an explanation. I don’t know who I am anymore. My past, the truth, it’s all a blur. What if I’m not who I think I am? What if I don’t know what I am capable of? What if I really did the unspeakable? I may not be able to come back from this. 

“Nothing to say? Nothing to add? Wow, that’s surprising,” the doctor adds after a few moments. “You’re usually so loud mouthed and now nothing.”

“What do you want from me?” My voice comes out higher than I intended. It doesn’t sound like my own. It’s quiet, innocent, all things I apparently am not. 

“I don’t want much. I just want you to remember so you can finally be thrown in a cell,” she says with a voice that can only be associated with hatred; hatred towards me. “This facility that you’re at now is only a rehabilitation facility for people with mental disabilities. I can’t actually take you to trial unless you remember what happened and, like I said, I’m getting a bit impatient.”

Tears form behind my eyes as I think about all the things that could have happened. Why did I take an innocent life? How? Pain starts in my chest. Guilt. 

“H- How did it happen,” I say, stuttering as I try to hold back a waterfall of tears. I’m afraid if I start crying I may never stop.

Doctor Beth just looks at me but, unable to meet her judging glance, I decide to focus on my trembling hands instead. It doesn’t help, it simply reminds me of the guilt harboring inside. 

“Please just tell me,” I say, looking up from my hands. “No more sugar coating. No more dodging like you do in all our other sessions. The truth,” I shout.

The doctor clears her throat, then speaks. “It was a car accident. It happened two years ago and you were behind the wheel.”