“Hi, how may i help you today?” said a beautiful woman dressed in all white.
“Yes, hi. I would like to erase the memory of July 22-30 2019 please.”
“And may i ask, why is that?”
“I just want to.”
“Please enter a more detailed response to proceed in the memory deleting process”
“ Those memories are hurting me. Is that good enough?! I don’t feel like talking about it. I just want to erase it and be done!” i said aggressively.
*cleared*. “Are you sure you would like to delete the memory of July 22-30 2019?”
“YES!” I screamed. As tears started to fill up in my eyes.
“Before we proceed, we will enter this clip of your memory of July 22-30 2019 for you to get one more chance to review your decision. Remember, once it is deleted, you will never be able to get it back. And please note that this will also affect your other memories that happened after July 30 2019.”
“ i don’t need you to show me i just want it all go-”
And there it was. July 22 2019. Japan. The lecture bored the hell out of me. But that’s when I first saw him. When I first heard his voice. It was a pretty nice, deep voice that caught my attention. He looked familiar. Then it hit me. I caught him staring at me the day before, when we were at lunch.with his dark, intimidating eyes. And a small smirk. But his dumb question shot me back to reality, and just made me roll my eyes.
The next day we met a school exchange. I was so excited to make new friends! But I was also extremely nervous because we had to do a presentation about our school. I ended up getting an anxiety attack. And bombed the presentation. I felt like I disappointed my school. And even worse, myself. My breath, short but heavy, my legs wanted to give out, my whole body, just shaky. Tears rolling down my face. My friend and teacher were trying to calm me down. Then, that boy. The one from before. Came up to me. Interrupted them, and just simply said. “Hey. You did great.” there was something about his voice that just made me smile. For some reason, I felt as if I were in a safe haven. But i didn’t even know his name.During the presentation,I was busy just admiring his whole body. He was very muscular. And had an average height. His hair was not too short, but not too long, and as black as the night. A normal boys haircut you can say. Then we had to separate into the numbers that were assigned to us. And again. There he was. In my group. My heart skipped a beat. “He is kinda cute. I guess.. But also kinda weird.” We all introduced ourselves. His name was Tam. Tam Nguyen. He was Vietnamese. I asked him if he missed Vietnam, and he answered that he had just come back from Vietnam before this trip. Unfortunately after that, we had to say goodbye to the Japanese students. For the next lecture, I was saving a seat next to me for Tam. I thought it would be nice to sit next to a new friend. But unfortunately, he didn’t come in time. But that wasn’t a big deal to me. After the lecture, we got a walking tour of Nagoya university. Of course, I was all alone. Everyone was walking in pairs. Then, Tam approached me. And asked “are you okay? You look miserable”. My heart skipped a beat. And I just laughed. “Yeah, I’m fine. Just hot.” We ended up sticking together the whole tour. Just walking, talking, laughing, and just getting to know each other. It was nice. But Then we had to part ways and head off on a three hour bus ride to meet our host families! My host family was as sweet as candy. They treated me as their own. And my host father put me and my friends in Yukata and made us feel like Geisha’s. I’ve never felt so beautiful before. “we don’t have to be related to be a family.” That saying will always have a place in my heart.
“Hey, just checking in. We have now entered the midpoint of your memory. How are you holding up? Do you change your mind? Or shall we proceed?”
“Just hurry up with the memory recap and just get this over with.”
“ Listen Sophie, you may be going through a hard time right now. But not every day does one get such an amazing experience like this. And at this midpoint, we don’t see any ‘hurtful’ memories that you claim.”
“ JUST FUCKING CONTINUE!” I was getting frustrated.
The next few nights we texted non-stop. He made my heart flutter. We got so close, so quickly. We felt comfortable around each other. We felt comfortable making fun of each other. “What is this feeling?” i thought to myself. “It can’t be..can it? A crush?”
On our last day in Japan,we walked around Ikebukuro alone.
The plane ride was magical. I was sad, but he held my hand and told me to just live in the moment. Then we parted ways with just one, half-ass hug.
“Sophie. We have reached the end of the memory recap…”
“Ok great. Now let’s go.” i said as tears rolled down my peachy cheeks.
“Now, we are not done yet. We have to give you a recap of your memories that are associated with the memory of July22-30 2019”
“Alright. Just do it then.”
Our calls went from twice a day, to every day, to once a week, to once every two weeks, to once a month. But then, on November 23, he came to New York for a seminar. “Was I happy?” I thought to myself. “Does he want to see me?” More questions started to pile.
“Stop! The answer is no! I was not happy! Just erase it! Please! It hurts too much! I don’t want to see the recap of that memory! I’m sure! Just hurry up a- and- and era- erase.. Please.”
“Sophie… in order to proceed… we need to show you what you will forge-”
“I already know! Why the hell do you think I’m here?!” I fired back.
‘We still need t-”
“ FINE THEN JUST HURRY UP!”
His visit kept me on my feet. His touch, his scent, his voice, his everything. Just made me feel like I was on top of the world. The feeling was back. The smiles, the laughter, everything. We watched movies, we cuddled, we reconnected. But it was temporary. He then had to leave after a day. Without a proper goodbye. Just another… half-ass hug. Never said thank you. Never texted. Just walked away.
It’s been months. And I am tired of hurting. I’m tired of not knowing my own worth. This is the decision that i want to make. All that time wasted, crying, overthinking, questioning myself. Just wasn’t worth it. And I don’t deserve the hole that has been engraved deep into my heart. I am willing to forget everything about Japan. All the amazing experiences and memories. From the exploring, to the home stay, to meeting new people, everything. I am willing to forget that I’ve ever made a friendship with my closest friends that I have now. I was willing to forget everything. The pain that he had caused me made me numb inside. And there just isn’t anything that can resolve this terrible feeling. I don’t want to ever feel pain again. I am willing to give up all that. Just because of the wound on my heart cannot be sealed.
“We have reached the end of the memory recap process.”
I stood there. In front of a bathroom mirror. A mess. Eyes swollen. Hair messed up. I knelt down. Sobbing. My heart hurt more than ever. But this is what i want…Right? “Who am I? Why am I like this?” “what did i do?’’ All the questions rushed through my mind swarming through my head. . As I dragged my fingers across my silky hair, pulling, with anger fuming through my body as tears rolled down my now, rosy cheek. Exhaling a loud grunt of frustration. Then, the real question hit again. “Is this really what I want?”
“Sophie..” The lady startled me.
‘What?” I responded bluntly.
“Would you like to proceed?”
“N-… Yes.” I responded with a small crack in my voice.
“Alright then.” She said as she handed me a dose of pills.
I took them. Closed my eyes, then opened them again.
“Are you ready?”
“Come on in.” The beautiful lady in white held out her hand.
A door opened. And the brightest light shined in my puffy eyes as one last teardrop rolled down my face. And I closed my eyes. One last time.