My life has been reduced to a few lines on a piece of paper. My memories are fading fast, and I know that if I don’t write them down they will be gone forever.
My name is Martha Geller. But I think at one time my surname was Jensen, so maybe I was married — maybe I’m currently married. I just don’t know anymore. To hold on to some sense of myself, every few minutes I say my name over and over so I don’t forget it.
My name is Martha Geller, my name is Martha Geller, and I’m scared.
Lately, my thoughts have been scattered, reduced to short memory flashes of my life. It’s hard to know what’s real and what isn’t. Sometimes I can recall a coffee shop — maybe I work there, or get my caffeine fix there on my way to work, maybe it’s nothing. Am I going crazy?
My name is Martha Geller, my name is Martha Geller.
Where was I? Oh yes, random flashes. They come periodically, but I wish they would stop — I can’t make them stop!
But when these flashes finally, mercifully end, I feel sleepy … so sleepy, and the dreams in this heavy sleep state are incredibly vivid, it feels like I’ve actually experienced them. So each time I wake up, I write down what I think are lifelines to a world that is slipping away from me. I want to hold onto them, so they don’t vanish. But I don’t know how much longer I can do this.
My name is … Martha … Geller?
I know I was happy at one time, I’m fairly sure of that. I remember the smiles — a man, he could’ve been my husband, my lover, perhaps. His face is so beautiful, and I can feel that he loved me — loves me still maybe; he could be out there somewhere looking for me; I just don’t know.
There are times when I’m simply in this dark space, without even a single hint of light. I can hear a man’s voice, and a woman’s too. They’re talking — about me? I think so. He’s angry — no, worried, and she’s soothing him, telling him it will work out. What will work out? This dark space scares me more than anything. I think I’m going to lose who I am in there — I think it’s already happening.
I hear him again — the worried man, he says he wants to end things, start over. Is he leaving me? The woman is encouraging him, she’s telling him that if that’s what he needs to do, then he should do it. I begin to panic. He’s leaving me — I know it. I can feel myself fading fast. My name is … I don’t know anymore. It’s gone now, the memories are all gone now … I’m in the dark space — floating.
“Honey, you’ll figure it out. You always do,” Vivian said to her husband, Ian.
Ian Waverly wasn’t so sure. He had a deadline, and needed at least four chapters to show his editor in a week’s time, and his story wasn’t coming together as quickly as he had hoped. He smiled at Vivian. She was his rock.
“I’m worried, Viv. I’ve written about this character for so long, maybe these changes are too much.”
She gave him a stern look. Ian knew that look. It meant that Viv thought what he said was complete and utter nonsense. “Martha Jensen from the first three books is now the newly married Martha Geller. It’s the fresh start you were looking for,” she said matter-of-factly.
“I know. It’s just hard saying goodbye to who she was in those earlier stories.” Ian gave Viv that sheepish grin she loved so much.
Vivian stroked his hair and kissed him. “I have faith in you, my love,” she said as she left him alone in his office. Viv always knew when to give him encouragement, and when to give him space.
Ian opened his laptop and stared at the blank page. The cursor blinked in the upper left hand corner, waiting for his instructions.
As he began to write, Martha Geller, formerly Martha Jensen, began to awaken from the darkness. She felt herself coming alive again as Ian Waverly began writing the first lines of her new life.