“I could see the room where they did it,” Wallace continued after another minute passed by. “But I couldn’t remember other details.”

“What else can you remember?” Nic asked, having recovered already. At least temporarily.

Wallace shook his head, something he did a lot in the past hour. “I can’t really see it. It’s just bits and pieces.”

“Don’t think anymore,” Angela interfered. “We have to get out of here.”

“Go confront Yvonne now?” Nic asked, turning to his sister. He had no idea his sister was that insane, considering how they had no clue who Yvonne really was or what she was capable of.

“No,” Angela replied, wrinkling her face. “We need to get out of here so Wallace could rest. Let him stay at our place tonight and we could go and confront Yvonne tomorrow or something.”

“Why can’t he go home?”

“Because it’s Tammy’s house. He would end up driving himself crazy thinking of things he can’t even remember now.” She turned to Wallace then. “You did say you want to clear your head.”

Wallace nodded. “You’re right.”

Nic got up as well, making way for Wallace to step out of their booth. Angela had gone to get the waiters and requested for some boxes. Even if they had more crucial matters to take care of, they still needed to eat. And wasting food was not on their list. They could save it for dinner.

*****

Wallace stared at the light seething through the blinds. Angela and Nic had insisted that he could sleep in Nic’s room tonight and let Nic had the sofa. Yet he wasn’t about to let them do that. Like it was his first time sleeping there. Not to mention he wanted to be out in the open and mull things over in his mind. Though he had tried to put it off until another day. It was impossible. He was trying to recover whatever else of the memory that he had lost. But it seemed impossible. He could only remember about Tammy and their personal life, but not any details linking to why he had to be hypnotized. Did his family know about his past? If both Yvonne and Tammy had hidden it from him all these years, his family would have done the same.

“Can’t sleep?” Nic’s voice asked in the dark.

It kind of startled Wallace, but he wasn’t about to admit it. Even if they were supposed to be on the same side at the moment.

“Hard to shut my brain off completely,” Wallace admitted–that much.

Nic sat down at a chair nearby then. “You might as well confront Yvonne.”

“I wonder if my family knows.”

Nic gave Wallace a look before facing the direction where the street lights were flooding in through the blinds.

“Then ask them.”

“I meant I can’t believe that they would know and have been hiding it from me. And the worst part was I didn’t know.”

“I’m going to take a gamble that probably only your mom knows.”

It was Wallace’s turn to give Nic a glance over. “Possible.”

“So who are you going to confront first? Your mom or Yvonne?”

“Neither.”

Nic had on his confused expression. “Neither?”

“I have a plan. And this time, I’m not going to hesitate or have some sort of breakdown anymore. I’m going to find the answer whether they like it or not.”

“What are you going to do?”

“You’ll see.” Wallace could see that Nic wanted to ask more. But he wasn’t ready to reveal his trick yet. Not quite. “Go to sleep. You’ll find out tomorrow.”

So Nic had no choice but to do exactly just that. Until the next morning.

*****

“You what?” Yvonne exclaimed, almost spitting out her coffee. Though her resistance to spit the substance made it worse since she had ended up in a coughing fit.

Angela was the one who got up and thumbed Yvonne on the back while Nic ran to grab a glass of water. Even if they wanted to rattle Yvonne and find out the truth, they weren’t going to play some heartless beings. Not yet.
It was Sunday, the next day they were told of the truth. And now they were out to find the remaining pieces of the puzzle.

“You heard me,” Wallace said after Yvonne already recovered, and Nic and Angela had returned to their seats respectively. “I need to dig Tammy’s grave out to retrieve some items from it. I think I was so absentminded that I forgot and placed some items I wasn’t supposed to in her coffin as well.”

“Have you searched your whole place?” Yvonne questioned, her composure returning to its normality once again. “How about your mom’s place?”

Wallace gave Yvonne a look. Not just any ordinary look but the one that said she shouldn’t doubt him. “You think I would go that route if I haven’t exhausted all the possibilities? You think I’m some nut that would just open up his wife’s coffin just because I dropped some coins into it by accident?”

Yvonne wasn’t threatened by his fierce attitude though. She was used to dealing with him, especially since the day Tammy supposedly died. “I don’t think you’re crazy. I’m just worried about you since what happened to Tammy. All these years and you still haven’t moved on. I never said anything all these times because I understood very well why. But now? You’re suddenly cooking up schemes to convince yourself that Tammy’s not gone. What am I supposed to think, Wallace?”

Wallace had his speech ready since he stepped out of Nic and Angela’s place this morning. Yet now those words were stuck on the tip of his tongue. He couldn’t say those words to Yvonne for some reason. Though he knew very well that Yvonne was playing on his guilt, trying to stop him from proceeding. Still, he had to acknowledge Yvonne’s supportiveness these past years. Or was she so trained that she could lie without blinking and snub his plans out one after another?

“Wallace,” Angela called him from a distance.

Wallace felt a hand on his shoulder. It was Nic’s. He didn’t shrug that hand off his shoulder. Nor did he respond to Angela’s call. He was still staring at Yvonne, trying to detect traces of lying. Or possibly trying to recall the past. Who was she exactly? He reached into his mind, trying to conjure her image. With all his effort, he could only see her blurry silhouette the day the hypnotizing happened. If she’d known him that long, then she’d known he and Tammy were married. Then why did she agree to be his girlfriend in the first place? Was he cheating on Tammy before the hypnotizing happened?

“Wallace!” Nic called this time.

Wallace still didn’t answer. It was so confusing. There were so many questions left untouched. He knew Yvonne wasn’t talking. She was too trained. It was then that he made up his mind. No more games, no more dancing around the heart of the situation. He got up from his place at that time–with Nic and Angela doing the same but not without a worrisome expression on their faces.

“It doesn’t matter if you agree or not, I’m going forward with it,” Wallace said, his voice both passive and cold. “I’m not asking for permission. She’s my wife.”

Upon those words, Wallace exited Yvonne’s apartment with Nic and Angela in tow. Yvonne rushed after them, yelling out Wallace’s name. He didn’t want to look back at her. Not when he knew she wasn’t going to provide any information to aid his cause.

“If you made your choice seven years ago, then don’t blame me for making one of my own today,” Wallace said–his back to her. He knew she stopped at the door, thinking he was bluffing. And the strangest thing was he had no idea how he knew, he just knew. Those instincts weren’t from his current life either.

“You don’t know what you’re getting yourself into,” Yvonne blurted out.

Was that a threat? Or just a desperate attempt to stop him? Possibly both. He couldn’t tell. But he had a choice, and he chose to leave.

“Hello?” Yvonne said into her cell phone, which rang seconds ago.

Just like that, Wallace got into Nic’s car and the three of them headed to the site. Yvonne’s call must have been important but Wallace didn’t want to look back to check on her. It was so important that she’d abandoned the disagreement with him and picked up that call. It could have been one of her clients. Or the people who had to do with his hypnotized state.

“Your phone’s ringing,” Nic told him several minutes later.

It was Yvonne’s number. He ended the ringtone and pocketed his phone again. Yet it beeped seconds later. It was a text from Yvonne, containing the following words: Don’t do anything rash. I need to leave for a few days. When I get back, we’ll talk.

“Who is it?” Nic asked, taking a glimpse toward Wallace’s direction as the light turned red.

“It’s Yvonne, right?” Angela asked from the backseat.

“Turn back,” Wallace ordered.

“What?”

That was Nic, not Angela.

“Turn back,” Wallace repeated. “We need to follow Yvonne, wherever she’s going.”

Nic wrinkled his face. “You sure she’s still there?”

“She’s probably packing right now so we could park somewhere safe and follow her in a bit.”

Nic didn’t ask anymore, knowing Wallace was ignoring the questions on purpose.

Yet when they arrived within the area of Yvonne’s place, her car was gone.

“She knew,” Wallace said, not surprised at all. His mood was still passive and bordering on eerie, contradicting to his usual snappy and loud-mouthed attitude.

“Know what?” Nic asked in confusion–still.

Wallace shook his head, covering his face with one hand. “I was too careless. I shouldn’t have let on.”

“Knew what?”

“She knew I remember.”

“Do you?”

Nic had sent Angela a look in the rearview mirror.

“No, not all of it.”

“So, are we still digging the grave up?” Nic inquired, trying to grasp at anything he could. At least as far as their original plan went.

“No,” Wallace replied. “That was a bluff. We’ll just have to wait for her to get back. Just drop me off at my place.”

“But…”

“I need to try and remember, not hide from it.”

And that was all Nic needed. As far as Nic was concerned, Wallace was scaring the world out of him. It wasn’t like he hadn’t witnessed Wallace’s devastated state since yesterday. But this was different. In fact, Wallace seemed to have become a completely different person since they left Yvonne’s place. Perhaps that was why Angela had stayed as quiet as she could the whole trip back to Tammy’s place?

© Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Posted: Tuesday, 28th, 2012

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