Mandy Raquel

I Don’t Know Him

I Don’t Know Him

He came to me in a dream. His warm southern drawl comforted me as I floated through the darkness. I don’t know where he’s from, but I could easily guess Georgia or maybe Texas I wasn’t sure. He was just a voice summoning me to him like a siren to the rocks. His face slowly began to materialize as the light broke through my darkness.

I saw summer in his eyes. Green and inviting, willing me to keep moving toward the brightness of the sun behind him. The dreamlike veil started to lift, and I was fully conscious again. my eyelids fluttered open as the sunlight hit my face.

“There she is. Man, you had us worried there for a moment. Are you alright Beck?” The same southern accent I’d heard while unconscious now had a full face.

I felt pain as my head throbbed and I winced once my fingers touched the injury I’d received. I couldn’t recall what caused it or how it had happened. Panic began to set in as I looked up at him again. I didn’t know him, but he held my face in his hand. His thumb intimately brushed against my cheek causing me to jolt from his touch.

“What happened? How did I get here?” I practically demanded while sitting up on my knees. I wore a wetsuit; my hair was damp, and I couldn’t remember why. Concern was written all over his face as he slowly stood while holding out an extended hand to help me up.

I didn’t take it, I was confused. The smell of salt and seawater tickled my nose. He was wearing a wetsuit too, his wavy brown hair slicked back off his forehead, but I had seen it loose and in his face in my dream. I didn’t know him.

Hurt flashed in his eyes at my rejection and for the first time, he took a step back from me. The whooshing sound comes back, causing me to cover my ears to make it go away. “Can you take us back to shore Matt? I don’t think she’s okay.” He calls out to someone at the wheel of the ship.

“You haven’t answered my question.” I pointed out, my voice and body shake at the realization that I had lost a huge block of time in my memory.

“We went deep diving, your tank hit a coral and you started to lose oxygen. I shared with you as much as I could, but we were more than 40 ft down.” He explained while unzipping his wetsuit. “Matt pulled you back up on deck and then you went down like a ton of bricks.”

Why couldn’t I remember? “Are you the diving instructor?” I asked, pulling at the zipper of my suit. My question resulted in a loud boisterous laugh escaping his lips. It caused my stomach to flutter. I didn’t know him, but I liked his laugh.

“Beck come on stop messin’ around you’re starting to worry me.” He pulled a light blue-colored tank top on over his head. “How far are we from the coast Matt?”

Matt’s face appears and recognition clicks instantly. Matt was the owner of the boat; he’d named it Clandestine. He taught me how to sail. Images played rapidly in my mind. Sailboats, islands, white sands, and Mai Tai’s in empty coconut shells. Childhood bike rides and birthday celebrations. Matt was my older brother. His smile matched mine and our hair was the same raven shade as our father’s used to be when he was young.

“45 minutes. There’s ice in the cooler still if you want to make her an ice pack for her head.” Matt gave me a skeptical look before moving towards the wheel of the boat again.

“Matt.” my voice sounded small; I didn’t even recognize it as I began moving towards him. His eyes widened in shock as my body began falling and darkness caught me in its web again.

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