Why can I remember that but not my name?
The heat brushes against my face, plumbing my pores like a dying sun.
“Look, as long as that killer’s on the loose innocent people’s lives are in danger. I need you to think back. Think back hard,” Benton slammed his palm on the plastic table, which trembled under the blow, “What exactly happened that night?”
Think. Think! Black. Styrofoam. Bag.
“I-I remember lots of garbage. Maybe a dumpster, or something? It was cold. Damp. And…”
Benton folds his arms across his chest. Strong, broad. A handsome face.
“…a-and, I’m sorry, but that’s all I can remember. My memories go black after that. In all fairness, I’m a Jane Doe. If I could remember as much as my name I’d probably dance on this table with all the answers, but the truth is, officer, I can’t.”
Benton slouches back a little, defeated. His tone softens as he readdresses me, “Well, Jane, I appreciate your efforts. If you remember anything else about that night, even so much as a speck of sand, you be sure and give me a call.” He whips a card out of his back pocket and tosses it onto the table.
Jane, Jane, Jane. Does my name start with a J? And how did I end up in a dumpster?
“Am I free to go now?” I ask timidly, trying to calm the raging rouge in my cheeks. Benton gestures towards the door. As I rise from my seat and scoop up his card from the table, he glances at me quizzically, “One last thing, Ms. Doe. Does this face mean anything to you?” With deft hands he fishes a photograph out of his shirt pocket, unfolds it and plops it onto the table.
Scarred chin. Steel blue eyes. Short-cropped hair. Angular jaw. Eyebrows thin, just like mine. Just like-
“That’s my brother,” I say, sitting down from the shock, “What is his name? How is he doing?”
Benton gives me a pained look, “His name was Roger A. Thomas-“
Swingset. Terrier puppy. Pool. Dumpster?
“I’m afraid your brother’s dead. I’m deeply sorry for your loss, Ms. Thomas,” he says, folding up the photograph again and placing it into my shaking hands, “you should have that. I’ve got a copy on file. You should check-in with Dr. Schroeder on your way out so she can do some follow-ups.”
I nod, clinging the photograph to my heart. My name is Alice. My name is Alice. My name is Alice.