Chapter Three

The Search for the Past

"He said I was screaming about someone killing us all while I tried to stuff myself into the closet," I told Dr. Carlo the next day as we sat in his office, talking about what had happened. I'd brought the picture and told him that it was the eclipse above the four boys in the picture that started the fugue.

"What do you feel when you look at the picture now?" he asked, writing down everything I'd told him on his legal pad.

"Uncomfortable," I admitted. "It makes me anxious, but it doesn't do what it did the first time."

"Well it definitely seems that this picture has sparked at least a memory flash of some sort," he said. "There was an eclipse the day of your accident. Perhaps seeing a picture of it startled you so badly that part of your memory tried to resurface."

"But I can't remember what it was," I said, frustrated. It was infuriating that I'd had a memory flash that had scared me so much that my mind had suppressed it again. I knew that was what he would say had happened, and a moment later that's almost exactly what he said.

"Brian, you have to understand that your memory may not ever come back completely," he said soothingly. "The fact that you had this fugue is promising, however. You know that your dreams aren't exactly the truth, but some element of truth must be in them somewhere."

"Well I know that I didn't shoot my parents, and my father didn't try to shoot me," I said though I didn't really know anything of the sort. I put my head in my hands and said, "This is so frustrating."

"I understand that it's frustrating," he said. "Have you given any thought to seeing another psychiatrist?"

"After what happened in the dorm with Ian, I'm ready to do just about anything," I replied with a sigh.

I'd seen two psychiatrists while I was in the hospital, but they were both no help to me. I knew that Dr. Carlo was right, though. He'd said that I hadn't given them a chance, and I really hadn't. At the time I just wanted to remember my life. Now I thought I had to remember my life, the night of the accident especially. If being patient and working with a psychiatrist would help me accomplish that goal then I was ready to give it a real try.

I sat there while Dr. Carlo called one of his colleagues to talk about getting me an appointment and explain what was going on without going into great detail. When it was clear to me that he was going to be on the phone for a while I got up and went into the bathroom. I stared at the mirror, but my reflection was normal. I couldn't believe that my reflection had nothing to say to me after what had happened.

"I don't need mirrors to talk to myself," I heard my own voice say in my head as I started to leave the bathroom. "I remember saying that I'm smart."

"What . . ."

"Not out loud! This will only work if I talk to myself in my head," he said. "I need to look at that picture again. This time I need to look closer at the people in the picture."

"Why?" I asked silently. "The eclipse is what set me off. I already know that. Dr. Carlo told me that there was an eclipse the day of the accident, so that's not hard to figure out."

"But I didn't look close enough at the people in the picture," he insisted.

"What? I know who's in the picture," I replied. "I see them every day. They live in the same quad as I do."

"Not those people," he said. "Look at the other people in the picture."

"Ian's brothers?" I asked, wondering just what was so special about Ian's brothers. I'd never even met them.

I opened the door and left the bathroom, stepping back into Dr. Carlo's office. He was just getting off the phone when I came in. I sat back down, waiting for what was coming next. My inner voice was suddenly quiet, and I thought about what he'd said about taking a closer look at Ian's brothers. I still didn't think it would do any good. I'd looked at them every time I'd looked at the picture. Sure I hadn't looked closely at them, but they clearly weren't going to spark any memories.

"Brian, I've spoken with Dr. Lightner about your case, and he's agreed to meet with you on Monday," said Dr. Carlo. "Now I need you to give this a chance. I know you don't like the idea of seeing a psychiatrist, but..."

"I want my memory back, Dr. Carlo," I said, interrupting him. "I'll give Dr. Lightner a chance."

An hour later I was sitting in the living room of the quad again with Ian's picture sitting in my lap. The picture was in an envelope to "keep from bothering me." I still hadn't looked at it again. I didn't believe that looking at it would do any good. My inner voice, I don't even remember why I started calling it that, had said to take a closer look at Ian's brothers, but I didn't think it would make any difference. I had never met them before in my life. I was positive of that. If I'd never met Ian, I'd never met his brothers.

It was strange to be the only one in the quad for a change. The others were all out doing their own thing. It was Saturday, so I could go off to do whatever I wanted as well, but there really wasn't anything for me to do. Sure I could check out a book from the library and read, but I'd checked out four books already. I had finished with each of them quickly. It just didn't take me long to read a book, so checking out just one wouldn't keep me busy for long.

Finally I decided to give the picture a test. I opened the envelope and pulled it out. My eyes were once again drawn to the eclipse first thing, and I felt my heart begin to slam around in my chest. When I started to feel light headed I dragged my eyes away from the image of the eclipse and let them settle on the smiling boys. Ian's hair was longer then, and he wasn't wearing his glasses. His smile was huge, and his arm was thrown over the Travis's shoulder. His older brothers were standing behind the pair, and I really looked at them.

They were both dark haired like Ian, but they didn't look all that much like him. They did, however, look like each other. Their smiling faces were almost a mirror image of each other, but I could tell that one was older than the other. Both were older than Ian as well. I continued to look at them and I started to feel odd. It was if the heat had been turned up a notch or two, and I could feel the sweat on the back of my neck. I didn't understand what was happening at first, but when my heartbeat began to speed up I knew what was coming.

"I'm Brady Davis," I could hear a baritone voice say in my head. "My cousin tells me that you're good with computers."

"I do all right," I could hear myself say in reply. "Computers just come natural to me. No big deal."

Then it was gone and the voices in my head were silent. The implication didn't escape me, though. I'd met Ian's brother, Brady, at some point. We'd talked to each other, and he'd said his cousin had told him that I was good with computers. I tried hard to recall more of the conversation, but it was futile. The iron door inside my memory slammed shut and prevented me from remembering more. Yet what I'd remembered was good. I knew for certain that I'd met Brady some time in the past. Remembering that made me smile. If I could remember one event, no matter how small a portion of the event it was, I could remember more past events. Maybe I really was on the way to getting my memory back.

"Hey there, Brian," said Ian, coming up the stairs. "I didn't know you were back already. How's it going?"

"I'm good, actually," I replied. I handed him his picture back. "I recognize your brother, Brady."

"You've met Brady?" he asked, smiling. "Wait, you remember?"

"Not exactly," I replied. "I just know that I met him once. We had a conversation, but I don't remember much about it. He just commented about my being good with computers."

"You're good with computers?" he asked, smiling wider.

"Well I guess I was before I lost my memory," I laughed. "I haven't been doing very well in class."

"I can believe you've met Brady," he said. "You said he said something about computers, and Brady is all about computers. He's studying programming in college right now."

"Where does he go to college?" I asked, thinking that maybe I could see him for myself. If I could talk to him, maybe he could refresh my wounded memory and wake it up a bit.

"Right here in Storyville, actually," he said. "He's a Junior at Storyville University."

"Do you think I could meet him?" I asked and then chuckled. "I mean again?"

"Well I don't think that would be a problem," he laughed. "Brady loves to come back to Rhaven every now and then and tell tales of his grand years here. I'll tell him to drop by tomorrow while we're in church."

We headed to the cafeteria after that, and I felt a lot better. I just hoped that Brady really could unlock at least one memory. It surprised me that my inner voice was right. I wondered just how much my inner voice really remembered about my life. I also wondered why, if he knew more than he was saying, was he keeping it all from me. I understood that he was really me, and I was actually keeping from myself. The more I thought about that I started to understand a little. He couldn't tell me anything that I couldn't remember. His telling me to look at Brady closely was probably just my subconscious registering something that I missed.

"Brian, you're a million miles away," said Jon, breaking into my thoughts. "We asked you what you wanted to eat."

I'd been thinking so hard that I hadn't noticed that Jon, Hamilton and Tristin had sat down with us. My head was even beginning to throb. I knew I needed to let it go for a bit, but that was very hard. I really wanted to remember everything. I wasn't in the mood to be patient.

"Oh," I said, smiling. "The usual I guess. I'm not overly hungry."

"What's up with you today, Brian?" Jon asked, looking at me hard.

"Leave him alone," said Ian. "He's just thinking about something. Let's go get our food."

He pulled me up out of my seat and nearly dragged me away from the table. I stumbled after him until we finally made it to the food counter. He grabbed my arm again and looked at me. I was about to tell him that he didn't have to manhandle me when he finally said something.

"Be careful, Brian," he said. "I know Jon is a nice guy, but if you don't want people talking you have to at least pretend that nothing is wrong."

"You're right," I sighed. "I guess I should just try not to think about this right now."

"Look," he said, relaxing a bit. "We'll go back to our room and talk about this after we eat. I promise. Just try and not zone out while we're here. Jon's been asking a lot of questions today. While you were gone to see your doctor, he asked me and Tristin all kinds of questions. He's way off, but that doesn't matter."

"What did you tell him?"

"We didn't tell him anything," he replied. "We told him that you were seeing your social worker today. Brian, we told you we'd keep this secret, and we will as long as you don't let the cat out of the bag yourself."

"Be careful, Brian. You don't want to let the cat out of the bag. These people are dangerous."

I gasped and gripped Ian's arm as whatever it was subsided. It was almost as if I was somewhere else for just a second. I could smell pies baking, and the voice I heard wasn't my inner voice. It was a man. He sounded worried, but at the same time I could tell that he cared about me.

"Brian, are you all right?" Ian asked, and his voice sounded a million miles away.

I shook myself and took a deep breath, but whatever it was wasn't over. Once again I smelled those pies baking, and I could almost see the man that was talking to me. "You're sure they can't trace you on the computer?" asked the man.

"I made sure," I heard myself say.

"We have to have a plan in case you're wrong," said the man. "I'd hate to see anything happen to you, and I should be able to protect you. A father should always be able to protect his son."

"It'll be all right, Dad," I heard myself say. "As soon as I have everything, we'll go to the police. They'll protect us."

"Brian!" Ian hissed as he started to pull me back up from the floor. It wasn't until then that I realized I'd sank to the floor to begin with. "Come on, get up. We have to get you out of here."

I didn't protest, but I did notice the looks everyone was giving us. We made our way out of the cafeteria and out of the main building. Neither of us said anything as I allowed myself to be led to the dorm, inside and up the stairs. When we were finally in our room with the door closed, Ian let go of me. I was still shaking, and I sat on the edge of my bed. I was too afraid that I'd fall if I continued to stand. I noticed his worried look.

"We were going to go to the police about something," I said slowly. "Something I had found on the computer was going to get someone in trouble. I was trying to get something else, though. We were going to go to the police after I had everything I needed."

"You're remembering?" he asked, looking at me with wide eyes.

"I almost did," I replied. "When you said that I was going to let the cat out of the bag myself, it was almost like I could see my father's face. I heard him saying almost the exact same words to me. Then I heard more of the conversation. It was almost like a waking dream."

I put my head in my hands and sighed. I wished that I could just remember everything. If I was the reason that my parents were dead how could I live with myself? Whatever I'd been up to on the computer was the reason for what happened that put me in this mess. I just needed to remember what it was.

"I need to talk to Dr. Carlo again," I said, looking up at Ian. "He said something about a psychiatrist. Maybe they can use hypnosis to get into my memory. There has to be something."

"That's a good idea, isn't it?" Ian asked. "Can't they hypnotize you and take you back to the past so you can remember?"

"I asked the last psychiatrist about that," I sighed. "He said that it rarely works with cases like mine. But now I have at least partial memories. I'm sure they're real, Ian. If I can get a psychiatrist to hypnotize me back to those memories, maybe I'll remember all of what happened in those memories."

"Why would you have to convince your psychiatrist to hypnotize you?" Ian asked. "I would think they'd want to do that. Even if it might not be successful, maybe it would be. They'd never know unless they tried."

"I'm definitely going to talk to the new psychiatrist about it," I said. "I want my memory back."

We were quiet after that. I started to think about the scene I'd caused in the cafeteria. I really needed help with this. I couldn't keep flipping out in front of everyone like that. The entire school had enough reasons to shun me already. If this kept up I'd be the outcast among outcasts. I didn't want that. I just wanted to remember. Maybe if I remembered I could go back to my own life and leave Rhaven. Then I wouldn't have to worry about being shunned by the rich kids. I was sure that I had friends wherever I'd come from. If I could remember them, maybe I could just go back to them.

"Well I know one thing that I can do to try and help you remember something," said Ian. "I'm going to talk to Brady tomorrow at church and see if he'll come here. I'll only tell him that there's someone I'd like him to meet. That should get him here."

"And if I flip out in front of him?" I asked, thinking that would be the last thing I wanted.

"Maybe you won't," he said. "All I know is that you said you'd met Brady before. If he remembers that, then he could give you details that might jog your memory. I promise that Brady won't get weird if anything happens, Brian. He's a good guy."

"Why are you trying to help me?" I asked, thinking about how he'd made it clear that we were only tolerating each other, but we weren't friends. I wanted to know why he was going out of his way to help me if we weren't friends.

"What do you mean?" he asked, looking away from me. "I guess you just grew on me, ok?"

"Grew on you?"

"Yeah," he said. He still wasn't looking at me. "Everyone has their secrets, Brian. I just know how important it is to keep them."

I was just going to have to let that statement run around in my head for a while, because the door opened and Hamilton came bounding into the room. He bounced onto the bed beside me. Just before the door swung shut, Tristin came into the room. This time Jon followed him. My first thought was that Tristin had told Jon, but one look at Tristin's face showed me I was wrong. He appeared nervous, and he kept glancing at Jon.

"Brian, how are you?" Jon asked as he came fully into the room. The room wasn't exactly large, so with five of us it was a little cramped.

"I'm fine, Jon," I replied, trying to smile at him. "Thanks for checking."

"Cool," he said. "I just thought you might want to know that the detective from the other day is in Colson's office. When we passed the office, we could hear Colson yelling."

"Great," I sighed, putting my head in my hands and leaning forward to rest my elbows on my knees. Why wouldn't that guy just leave me alone? Couldn't he take a hint? I couldn't remember what he wanted me to. Sure, he didn't believe that I really had amnesia, but that didn't really matter. His superiors had told him to stay away from me. Doctors had told him that my amnesia was genuine. Why wouldn't he back off?

"You don't have to go down there, Brian," said Ian. "Mr. Colson won't let him come up here."

"Jon, go tell Mr. Brenner that the detective is back," said Tristin. "He'll make sure that he doesn't get up here."

"Right," said Jon, and then he left the room.

I knew that he would want an explanation soon, but I really hoped that Mr. Brenner was downstairs in his room. Each of the dorms had one extra room for faculty. Mr. Brenner was assigned to our dorm, and he was usually in his room. I just hoped that he hadn't left campus for anything. I really didn't want to talk to Detective Miller.

We sat there in silence for what seemed like forever before Mr. Brenner came up to our room to tell us that Mr. Colson had called to let him know that the detective was gone. I'd lucked out that time, but I wondered how much longer my luck would hold. He wanted to talk to me, and he wasn't going to be held back much longer. I'd told him to call and make an appointment, but Ms. Bennet had vetoed that. She'd called his captain to lodge a complaint. All that seemed to have done was make him more determined than ever to talk to me. He'd left messages at Doctor Carlo's office, Mr. Brenner had told me that he'd called the dorm several times and he'd left his card with one of my teachers twice. He was never going to stop until he had what he wanted. The problem was that I didn't have what he wanted. I was trying very hard to get it, but I just didn't have it.

Jon didn't ask for an explanation that day. He just told me that he was glad he could warn me about the detective. Jon Curry was one big mystery to me the day I met him, but as we got to know each other I learned that he was one of the most open and accepting people I was ever going to meet. He didn't get hung up on popularity or any of that stuff. With Jon you were a friend until you proven otherwise. I was lucky there. I must not have given him any reason to think that I'd proven otherwise. Jon was actually the first friend I made at Rhaven. At least he was the first friend that said he was my friend.

After all of the excitement was over I noticed that Ian kept looking at me as we both tried to do our assignments in the living room that night. He was studying with Travis, and they were talking about whatever subject they were working on. Twice Travis had to get Ian's attention because he was looking at me. His statement about secrets needing to be kept came back to me while I watched him try not to watch me that night. What was he talking about? I was sure it was more than keeping my secret. Did Ian have a secret as well? Surely it was more than helping me the night I had that killer nightmare. As much as I was interesting in figuring out his secret, I wasn't doing a very good job of figuring out the secrets that my mind was holding so tightly. I decided to let him have his secrets while I tried to unravel mine.

That night, Ian was unusually quiet as we got ready for bed. Hamilton didn't even wait for everyone to go to sleep before he came into the room. He placed his pillow on the floor between our beds and announced that he would sleep there in case I had a nightmare. The whole thing made me laugh, but Ian just smirked at him. We took our turns in the bathroom and then Ian spoke for the first time since we'd closed the bedroom door. All he said was, "Night guys."

The next morning, while the other boys were in the chapel for Sunday Service, I was sitting in the living room of the quad with my History book open on the coffee table in front of me. I was writing my answerers to the questions the teacher had posed before assigning the chapter to us when Hamilton came up the stairs and sat down beside me.

"How did you get out of there so early?" I asked, smiling at him.

"Early?" he laughed. "It's over, Brian. Everyone is off with their families or whatever they do on Sunday. Ian left for the university with Travis and a few other guys."

"Right," I said, remembering that Ian was going to talk to Brady about coming to meet me. I just hoped that the meeting would go well. If I didn't remember anything, I at least hoped I didn't embarrass myself with another of my little episodes.

"What's wrong?" he asked. "You seem nervous now. History not going well?"

"I'm finished with the assignment, actually," I replied. "Just thinking. No big deal."

"Did you know that Ian asked me not to sleep in your room anymore?" he asked. "He said that it was against the rules and he didn't want to get in trouble."

"Well it is against the rules," I said, wondering what the other reason was that Ian didn't want Hamilton sleeping in our room at night. "I know you don't get along with Dom, but you do have to sleep in your room."

"Yeah," he said, looking at his knees. "Dom isn't so bad, actually. He just has this really annoying habit."

"What kind of habit?" I asked, laughing. I couldn't think of anything that would be so annoying that it would make it impossible to sleep.

"He plays with himself at least twice a night," announced Hamilton as if he'd said Dom was eating in bed.

"Ham, that's really not something you should tell me about," I laughed. "That's sort of private for Dom."

"If it's so private then why does he announce that he's about to get off before he's done?" Hamilton asked with wide eyes. "I'm telling you that guy's weird. You should hear the way he talks to Alex."

"I don't think I want to know what Dom says to Alex, Hamilton," I said seriously. One surprise was enough for me. If there was something strange going on between Alex and Dom it was their business. I did think that they should have been more careful when they were discussing it, though. They should have kept it to themselves and made sure that no one could hear them talking, or, as Hamilton had said, playing with themselves.

Our conversation was interrupted when Travis came upstairs to tell me that Ian wanted me to come to the cafeteria. He didn't look happy about talking to me, so I just closed my book and followed him down the stairs. Travis had never so much as talked to any of us, so I didn't really know much about him. I knew that he'd supposedly told Ian that he hated the fact that "scum" was tainting Rhaven, but I never actually heard him say that.

When we got to the cafeteria, Ian was waiting with Brady standing amidst a group of students asking questions about Storyville University. When Ian saw me, he smiled at me. I tried to smile back, but the very sight of Brady Davis made my heart slam around in my chest. I was so afraid that I would flip out again that I only grunted at Travis when he said he was going to talk to Brady.

"Come on over, Brian," said Ian as I got closer to them. "I'll introduce you to my brother."

At that, Brady turned around and looked in my direction. There was no mistaking that he recognized me when his eyes fell on me. He stopped talking, and the smile slid off of his face. My heartbeat raced as I looked at him. More of the memory that I'd had of meeting him tried to run through my mind, but I couldn't catch it. It made me a little dizzy.

"Brady, this is Brian Carlo," said Ian when Brady walked over to stand beside him. "This is the boy I was telling you about."

I had only a moment to think about what Ian had told Brady. As I watched his face, the smile returned to Brady's face, and he looked happy to meet me. I thought for sure that he would say he'd never met me before, but I'd seen recognition in his eyes when he first looked at me. I was so nervous, and I wished there weren't so many people around.

"It's Brian, right?" Brady asked, extending his hand. "We've met before, actually. What are you doing here?"

A Boy Named Brian