TITLE: The Memory Of Henry Franks
His index finger, the skin a shade or two darker than the rest of his hand, scratched at the heavy line crossing his left wrist.
“They itch?” Dr. Saville asked.
“Always,” Henry said, then curled his mismatched fingers into a fist to stop the motion. Sweat beaded on his skin, pooling in the scars.
Four thousand, three hundred and seventeen stitches, his father always told him. All the King’s horses and all the King’s men had put Henry Franks back together again.
“Why don’t I remember?” he asked.
“It’s a process, Henry, the act of remembering. The accident, before; the memories are there. It’s only been a year.” She pointed to the photograph on the table between them, Henry and his parents, bright smiles and wind-blown hair. “Have you had the dream again?”
“No,” Henry closed his eyes, his discolored finger came to rest on the scar around his neck and he lowered his head to try to hide the movement and the thin white line. “A new one.”
“Want to talk about it?”
“There’s a girl.” He opened his eyes and looked out the window, anywhere but at the Doctor. The heat lay heavy on the drooping palm fronds outside the window, a haze shimmering off the white pathway through the trees.
“You’ve met someone at school?”
“No,” he said, his voice rougher than he’d intended, “no. She’s a child, with pigtails.”
“Someone you know?”
“I can’t remember,” he whispered.