She awoke slowly, feeling the new energy of a new day gradually fill every part of her body. From her back she rolled to her side, wrapping her arms around the pillow and squeezing her eyes shut tighter to block out the sunlight that was seeping through her closed lids. For a few moments, she allowed herself to revel in the peace and comfort that enveloped her. It was an unfamiliar sensation, though she didn’t know why.
Suddenly, all relaxation was swept away by an overwhelming feeling of urgency.
What am I doing? I can’t sleep! I have to find him!
Her eyes flew open and she sat up quickly in bed, startled to find herself in unfamiliar surroundings. She was in a sterile white hospital room that had been turned into a garden. A tall vase of dark red roses sat on a small table beside her. The dresser across from the foot of the bed was hidden beneath a jungle of carnations, lilies, orchids, roses, ferns–an extraordinary number of ferns–and baby’s breath. The window was blocked by a similar plethora of plant life.
I have to find… As her consciousness returned fully, the last vestige of that knowledge seemed to evaporate. Her breath caught in her throat and her heart leaped with panic. She had to remember! It was vital that she know…
No! Please, I have to remember!
Tears formed unbidden in her eyes as she searched her mind desperately for this essential piece of knowledge. There was nothing.
I must remember something…my name..what is my name?!
Suddenly the door of the room opened. A young man with glasses and a prematurely receding hairline stepped into view and pulled the door shut again behind him. His face brightened upon seeing that she was awake.
“Well! It’s good to have you back in the land of the living again!”
The woman in the bed leaned back on the pillow, confused.
“How…how long have I been out?” she asked, dazed.
“You have been unconscious for almost a week, Miss Marshall.”
Miss Marshall? Somehow the name didn’t sound right.
“I’m afraid somebody tried to kill you. Y’know, that’s why I never want to be famous. Having fans can be dangerous business these days.”
“I’m not surprised you don’t remember,” he continued. “I wouldn’t want to remember something like that either, especially at the premiere…”
She was getting more confused by the moment. “Are you sure you don’t have me mixed up with somebody else?”
The doctor laughed. “I doubt it would be very easy to get Ferne Marshall mixed up with anyone else. Your face is all over Hollywood since your latest film came out.”
Ferne Marshall? Well, that explained the abundance of ferns in the room.
She shook her head wearily. “I suppose it’s just me then. I’m sorry, but I don’t remember any of that.”
That attracted his attention. “What do you remember?”
“Nothing,” she replied helplessly.
Her companion’s face furrowed with concern. “We didn’t expect any amnesia…I’ll have to recheck your chart.”
My name is Donna! A sharp intake of breath accompanied this sudden realization.
“Are you all right, Miss Marshall?”
“I’m not…” she began, then stopped. Just play along, some instinct told her.
“You’re not what? You’re not all right?”
“I’m not…um…I’m not…feeling very well.”
“I would expect not. Gunshots tend to make you feel pretty awful for a while.”
Donna stared. “I was SHOT?”
He nodded, a shock of unruly brown hair bobbing up and down at the back of his head. She chuckled, causing him to look up curiously.
“I was just thinking that I must look pretty awful,” she explained, smiling at the rebellious lock of hair.
“No, actually you look pretty great. Especially for having been unconscious for a week. Here.” He gave her a small hand mirror that had been lying on the table beside the roses on the bedside table.
Thick auburn hair surrounded the face that stared back at her with pale green eyes. Though the face was beautiful, a scream fought to escape from Donna’s throat. That’s not me!!
The doctor took one look at Donna’s white face and came running to her bedside.
“Is something wrong, Miss Marshall?”
She shook her head slowly. “I think…I think I need to rest..” she said weakly, her voice faint.
“Yeah, sure. I’ll come back later.”
Donna nodded and the doctor turned to leave.
“Doctor…” He turned back to face her and she held the mirror towards him. “Would you please take this with you?”