Starting Over

by Tony A

Chapter 1

I'm Matthew Ellis, I used to be a jock, a football playing, popular jock, a regular "guy's guy", who chased the hot girls and was just living the high school dream. Then the accident happened and I lost my memory. They told me that I got into a really bad football accident, where a player from the opposing team knocked me out. I spent four days in a coma and when I woke up I had no memory of my life. The doctor's say I have "retrograde amnesia", which means I lost my memories of everything prior to the accident.

Now I'm living the life of guy who I know absolutely nothing about, yet that guy is me. I don't feel like I was ever that guy to begin with. I have no desire to play sports anymore or hang out with the douche bags I apparently was friends with. To add insult to injury, I'm currently sitting in room with a bunch of people; who might as well be perfect strangers, and they call themselves my "friends and family".

"Hi Matt, do you feel okay?" A woman says tentatively. She looks nervous and worried, I was told she is my mother.

I was released from the hospital a couple days ago and my family decided to have a meeting with me to remind me of who I am and who they are.

"Yes, I feel fine ma'am." I was going to call her 'mom' but it just didn't feel right yet. I don't really know her yet. She seemed pained when I called her 'ma'am'.

I looked around at the expectant faces that were staring back at me. In the room, sitting on the couch across from me was my mom, dad, and sister Christine. And on the chair next to me is my supposed 'best friend' Kevin.

"Well son, I know that we've already, um, introduced ourselves to you yesterday. But, now we just want to sit down and answer any questions you may have about your past. And let you get better acquainted with us again." My dad says very carefully, as if he's talking to a child. I know they don't know how to deal with this but just because I don't remember my life doesn't mean I'm stupid.

"Maybe we could even show you some old family pictures." My mom said with a strained smile. God, I feel so bad for them, they look as if they've lost their son for good, I'm still here, I'm just different.

"Geez mom, no one wants to see those. Not even 'memory loss Matt'. And how long do I have to be here? I told Maggie I'd meet up with her in a half hour." That's my younger sister, Christine. She's 15 and apparently she's a little brat. I bet I never got along with her.

" Christine Marie, I swear if you don't be more supportive towards your brother. I will ground you for a week." My mom yelled.

"I bet you he's just faking it to get attention. He's probably just playing a big joke on us or something and you guys are all so gullible."

"For god sake Christine!" My dad shouted, and we all stopped and looked at him. "He was in a coma for four days, okay. You know that this is real and this is serious. So don't you dare even start. We all have to be supportive to him because he doesn't even remember us!" He said it as if he was just realizing that at this moment.

I finally looked over at my friend Kevin and he looked at me at the same time, then he smirked at me. I instantly had a rush of familiarity, like I'd received that smirk from him many times before. Weirdly enough, he seems like the most familiar to me of all the people I've met so far. I still don't remember him, but I feel like I've seen him in a dream before or something. I don't know, my life is just very weird now.

"Hey, Mr. Ellis is Matt gonna be able to go back to school?" Kevin asked innocently enough, even though he knew he was diffusing the tension by changing the subject.

My dad looked at me pointedly, "What do you think Matt? Do you feel up to going back to school tomorrow?"

I felt perfectly fine health wise, I'm just nervous about being around a bunch of people who all know me and I won't know any of them.

", I'll be fine to go back tomorrow." I saw him perk up when I said the word 'dad'. I still don't feel comfortable with that, but I thought I should throw him a bone.

My mom immediately spoke up, "I don't want Matt playing anymore football though. After all football is what did this to you. It's obviously too dangerous."

"What! I'm sorry Mrs. Ellis, I know that a football accident is what caused this but it was an 'accident' after all." Kevin looked wild and desperate. I don't get why he's so bent out of shape.

"Well, the boy has a point Linda. It was an accident, the doctor's said he could play again," My dad defended.

"The doctor's said he could play 'at his own risk'. After what happened to him I can't believe you would even consider letting him get back on that field again!" My mom was getting so worked up. I might not remember he, but I definitely didn't want my mom to be upset.

"Mom, it's okay. How about this, I will sit out the next game and see how I feel by then. Is that okay."

She still looked hesitant but she relented, "Okay, dear, we'll see." She then got up from the couch, "I think I'm just gonna go...". Before she could finish her sentence she was walking out of the room. I looked over at my dad and sister to see if that was a normal reaction. But they both looked a bit perturbed by that.

My dad got up and looked at me and then at Christine, then at the door my mom just walked out of. "I'm going to talk to her. You guys can go now". As he was walking out he mumbled, "The family meeting didn't work so well".

"Okay, well if this is done I'm gone" Christine stated while getting off the couch and looking down at her phone.

I felt so lost when they all left, then I remembered that Kevin was still sitting next to me. I looked over at him as if to ask 'what now'.

"Well, now that those losers are gone, I'm gonna get you caught up on who you 'really' are" He said with a smile. I don't know why he referred to my family in such a rude way, but by his demeanor it seems like 'past me' used to not like being my family.

"Okay, I guess I need to know before I go to school tomorrow."

We went over to his house to have 'more privacy', as he said and because we always hang out at his house so he's more used to that anyway. I guess really didn't like being around my family. I wonder why, they don't seem too bad. Even if the sister is a brat.

I was sitting on his bed and he took a chair from his desk and placed it right in front of me. He sat at attention like he was serious about what he was going to tell me.

"Okay, so let me fill you in on what you're life was like up to the point of the incident."


"Oh, everyone at school calls it the 'incident'. Sorry, the 'accident', whatever." Kevin waved his hand flippantly.

"Are you saying you don't think it was an accident?"

"Look man, I don't think we'll ever know for sure but all I'm saying is that it was a hell of a coincidence that they knocked out our star player." I looked at him blankly. "You. You were the star player on the team and everyone knew it. Then in the last quarter when they're losing badly suddenly the guy just goes crashing towards you." He threw up his hands and sighed. "I really don't know."

I felt kind of sick at that prospect that people could be so serious about a sport that they would purposely injure someone just to win.

"Hey, but enough about that. I need to tell you about some of the things... or rather some of the people you need to know before going back tomorrow."

"Oh, um, okay go ahead. Should I take notes?"

"Haha, there's the sarcasm I know and love. You're already going back to your old self." Kevin said hopefully. The ironic thing was that I wasn't being sarcastic when I asked that I was being serious.

"So anyway, I need to tell you about the most important person that you may have forgotten. Ava Luciani." He stated with a big hand gesture as if he was introducing her and as if I would know her.

"Ava Lu-- what?"

"Ava Luciani." He said again hopefully.

"Look, Kevin, I don't know who that is. So please just tell me."

"God, I can't believe you wouldn't remember her of all people. She was only the girl you'd been crushing over for three years. Your walking wet dream. And now you guys are kind of seeing each other. Not exactly officially dating but she's been asking about you a lot."

"So I have a girlfriend?" I don't know how I feel about being in a relationship right now, especially if I don't remember anything about them.

"No, well, yeah, kinda. You and her had gone on some dates and had been 'talking' for like 3 months now." He said it like it was some type of accomplishment. 3 months didn't sound like much to me.

"So I've only been dating her for 3 months. I don't know if it's serious enough for me to even care."

"Dude, how could you even say that? She's like the hottest girl in school. All the guys were so jealous of you. You don't get it right now but as soon as you see her you will. She looks like a model. She's got long legs, gorgeous long curly dark hair, a perfect ass..." He just kept listing her features, but I honestly didn't care and started tuning him out. If anything he seemed like he was crushing on her more than I was.

"Sounds like you like her a lot." When I said that he stopped in his tracks and stared at me look I was accusing him of something heinous.

"No, man, I would never take your girl." He said quickly.

"I wasn't accusing you of anything." I stated slowly as I stared at him suspiciously.

I don't know why everything is starting to seem so suspicious and weird. Maybe it's because I don't remember anything or maybe it's because the people in my life held more secrets than I knew before the accident or more like the 'incident'.

The next day at school I walked in with Kevin but he had to go to the bathroom so I was standing there and felt like I was in a foreign land. I was just standing in the middle of the hall watching people walk by and I felt like almost everyone was staring at me or talking about me. I don't know if that was true or if I'm just being slightly paranoid.

I felt like I couldn't move, I didn't think high school would be this nerve wrecking. Then I saw him. I don't know who he was, but that's usual now isn't it. But I had that familiar feeling when I saw him. So I assumed he was a friend and I went over to him.

"Hey man, I think I know you don't I?" I said while looking very intently at him. He seemed the most familiar of anyone that I've met so far, even more than Kevin.

He was pale, skinny but lean, black hair and bright sparkling blue eyes. I don't know why I felt I had to look at all the details of him, but it seemed important.

He just stood there stunned, "You remember me?" He asked in a very shocked voice.

"Yeah, well not really. I'm guessing you know about the amnesia, but I mean, you seem so familiar." I stated hopefully.

"Um, I don't know why you remember me. We weren't exactly that close." He said timidly, like he was scared of me.

"Well, just tell me your name."

"I'm Cole" He smiled up at me shyly. Even though he seems shy it's kind of an endearing quality.

"I'm Matt Ellis"

"Yeah, I know that. Everyone knows you"

I was just about to say something else when I was suddenly jerked away from Cole by someone pulling me away roughly by my arm. I didn't even get to say goodbye, which made me sad for some reason.

"What are you doing?" Kevin asks urgently like I just broke a law.

"I could ask you the same question. Why did you pull me away so rudely like that?"

"Why were you talking to Cole Blume?"

"Because I kind of recognized him and thought maybe he was a friend of mine. He seemed really familiar to me."

"Cole Blume is not your friend. He's a nobody, okay. He's just your lab partner in Chemistry class." Kevin stated quickly while looking around at people walking by.

"Well I had a feeling towards him."

"You have 'feelings' for him? Oh gosh why?"

"No I had a feeling, like a familiar feeling towards him. I had the same feeling towards you and my family. Like I'd met you guys in a dream or something"

"Well I don't know why you have that 'feeling' towards Cole. He's rumored to be gay. You don't want to be associated with that."

"That doesn't actually mean that he is gay though. Those are rumors" I said defensively, I don't know why I felt so strongly towards this Cole guy.

"His name just sounds gay. I mean what kind of name is 'Blume' it sounds girly, like a flower or something"

"Give the guy a break, he can't help what his last name is."

Kevin stopped and just looked at me, "When did he become your boyfriend." He said with a smirk, I knew he was joking but I was still a bit irritated.

"You know he's not my boyfriend I was just saying that he was familiar that's all."

"Gosh, I hope that's all." I feminine voice says behind me. I turn and look behind me. "I hope that the guy I'm dating doesn't have a boyfriend." I'm guessing that is the famous Ava Luciani. Kevin was right, she does look like a model. She was accompanied by two other girls who looked like regular hot girls. This must be a regular thing. The prospect of Ava always having a posse around her like she's a celebrity seems about right now that I've seen her.

"Do you remember me?" She says smugly. In a way that suggests 'how could I have the audacity to forget someone as spectacular as her'.

They all stared at me. Kevin was standing stone still like he didn't want to even breathe. The hot girls behind her were looking expectantly at me. And Ava just stood there with one eyebrow up waiting for my response. And I felt like if I didn't give her the answer she was expecting she might do something unpleasant.

"You're Ava of course." I said with a smile, a fake smile, but a smile none the less.

"Oh, I knew you wouldn't forget me babe!" She squealed way to loud for my liking and then pulled me into a too tight hug and a kiss on the cheek.

Great I guess I'm already getting back into my bizarre life.

After the incident in the hall with Ava. I ran into some guys who must've been from the football team because they all looked like and acted like the quintessential dumb jocks. The more people I met the more I realized that I didn't like many of 'past me's' friends or girlfriend- thing, whatever you want to call Ava.

I finally got to my first class of the day which was Chemistry and I guess I forgot that Kevin already told me this, but Cole was sitting in the seat right next to me. Of course, he's my lab partner. I don't know why that gave me such joy, but he seemed like one of the only genuine people I met this whole day and I didn't even get to talk to him for that long.

I looked over at him as he sat down and I smiled at him, "So we meet again." I said, thinking I was clever.

He looked like a deer caught in the headlights. He just stared at me wide eyed, "Oh, what?" He spluttered.

"Nothing, never mind. But sorry about earlier I didn't mean to leave without saying goodbye."

"Oh, that's fine. I just can't believe you're still talking to me. I thought Kevin would've informed you that you never used to talk to me and advised you to not start now."

"Well he kind of did but I don't believe that."

"Well it's true. You would ignore me just like all of the other populars and jocks."

"I can't get you out of my head so you must've meant something to him"

"Who's him?" Cole asked bewildered.

"Oh, that's what I sometimes call the 'past me', because I don't feel like the 'old me' and the 'new me' are the same person."

"I'll say" Cole muttered and then just stared at me for a second like he was searching for something and maybe he found it because he smiled after a minute.

I don't know what's going on anymore, but one things for sure I want to know more about him.

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