Chapter 82: Precious Loss
Yuri walks along the halls of the hospital. She looks upon the results of the serum Jacob gave to her, as well as a few other conclusive findings on what he’s been able to learn. It’s been dubbed with the name ‘Thalassactin’, a basic chemical base that he was able to figure out after analyzing Merrick’s tears. Yuri can only imagine that Jacob made a strung-together name out of the words ‘Thalassa’, the Greek word for ‘From the sea’, with the hormone ‘Prolactin’ that is found in tears.
Almost literally named after a mermaid’s tears.
So far since Jacob has developed it for careful use and investigation, Thalassactin has been approved as a treatment drug for mild diseases. Thing is though, it’s not a medicine that works for everybody — Jacob has found out that if it’s injected into someone who has particular allergies, or if the patient has been predisposed to blood diseases or Bloodtypes B-, O+, and A- have been noted to be unresponsive to Thalassactin. No negative reactions have been reported, but Thalassactin has had no effects on those patients. But that’s just the base compound; Jacob has been able to figure out how to tweak the substance to get around a few of the many similar obstacles this chemical seems to set up. He theorizes that the reason why Thalassactin is so particular about what it effects is because it comes from Merrick originally — just like with bloodtypes, maybe with different merfolk tears or even tears of different emotions may yield different results.
Of course, the idea that this potent vaccine came from the tears of a merman being tortured and put under forensic analysis would just about put a dent in Jacob’s career, as well as the off-chance that another obsessive maniac like Nigel would devote time and resources to hunting down mermaids in the name of discovery. And it’s not like Jacob or anyone would be willing to just go up to a merfolk, and ask them to just donate their tears — they brought it up in passing with Belinda and Syrinx separately, and both of them found the suggestion rather personal and invasive.
So, Jacob will just have to continue his research with what he’s got.
Yuri gasps as she looks up from the papers, as she sees Merrick trotting over to her. “Oh no.” She mutters, ‘Figured he’d find out… God, get me through this.” She thought with fear.
“Yuri!” Merrick comes to her, panting and looking at her, showing emotion for the first time in days. Yuri trembles as he stands there, “I-Is it true??” He whimpered, “A-Adam’s awake??”
“…” Yuri sighed, “Y-Yes, Merrick. Adam is awake… He emerged from his coma a few days ago.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?!” Merrick wept, “I trusted you to tell me if anything happens! Where is he??” He said, clearly trying all he can to compose himself, “I need to see him again!”
“Merrick, wait!” He pushes past her, in a hurry to confirm this for himself, to look into Adam’s deep, brown eyes. “Stop!!” She grabs onto Merrick’s wrist, and tugs him back.
“What? What?!” Merrick stops as she asked, “Adam is alive! I need to talk to him, please! I need him, Yuri!”
“Merrick, just hear me out, sit down, please.” Merrick pants as he shudders with intense feeling, gently pulling from her, “Merrick… I need you to listen to me. Because I have news that’s… It’s not easy to say, Merrick just let me say it.”
Merrick’s breathing stays rough and harsh for several seconds, before he stops pulling himself from Yuri’s grasp. Yuri takes Merrick to an empty lodging room for over-night stays of the staff. She sits Merrick down on one of the cots, and takes up a chair for herself.
“Alright, Merrick… First off, let me start by saying I am sorry for not calling you when Adam woke up from his coma.” She said, her insides squirming with suspense, “I know I should have told you the instant he started to talk, you had every right to know.”
“So why DIDN’T you tell me?”
“… Honestly…” She continued, “I was really, really scared to tell you about him, because, and I only waited for as long as three days because I wanted to make sure it was certain, and cemented…”
“Just tell me already, Yuri,” Merrick pleaded, “What are you so afraid of??”
Yuri takes a deep breath, “Merrick… Adam has been diagnosed with amnesia.”
“What…” Merrick stares at her with bewilderment, “Is that a human sickness? What does it mean?”
“Amnesia,” She continued, trembling head-to-foot, “Is a condition where the human brain has been damaged to a point where the patient does not retain their memories.”
“What…” Merrick’s insides take a dive as he looks at her with horror, “What are you saying…”
“Nhhnnn…” Adam whines, his head pounding with low pain. Luther sits next to his bedside as he shuffles through the many photographs.
“And here…” Luther said as he brought one up, for his dreary son to look upon, “This… This is where we took you to Big Bear when you were a kid…” Adam groans as he peers at a photograph with a snowy landscape, of that with two Eryaman Escort adults and a little boy.
“Luther, just stop…” Donna said lowly. Any minute now…
“How about this one, y-your school picture, Adam.” Luther said as he takes another picture, when you caught a manta ray on the docks, re-remember??” He says, showing him a picture of Adam himself, and the entire staff of the Fish House with him, “I-It took 5 of your coworkers to bring it in…!”
“Kay…” Adam tries to think, furrowing his brow, before grunting in pain, “My head…”
“Luther, please…” Donna’s lip trembled. It’s no use, hearing Adam whine.
“T-This one was recent!” Luther shuffled through the pictures, “This is where you proposed to Merrick… I-I-I took a picture right when you got down on one knee.”
“Luther, just stop it, please.” Donna sniffled.
“If I can just…”
“W-Wait…” Adam moaned, “Who… Who are you…?” Luther looks at him.
“Adam… You remember me, don’t you? At least from 10 minutes ago…”
“Who… What’re you doing here…” Adam asked weakly, “I’m in the hospital… That much… I know…”
Donna covered her eyes, and weeping as she strides out of the room.
“Adam…” Luther shook, trembling, “Adam, I’m your Dad… You…” Luther takes hard, deep breaths, “You’ve met me about 5 times now… I’m your Father, Adam, don’t you remember the last few days at all??”
“I… You’re… My Father?” Adam asked, “I… I really don’t know anything…” He closes his eyes, “My head hurts…”
“Merrick…” Yuri’s own eyes begin to water as her voice shakes, “Adam has no memories anymore…”
“Yuri, no, no no no no,” Merrick gets up as he walks about the room, “Tha-That’s not possible, memories are apart of the soul, they-they can’t just be erased just like that!”
“Merrick, I’m sorry, I’m telling you,” She gets up out of her seat, “Please, listen to me,” Merrick turns to her, his eyes glued to hers, “Adam doesn’t remember anything… He doesn’t know where he lives, what he did to work, he doesn’t even know who his parents are… He doesn’t know anything.”
“No…” Merrick’s eyes flood with his emotions, walking backward, “Nooo, no…”
“Merrick, I’m so sorry…”
“But he and I… Aquata Cove, we met in a cave.” His breaths become shaky, “Adam sang to me many times, he took me to his home, he saved me from dying in the Blood of the Earth, after I broke his heart!” Merrick’s voice volume becomes unstable, “He took LIGHTENING into his own body for me!!”
“Merrick…” Yuri shook her head as she sobs and cries. He’s really not making this easy at all…
“He’s lived with you for so many years! How can you say those are gone!!” Merrick exclaimed, “He’s a better family to Jamal than they ever were to him!”
“Merrick, I’m sorry… That’s how amnesia works…” She sniffs and she watches Merrick suffer, “All of those things… His childhood, his school years, his life… It’s literally as if it never happened…”
“But they DID happen!! YURI!!” Merrick fights himself internally, straining with every ounce of willpower he has not to break anything, his hands digging into his hair, “Yuri, no, please…”
“Merrick… There’s nothing…”
“But… He proposed to me…” Merrick sniffled and trembled, “He took me to the docks, and he asked me to marry him…” Merrick cried as the images of Adam’s beautiful, perfect moment seems to dry up and whittle away, “I’m supposed to be his husband, Yuri, don’t tell me he forgot all about that.” Merrick’s vision blurs badly as he looks at her.
Yuri shakes her head, closing her eyes and bowing her head.
“Yuri, marriage isn’t something merfolk do, and I promised Adam with all my heart that I was going take his hand on the altar, please, Yuri, I can’t let that just vanish…” He chokes a little with his intense sorrow.
“Merrick… I’m sorry…”
Syrinx and Kevin walk down the hall, hearing a distinct weeping as they approach Adam’s room. They turn the corner, and see a mid-aged woman leaning her side on the wall, gasping and crying as she holds her forehead.
“Um… Mrs Bryant?” Syrinx softly says as they come to her.
“O-O-Oh, hello, I’m sorry,” She sniffs and tends to her face, “I’m sorry, I, I need to a moment.” Before they can say anything, Donna strides away from them both, wiping her eyes continuously as she goes.
“Should… Should we stay, oorr…” Kevin said, looking into the room, “I think that’s his Dad, right?”
“Think so…” Syrinx says, right before the thick-built, mid-aged man walks out of the room, rubbing his own eyelids. He looks about, and sees the young couple.
“Who are… You a couple of Adam’s friends?”
“Yes, we are, sir.” Syrinx nodded. “We came to visit him,”
“Yes, alright, but…” Luther sighed, “Ha-Have you seen my wife? She was just here, I think.”
“She said she needed a moment to herself,” Syrinx said, “But she went THAT way,”
“Alright, Sincan Escort thank you,” Luther said before leaving the two of them.
Syrinx and Kevin proceed to enter into Adam’s room, spotting Syrinx’s seashell angel sculptor, and Kevin’s arcade game-shaped box of giftcards and coupons. They look onto Adam in the bed, groaning silently as he rubs his head.
“Hey, Adam.” Kevin said, catching the attention of the patient.
“Nnhh, hey…” Adam greeted back.
“My name’s Syrinx,” She said, “This is my boyfriend, Kevin.”
“H… Hi…” Adam whispers as his eyes become sore.
“We heard you lost your memory.” Kevin said as he pulls up a chair.
“I… Guess…” Adam answers, “I… I can’t really think straight right now…”
“I understand, it’s ok…” Kevin said, nodding.
“I’m… It’s like I feel like… I should be saying something… I feel like I’m missing something… I feel… Kind of sad…” Adam said, without much provocation.
“It’s ok, Adam, it’s going to be alright.” Kevin said.
“We just came to visit you. We’re a couple of very good friends of yours.” Syrinx said.
“What about a cure??” Merrick asked as he looked up at her, his voice trembling, “Y-You humans, you’re advanced i-in everything, Yuri, there has to be some kind of pill or injection that can…”
“Merrick…” Yuri shook her head, “There is no cure for amnesia.” She hushed, “If there was, I would’ve administered it to him a long time ago.”
“Yuri… Yuri, come on, there has to be SOMETHING to bring him back…” He cried, “Yuri, isn’t there some kind of treatment- some medicine, some kind of surgery you can do to bring back his memories??”
“Merrick, it’s not the same.” Yuri protested sadly, “Memories are… Intangible,” She says, trying to put the explanation as best as she can. “We doctors, we can only treat a person’s BODY. We can do our best to treat and mend the brain, but memories…” She shook her head, “Merrick, that’s out of all of our hands…”
“W-What about Donna??” Merrick asked, his chest feeling itself stab again and again inwardly. “Sh-She works with and for humans’ minds on a regular basis, doesn’t she???”
“Merrick, it’s not that simple.” Yuri answered, “Psychologists and psychiatrists work with patients who have mental and emotional issues, but with how Adam is, I… I’m not sure if Donna would be able to…”
“No… Of course not…” Merrick shakes his head, “That… Yuri, no…”
“And…” Yuri holds onto her left arm, rubbing it up and down, and looking to the side, “Merrick, I am so sorry, but… It gets worse…”
“What…?” Merrick gives her a look of hurt and rising ache, “Worse? Yuri…” Merrick breathes deeply as his insides continue to flow and churn in unending disbelief and shock, “Yuri, you just told me… The man I love, my soul mate for my life, has no memory of anything of his own life, least of all, me. H-How can you tell me it gets worse…?”
“From… What I can tell…” Adam said, looking at some note, “The only person I know is Dr Yuri… I know she keeps telling me things, but… I can’t really grasp a lot…”
“Like everyday, you’re meeting strangers who you think you’re supposed to know?” Kevin asked, “And while you don’t know anyone you meet, or remember anything that’s happened, you feel like there’s something there.” Syrinx blinks as she looks at Kevin, “But you have no idea of finding out, and after you forget that, you feel guilty or down on yourself for some reason.”
“I… Think… Most of that… KINDA makes sense…” Adam says, “Do I… Know you from somewhere too?”
“We’re friends, yes.” Kevin nodded. “My girlfriend here, is very close to someone you know.”
“Yeah, to Merrick, your-“
“No, Syrinx, stop.” Kevin halted her.
“What? I’m just…”
“I know, honey, but let me talk.” Kevin said, “Now look, Adam…” Kevin leans forward in his chair, “I understand what you’re going through. But chances are, you’re only going to forget meeting us today.”
“But… I don’t want to forget…” Adam said weakly, “After talking to you guys, I… I feel like things are starting to make sense.”
“I know… And I know how to help with your case.”
“How do you know?” Syrinx asked.
“You remember my brother, Kyle, right?”
“Yes…” Kevin turned back to Adam, “My brother was in a train accident about 9 years ago. He survived, but it took a huge hit to his own memory. He was diagnosed with Short-Term Memory Loss when he was just 23 years old after it happened.”
“Is that… Like he can’t remember, like me?” Adam asked, his eyes rimming with slight moisture.
“Yes…” Kevin reached over, and held Adam’s bandaged hand, “He’s gotten a lot better since then.” He breathes deep, remembering how more often than not, his own brother didn’t even know him.
“Kevin… I’m scared…” Adam says as he shakes his head, “I-I don’t, I don’t want to spend the rest of my life meeting strangers. I-I-Is Etlik Escort that going to happen to me?”
“Look,” Kevin said, “I know you’re scared, and when you forget this-“
“Kevin! Come on… Just,” Syrinx says.
“Syrinx, please,” Kevin says, before turning back to Adam, “And when you forget this, you are going to feel a little worse, and-“
“Just… Kevin, all I can think about now is how my life is going to be from now on… J-Just like those people who left the room before you came in, that man said he was my Father, and th-that woman who was crying is my Mother, the-they’re upset because of me,” Adam starts to panic as he grows more excited with anxiety, “I’m hurting everyone I ever met, and I will never know why!”
“Adam, Adam, just, calm down,” Kevin calmly said, “Now listen to me. It is not your fault
“Yuri, you can’t be serious.” Merrick says as he breaks little by little, “He can NEVER have any memories again??”
“I, i-it’s not as simple as that.” She said, “It’s just-“
“That’s what you’re telling me though.” Merrick shakes terribly as he looks to her, “Yuri, what point is there ever going to be with me now?!”
“Merrick, please, I understand,” Yuri feels helpless, at fault even as Merrick grasps onto one of the bedposts of the room, his face red as he’s on the point hyperventilating, “Listen, it may not even be permanent, it could just be his brain recuperating from the damage and the trauma. And even then, the hospital has a mental health ward where Donna works, if he does have psychological problems, he will be in good hands.”
“I can’t, Yuri.” Merrick manages to sob out, his free hand holding and grasping his chest, “I can’t!”
“Merrick! Merrick!” She rushes over to him as Merrick’s legs give in, almost tumbling before she caught him, “Okokok, easy there, sit on the bed, sit on the bed.”
“Ghhhuu… Ghhuu…” Merrick wheezes and cries as Yuri moves him onto the mattress, and has him settle down.
“Breathe now, take it slow,” Yuri instructed gently. Merrick can barely contain himself at all, in between bawling his eyes out, with one hand pulling his shirt, and the other clutching his knee.
“He’s dead, Yuri! Th-The man I knew, the one I fell in love with is GONE!” Merrick harshly cries, “He-He doesn’t know me anymore, all those years- GKGHGHGK!” He coughs as everything hits him all at once. “10 years of us, and they’re all fucking killed!”
“M-Merrick, no! That’s not how it works.” She grows more anxious and worried as he continues to get hysterical, “Look, YOU still have those memories, o-ok? You have to remember them for him… H-He lives with you, o-ok??”
“Ghhlllkk,” Merrick chokes as he breathes louder, more tears cascading from his eyes.
“We’ll find a way to cope, and when he gets better, you will make new memories, right? You’ll-“
“I don’t WANT that!” Merrick raged up, coughing out as he staggers an attempt, his emotions spiraling out of control as his whole being becomes entirely irrationally traumatic, “I want HIM to remember! It’s not FAIR!”
His left leg buckles as he stumbles down.
“Merrick!” Yuri goes to his side, and holds him. Merrick cries as he clutches his head, trying to keep his convulsing heart somewhat steady, just try to prevent another emotional crash like last time. Yuri rubs his back as she sits on her knees while he sobs into his hands.
“It’s not fair… It’s not fair…” Merrick wept, “Why should we have to cope with it… Why do we have to manage out of petty hatred…” Yuri can’t say anything. She can only hold his shoulder and his back, “They killed him… They killed my Adam… They killed him… Hhh Hhh, why him… Why him…”
“Can you um…” Adam blinks, trying to remember what he was about to ask, “Maybe… Come here everyday to help me?”
“I would, buddy.” Kevin said, “I live on the other side of the island though, so I can’t be here all the time. But, I do have something that got my brother through his ordeal…” Kevin then picks up a magnet and metal marble kit.
“What’s… What’s that for?”
“This kit has a set of instructions made by my parents to have my brother build and set up specific models, and dissemble them by the end of the day, and then tomorrow, you set them up all day.”
“O… K…” Adam breaths, feeling drowsy.
“The point of the exercise is to use the repetition to help reconnect the memory process by inducing a sense of routine.”
“Ok… Thank you…” Adam groans as he rubs his eyelids, a weak headache starting to roll into his head.
Donna cries nonstop on an outdoor patio, feeling her husband hold her shoulders, the box full of photographs cast aside on a nearby bench.
“Luther… I-I… GhhHhh… I don’t know if I can do this.” She wept.
“I know, honey, I know…” Luther hushed, “I know it’s hard… We’ll get through this.”
“I-I know we are, but… Guhh, why does it have to be so hard??” She sobs, “I’m not going to abandon my son or anything, but I can’t… I can’t keep calling myself ‘Mother’, and seeing that sad, blank expression on his face, like he’s never met me before!” Donna covers her face once more.”
“Donna, honey, it’s… It’s going to be alright…” Luther said, trying to convince the both of them, “Look, Yuri said the short-term loss can only be temporary… Sh-She said it’s 7/10 chances…”