Memories make us human. Are we still alive if we can’t remember?
Seventeen-year-old Zoe Laleigh has accepted that sometimes the only way to survive today is to wipe away the past. That’s what her loving parents and dedicated psychiatrist are helping her do—forget. What, she’s not entirely sure. All she knows is when an entire year of recollections goes missing, there’s definitely something wrong.
Sometimes the past isn’t so easily forgotten…
Through a flood of dreams, Zoe realizes something happened. Something terrible and tragic. Her lost year is a monster hiding in the shadow of her nightmares, taunting her, but unwilling to reveal itself. When her family relocates, she hopes a new town and new school will help her regain a sense of normalcy. If only it were that easy.
Strangely enough, only her dog, Rin, seems to understand her…
He is somehow connected to her lost year—connected to why she keeps doing things her mother calls reckless, foolish, and dangerous. And when she starts to hear voices and sees things no one else can, she is forced to question her own sanity.
The monster of her nightmares has returned, bringing with it the single question that plagues her at night…
What is there to remember?
Did I say how much I hate Dr. Bazely’s office? It starts with the reception area, which always has this citrusy smell. It’s like cheap perfume, and it gets into my hair and my clothes, so I smell it for days. Of course, there are magazines to read during the wait, and there’s always a wait no matter when you arrive, but the magazines come in two flavors: National Geographic and People. Right, gawk at animals or gawk at humans, your choice. Before we sit, we have to deal with Martha, the receptionist.
“Hello, Martha,” Mom says, as we approach her desk.
“Zoe,” Martha responds with faux pleasure. Her smile is like a Halloween mask she slides down over her face whenever she has to interact with clients. For some reason, they refer to us as clients, not patients. Whatever.
“Dr. Bazely will be with you momentarily,” Martha states, as she always does.
I sit next to Mom and scroll through the texts on my phone. Sara has texted me 10,000 times, Hannah and Tory only slightly less. According to Tory, she spent all first period this morning answering one of two questions: Does Zoe have a brain tumor? and Is Zoe rabid? I also have a text from Derek, but strangely nothing from Alex.
Hey, fox ninja warrior, the wildlife around here wants to know if it’s safe to come out, Derek texted.
I laugh out loud at this and text back, Tell the animals crazy girl is in Boston for the day.
He immediately replies. You looked kind of sexy holding that shoe, you know.
I roll my eyes. That’s what I was going for all right—the sexy, scared shitless look.
“The doctor will see you now,” Martha says, rising to lead me back to his office.
I stow my phone in my back pocket, and Mom gives my hand a gentle squeeze of encouragement. My sessions with Dr. Bazely are one-on-one. No Mom. No Dad. Bazely usually does confer with Mom after we’re done, but he’s made it clear to me many times he will not breach the confidentiality of our sessions with anyone. So even if it turns out I’m an axe murderer, my crimes will remain a secret from my mother.
Dr. Bazely’s office is like a nice den, all wood paneling, comfy, an overstuffed couch, and two wingback chairs. I sit in my usual chair and he sits in the other one halffacing me. A round table is strategically located between us. His shiny, bald head reflects the overhead light like a mirror. Dr. Bazely is never mean with me, but I resent him. He never tells me anything. He knows stuff about me, but he won’t share it with me.