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THE TORMENT TRILOGY: THE BROWN HAIRED GIRL
by Mitch
wells17@gte.net
Thamks to C.E. Forman for corrections

There was only one thing he remembered...and that was
the...crash. He remembered the storm, the tree and the...glass.
Then...he saw nothing.
He awoke in a dark room in a less than comfortable bed. I
hope this isn't hell, he thought to himself. The room was almost
warm enough to be that. He tried to get up but he was too tired.
Well, he thought, at least I feel too bad to be dead. He
wondered where he was and desided that he was in a hospital.
A nurse came in and seemed very surprised to see him.
"Mr.Lane? You're...awake?" "Well, yeah, but I can't really
remember who I am." "I...I'd better call your family and get a
doctor in here." "Well, okay." As the nurse left, Mr. Lane, as
she called him, was wondering who his family was and why he
couldn't remember anything. He remembered the name "Lane", and
it felt right. Just tell me that I'm not related to Lois, he
thought. He lay in bed for a while and tried to remember what he
could. He found a discarded mirror and looked at himself. He
had dark eyes, dark (and messy) hair, and a goatee. It was the
goatee that took him by surprise. Guess I haven't had it that
long, he surmised. He tried to get up, but it was no good. I
guess the...crash must've weakened me a lot, he thought. He
turned to the window and positioned himself to see what was out
there. He saw a very picturesque setting as if he were in the
outskirts of a town or he was in a very small town. He desided
on the former since the senery semmed too nice to be an example
of the whole town. Anyway, he figured looks could be decieving,
so he shouldn't expect this place to be as perfect as it seemed
to be. He went back to bed, hoping to remember what he could.
Mr. Lane, or whatever his name was, awoke the next morning.
He was hoping that his family, whoever they were, would visit
him. Just then, that nurse came back. "Mr. Lane? You have
visitors." Two girls came in, one brown haired and one black
haired with a cool haircut. They were both around seventeen
and both looked -very- familar. "Trent?" said the one with the
cool haircut, "It's me, Jane, your sister." Trent, as the girl
called him, was a little puzzled. "Uh, you usually call me
Janie." "Oh," said Trent, "-that's- what was missing."
"You...you don't remember me, do you?" "Well, vaugly. Right
now, I'm trying to figure out what I -do- and -do not- remember.
I...do remember the...crash." There was silence for a minute.
"Trent," started Janie, "do you remember -why- you were out that
night?" "No...and...I'd rather not talk about it. It...hurts to
remember it." "Sorry. It's just that we don't know why you were
out that night. You never told us." "Well, I'm sure it was
important and I don't think I was planning on losing my memory
the next day." "Trent, you were in that coma for a month." "A
month? Drag. No wonder I feel so trashed right now."
Sometime later, the doctors took Janie away to talk with
her. Trent was alone with the brown-haired girl. She seemed
very familar to him. She looked so vulnerable for some reason.
Somehow, that felt wrong. "Hey," said Trent, trying to make
conversation. The girl looked up. "Hey," she returned.
"I...can't recall your name..." "It's...Daria." "'Daria?' Cool
name. So...we know each other, right?" "Uh, yeah, somewhat."
"'Somewhat?'" "Well," said Daria, acting almost nervously, "We
weren't really that...close." "Oh," said Trent, "Well, nice to
see you. I'd hate to wake up with amnesia and have no one to
talk to." "Yeah," said Daria, "I guess you already feel lost, so
why feel alone?" "Yeah." There was some silence. "So," said
Trent, "Wanna talk about yourself?" "Not..right now." "Oh,
well, could you tell me something about me?" "Well," started
Daria, "You come from a family of seven, you're a musician, and,
well," she put her head down and almost whispered the next part,
"You're a slacker." "Oh," said Trent. He was wondering why
being lazy felt so familar to him. "So..., am I in a band or..."
"Yeah," said Daria, "You're in a band called Mystik Sprial..."
"Cool name," said Trent, "but I think we could use a better one."
"Yeah, you and Jesse have said that a couple of times."
"Jesse...? Oh, yeah. It's coming back. He's a friend of mine,
right?" "Yeah, he's out of town and doesn't know you're
concious yet." "Hmmm. Aren't there two other guys? Nicholas
and...Reuben?" "You mean Max?" "Yeah, Max. So, what do we do,
play at concerts or...?" "Grunge clubs. You play at local
grunge clubs like the Zen and McGrundy's Pub." "Heh. Well, as
long as we play, right?" "You...don't seem that disappointed."
"Nah. It hurts a little, but you gotta start somewhere.
Besides, I'm in it for the music, right?" Daria smiled a little.
-----
The next few weeks involved Trent healing while Jane talked
with the doctors about his condition. It really bummed him, not
being able to talk with his sister and all. One day, the brown-
haired girl, Daria, arrived with a big box. "Hey, Daria. What's
that?" "It was Jane's idea. It's stuff from under your bed to
help jumpstart your memory." The box was laid on Trent's bed.
He looked at the contents. There were assorted T-shirts, a dead
lab mouse from tenth grade, an unfinished middle school book
report, notes on a five-year guitar pick research project, "The
Doors" video, a broken CD player, circa 1994, a spilled bottle of
iodine, a large collection of cups, dishes, and cutlery, "Fries
and Pies" paper menu/placemat, and a candle wax mold of Trent's
palm. "Hey, Daria, thanks. Things are starting to come back to
me." "Well, said Daria, "I admit I'm appreciative in your trust
in me. I mean, how do you know Jane and I aren't trying to con
you and confuse you?" "Well," answered Trent, "for one thing,
you and Jane seem familar to me, and the other, well, if I can't
remember my life, I might as well accept what's handed to me."
Trent chuckled. So did Daria.
-----
It went on like that. While the doctors talked to Jane,
Daria had to "re-educate" Trent. She visited him and handed him
things like the "Keeping Your Piercing Clean" paper from AXL's
Piercing Parlor, the itinerary of Mystik Spiral's tour of Carter
County, housekeeping notes from Trent's parents, a copy of his
hit single "Behind my Eyelids" ("Really stupid picture of me."),
reviews from "Muck & Rage" and "Smudge Magazine", a schedule
from McGrundy's Pub, a postcard Trent sent to Jane from Bone Dry,
Nevada, and the original copies of the songs "Behind My Eyelids"
and "From the Futon."
"You know, Daria," said Trent one day, "these really
helped. I'm actually remebering stuff. I just wish..." "What?"
"I wish that...I didn't slack off so much." "Well," said Daria,
"I think your sister is more bugged about it than anyone else.
Besides, you've been awake at times when you've been needed."
"No Daria. I've just been lazy. I guess I just had to find out
all over again." Trent looked up to Daria. "But I digress.
Tell me about yourself Daria." Daria looked surprised for a
second. "Well, alright..." Trent got himself comfortable.
"First of all," started Daria, "I come from a small town in Texas
called Highland..." "Texas?" asked Trent, "where's your hat and
your accent?" Daria looked at him accusingly until Trent
chuckled. "I'm kidding Daria, go ahead." Daria half-smiled and
went on. "I was a rather resentful child. In fact, I -still-
don't know what those people who called themselves my family
wanted from me. Anyway..."
Trent was rather entertained by Daria's story. She did have
an interesting life. He laughed out loud at the explots of those
two guys she hung out with in her teenage years in Highland.
When she got to her life in Lawndale, it seemed to get more
interesting. Trent noticed a considerable limit to his own role
in Daria's life at the beginning. When she got to when Trent
helped get her and Jane back together during a rather rough
senerio, she looked up at him. "You know, Trent," she said, "I
never quite thanked you for getting me and Jane back together."
"Well, you don't have to..." "I...do."
-----
Daria wasn't quite sure what came over her in the next
second. Maybe it was seeing Trent sitting there after...what
happened to him or maybe it was because she really should have
thanked him back then. Maybe it was both. Anyway, she walked up
to Trent...and hugged him. "Thank you." Trent patted her back,
much like she patted his some time back. They let go of each
other. "That felt...familar," sadi Trent, "Have we hugged
before?" "Yeah," said Daria, "let me get to that one..." But
then, Daria happened to see her watch. "Crud, I have to take the
car back." "What?" asked Trent, "do you have you're own car?"
"Nah. I've been wanting on for years though. Seeya Trent."
Daria rushed off...and left Trent with his thoughts...
-----
Sometime later, when all the paper work was done and his
wounds healed, Trent was sent back home. There, his friends had
set up a "welcome home" party for him. Trent was happy, what
with all those people trying to make him feel better. Still,
something was bugging him. He still couldn't remember -why- he
was out there in the first place. He figured it must have been
something important. He ducked into his room to see if something
there could jumpstart his memories. What could it be, if Daria
had shown him all of his belongings, even the ones from under his
bed? Then it hit him. There -was- something, and it was in a
place Daria didn't know about! There was a knock on the door.
"Trent?" It was Janie. "Trent? You're missing the party."
"Yeah. Uh, Janie, could you call Daria. I have to talk to her."
There was a silence before Trent heard Janie say, "Well, okay
Trent."
-----
At first, Daria thought Jane was conning her to visit Trent.
She hadn't done her matchmaker thing in a while but
still...Lately, Daria hadn't been thinking of Trent the way she
had been the past year. Originally, she saw him as just a male
fantasy who was starting to become her friend. Now, he was a
friend who was regaining his identity. She was seeing him less
and less than eye-candy and more and more as a friend. Funny how
things turn out, she thought. She approached the house and
noticed the noise from the party. Daria was invited, but she
turned it down, still sorting her feelings about Trent. In
retrospect, she should have came, Trent may have still needed
her. Well, she was there now. Jane greeted her. "Right this
way," she said. As Jane led Daria to Trent's room, Daria noticed
that Jane was acting rather out of character. Why was she acting
so serious? It was as if Trent really -had- asked for Daria.
Daria entered Trent's room, but didn't see him. "Trent?" "Over
here Daria." She followed the muffle to the other side of
Trent's bed, where he was hunched over. From there, Daria could
see his butt. She chuckled to herself. "Trent, what are you
doing?" "I remember why I was out there that night, Daria...and
-you- were the reason." "M-me?! What...?" "Well, it wasn't
your idea, it was mine. You see, since we first became friends,
there was something I've been trying to get for you. A friend of
mine was getting most of the arrangements taken care of. I was
driving to take care of some last minute details when..." Daria
patted his back. "I know Trent. Sometimes...I wish I really
knew what you're going through." Trent smiled at himself.
"Believe me Daria, you don't need the extra pain, but...thanks.
Anyway, I just did the arrangements over the phone, which I
should have done in the first place. I just need to find the
part of it that'll make it complete." "Uh, Trent," said Daria,
"There's nothing there I haven't shown you." "Actually, I have
something hidden here, under a loose floorboard...Ah, here it
is!" Trent got up and tossed Daria a small box. "I wanted to
give you this personally." Daria stared at the little box for a
while. She opened it...and saw something she had been wanting
since she first steped into Lawndale. With teary eyes and a
crooked smile she put it on her finger. "Trent...I could KISS
YOU!" "Aw..., the don't -have- to..." Daria spun her present
around her finger. "CAR KEYS! YOU GOT ME A CAR?!" "Well,
they'll be wanting you to pay for some of it. I was hoping that
fund of yours had some money left over for it since you have said
you wanted a..." Daria hugged him...then let go and regained her
composure. "Uh, still, uh...thanks Trent. This...this means a
lot to me, really." "You're welcome. Say, um, I'm trying to get
us a vacation with Michael and Mara pretty soon. What do you
say?" Daria smiled. "I'm there." "Okay," said Trent, "just
don't forget."

END