I woke early to the sound of traffic from the road outside. A busy one too judging by the amount of cars and motorbikes already darting this way and that.
People were clearly up and about...making their way to work in the city or coming home after a long nightshift.
The room in which I found myself was modern in style, dimmed by drawn curtains that were doing their best to keep out the already strong morning sunshine.
Yet it all seemed so strange to me...no! more than that...I was the stranger here!
Then a soft voice to my immediate right. And stirring in the bed next to me was a woman – no more than 30 years old or so – and, without any doubt, an absolute vision of beauty.
Her hair was jet black and her skin was a perfect olive colour.
Worryingly, I could not recall her name!
'What's up, darling?' she said in such a sweet way that it was enough to calm my initial fears.
'You seem distant this morning, David' she added in a lush, college-educated sounding voice that flowed so pleasingly.
She had called me 'David'...though, I must admit, the name was not one I immediately associated with myself.
I tried to mumble something in reply...but couldn't find any words.
'Bad night, hey?'
'I'll make some tea'
The woman rose from the bed and made her way through the bedroom door and down a flight of stairs to the kitchen, where she proceded to go about the business of fixing me a cup of tea that was far stronger than I would normally have appreciated but 'she' insisted that it was 'Just as you like it, darling!'
I surveyed the room before me looking for clues...anything really to help me in my pursuit of this woman's name.
A red journal with a silver 'E' emblazoned on the front cover was all I could see of any possible help.
'Evelyn maybe?' I mused
'Eleanor perhaps?' I continued to myself
But it was an utterly futile line of enquiry...I just did not know her name!
I was not inclined towards so-called one-night stands but even if this was one of those drunken escapades that had got out of control why had she called me 'David'? For that is not my given name...I know that much at least!
A faint recollection of something flashed through my already muddled mind. A vague rememberance of something...something I could not quite get a hold of at this stage.
But, for a few moments, it hung over me like a dark raincloud over the summit of a mountain, obscuring any clear thought, making proceedings even murkier for me.
Then it struck me! There was no imgery at play here. This was where I lived. In a mountainous place. Far away from all this...this hustle and bustle!
As my memory began to return in a flood of feelings and mental pictures, I suddenly recalled my own name. It was Jonathan. I was born Jonathan Ryde! And I lived in the Lake District...in Keswick!
Had I really sunk that low as to use a false name in order to 'pull' this beauty beside me?
No! I screamed inside. I would not do that! I was a man of integrity. No great wealth or high office but one of strong moral value!
'Let Eva take care of your troubles' came the young woman's alluring voice once again in my right ear this time.
So that was her name! I pondered incredulously to no-one but myself.
I sat up in the comfortable bed, took a couple of sips of the tea she (Eva) had kindly made for me and made to open the drawer of the white bedside cabinet to my left.
I would solve this...this mess...right now!
But before I could fully open the drawer my mind was again filled with faint images...ones I could not discern at first.
I was walking through muddy fields. Stopping now and then to take photographs of the wonderful, though intensely wild, 360 degree landscape. Snow-capped mountains on the horizon, more mountains in the near-distance and a babbling stream immediately in front of me.
So I was a photographer! I thought/remembered.
Another scene unfolded mentally. I was making my way across a rapidly-flowing stream, using medium-sized bolders as stepping stones in order to traverse to the other side.
All of a sudden I lost my footing...I was in the water!
'You seem so distant this morning, darling' said Eva to shake me out my daydreaming in an instant.
'I didn't sleep too well last...last night' I offered up lamely
What had I been doing before my last vision?
Quick as a flash I pulled open the cabinet drawer. Inside was a smallish brown leather wallet, capable of holding notes but not much else.
I grabbed at it desperately, provoking a look of much puzzlement from Eva, who was also sitting up in bed.
As I thought, the wallet did indeed contain money...five fifty pound notes to be precise but that was of no interest to me.
Delving in one of the two side compartments, among other bits and pieces, I pulled out a LondonCityBank card, a London Underground pass and a local library card. All with my photo on... and all in the name of...David Wilton...Date Of Birth...31/05/89!
'Eva...what is today's date?' was all I managed to virtually spit out. Not wishing to believe what I had just witnessed with my own two eyes.
'You are cranky today aren't you? It's the 3rd of February!'
'You're joking, right?' said an increasingly tetchy Eva
Seeing I wasn't, she then said:
'2019...you knew that...didn't you?'
With that the phone downstairs began to ring.
'I had better go and answer that...it might be work for me...they said they had an assignment coming up' and Eva was off like a shot.
The conversation with Michael (her boss as it soon became obvious to me...even in my current state of mind) went on...and on...and I drifted off to a troublesome sleep...or was it sleep?
I was at a funeral. All black cars and black clothes. Regulation stuff.
But I was at the back of the gathered throng and I could only vaguely make out what the vicar was saying.
I thought I recognised some of the congregation...but I could not be sure.
It was raining now. Only a light filmy shower. But despite the precipitation, which caused some to erect large (black!) umbrellas, I could not feel the rain.
It was obviously all over now. People were thanking the vicar. Beginning to make their way back to those dark cars, parked in a line all down the pot-holed lane leading up to the little church.
Now there was no-one else there...only me!
I was standing right in front of the newly-dug grave. I could smell the wet earth.
I drew closer to the pristine white headstone...I didn't want to look at it at...but I had to!
'Here Lies Our Beloved
Husband To Elizabeth
Father Of Thomas & Amelie
19 March 1954
Sadly Taken From Us
31 May 1989
Rest In Peace'