After about half an hour she felt something cold and wet on her face. She opened her eyes and saw Keith, who was standing at her bedside, with a wet towel, gently rubbing her cheeks.
She rose slowly and Keith jumped up from the chair and helped her, putting more pillows under her back.
“How do you feel?” he asked.
“Fine, I think… what happened?”
“You fainted at the cemetery”
“Ah, I see…the girl didn’t die in the accident right?” She felt him flinch and felt the tension in the air. She was a little uncomfortable but she didn’t say anything, just waited for a response. Meanwhile Keith had turned pale, but he knew this was the right time to tell her the truth.
“Drink some orange juice first”, he said, and gave her a glass with freshly squeezed orange juice. She took two gulps from it before passing it back to him. Seeing that she was done, he took the glass, put it down, and answered:
“You saved her didn’t you? From the plane crash, before the plane exploded…”
“Yes…but…” and before he could finish his sentence she asked:
“Why didn’t you tell me all this time? Caroline is me, right?” He looked at her with a pained look on his face and replied:
“Because you chose not to remember, and the doctor said not to force you…and besides, if I could help it, I would have liked for you to remain Elisa.”
“Why?” she asked with a choked voice
“Because then you wouldn’t have to remember all you went through, and you could have lived happily…I still remember how miserable you were the days that followed the accident, and how you didn’t wanted to eat, or drink anything, and just stood there, in your room, staring into space…and at night you would wake up screaming for your parents, and wouldn’t calm down unless I held you in my arms for a few hours…so, after you blocked your memories, you were happy again, smiling and playing, eating normally…That’s when the Romanov family, who were good friends of your parents, decided to tell you that they were your parents and raise you accordingly.”
She couldn’t say anything anymore; she just stood there in the bed, and listened, while big heavy tears were running down her cheeks. Keith continued:
“So it was decided to let you live your life without knowing who your real parents were.”
She raised her head and looked at him.
“Who decided that? Who gave you the right?” He looked away and continued.
“I know…I know… I’m really sorry, I tried to make you remember. That’s why I sent you to research your family. But there were others who didn’t agree you should be told the truth. Like the Romanov…” She stared at him and asked:
“Was this what you meant when you said you would make me suffer? You helped me remember in the end, so why did you say that?”
He looked at her and with a low voice he said:
“You remember that I was in the plane, right? Then, you cried and begged me to go get your parents, but your father and mother told me to get you to a safe place, and asked me not to return, so I listened to them… but now I think that if I had made an effort, I could have saved at least one of them…”
She looked at him to see that his eyes were red and he was restraining his tears. She took his head in her palms and gently kissed him on the forehead.
“Thank you!” she said “You saved me twice already. It’s ok, you did all you could, and I know how much you being near has helped me, so thank you!”
She hugged him as hard as she could and Keith returned the hug. They kept their embrace for a long time, and then they fell asleep still holding hands.