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If there's one thing I know about my mother, it's she has more confidence and trust in herself than anyone else. She's the most confident person I know. The moment she lost her memory, I wasn't there to help her. So, she went to the second person she could trust, just as her journal mentioned.

May 20th,

Do you remember the first time you heard a soft rock classic? Probably not . . . but it was the most wonderful thing your ears have ever heard. Your face lit up like a Christmas tree, hoping the song would never end. And it never did. Do you know why it never did? Because the music continued to follow you wherever you went, playing in your head like a symphony—Dream On by Aerosmith. That was our very first song and it stuck. As a teen, you swore to yourself you'd never miss a night of Karaoke. But, if you ever did, you swore you'd make it up with two songs the following Friday night at Joe's Karaoke Bar. Yeah, that's the place. It's our favorite. If you ever forget how to get there, just ask Axel and he'll take you—Axel Danver. He promised to take you everywhere, to see the world just as you imagined through your own eyes. I have faith he'll keep his promise. And since it's coming from me, I have faith you'll trust me. After all, you're talking to yourself. Well, I'm writing this to you . . . as yourself.

Axel Danver. That must be the man my mom fell in love with. Saying that left an uncomfortable, bitter taste in my mouth.

I'm happy she's been happy all this time, of course. There's just a form of guilt haunting me every time I thought about it now. I had been such of a golden child, she didn't want to share her happiness with me, in fears she'd drag me down. All those times I tried to convince her I didn't need her, failed. And all those times she tried to convince me she didn't need me, failed. Now, who needs who? She told me she was getting better. Every day, she'd tell me she felt better.

I knew she was lying, but I tried to refrain from pointing it out, because if I did . . . she just might have pushed me away like everyone else. She hated talking about her condition. The mere mention of it triggered her defense mode. One day, I feared the truth would come out, and there'd be no more talking between us. Yet, it wouldn't matter, because the truth is the truth. Whether she liked it or not, she needed to hear it.

"We're here," Reece announced.

Surely, Joe's Karaoke Bar was sitting in front of our eyes, looking bland as day. Maybe it's because the day had barely started, so the exotic glowing lights were a no show until later. Pushing the car door open, I made my way to the front doors of the karaoke bar. But when I pulled on the doors, they wouldn't budge.

"Shit. The doors are locked. It's closed. . ." I grunted and glanced back at Reece.

He joined my side and sucked his teeth. "Damn, I forgot it's still early in the morning."

"What do we do now?" I squinted at the karaoke bar's schedule. "Hmm . . . eleven o'clock . . . it doesn't open for another hour!"

"I don't know . . . we can always sit here and wait or go somewhere and come back if that's the case." Reece gave me a shrug. I sighed, taking his suggestion into consideration. We could do either of those things, but that didn't change the fact I wasn't familiar with this side of town. And neither of us knew anyone around here, except his Aunt Daisy. Too bad we'd left her a little over a few miles away. Driving back to her house just to come back this way didn't make sense.

"Come on, I know a place we can go for now. There's a park not too far from here—I saw it while I was driving, just about ten minutes down the road. Once it hits a quarter to eleven, we'll drive back over until an owner or someone opens the bar up."

"Okay," I complied before giving the doors one last defeated glance.

* * *

Back and forth, I kicked myself on the swing. Compared to the lack of air the summer weather was providing, the air whipping me from every swing felt nice. Every few minutes, I'd turn over to Reece. I wasn't sure what he was doing, but it looked important, so I forced myself not to disturb him.

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