The Cowboy's Baby Surprise. Linda Conrad

The Cowboy's Baby Surprise - Linda Conrad

Скачать книгу
a chance on being hurt again. Many turned into adults afraid to commit, afraid to trust.

      Because his mother had died early and his abusive father had been killed in a drunken rage, Witt might never have been able to give her the love she craved. But she’d been sure he was a responsible and honorable man who would never just deliberately disappear. Still, he was gone without a trace.

      As the time neared for Cami to be born, the doctors had ordered Carley to bed. She’d collapsed with exhaustion and despair.

      Cami’s birth had rallied Carley’s spirit. Her little girl was a constant reminder of the man she loved. Carley knew that as long as she and Cami were together, they’d someday find the answers. She never gave up on finding him. Never.

      But now she wanted to know what had happened to keep him from her that night eighteen months ago. How he’d lost his memory, and what had become of him during the unaccounted month when he’d first disappeared.

      She figured the man calling himself Houston Smith was the only one who could give her all the answers. But Carley needed to find a way to help him remember—and to bring Witt back to her.

      The conference call came through two hours later.

      Dr. Fields took the time for explanations. In the end, his descriptions were thorough, if not hopeful.

      “Please, Doctor,” she begged. “We can give you a couple of hypothetical causes for the amnesia. Can’t you give us some possibilities?”

      After a long-winded, ten-minute lecture on one possible cause, Reid broke into the doctor’s explanation. “Hold it. I need a translator.”

      “The doctor’s simply saying that a person can have something so horrible happen to him that his mind refuses to acknowledge it,” Carley explained to her boss. “Sometimes the person might even blank out not only the terrible event but also everything that came before.”

      Carley tried to make the doctor spell out that kind of malfunction for Reid’s benefit. “This would be more a psychiatric problem, wouldn’t it Dr. Fields?”

      “Indeed, but it would be recognized under the branch of medicine called cognitive neuropsychology. Unfortunately, for the condition to continue for a period of eighteen months would, by definition, mean the person had immersed himself in a drastic, multiple-personality disorder that would take literally years of intense therapy to conquer.”

      The idea of Witt having such a dire mental illness made Carley shudder. “Let’s hope that’s not the case here. What if it was not the denial of an event but rather an actual physical trauma that’s caused this amnesia?”

      “That’s the other possibility. Any trauma to the head can cause brain damage, bruising the cerebral cortex and causing problems with memory retrieval. I would naturally need to study the brain scans before I could attempt to assess the extent of such damage.”

      Carley was getting impatient with the doctor’s hedging. “Yes, but can’t you tell us in general the symptoms and recovery time?”

      After a few seconds of indignant silence, the doctor continued. “Brain trauma can cause temporary loss of personal memories…for instance, one’s identity, while other memories like language skills and word recognition that are stored in a different part of the brain are not lost.”

      “Right. I’ve seen movies where this happens.” Reid sounded as eager to get to the point as Carley felt. “But those memories do come back, don’t they?”

      “Normally, following trauma, patients have what are called ‘islands of memory.’ These isolated events can act as anchors for memory recovery. In most cases, all old memories, except for the actual trauma itself, are recovered. It’s conceivable, though, that large areas of memory will be permanently irretrievable.”

      “What?” Reid sounded stunned. “Carley, is he saying that Davidson may never remember who he is or what happened to him?”

      “Shh, Reid. Let the doctor finish, then we’ll discuss this rationally.” Carley was amazed her voice seemed so calm when inside she was a mass of nerve endings. “Would it do any good in such a case to force the person to try to remember, Dr. Fields? Or to try something drastic like hypnosis or drugs, perhaps?”

      “Absolutely not. Any further emotional or physical shock could cause the victim’s memories to retreat even further. No, the best course of action is to provide a safe environment where familiar things can be introduced slowly. If the patient inquires about his past, do not lie or confuse the issue, but gently steer him toward self-revelation.”

      Carley thanked the specialist for his time, clicked him off and tried to placate Reid. Her boss was chomping at the bit to bundle Witt up and drag him off to an institution for examination and second opinions, exactly as she’d feared.

      She managed to dissuade Reid by begging for some time to ease herself into Witt’s trust. Carley figured once Houston Smith trusted her, getting his memory back might come along naturally with the familiarity between them.

      Finally Reid calmed enough to foresee the dangers he’d missed before. “I’m sorry I got you and Cami into this. I’d imagined that when you showed up, Witt would see you and remember everything. Guess that’s not going to happen. What do you want to do now?”

      She couldn’t believe he would even need to ask the question. “Why, stay with him, of course.”

      Reid’s voice softened when he said, “Carley, he has another life now. What if it takes a year…two…or more?”

      “I’ll be here to help him, no matter how long it takes.”

      Her boss lowered his tone to where she could barely hear him. “What if he never remembers you?”

      For a moment she hesitated, but every strand of human frailty that held her to this unjust planet screamed the same answer throughout her body. “Then we’ll just have to make new memories,” she whispered. “I believe he loved me once. Deep down he’s the same person. With enough time, perhaps he’ll grow to love me again.”

      “Sorry, Charleston. I can only give you a couple more weeks.” Reid’s voice had grown strong and professional once more.

      “Being without Davidson has been a challenge,” he added. “Having to do without you, as well, would be more than the operation can stand.”

      “Only a couple of weeks?”

      “That’s more than I should give you. In the meantime, watch your back…and his. Whoever or whatever caused this amnesia is bound to come back sooner or later to finish the job. You want to stay there with him for a few weeks? Okay. But you’re totally responsible for his welfare. In his condition, he’s completely defenseless.”

      Конец ознакомительного фрагмента.

      Текст предоставлен ООО «ЛитРес».

      Прочитайте эту книгу целиком, купив полную легальную версию на ЛитРес.

      Безопасно оплатить книгу можно банковской картой Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, со счета мобильного телефона, с платежного терминала, в салоне МТС или Связной, через PayPal, WebMoney, Яндекс.Деньги, QIWI Кошелек, бонусными картами или другим удобным Вам способом.

Скачать книгу