Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Cheryl Headford for taking the time to talk with us today.
Title: Memories of Forgotten Love
Author: Cheryl Headford
Publisher: Featherweight Press
Cover Artist: unknown
Genre/Sub-Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Young Adult
Prism recently reviewed Memories of Forgotten Love. You can find the review here.
After waking from a coma, Noah discovers that memories are tricky things and sometimes blissful ignorance isn’t such a bad thing.
Noah wakes from a coma with no memory of who he is. As his memories return they become stranger and more sinister at every turn. He begins to suspect the accident in which he was injured wasn’t an accident at all, and refuses to accept what everyone is saying that he threw himself off his balcony in a suicide attempt. It just doesn’t feel like something he would do. Struggling to come to terms with the shocking story he gradually uncovers, he’s helped by his friends. Yet, his best friend, Luke is acting strangely, leaving Noah to wonder just what exactly he isn’t telling him.
I didn’t go back to my room. I went outside into the garden. I needed space. I needed time to think alone. I headed for my favourite place, a wooden bench under a rose arbour near a stone koi pond. I walked along a shady path between clipped hedges and turned the corner into my special place. There was someone there. My first reaction was extreme annoyance. This was MY place and I needed it. How dare someone be here? However, as I drew closer, I recognised the pale hair, brushing the surface of the pool as its owner leaned over to trail his fingers in the water.
Luke clearly didn’t hear me approach as he didn’t stir, and I was able to get right up close without him noticing. This gave me a chance to examine him closely. He was tall, although not quite as tall as me, and slender, although by no means skinny. His hair was too long, almost reaching his shoulders, and fell in unruly waves. He was wearing black jeans and a black shirt. He always wore black, as if trying to magnify the effect of his hair. I smiled. That was Luke, a man of contrasts.
The first time we’d met—well no, not the first time but the first time in this part of my life—I’d been skinnier than him; weak, wasted away. But since then I’d filled out a lot. I worked so very hard and my muscles were toned again. I was strong. I still walked with a pronounced limp and I still had a degree of weakness in my left hand and arm…and I still had to think carefully about what I wanted to say or I stammered and got things confused, but on the whole I was bigger and stronger than he was and he appeared…frail, slumped, dejected, defeated.
I experienced something almost maternal as I stood and looked down at him. He hadn’t been near me for ages. Why was he hiding out here? I felt an almost irresistible urge to touch him, to stroke his hair, to take him in my arms but that, of course, would have been wholly inappropriate. We had become close again, but not that close. He wouldn’t have appreciated it, I was sure of that.
While I was watching him, he sensed my presence and his head jerked up. He didn’t smile in greeting as he usually did, he just stared at me. He had been crying. His eyes went wide and they shone like pale sapphires set in a fine piece of jewellery. He seemed stunned. Of course, I had no way of knowing then what he saw in that moment. I sat down on the low stone wall over which he was leaning to trail a hand in the water. For a moment, my own shock and anger were forgotten.
“Nothing.” He blinked and turned his face away, clearly embarrassed.
We were both silent for a time. I watched Luke and Luke stared fixedly into the water. When had this wall grown up between us? “You haven’t been to see me for ages.”
“I needed time to think.”
“Think? Think about what?”
“About all the things you want from me—need from me—that I can’t give.”
“That sounds ominous. I don’t want anything from you, only truth and honesty.”
“And those are some of the things I can’t give you.”
“Are you sure?”
“I knew this would happen. That’s why I haven’t come. I couldn’t face you knowing you would be like this. You were always the same. You could never just let things lie.”
“I’m not going to apologise for that.”
“I wouldn’t ask you to. It’s one of the best things about you.”
The awkward silence fell again, and I didn’t know how to break it. I found that I was picking at the stone with a fingernail.
“Luke…what kind of person am I?”
He didn’t look up, just carried on staring at the water, making little circles with his finger.
“Let’s face it…you’ve known me longer than I have. What kind of person am I?”
“I don’t know. I know what kind of person you were.”
“Then, what kind of person was I?”
“You were strong, stubborn, opinionated sometimes. You were gentle, and kind, and wise. You were patient with a clumsy, impulsive, insensitive friend. You were a good man, a great friend, a…You were… amazing.”
“Was I a coward? Was I a quitter? Was I…was I…?”
He glanced up quickly. “No, no, you were never that. Never a coward. You were…you are the bravest person I know.”
“Then why…?” I found it hard to say because I found it so hard to accept, to believe. “Was I the kind of person who would jump off a balcony to kill myself?”
His eyes went wide, such colour as there was draining from his face. He seemed shocked, scared. He licked his lips and swallowed hard. “How did you…?”
“New shrink. He didn’t know I didn’t know.” “Oh.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Yeah, right. How was I going to bring up that subject? Oh by the way, Noah, did you know, did you realise that right after we had the worst row we’d ever had, right after I stormed off vowing never to see you again, you jumped out of your window and tried to kill yourself? Strangely enough, the opening never arose.”
About the Author:
Cheryl was born into a poor mining family in the South Wales Valleys. Until she was 16, the toilet was at the bottom of the garden and the bath hung on the wall. Her refrigerator was a stone slab in the pantry and there was a black lead fireplace in the kitchen. They look lovely in a museum but aren’t so much fun to clean.
Cheryl has always been a storyteller. As a child, she’d make up stories for her nieces, nephews and cousin and they’d explore the imaginary worlds she created, in play.
Later in life, Cheryl became the storyteller for a re-enactment group who travelled widely, giving a taste of life in the Iron Age. As well as having an opportunity to run around hitting people with a sword, she had an opportunity to tell stories of all kinds, sometimes of her own making, to all kinds of people. The criticism was sometimes harsh, especially from the children, but the reward enormous.
It was here she began to appreciate the power of stories and the primal need to hear them. In ancient times, the wandering bard was the only source of news, and the storyteller the heart of the village, keeping the lore and the magic alive. Although much of the magic has been lost, the stories still provide a link to the part of us that still wants to believe that it’s still there, somewhere.
In present times, Cheryl lives in a terraced house in the valleys with her son, dog, hamster and two cats. Her daughter has deserted her for the big city, but they’re still close. She’s never been happier since she was made redundant and is able to devote herself entirely to her twin loves of writing and art
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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