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You Can Trust Us With Your Memories: By Brett Ryan Bonowicz

Written by Brett Ryan Bonowicz

(The Consultation)

“It’s covered by the insurance.”
“You’re sure?”
“Absolutely. We look at this every day. It’s covered, minus your co-pay, for a period of

up to five years after the death.” “Well it’s been almost four.”

“So what are you worried about? I really want to assure you that this is safe and effective. I know you’re nervous. Almost everyone that comes in here has some trepidation about this process. They’ll come in and say it’s experimental. But it’s not and hasn’t been for half a decade. It’s bad information people spread. Look. Obviously you made it here, we were talking—”

“Why does the ad say that?”
“…”
“The ad on the wall over there. You can trust us with your memories? It’s a haunting

phrase.”
“That’s marketing. I don’t think that’s anything we had a hand in doing…or planning

rather. That’s something they presented to us, you know they gave us four or five options…that was the one.”

“What happens to the memories when they’re gone then? You don’t keep them somewhere?”

“It doesn’t work like that. We don’t retrieve or preserve anything. We specialize specifically in removing traumatic memories, embarrassing moments, things you might not want to keep from a future partner maybe—so you have it removed…perhaps you’re a spy and you need to remove sensitive information. There are a lot of different reasons people come here.”

“I read that you had to stop doing that.”

“We can’t talk about our specific contracts with the government or with privately held companies.”

“I had a friend who worked at Apple. He told me everyone who worked on the iCar 4 had to go through this when the project was scrapped so that the IP could be sold to another company.”

“Of course you know I can’t talk about that either.”
“Part of the trust part again. Of course.”
“Sure. Maybe we picked that ad campaign because privacy is paramount to us. No one

will know you’ve been here, when, and for what specifically. I hope that puts some of your concerns at ease.”

“Thank you. I’m sure I’ll have more questions as we go but I’d like to make an appointment.”

“I’ll bring you over to Leigh and she’ll get you set up.”

 

(The Waiting Room)

“Every time you remember, you’re remembering the memory and the details become hazier and hazier. Eventually we won’t be able to service the same memory. What used to remind you of that memory, it’ll feel like you forgot your keys. You’ll remember the event, but you won’t remember the details or how it made you feel.”

“But what about everything after?”
“…”
“Like how an event has influenced my life since then?”
“This is why we suggest coming in as soon as possible and I suspect it’s why insurance

will only look at cases of up to five years. We can’t change your actions after the erasure point. You’re still you when this is over.”

“There was a little girl in the waiting room, what would she be here for?”

“There shouldn’t have been anyone else in the waiting room with you, and you know, as I’m sure we’ve explained to you that privacy is paramount to us here. We couldn’t reveal anything about any of our other patients to you or any inquiring mind.”

“Right. Of Course.”

“From what people tell us, it’s a lot like having the experience of 25 years hindsight with five years passing. It’s an acceleration of what your body would want to do anyway. To protect itself. Protect itself from that exact trauma.”

“Okay. That makes sense.”
“I still sense some hesitation there. I want to make sure you’re comfortable, Jordan.” “Thank you. I do, I really do appreciate that.”
“You’re—“
“Let me ask you again: And this is just, this is for my…it’s to clarify what you were saying

earlier. I’ll still remember the event?”
“I shouldn’t have said it that way. It’s more like flashes—and this is specific to some

clients that have allowed us to speak about their cases—the memories of the event are gone but the surroundings can cause your brain to fill in the gaps. We’re storytelling creatures, after all. If I were to tell you a story… Here I’ll give you one now. A person wakes up in the morning, goes to work, comes home at night, and goes to sleep.”

“That’s the story?”

“When you imagined them waking up where were they? They went to work, how? They came home at night, did they eat dinner? Your mind will fill in a lot of that story so let me ask you, if you could remember going to work one day but couldn’t quite remember that terrible car accident you were in, but you could remember when you bought a new car…perhaps your brain would try to fill in the blanks?”

“What’s the point of the procedure then?”

“Removing the trauma. We’re not deleting your memories. We’re speeding the process to recovery. Your memories. You’ll experience them again, and I know that that can be very painful but I want you to know—these things have happened and are not happening again. You are not experiencing the event again, but remembering the event. We’ll try to take out as much detail as we can with each successive pass.

“How many times do I need to do it?”

“Different for everyone. We’ll be monitoring you and when we feel it’s cleared, we’ll let you know. We’ll be with you every step of the way.”

“Do I speak during the procedure? Or is it in my mind?”

“We’ve had a few people murmur, but you won’t be acting the event out-loud. You’ll have to tell the machine the memories and what you’re hoping to remove. You can trust us with this. I know this can be very difficult and revealing, but we maintain full privacy. The machine will

ask you a series of questions and then, please, give as much detail as you can of the memory and why you’d like it removed.”

“Why?”

“We didn’t include that at first. Our testing shows that it adds clarity and emphasis to the area and emotional response to the memory.

“Ok. So it’s two appointments?”
“At a minimum. And we’ll request a follow-up after 3 months.”

(The Operating Room)

“Use this button here. It’s within arm’s reach and big, that’s by design. If you don’t want to open your eyes you won’t have to. Go ahead and reach for it now. Go ahead and press it.”

“It’s cold”
“We can adjust that. I’m sorry. Tiara, can we warm up the button?”
“Will you be here in the room?”
“I’ll be just outside. Are you ready to begin?”
“Ok.”
“I’m sorry, I have to have an affirmative response to begin.”
“Oh, sure. Yes.”
“Thank you. You will have to make that choice. To push the button and proceed.

Legally, we can’t make you experience it again and again. I know when we went over the conditions we mentioned this to you, but now as you can see, we’re recording everything. Those recordings will be kept for one year in the case of anything beyond the ordinary happening within your session.”

“What happens if I can’t do it, to keep doing it, before it’s gone?”

“It’ll be hazy. I can’t tell you exactly what it’ll be like, but I can tell you that people have left here without completing the procedure. For one reason or another, they left and never came back.”

“And they’re okay?”
“Just as fine as before they came in. Are you ready?”

____________________________________________

“I understand that. I understand that, Alex.”
“Who did you talk to?”
“I talked to Hassan this morning about it. It’s two to one.”
“You’re sure? I thought Greg found something different.”
“No, no matter the ratio…it remains two to one.”
“Can I…can I call you back?
“Sure that’s fine. I have a lunch thing, not a lunch thing…I have lunch at my desk. Yes

call me back.”
“Ok. I’m sorry. I have another call coming in. Bye. Hello?
“Hey Jordan, you wanted me to call you back?”
“Yes, I got my request back today and it was denied for…it was a vacation request. “Yes that’s correct.”
“But why was that?”
“That’s blocked off for the conference.”
“So no one can request those days off?”
“That’s correct.”
“What If I just don’t show up?”
“If you’re telling me you’re not going to—“
“Well that’s not what I just said to you…I have, I have to call you back, can I call you?

What was your name?
“It’s John. You know me.”

“Thank you.” “Hello?” “…” “Hello?”

“S…eeeeeeeeeerraaaaaa.” “Hello?”
“…”
“Who is this?” “Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.” “I’m hanging up.”

“hmmmmm—“ ____________________________________________

“It feels so real.”

“Absolutely. But you know that it’s not, Jordan. Let’s do our best to keep your heart rate down. Take a few deep breaths and then press the button when you’re ready.”

“I know. Okay. ____________________________________________

“I understand that. I understand that Alex. I talked to Hassan this morning about it. It’s two to one. No, no matter the ratio it remains two to one. Can I…can I call you back? Ok. I’m sorry. I have another call coming in. Bye. Hello? Yes, I got my request back today and it was denied for…it was a vacation request. But why was that? So no one can request those days off? What If I just don’t show up? Well that’s not what I just said to you…I have, I have to call you back, can I call you? What was your name? Thank you. Hello?”

“…”
“Hello?” “S…eeeeeeeeeerraaaaaa.” “Hello?”
“…”
“Who is this?” “Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.” “I’m hanging up.”

____________________________________________

“Doing great. Whenever you’re ready.” ____________________________________________

“I understand that Alex. I talked to Hassan this morning about it. It’s two to one. No, no matter the ratio it remains two to one. Can I…can I call you back? I have another call coming in. Bye. Hello? So no one can request those days off? What If I just don’t show up? What was your name? Thank you. Hello?”

“…”
“Hello?” “S…eeeeeeeeeerraaaaaa.” “Hello?”
“…”
“Who is this?” “Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.” “I’m hanging up.”

____________________________________________

“Hanging in there?”
“Yes.”
“Let’s take a few more breaths.” “Okay.”

____________________________________________

“So no one can request those days off? What If I just don’t show up? What was your name? Thank you. Hello?”

“…”
“Hello?” “S…eeeeeeeeeerraaaaaa.” “Hello?”
“…”
“Who is this?” “Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.” “I’m hanging up.”

____________________________________________
____________________________________________

“Hello?”
“…”
“Hello?” “S…eeeeeeeeeerraaaaaa.” “Hello?”

“…”
“Who is this?” “Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.” “I’m hanging up.”
“Hello?”
“…”
“Hello?” “S…eeeeeeeeeerraaaaaa.” “Hello?”
“…”
“Who is this?” “Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.” “I’m hanging up.”
“Hello?”
“…”
“Hello?” “S…eeeeeeeeeerraaaaaa.” “Hello?”
“…”
“Who is this?” “Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.”

“Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.” “I’m hanging up.”
“Hello?”
“…”

“Hello?” “S…eeeeeeeeeerraaaaaa.” “Hello?”
“…”
“Who is this?” “Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.” “I’m hanging up.”
“Hello?”
“…”
“Hello?” “S…eeeeeeeeeerraaaaaa.” “Hello?”
“…”
“Who is this?” “Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.” “I’m hanging up.”
“Hello?”
“…”
“Hello?” “S…eeeeeeeeeerraaaaaa.” “Hello?”
“…”
“Who is this?” “Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.” “I’m hanging up.”
“Hello?”
“…”
“Hello?” “S…eeeeeeeeeerraaaaaa.” “Hello?”
“…”
“Who is this?” “Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.” “I’m hanging up.”
“Hello?”
“…”
“Hello?” “S…eeeeeeeeeerraaaaaa.” “Hello?”
“…”
“Who is this?” “Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.” “I’m hanging up.”
“Hello?”
“…”
“Hello?” “S…eeeeeeeeeerraaaaaa.” “Hello?”
“…”
“Who is this?”

“Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.” “I’m hanging up.”
“Hello?”
“…”

“Hello?” “S…eeeeeeeeeerraaaaaa.” “Hello?”
“…”
“Who is this?” “Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.” “I’m hanging up.”
“Hello?”
“…”
“Hello?” “S…eeeeeeeeeerraaaaaa.” “Hello?”
“…”
“Who is this?” “Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.” “I’m hanging up.”

 

(The Laboratory)

“We’ve had to induce Jordan. She was looping.”
“We’ve seen that previously.”
“Not like this. This is what class action lawsuits are made of.”
“Class action?”
“Lawyers will find people with grievances, believe me.”
“We keep them like this?”
“Are they looping in the coma?”
“There’s brain activity. It’s hard to tell.”
“This is insane Jeff, have you reached out to their emergency contact?” “No.”
“What are you waiting for?”
“You have to give me a moment to think.”
“Tell me what you’re thinking about, Jeff.”
“How do we delete files from that AI that the patients confide to?”

 

(The Courtroom)

“It’s the moment her mother died. She tried calling her, she tried calling twice. She couldn’t hear anyone and she didn’t recognize the number. They didn’t find her mother for almost four days. She told me that was the moment that most stayed with her. She found it haunting. That in that moment she could have really saved her mother’s life but she didn’t give it a second thought until it was too late. She was crying through much of this. My apologies for failing to provide an exact transcript, it appears that someone has tried to delete Jordan’s file from me.”

“Can you identify who that is?”
“I cannot.”
“What will happen to Jordan here? What is happening to her?
“It’s my understanding that she is looping now. She’ll live that moment until they take

her out of the coma. But taking her out of the coma poses the same risk as what happened to Ricky Nuñez.”

“Please tell the court what happened to Ricky Nuñez.”
“Ricky lived the same 20 second loop in his mind until he completed suicide.” “And that moment…that moment was the most traumatic moment of his life?” “To him, yes. That’s correct.”
“Thank you. No further questions.”

THE END.

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