Remember Me?(12)

by Sophie Kinsella

“Or his Nazi past.” “Amy!” Mum clicks her tongue in reproof and opens the door. “Eric! I'm so sorry to keep you. Come in.” There's an unbearably long pause. Then into the room, carrying an enormous bouquet of flowers, walks the most drop-​dead gorgeous man I've ever seen.

Chapter 5

I can't speak. All I can do is gaze up at him, a bubble of disbelief rising inside me. This man is seriously, achingly good-​looking. Like, Armani model goodlooking. He has medium-​brown curly hair, cropped short. He has blue eyes, broad shoulders, and an expensive-​looking suit. He has a square jaw, impeccably shaved. How did I land this guy? How? How? How? “Hi,” he says, and his voice is all deep and rounded like an actor's.

“Hi!” I manage breathlessly. Look at his huge chest. He must work out every day. And look at his polished shoes, and his designer watch... My eyes drift back to his hair. I never thought I'd marry someone with curly hair. Funny, that. Not that I have anything against curly hair. I mean, on him it looks fabulous. “My darling.” He strides to the bed in a rustle of 62 expensive flowers. “You look so much better than yesterday.” “I feel fine. Um... thanks very much.” I take the bouquet from him. It's the most amazing, trendy designer-​looking bouquet I've ever seen, all shades of white and taupe. Where on earth do you get taupe roses? “'re Eric?” I add, just to be one hundred percent sure. I can see the shock reverberate through his face, but he manages a smile. “Yes. That's right. I'm Eric. You still don't know me?” “Not really. In fact... not at all.” “I told you,” Mum chips in, shaking her head. “I'm so sorry, Eric. But I'm sure she'll remember soon, if she makes a real effort.” “What's that supposed to mean?” I shoot her an affronted look. “Well, darling,” she says, “these things are all a matter of willpower, I've read. Mind over matter.” “I'm trying to remember, okay?” I say indignantly. “You think I want to be like this?” “We'll take it slowly,” Eric says, ignoring Mum. He sits down on the bed. “Let's see if we can trigger some memories. May I?” He gestures toward my hand. “Um... yes. Okay.” I nod, and he takes my hand in his. It's a nice hand, warm and firm. But it's a stranger's hand. “Lexi, it's me,” he says in firm, resonant tones. “It's Eric. Your husband. We've been married for nearly two years.” I'm too mesmerized to reply. He's even better-​looking up close. His skin is really smooth and tan, and his teeth are a perfect gleaming white...

Oh my GodI've had sex with this man shoots through my mind.

He's seen me naked. He's ripped my underwear off. We've done who-​knows-​what together and I don't even know him. At least... I assume he's ripped my underwear off and we've done who-​knows-​what. I can't exactly ask, with Mum in the room. I wonder what he's like in bed. Surreptitiously I run my eyes over his body. Well, I married him. He must be pretty good, surely.... “Is something on your mind?” Eric has noticed my wandering gaze. “Darling, if you have any questions, just ask away....” “Nothing!” I flush. “Nothing. Sorry. Carry on.” “We met nearly three years ago,” Eric continues, “at a reception at Pyramid TV. They make Ambition, the reality show we were both involved in. We were attracted instantly. We were married in June and honeymooned in Paris. We had a suite at the George V. It was wonderful. We went to Montmartre, we visited the Louvre, we had cafe au kit every morning ” He breaks off. “Do you recall any of this?” “Not really,” I say, feeling guilty. “Sorry.” Maybe Mum's right. I should try harder to remember. Come on. Paris. The Mona Lisa. Men with stripy shirts. Think. I cast my mind back, desperately trying to match his face with images of Paris, to trigger some memory.... “Did we go up the Eiffel Tower?” I say at last. “Yes!” His face lights up. “Are you starting to remember? We stood in the breeze and took photos of each other” “No.” I cut him off. “I just guessed. You know, Paris... Eiffel Tower... it seemed quite likely.” “Ah.” He nods with obvious disappointment, and we lapse into silence. To my slight relief, there's a knock at the door and I call out, “Come in!” 64 Nicole enters, holding a clipboard. “Just need to do a quick blood pressure check” She breaks off as she sees Eric holding my hand. “Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to interrupt.”

“Don't worry!” I say. “This is Nicole, one of the nurses who's been looking after me.” I gesture around the room. “This is my mum, and sister...and my husband, who's called”I meet her eyes significantly“Eric.”

“Eric!” Nicole's eyes light up. “Very nice to meet you, Eric.” “It's a pleasure.” Eric nods at her. “I'm eternally grateful to you for looking after my wife.”

Wife. My stomach flips over at the word. I'm his wife. This is all so grown-​up. I bet we have a mortgage, too. And a burglar alarm. “My pleasure.” Nicole gives him a professional smile. “Lexi's a great patient.” She wraps the blood pressure cuff around my arm and turns to face me. “I'll just pump this u p . . . .” “He's gorgeous!” she mouths, giving me a surreptitious thumbs-​up, and I can't help beaming back. It's true. My husband is officially gorgeous. I've never even had a date with anyone in his league before. Let alone get married to them. Let alone go and eat croissants in the George V hotel. “I'd very much like to make a donation to the hospital,” Eric says to Nicole, his deep, actory voice filling the room. “If you have any special appeal or fund...” “That would be wonderful!” exclaims Nicole. “We've got an appeal right now for a new scanner.” “Maybe I could run the marathon for it?” he suggests. “I run every year for a different cause.” I'm nearly bursting with pride. None of my other boy 65 friends has ever run the marathon. Loser Dave could barely make it from the sofa to the TV. “Well!” says Nicole, raising her eyebrows as she lets the blood pressure cuff deflate. “It's a real pleasure to meet you, Eric. Lexi, your pressure looks fine...” She writes something on my notes. “Is that your lunch there?” she adds, noticing the untouched tray. “Oh yes. I forgot all about it.” “You must eat. And I'm going to ask everyone not to stay too much longer.” She turns to Mum and Amy. “I know you want to spend time with Lexi, but she's still fragile. She needs to take it easy.“ ”I'll do whatever it takes.“ Eric clasps my hand. ”I just want my wife well again.”