John had given up on figuring out who he used to be and was now concentrating on making himself into the person that his new mind had decided he would be. He spent the days hatching new ideas to try and escape from his prison and trying to figure out how long he had been contained within the confines of this stone building. He first noticed that his meals always came in cycles of three. After the first meal there was a wait of some time and then a second meal, always the third meal would come in roughly the same amount of time as the time from the first to the second meal. Then he noticed that after the third meal it would be a much longer wait until the next cycle began. Using this system John had figured out from remembering back to when he first awoke that he had been here for 12 meal cycles.
After figuring that out he began making his body work like he assumed it should, starting by taking off the still blood crusted clothes that he had been wearing. As soon as they were removed he used the edge of the stone table to cut the clothes into strips of cloth. He used the cleanest strips to bind the wounds on his back by cross lacing the strips and tying them off in the front. After having the cuts on his back with a constant pressure against them he finally pulled himself up using the table for support.
After getting stood up he began to walk around the table reminding his legs once more how they were supposed to work. Then it happened he had a memory, but what was it. John closed his eyes using his hands to continue guiding him round and round the table. With his eyes shut he concentrated on retrieving that flitting memory. It came to him after just seconds.
He was little and there was someone in front of him crouched down smiling. She was beautiful and so full of joy. He could feel someone holding onto both of his arms helping him to stay standing. He looked back and could see the face of a man though it was mostly hidden by a well kempt beard. The man was laughing and smiling just as much as the woman in front of John. The man started to shuffle John forward and in doing so was forcing him to take steps towards the woman who was now calling out to him. Suddenly the man let go of his arms and John was walking towards the woman very unsteadily but after a few haltering steps he was able to reach the woman and collapse into her arms.
John was back to the present; he had collapsed into the stone chair and was breathing heavily. His body ached from being used for the first time in a long time. He was so covered in sweat that his nude body was sliding off of the stone chair and he had to hold himself on using the last of his remaining strength. While he sat there he thought back to the memory he had just experiences and realized that those two people must have been his parents because why else would they have looked so happy and joyous to have been there with him when he first learned to walk.
After he had rested and regained strength enough, he stood back up and began walking again. Around the table he went and now he realized that his right hurt far more than his left, his first instinct was to favor it and not put as much pressure on it while walking but the more he thought about it John decided that by working that side it would regain muscle and therefore heal better. So after that he made sure to consciously make sure he was not treating the right side of his body with any less work than the left side.
He walked himself until he couldn’t stand anymore and then sat in the chair until even that was too much work to remain upright.
John awoke the next morning to find a fresh set of clothes laid upon the table with a meal the size of his last three combined. Along with the meal was a pitcher of something he could not place but smelled familiar. He poured some out into the stone cup that he had found next to a small faucet in one of the corners. He put the cup to his lips and took a large mouthful of the liquid; as soon as he tasted the liquid he had another memory.
He was young again, standing this time in front of a small gathering. They were singing and all looking at him with joy lighting up their faces. There was a small box wrapped with some brown paper lying in the middle of a table. The woman and man from the last memory were there and looked extremely proud to be there. The lighting was poor but he could see that the room was small and from the blankets and mats in the corner it was a bedroom as well. He had a cup in his hand and after everyone finished singing he took a large drink from his cup.
Once more back to reality, “lemonade” John whispered the word like it was the most valuable thing in the world. He was slowly regaining a sense of who he was and the kind of person he might have been. He wished he could remember where he was in that memory or what had been in that gift placed on the table.
John drank the entire pitcher before starting on his meal. He ate vigorously, the exercise he did had helped his appetite and even now he still felt the hunger of someone who had not eaten enough in several days. Now he realized that whoever was providing the food had been feeding him the bare minimum to keep him alive until he showed them that he truly wanted to live or not. Now that he had shown them evidence of his desire to live they were going to make him healthy.
John stood up still using the table for support and began walking around the table once again. He lasted longer this time before he had to sit down and he was glad to see such an improvement after such a short time. His body ached but it felt good because he knew that he was building endurance. The right side of his body still hurt unbelievably though.
After a while John stood and let go of the table, he took a chance and walked towards the faucet. Once step, two steps, his breathing was becoming labored and his heart was racing faster as the fear of collapsing started to consume his mind. With the world still spinning he suddenly stopped, no he hadn’t stopped something had stopped him. He had run smack into the wall right next to the faucet.
John used the wall as support and lowered himself to the floor. He maneuvered his body under the faucet and untied his make-shift bandages. After peeling them from the scabs of the cuts on his back he could feel that a few had reopened from the work out. He tossed aside the cloth and turned on the faucet.
Only now did he realize the mistake in not letting his body adjust to the temperature of the water. John couldn’t think; his body just froze as the cold water ran across his abdomen and down his sides pooling beneath him. The water that was pooling began to creep up his back and across the series of cuts making him lose feeling to those wounds.