I have forgotten my past life. I have forgotten who I am. The people of the island call me “Dahnay“, which means “safe” and “well”, a tribute to the miracle of my living. These days, I am no longer a novelty. But every year, ever since I can remember, thanks and gratitude are given to an unnamed entity for bringing me to this island. But handing to me the second chance to live a life. But I don’t remember how to live.
My guardian is a woman named V. I have been told that I have lived with her ever since my arrival. I don’t remember my arrival here, of course.
The natives foretell the arrival of good fortune to bless this island. I was believed to be this bearer of good tidings. But I have not achieved significance. They began to think, after the first year, after the crops continued going bad, and the little children continued dying from unknown illnesses, that they must’ve made a mistake- and surely, good fortune would arrive sooner or later. It has been ten years since the sand of this island and I had committed ourselves to each other. I see no good fortune. The natives have dejectedly accepted that no good fortune is forthcoming.
She had been ravaged when she first arrived, I hear some of the natives still say when I walk pass their sad, hunched wooden houses.
Yes, she did not look human.
Her insides were a mess.
Nobody knows where she came from.
I have heard this all a thousand times. I wish to tell them all to shut up. It angers me. It scares me to know that I have survived. I do not know if I am complete as a human being. I do not know the magnitude of my survival. I do not know what providence has in mind for me, and why I had not perushed. I do not know what almost caused my destruction.
But I do know that I have been given an opportunity. To re-live life.
For the first few months after I arrived, I did not know what I looked like. On this small island in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by vast open waters, then snow-capped mountains and endless bleak brown valleys, the native community is small. I counted once the number of inhabitants here: there are a hundred sixty two in total. I did not count myself. I am unable to. I don’t know where I belong, and whether there is another world beyond this which is missing me.
There is a beautiful forest in this island. I have ventured there. It calls me in my sleep, whispers my name past the wind, draws me to its craggy edges. I have ventured there.