Welcome to The Cover Contessa's stop on the Burying Water blog tour!
Left for dead in the fields of rural Oregon, a young woman defies all odds and survives—but she awakens with no idea who she is, or what happened to her. Refusing to answer to “Jane Doe” for another day, the woman renames herself “Water” for the tiny, hidden marking on her body—the only clue to her past. Taken in by old Ginny Fitzgerald, a crotchety but kind lady living on a nearby horse farm, Water slowly begins building a new life. But as she attempts to piece together the fleeting slivers of her memory, more questions emerge: Who is the next-door neighbor, quietly toiling under the hood of his Barracuda? Why won’t Ginny let him step foot on her property? And why does Water feel she recognizes him?
Twenty-four-year-old Jesse Welles doesn’t know how long it will be before Water gets her memory back. For her sake, Jesse hopes the answer is never. He knows that she’ll stay so much safer—and happier—that way. And that’s why, as hard as it is, he needs to keep his distance. Because getting too close could flood her with realities better left buried.
The trouble is, water always seems to find its way to the surface.
I close my eyes as a tear slips out from the corner of one eye, the salt from it burning my sensitive skin. Why did this happen to me? Who could have done such a thing?
Raped . . . STDs . . . “What about . . . I mean, could I be pregnant?” The question slips out unbidden.
True to her promise, Dr. Alwood quickly readjusts my gown and covers. Peeling off her gloves, she tosses them in the trash bin and then takes a seat on the edge of my bed. “We can certainly rule that out from the rape.” She pauses. “Because you were already pregnant when you were brought in.”
The air sails from my lungs as she delivers yet another harsh punch of news. My gaze drifts to my flat abdomen. I have a baby in there?
“You were about ten weeks along.”
Were. Past tense.
“Do you not recall any of this?” Dr. Alwood’s brows draw together as she watches me closely.
A soft “no” slips out and I can’t help but feel that she doesn’t believe me.
“Well, given your extensive injuries, it is not at all surprising that you miscarried. You’re lucky to be alive, as it is.” She hesitates before she adds, “I don’t think that whoever did this to you intended for you to survive.”
A strange cold sweeps through my limbs as I take in the ruined body lying on this bed before me. I’ve been lucid for all of five minutes—the long hand on the clock ahead tells me that—and in that short time, this doctor has informed me that I was beaten, raped, . . . and left for dead.
And I lost a baby I don’t ever remember carrying, or making.
I don’t know who the father was.
I don’t even know who I am.
“I’m going to send you for another CT scan and MRI.” I feel the weight of her gaze on me. “Are you sure there isn’t someone or something that you remember? A husband? Or a boyfriend? Or a sibling? A parent? Maybe a city where you grew up? The hospital would like to find your family for you.”
Her barrage of questions only makes my heart rate spike and the annoying EKG ramp up again. I can’t answer a single one of them. Is anyone missing me right now? Are they searching for me? Am I from Bend, Oregon or do I live somewhere else?
Dr. Alwood sits quietly, waiting, as I focus on a small yellow splotch on the ceiling. That’s water damage. How can I recognize that and not my own name?
“Even a tiny detail?” she presses, the urgency in her voice soft and pleading.
“No.” There’s nothing.
I remember nothing at all.
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