The first rays of the morning sun streamed over the horizon as the dawn came, bathing the mist on the water in a mild orange hue.
She opened her eyes. The sound of the surrounding water lapping against the side of the boat gradually registered in her consciousness.
“Where am I?”, she wondered.
“In fact, who am I?!”
This journey, this boat — yes, it’s certainly a boat, crossing a lake or is it a river. It wasn’t clear, nothing seemed clear. She turned to look around and saw dozens of others huddled in blankets.
“Well, at least we’re all comfy. But where are we going?”
She looked up and saw a tall figure in the shadows behind her steadily rowing the boat in the pale light of dawn. Cloaked in a dark hood he stared out into the horizon ceaselessly rowing, ever watchful.
How did she know that name? It was a strange feeling, as if she had only just come in to existence with barely a memory of what came before. At the same time, it was evident that she had a past. Little girls don’t simply pop into existence they grow up and go to school and have friends, family, loved ones.
Where was her family? She couldn’t even remember her name. Everyone has a name, surely. The confusion washed over her again like a wave on a rocky shore.
As the mist began to clear with the rising sun her fellow passengers began to stir. As she tried to sit up, she noticed something tied to her wrist: a little velvet pouch of smooth soft purple. Tiny words were embroidered on it.
“For my dearest Aliya, a safe journey to a better world.”
Aliya. That was her name. Was it? She couldn’t be sure, but at that point that was all she had to go with. Who gave her that pouch? What was in it?
She unfastened the strings and took a look inside: there were some golden coins, a couple of red tokens, a red feather, a chunk of honeycomb and a queer looking relic.
“Ah, grandma, always obsessed with these little trinkets”, she mused.
Grandma? Yes, that made sense. Only grandmothers give away embroidered gifts. Where was the rest of her family? She wasn’t alone, but as she turned to look around, everyone else on the boat looked familiar but foreign at the same time.
And as they looked back at her, she could see in their eyes the same bewilderment.
It was as if they all knew that they had a history, but it was a past that they could barely remember.
“We’re almost there now”, the Riverman announced.
As the mist cleared, Aliya looked out across the water and saw hundreds of other boats around her. Ahead of them was a landscape adorned with mountains and green pastures.
“Everyone’s surprisingly calm for a bunch of people who seem to have lost their memories”, thought Aliya to herself.
“Everything will be made clear in time”. The Riverman told to her as though he had read her thoughts.
But as another wave of confusion washed over her Aliya fell into an exhausted sleep and dozed off in the cool morning breeze.