Tim woke at the hospital with no idea where he came from or what he did, so he went to the local homeless shelter to regroup. He lived as a beggar for two years until an unexpected car appeared at an auto repair shop where he worked.
Getting amnesia is something that most people think only happens in movies. But it occurred to me, and I still don’t know who I am or where I’m from, Tim thought, pushing his grocery cart where he kept his meager belongings.
Two years ago, he woke up in a hospital with a strange head wound and no memory of his life. Doctors told him to be patient, and his memories would return. However, he had come into the clinic with no wallet, money, or way to identify him. Therefore, Tim had to start his life from scratch. He picked a name and tried to get back on his feet.
His only option was the local homeless shelter, and the staff did their best to help him. The local police didn’t find anyone looking for a missing person that fit his description, so that was a dead end. There wasn’t much anyone could do for Tim. There was a sadness in his heart that wouldn’t disappear, although he had no recollection of anything. Somehow, he knew something odd or heartbreaking had happened. Maybe, that was why he lost his memory.
Suddenly, a flash of memory passed through his mind: an old man’s face, smiling.
Soon, he had to leave the shelter since people were only allowed to live there temporarily, but Tim didn’t have his life together. He became a homeless beggar, wandering the streets and depending on the kindness of strangers for some cash or food.
At some point, he stole a supermarket cart and started rolling his belongings in it. He didn’t have much, but they were his. Some people offered him small, one-time gigs, but since he had no information about himself or a home, they couldn’t hire him fully.
Over the next two years, Tim moved through five cities, although he never forgot where he woke up to the amnesia. There was something beautiful about it. It was a small town near the ocean called Cape Elizabeth in Maine. He often saw by his peer and enjoyed the lulling sounds of the waves.
However, he had moved on to try to survive. Eventually, he reached Pennsylvania, and a kind man at a mechanic shop offered him a job and a place to stay. At first, he only cleaned up grease and helped the other repairers.
But they soon discovered Tim’s impressive knowledge of cars – something even he was surprised to learn. So, he started working on changing tires, cleaning windows, polishing, services, and more. They later let him diagnose issues under supervision and marveled at his accuracy.
Soon, Tim had steady clients who requested him, and it seemed like his life was on the upswing. By now, he had lost all hope that he might remember who he was. However, his new life wasn’t half bad. The shop owner, Mr. Caruso, who gave him the job, was a decent man. He often bought him a beer at the end of the shift.
He made friends with two mechanics, Bob and Austin, who always made him laugh. They were much younger than him. Tim wasn’t sure about his age, but he had to be around 40. Bob and Austin were in their 20s, but they were still cool men to talk to, and Tim was comfortable around them.
He opened up to them about his life for the past two years. It was all he knew, and although Tim had somewhat accepted his fate as a person who had lost all his memories, the younger men wanted to help him.
“I think we should get you checked out with the doctor. Look, I know it’ll be expensive, but we can save for a few months and get an appointment,” Bob suggested, making Austin nod.
“Yeah, we can do that. I mean, an appointment can’t cost that much even if it’s a neuro—ugh—brain doctor or whatever,” Austin added. “We’ll see what he says and go from there for tests or surgery or whatever.”
“Look, guys. I appreciate the gesture. But I’m fine really. I’m beginning to think that I might’ve forgotten my old life because I was meant to,” Tim shook his head and was distracted by a new client who just arrived.
His buddies checked on him later, asking if he was sure, and Tim repeated the same thing. His life had started weird and confusing, but he was proud of his current situation. He was no longer begging on the streets and had a decent living place.
Yes, he could try to save money to see a doctor and check that everything was alright. However, his priority was raising enough money for a deposit on an actual apartment and continuing to work. He had a massive passion for cars, and perhaps he had been a mechanic back then. Either way, the universe brought him where he was supposed to be. He was sure of that.
A few months after that conversation, an older man arrived at the garage with a vintage car, which had an immaculate exterior. Tim didn’t talk to the client directly, though. He seemed to be friends with Mr. Caruso, and they went to his office, leaving him to service it. Gladly, he thought and started checking everything.
The vehicle seemed fine, but something inside the engine made Tim frown. It was a band-aid – old and worn with age. Usually, he would take it off and move on, but something about it was odd.
“So, you got into a drunk-driving accident?” Austin guessed.
Suddenly, a flash of memory passed through his mind: an old man’s face, smiling. He was taller than Tim, or maybe, Tim had been a child back then. But most of all, he remembered a meaningful conversation.
“What’s going on, Grandpa?” he asked in a high-pitched tone.
“Ahh, kid. I don’t know. I don’t think we can fix this ourselves,” the old man answered.
“Why? What’s wrong? You said every man should know how to fix their cars, and you know everything,” little Tim continued.
“Do you remember that your mom healed you when you had a cold? But you had to go to the doctor for your leg later?” the older man questioned, and Tim nodded. “Well, it’s like that. We can fix simple things, but this car is sick. He needs a car doctor.”
“I have an idea,” little Tim said and rushed to his room.
The memory flashed through little Tim’s childhood home, evoking even more familiar things. However, the boy returned and placed a bandaid where his grandfather had been touching it.
“When I broke my leg, my mom put a bandaid and took me to the hospital. We can go now, Grandpa.”
The older man laughed heartily and nodded at the boy. “Let’s go then… Alex.”
“Alex… that’s my name,” Tim said, standing straight and looking at nothing. But his expression was shocked. All his memories rushed back even faster now. His whole life had returned to his brain as if someone had restored all the deleted files from a computer. It was all there. His name. His family. His friends… and most of all, the realization that he shouldn’t have been on the streets, begging, or even living on a minimum wage.
Tim… or Alex, was a business owner and was worth millions.
“Mr. White?” a voice distracted him from his reverie, and suddenly, he realized that the older man who brought the car was Jerry. His driver from several years ago when he first became successful.
“Jerry?” he breathed, shocked.
“Mr. White, what are you doing here? You’re fixing cars? Why? What happened?” Jerry questioned, concerned.
“You know Tim?” Mr. Caruso asked, frowning.
“Tim? Nate, that’s Mr. White, my old boss,” Jerry said, pointing at Alex.
“What? Boss?” Mr. Caruso didn’t understand. Bob and Austin approached after hearing the confusing exchange. Everyone looked at their friend for an explanation, and Alex sighed deeply.
“It’s back. My memory is back,” Alex announced. “This car did it.”
“Jerry’s car?” Mr. Caruso questioned.
“Yes. Jerry was my driver several years ago… in New York. When he retired, I gave him my grandfather’s old car as a thank you,” Alex explained. “I didn’t know my grandfather never took the band-aid off.”
Everyone was still confused, so Alex had to go back to the beginning. He explained the first memory that flashed and how he recalled everything thanks to the band-aid. Furthermore, he revealed his real identity. He also had to tell Jerry everything that happened in the last two years.
Jerry couldn’t contain his shock. “Mr. White, that’s insane. Why didn’t anyone look for you? Is Cindy still working for you? I’m calling her right now,” his retired driver said, grabbing his phone.
Cindy was just as surprised as anyone. She and other executives had tried to find Alex, but they thought he had voluntarily disappeared for a while.
“Cindy said that he found an entry on your computer where you talk about leaving everything behind and going to your grandmother’s hometown,” Jerry explained. “Apparently, they held down the fort with your company until you returned. She says she always made sure to deposit your profits. They can’t wait to have you back.”
“That’s nice,” Alex nodded, sitting down. Mr. Caruso had pulled some chairs, and all work at the shop had stopped while they figured out some things. But suddenly, Bob spoke up.
“Wait, if you remember everything now, can you remember what happened? Why did you get amnesia? Was it an accident?” he asked, and all eyes turned to him.
“I remember… and that’s something I wish I had forgotten for good,” Alex said, making everyone even more curious. “I did write in my computer journal that I wanted to get away and get where I grew up. Living in the city is tiring, and I missed Maine and the cold ocean.”
“That’s where you grew up,” Jerry nodded.
“Yeah. My grandparents raised me in a modest home and environment. Grandpa taught me to repair cars and fish while grandmother cared for both of us,” he continued his story. “She was comfort, and I wanted that back. Money isn’t everything. At some point, you feel lost.”
“OK, but what happened?” Bob urged, and they all laughed.
“I met up with some old friends. Both my grandparents are gone, and I sold their house, not realizing I would miss it. But several of my old friends were still in town. We had a great time, and they loved hearing about my success. Not many people leave that town ever, so I was a novelty. It made me feel a little proud,” Alex began. “We drank. We cheered. It was a crazy night.”
“So, you got into a drunk-driving accident?” Austin guessed.
They called the police, who finally had a date and names to search for in this old, strange case.
“No, nothing like that. My friends – if you can call them that – and I were walking down a road. Suddenly, they started talking about how it wasn’t fair that I was successful if they weren’t, how they couldn’t believe it. The last thing I remember after that – before waking up in the hospital, I mean – was a huge pain on the back of my skull,” Alex revealed.
“NO!” Bob and Austin said in unison.
“Yeah. Since I woke up without my wallet or my Rolex, I’m pretty sure they stole them and left me. Maybe, they even thought I was dead,” Alex said, his eyes downcast.
“That’s horrible,” Jerry said, his hand covering his mouth in distress.
“People are awful. Jealousy clouds everything,” Mr. Caruso added, shaking his head.
“Yeah,” Alex muttered. “You know, I feel like my mind knew what had happened. Because I walked around with such sadness after waking up from the hospital. It didn’t feel like it was sadness from losing my memories, though. It was more. It was this memory. I think the amnesia helped me heal from it.”
“Do you know their names? We have to call the police,” Jerry said, and everyone agreed.
“Yeah. We’re calling the police,” Alex nodded.
“I can take you back to the city and help you with everything, Mr. White,” his retired driver continued, and Alex was touched.
“I remember telling you this before. Please, call me Alex, Jerry,” Alex said, chuckling and patting the man’s shoulder in gratitude. “Also, thank you. Thank you for keeping this car in shape. Thank you for… finding me even if you didn’t know.”
“No, Alex,” Jerry pursed his lips. “When I retired, you gave me this car and a whole retirement package that helped my wife and me immensely. Plus, your generosity while I worked for you was a godsend. God repays those who do good to others.”
Alex couldn’t say anything else. He went into his tiny room in the back, picked up his things, and said goodbye to Bob, Austin, and Mr. Caruso, thanking them for everything. He promised to return soon; then, he left with Jerry.
They called the police, who finally had a date and names to search for in this old, strange case. Luckily, his old “friends” didn’t put up a fight and admitted to everything, hoping that pleading guilty would bring them leniency. Honestly, Alex didn’t care about them at all. They needed to be punished, but he had already put them out of his mind.
Cindy put him up to speed, and he was surprised that all his executives seemed happy he had returned. Alex assimilated into his life as if no time had passed, but he was different. He was not feeling depressed or lost anymore. His company expanded, and he even invested in Mr. Caruso’s auto shop.
Bob and Austin were trained for better things and eventually got more important roles. Alex visited them often and even tinkered with cars every once in a while.
He never regretted his time with amnesia. It had happened for a reason.
What can we learn from this story?
Some things happen for a reason. Alex had amnesia and lived as a beggar, unaware of his millions. However, he knew he needed to live through that because it taught him so much about life, friendship, and himself.
God repays the people who do good things. As Jerry said, God wanted Alex to finally regain his memories because he had been a generous person.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.