When Mac and Kate had started courting, they had made a mutual decision to look toward the future and not the past. They couldn’t figure out a way to jump start his memory and so they chose to ignore everything that came before the two of them meeting. Deep down, Kate may have harbored some idealized notion of whom he might have been, but they never hypothesized or joked about his prior life. Maybe they were both a little scared of what they might find if they delved too deep. Upon his discharge from the hospital, Mac had serendipitously taken the name Angus MacIntosh. The names had been written on two different tags on the lost and found clothes that the nurses had gifted to him.
But now Mac was forced to examine his prior life when he had deliberately avoided going there for years. There was definitely a big blank in his memory in between leaving the train and waking up in the hospital. Had something traumatic happened to him? He didn’t have any head injuries or anything when he showed up at the hospital. Or maybe his mind had decided to totally disassociate itself from his prior self. Mac realized now that he had spent enough time in war to know about shellshock. And why did his mind have to decide to suddenly remember everything today? When he finally had a solid job and was taking care of Kate and baby Angus?
No, there was no way he was going to reveal his old identity to Kate. He had managed as Angus this long. Just because he remembered who he was didn’t mean he had to come out of hiding.
“Thanks for dinner, Honey. I think I’m going to head to bed. I’ve got another big day ahead of me tomorrow.” Mac kissed his wife and son on his way upstairs, hoping that today’s visions of Lester’s life wouldn’t invade his dreams.
For weeks, Mac was able to maintain his composure on base. His personality led him to be easily accepted and even the reticent Mitch was really warming up. The work wasn’t too hard; Mac realized he had a knack for fixing things. He still wasn’t sure where he had earned all his knowledge. There were some holes in Lester’s memories. Every day on base though, brought back more and more disturbing memories of the war. Mac tried to shut them out and just do his routine. He was having an internal struggle though over feeling satisfied with where his current life as Mac was headed and the guilt of knowing he was also Lester Van Tassell who had deserted.
Mac had just finished some routine maintenance on an air conditioning unit in one of the hangars and was headed to his next job when he looked up and his heart nearly stopped. Coming toward him in uniform was Clifton Davis, one of his former comrades. Mac dipped his head and pulled his cap in a deep peak over his forehead. His mind raced. He remembered that Davis had been injured. He’d been sent home before the unit was called up to the Philippines. Would Davis know he had deserted? As the two men passed, Mac could see Davis do a double take at his face, but continued on. Mac thought he was in the clear and let out the breath he had been holding.
“Lester, hey Les!” Davis had turned and was making a beeline for Mac. Mac could feel his heart start to race. He wanted to make a run for it, but forced himself to keep walking. “Van Tassel? Les? Remember me?” The man had caught up to Mac and placed a hand on his shoulder. “Sorry, it took me a few seconds to place you.” Mac kept walking as Davis trotted alongside. Davis looked Mac square in the face. Davis’s face held a huge grin. Mac let his eyes slide off Davis’s face, hoping there was no recognition in his own eyes.
Mac shrugged him off. “Sorry, must be a look alike, Buddy. Don’t know any Tassells.” He never even broke step. Davis stopped as Mac hurried on. He chose not to turn around to see what he knew would be Davis’s bewildered face. Mac changed trajectory and headed to the break room where he mercifully found himself alone. He put his back against the wall and slid down to the floor, his grimy hands wiping the sweat off his forehead. What now?
Check back tomorrow to see if Mac's past is going to catch up with him!