At that instant, you felt like everything had frozen in place. You were no longer able to hear the beeping of the monitor as it kept track of America's heart rate. You weren't able to hear the gasps of shock that came from Canada and England. All you paid attention to was America. You kept your gaze fixed on him even though he was drifting his gaze off to one side and looking out the window, totally unaware of the mess he was put into. You felt your throat tighten so much that it was hard for you to even breathe, and you felt tears quickly form in your eyes.
"Um...excuse me," you said softly as you turned around to face the nurse, trying hard to prevent your voice from cracking. "Can you please tell me where the nearest bathroom is?"
"Oh," she said, slightly oblivious to your sudden depressing state. "It's a few rooms to the left of this one. You will see it when you come near it."
You nodded. "Thank you," you whispered before you hastily ran out of the room, turned on your heel, and dashed down the hall until you were finally able to spot the bathroom. You quickly pushed open the door, your vision blurred by tears, not even bothering to wince as it slammed fiercely against the wall, before you quickly ran inside the nearest stall and closed the door harshly behind you.
You pressed yourself against the wall of the stall before you buried your face in your hands and started to cry, not even caring about whether anyone else was in the bathroom and they were hearing you as you started wailing loudly. You have been holding in these tears for a week, and by this point, your body had been practically aching to let them out.
The only thought that you were able to keep in your head was that everything was your fault. America didn't remember anything, and he most likely never will. He will never remember how you always used to comfort him when he was upset, he will never remember how you always came to him whenever you were in a bad situation and he was always there to help you. He will never remember the fact that he represents a country. He will never remember his interactions with any of the other nations or his childhood, back when he still used to be under England's care. Most of all, you never would've gotten the chance to admit your feelings to him. The relationship that you once had with him had dissolved and you were going to have to start over from the very beginning. Somehow, you thought that this new relationship you were going to be establishing with him wouldn't be as hopeful and comforting as the last one was. Somehow, you felt that it would've been a bit similar for everybody else.
As you continued to cry, you realized that you were going to be interacting with a totally different person than before. Since all of America's memory was totally wiped out, so was his personality. You would probably never hear him say "I'm the hero!" ever again, and that thought, as well as many other thoughts about the traits of his personality you were never going to see again, pained you.
This is all my fault! you thought despairingly. I should've never yelled at him! I should've never kicked him out of my house and forced him to drive home when the weather was so bad! You kept on regretting everything that happened over and over in your head, wishing more than anything that you would've been given the ability to go back in time. But there was no going back.
America's memory was gone, and you were just going to have to deal with it.
After what seemed like forever, you finally managed to calm yourself. With a shaky hand, you grasped the stall door and opened it before you stepped out, not even bothering to wipe any stray tears away from your face. You opened the door to the bathroom and stepped out into the hall before you started walking back to America's room.
There's no point in crying anymore, you thought to yourself. Crying won't help bring America's memory back.
You took a deep breath and closed your eyes before you opened them again and hesitantly stepped inside America's room, where you found Canada sobbing quietly into his hands and England gazing out the window with a pained expression on his face. When your gaze fixed on America, you found that he had fallen asleep once again.
"C-Canada...." you murmured as you walked up to Canada and gently rested a hand on his shoulder, causing him to stop crying and lift his face from his hands before he shifted his gaze so that it was able to meet yours. You felt your throat tighten once again when you saw how much sadness was visible across his face.
"My brother..." he whispered softly before he buried his face in your shirt. "I lost...m-my brother...." He resumed sobbing once again, and you let out an exhausted sigh as you closed your eyes and comfortingly began to massage his back.
"I-It's okay, Canada..." you said softly, your voice cracking. "It's okay..."
But you knew that it was not okay. How could it possibly be okay when one of the most important people in your life was gone forever? You would never retrieve him again. The only memory you had left of him was his face, and even that seemed to be different than it was before. It was no longer as energetic and enthusiastic as it once was. Rather, it seemed more distant, more confused, more serious. A part of you hated to see it. You wished that it would've gone back to the way it was before. Before the car accident.
You felt tears once again make their way down your face as Canada continued crying into your shirt. Although you told yourself that you weren't going to cry any more, you found it hard to fight back the tears that were always threatening to come out of your eyes.
"What are we going to do now?" you shakily asked England as you lifted your head so that you were able to look at him.
He sighed before he slowly drew his gaze away from the window and walked over to America until he was standing right next to his bed. "I don't know, _____," he said so quietly that you were barely able to hear him. "There's nothing more we can do for him to try and make him remember what happened before the accident. We'll just have to try to establish a new relationship with him..."
You felt your throat tighten once again when you saw England reach forward and gently begin stroking America's hair. Of course, since all of his memory was gone, he no longer remembered how England used to care for him as a child. He no longer remembered the most important events of his past. He didn't remember anything.
You sighed as you continued to gently massage Canada's back as he kept on sobbing quietly. You could feel the wetness of your shirt becoming even more soaked under his tears, but you didn't care. All you cared about at that moment was how your life was going to be different now that America's memory was gone.
Although you hadn't wanted it, you ended up crying yourself to sleep that night. You suddenly found yourself too overwhelmed with depressing emotions to even do anything anymore. You felt yourself start to deteriorate more and more until you figured that your downfall was even worse than it was during your depression. Although you tried to convince yourself that crying wasn't going to change anything, your body refused to listen to you and the tears kept on coming out.
The only time when you didn't cry was when you visited America, who was still in the hospital. Although you found it very hard to be around him without releasing your emotions, you didn't want him to become even more confused if you became so depressed in front of him for no particular reason.
Two days after you found out that America lost his memory, you were given permission to visit him in the hospital without anybody else there. It was going to be just you and him, in his room. Alone.
When you slowly opened the door to his room and peeked inside, you found him eating a bowl of mashed potatoes, provided to him by the hospital.
"Um...Alfred?" you asked a bit uncertainly as you kept your gaze fixed on him, trying hard not to let too much emotion show in your voice.
At the sound of your voice, America lifted his head and turned it towards the door so that he was able to look at you. Once he looked up and his gaze locked with yours, you felt your heart rate increase. "Yeah? I—oh," his gaze clouded with apology and a bit of confusion as he let out a tiny smile. "Sorry, I thought you were the nurse."
"I-It's fine..." you murmured as you stepped inside and hesitantly closed the door behind you. It was a bit stuffy in the room unlike the hallway, and you thought about opening a window but declined when you found that your feet were already set on stopping when you reached the front of America's bed.
As soon as you paused, your gaze met his once again, and you felt your chest tighten when you saw his eyes move up and down as he carefully studied you. Finally, he lifted it so that it was able to meet yours once again, and his smile widened by just the slightest amount. "Hey, you're the girl from before...right?"
"Right," you said with a bit of an exhausted sigh as you sat down on the very edge of America's bed and put your hands on your lap. "I-I didn't think you'd remember, with all that you've been through this past week."
America looked down at the sheets and chuckled. "I don't really see that many people, so it's not hard to remember you." A few seconds passed in silence until he lifted his gaze and frowned. "Wait...what's your name again?"
"I-It's _____," you said a bit unevenly as you forced yourself not to take your eyes away from America, trying hard not to make your voice shake or break in any way.
"Oh, okay..." America said softly as he drifted his gaze off to the window and began staring outside.
You sighed as you lowered your gaze down to your hands and began to fiddle with them, a sudden awkwardness spreading through your body. Before, it was so easy for you to have a conversation with America, and you felt that you could've freely talked to him about anything and he wouldn't have seemed to mind at all. Now, it felt like you were talking to a totally different person, which in a way, you were.
A few minutes passed in silence, you still fiddling with your hands and America still staring out the window, until he finally shifted his gaze so that it was able to settle on you. "So, um, _____," he began a bit hesitantly. "Why did you come to visit me?"
Your eyes slightly widened at the sound of his voice and you instantly lifted your head and moved your gaze to the side. Once it locked with America's, a tiny, involuntary blush made its way to your face and you cleared your throat before you began. "W-Well, I just wanted to properly introduce myself to you...and...and to talk to you more about your memory."
America groaned before he crossed his arms and drifted his gaze off to one side. "I don't want to talk about my memory," he muttered. "For some reason you and those two other people who were with you before and all the doctors and nurses think that I've lost my memory, but I don't know how you can say that when I don't even know any of you. Besides, I don't feel like I've lost my memory anyway."
"Alfred," you said a bit forcefully. "There's a reason why you don't know who any of us are. It's because—"
"It's because I've never seen any of you before!" America interrupted as he shifted his gaze down to the sheets, a pout coming across his face.
"No, Alfred," you said through slightly gritted teeth. "And it's not nice to interrupt me while I'm speaking." You figured that now America's memory was gone, this might've been the opportunity to teach him some new, better manners as well.
"Oh, sorry," he muttered before he lifted his gaze to meet yours. "Go on."
"The reason you don't know who any of us are is because your memory from before got wiped out," you said, the slightly annoyed tone in your voice replacing with a bit of sadness. "You used to know who all of us were, but you got into a bad accident that caused your memory to disappear, and this is why you're in the hospital right now."
A few moments passed in silence as your gaze continued to burn into America's, and he frowned. "What kind of accident?"
"A...A car accident," you said quietly, trying hard to get rid of the lump in your throat and prevent your voice from cracking. "A little over a week ago you were driving home in the rain when the visibility was bad, and your car probably crashed into something or someone crashed into yours. The result was you getting sent to the hospital unconscious with a severe head trauma. When you woke up, the trauma was so bad that you couldn't remember anything from your life before the crash."
A few long minutes passed in silence, and the look on America's face became more serious with each passing second. He studied you carefully and he seemed to be absorbed with thought and concentration, and for a second, you felt hope rise inside you when you realized that what you just told him might've made him remember his past.
But after a few seconds, America sighed before he closed his eyes and shook his head. "Sorry, _____, but I don't believe you. Besides, if I got into such a bad accident, why aren't I hurting and why don't I have any visible wounds?"
"Th-The only serious wound you received was a head trauma," you said unevenly, what little hope you had disappearing. "All the other injuries were minor and they were probably able to disappear during the week you were unconscious."
"Look, no matter what you say, I won't believe you," America said with a bit of annoyance. "All these stories you're telling me won't be able to convince me that there was one point in my life that I actually knew who you were."
You stared at him with slightly wide eyes, and he continued. "Right now, all you are to me is just a stranger who's trying to let me become familiar with you, nothing more."
At that instant, you winced as you were practically able to feel your heart break. America had just called you a stranger, after all that you've been through with him. After all the moments you've spent with him, all that the two of you had done for each other, how well the two of you used to get along, how much you two trusted each other, now all you were to him was a stranger? After all that happened between the both of you, how could those memories possibly have disappeared from America's brain forever?
You were able to feel tears form on the edges of your eyes and your face burn with disgrace. "O-Oh..." you murmured, feeling your voice start to rise through the lump in your throat. "Well...I-I'm sorry if you think of me that way....I understand if you don't believe me, a-and it's fine..."
America nodded, and after he examined you for the next few seconds, he frowned, and you were able to notice a bit of concern in his eyes. "_____, are you okay?" he asked with a bit of confusion. "You look like you're about to cry..."
"I'm fine!" you yelled suddenly as you stood up and glared down at him with sudden anger. He looked at you with wide, shocked eyes, but you didn't pay attention to it before you stomped out of the room and slammed the door fiercely behind you, causing America to practically jump in surprise.
You groaned as you walked over to the opposite wall and pressed your back against it before you slid down onto the floor, hugging your knees to your chest and burying your face in your arms.
I'm not going to cry, I'm not going to cry...you repeated to yourself. But that didn't stop the tears from slowly flowing down your face until you finally had to release the lump in your throat.
"America..." you murmured through sobs. "I miss you..."