Mental Suicide – A short story by Arnold Peters

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Mental Suicide - Table of Contents

listlessness and was a normal young man except for the fact that he had no past and was able to resist Diana. The first time I ever knew that Mac had a name was when I saw the sign he had finished for the gate. It read–“Rest Haven” proprietors Cunningham and Murdock. I realized then just how little I knew about Mac.”

The events that followed proved how he had taken us all in with his disregard for Diana. He had fallen in love with her the first time he had seen her. As he confided to me one evening, he never remembered having a girlfriend before. It was not long after that Rest Haven was the scene of a quiet wedding. Mac had told Diana about his having lost his memory and was told in return that she had intended to marry him even if he was an escaped convict.

“You see,” indicating the dining room with a wave of his arm, “that is Mac, Diana and their two children. It is easy to see how contented they are. The resort has proved a happy home for us all. It all belongs to Mac now; Mr. Cunningham gave it to the young couple on their second wedding anniversary. I live here and continue to be of assistance when I can. I still have my own cottage and am pleased to say, I have helped to make Mr. Murdoch the happiest man in Grey Rock today.”

The old man looked up at me very seriously and said, “You also look as though you have found a certain relaxation here at Rest Haven.” I turned, from watching the couple as they disappeared into the old fashioned cottage leaving the two children to play on the green grass outside, and then I replied “I may never return to your lodge but I will always remember it. When life seems disagreeable to me I will think of all that you have said and I am certain that I will be able to find contentment.”

I left immediately; for there was nothing that I could do. I could not seek out Johnny or Mac as he was now known, for he did not remember me. Nothing could be accomplished by my informing his wife that I had known her husband before he lost his memory. Still I had accomplished more on this vacation that I had expected to. I had thought that I was right, now I knew that I was. Johnny had not wasted his life.

Fate had again in its own way taken care of the troubled ones. Amnesia had been produced by Johnny’s own troubled emotions. Life for him had been unbearable without June so he had quite unintentionally committed mental suicide. As far as Johnny Wilson was concerned, he was dead. His life was over when he left our town only to be reborn through the kindness of an old caretaker and a girl. He had been