Missing Person

"You're not who you think you are," the detective said. His warm eyes and lush eyebrows made him seem more friend than stranger.

Maggie rolled her eyes. "I do know who I am. I'm Maggie." She paused for a moment. "Are you saying I was kidnapped? That there's some period of my life I can't remember?"

"I wouldn't put it quite that way, but you're not that far off," came the reply.

Friendly or not, this guy is full of it, Maggie thought to herself as she traced a circle on the floor with her toe. He says just enough to keep me listening but he's vague enough to be useless. I knew shouldn't have hired him.

When she had stepped into the detective's office twenty minutes ago, she had been hopeful that he would be the right person to help her. She'd tried everything else already: talking to her closest friend, reading a ton of self-help books, confiding in her guidance counselor at school, and, at the urging of her parents, even seeing a psychiatrist. But three years and four prescription meds later... nada. Nobody seemed to understand what she was trying to say.

Hiring a missing-persons detective was admittedly a stretch--a really really long stretch--but Maggie figured that it just may take a wild idea to solve an unusual problem: she couldn't figure out why she felt like her personality was episodically disappearing during the day… The only other options left were to either do nothing or join her friends on the weekend and drink to oblivion. Not such a bad idea considering how this is going, she thought.

Maggie waited for the detective to elaborate on his reply. He had been vague so it was his responsibility to clarify. Besides, she didn't want to appear too eager. It's not like I'm completely confused or anything, she reassured herself. So what if he doesn't figure it out? A wisp of annoyance arose in her.

The detective said nothing and shifted in his old wooden chair, eliciting a creak that resounded through the large room. The air was thick and warm and hung over them like a drape.

"What do you mean I'm not who I think I am?" she finally asked…

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Anoop Kumar, MD, MM is the author of Michelangelo's Medicine: How redefining the human body will transform health and healthcare. He is the creator of Meditation Starter Kit and a course on The Three Bodies. He is a practicing emergency physician in the Washington, DC metro area.