Sunday, September 2, 2007

Forgotten Memories

He’s got a familiar face but I cannot place it from my memory. He smiles at me with love in his eyes but he is a stranger to me.

“Amanda. I have missed you so. Do you remember when we used to walk along the beach, picking seashells washed over by the sea?”

She stares.

“Our son has gotten a job in this advertising firm. He’s new and starting as a clerk but I’m sure he’ll be okay. He’s got ambition, our Davey does, so I’m sure he’ll go far.”

She frowns.

“Do you know that Mrs. Silva was picked up by the police the other day. It turned out that she’s a wanted woman for burning down a house. I knew there was something wrong with her what with her fascination with matches and always putting up a bonfire.”

She nods.

“The flowers in your garden are blooming now and everyone’s commenting on how beautiful they were. There’s yellow and red and pink and white and they make the house look so inviting.”

She struggles to understand what the man was saying. He seems to have that look in him. Like he’s almost at the end of his rope when he’s just about to lose hope in everything.

But the memory refused to flow and instead a white blank wall keeps on showing. She wonders if she’s losing her mind and was fretful because of it.

“I will come back again tomorrow at the same time. Maybe you will remember something then.”

She smiled and started to speak but no words come out of her mouth.

He walked away with a heavy heart, the weight of the world on his shoulder. He does not know how much longer he can keep on doing this, how much longer he can hold on.

As he walks inside the house they shared, her presence was palpable in this place. It is present in the picture frames she lovingly put up around the house ensuring a reminder is there in every corner. She’s there in the lovely books she kept in the library for times when she needed to be alone. He remembers her in the rocking chair she used to occupy on days when the rain keeps them in. It was all there around him, making it more difficult to come home each day.

But he knew he’d be lost without her presence, her memory erased from this place. No matter how much his heart is breaking, he cannot let her mind go to rest.

He finds himself again visiting her at the hospital. He wanted to keep her home so he can take care of her himself. But the doctors do not agree citing that she needed special attention.

There she is, framed by the light, seated near the window. She’s probably looking at the flowers again, the one that’s planted at the side of the hospital.

“Good morning Amanda! Did you have a good night sleep?”

She stares.

“Oh. I have so much news for you today and I’m sure you will enjoy them.”

She nods.

“It is my birthday today Amanda, I’m sure you would have remembered if you can. I baked a cake in the oven and brought them here so we can share it.”

She frowns.

“It is not much and I think I ruined it because it’s now in a haphazard shape. I was trying for a round cake but I think I somehow made it into an oblong.”

She smiled.

“Happy Birthday Paul. Thank you for visiting me. I have missed you so.”

And with those words, the dam of emotion started to crack. Tears started to fall endlessly as he held her in his warm embrace.

“Oh. Amanda. You remembered! Thank you. And I have missed you so much too.”

He hugged her fiercely, afraid to let her go. He’s fearful that she will forget him again. He lives for these moments of being remembered, the times her memory does not fail her.

But after a while she started to struggle and the fear started to creep in his heart once more.

“Let me go! Who are you? I don’t know you!”

“Amanda. It’s okay. It’s me Paul.”

“I don’t know you!”

“It’s okay. Hush now darling, everything’s going to be alright.”

She stared at him like he is a stranger. Each look is like a dagger in his heart. He will suffer all the days of her forgetting for that one moment of remembering.

His face seems familiar but I cannot place it in memory. He keeps on smiling like I'm supposed to know him but he is a stranger to me.


This is my entry to the short story contest at Write Stuff. Try your luck if you want to or read the other great stories written by fellow bloggers. The contest ends at 4pm Central on the 7th of September. The winner will be decided by the votes cast in. So do please have a read at all the entries and vote for the one that you like best.

9 whisper(s):

Rose Dewy Knickers said...

A harsh testament to the awful disease. We take our memories for granted, until they are no longer available.

Rose

xo

paisley said...

my great grandmother,, and her mother before her both died with alzheiers... it is my greatest fear.. that has a lot to do with why i document my past,, and relive it often... i want to keep those memories alive as long as i can...

excellent

Becca said...

You've really captured the heartbreak of this disease from both viewpoints. Well done.

Ther said...

rose -> true. we always think they will always be there and usually it's too late before we learn otherwise.

paisley -> that's sad that you have that burden and fear. and you're right. the best way to fight it is to leave your mark.

becca -> thanks. i was aiming for that. =)

Manictastic said...

Lovely tale about a very real disease.

Write Stuff said...

Hi ther!

I counted 779 words in your story. Good work! Good luck in the contest and thanks for entering!

Karen

suryadithya said...

A moving story. I've seen people with alzheimers. What are we without our memories?

Mardougrrl said...

Sad story, very well told-I enjoyed the hopelessness of the repetitive motions.

judie said...

This was good. I read all the entries, and the only two that held my interest from start to finish without any skipping and speed reading was yours and Lyn Perry's. Although the others were very good, I voted for you and Lyn. Good Luck :)