“Do you remember me?” I asked and stared into his eyes. His beautiful, double-lidded, hazel eyes.
He shook his head with an expression of both confusion and recognition. It was just after lunch. I couldn’t help but notice how his dark brown hair became an amber halo in the afternoon sun.
“Why do you keep asking me?” He frowned, his eyebrows arching in a questioning stare.
It was day fifty-one.
To him, I was probably this weird person whom he saw everyday, asking if he had any imaginary memories of me. If he did have memories of me, it was probably of me popping around randomly like a lost bunny.
He liked bunnies. He also liked draping his arm around my shoulder and I liked it when he did because it felt like home. I love you so much, he would say, his lips brushing against mine. He loved steak, sausage dogs and shadow boxing too.
Everything seemed surreal the night I received the call.
“There was a trauma to his head,” said the Doctor after the surgery. He had this clipboard in his arms and he was cloaked in white, like a messenger from God. “It’s fortunate that he’s alive. Give him some time.”
Give him some time. The words echoed endlessly in my head and I took in his blank, curious eyes. Part of me wanted to give up, yet part of me screamed for him to remember. It was weird, almost as if I had this split personality inside of me. Sometimes, there was this rage, this unstoppable anger that was like a wildfire. Then there was the deep pool of sadness.
I stood, plastered a smile on my face and waved goodbye.
“See ya tomorrow.” He said, his large hand waving goodbye.
The familiar phrase rang in my ears like a fire alarm; I couldn’t get any sleep that night.
It was day fifty-three. Like always, I went to the hospital for the daily visit. I caught him looking out of the mirror, his eyes moving from side to side as he watched cars drive past. He was so much like his old self that I almost ran into his arms. Almost.
“Hi.” I strode into the room and placed a subway bacon sandwich by his bedside.
“Is that for me?”
“Yup, thought you might like it more compared to the bland hospital meals.”
“That’s for sure.” He flashed his trademark lopsided grin and I stared at him, wide-eyed. It was the first time I had seen his old grin, the first in fifty-three days.
“Do… do you,” I paused and gulped hard. “Do you remember me?” A tiny speck of hope fluttered in my chest and my heart hammered against my ribcage.
My heart sank. What was I expecting? Of course he wouldn’t like all the other days. If he did, he wouldn’t be looking at me like that with those sad hazel eyes.
On day fifty-four, I broke my old traditional routine. Instead of visiting that stark white building that placed the old houses beside it to shame, I switched shifts with my co-worker. It was her anniversary. She beamed with happiness that shone through the dark clouds in my mind.
It was day sixty. It’s been six days since I last visited him. I wonder how he’s doing in that place that smells of medicine, chlorine and disease. My nose dripped and I blew it for the twentieth time. Damn colds.
It was three in the morning when the phone rang. I groaned. I didn’t want to answer it since it was all the way in the living room. I pulled the blankets tighter around my shoulders, cocooning myself like a caterpillar.
It rang again. And again. Exhausted and sluggish, I made my way to that damn phone on that damn coffee table. I swung myself onto the sofa and sank into it. It was the hospital. They probably needed more paperwork from me and they couldn’t wait till the damn morning.
“Yes?” I answered, an edge of anger to my voice. It probably sounded like I had a slug down my throat due to the cold. An all too familiar baritone rang in my ears and my eyes went wide despite my drowsiness.
“Hey it’s me… Sorry for calling at this hour.” His voice was apologetic and I could easily envision it squirming a little awkwardly in the palm of my hand.
“No it’s alright,” I smiled despite myself. It was hard to control. “What’s the matter?”
“To your question.” There was a long pause and all I heard was his ragged breathing.”I remember how much I love you Violet.”