The Blue-eyed One That Got Away

Of all the hospitals in all the towns in all the world, I walk into the one that you are in.

I remember it like yesterday. I’d turned to hug you in the middle of the night. Your Goodbye post-it on your pillow had scratched me instead. A post-it for cryin out loud!

What if I grew old and forgot you? You’d asked in our first year together.

I would leave “I love you” post-its all over the house for you, I’d told you and kissed the tip of your intensely freckled nose.

Well, your post-it had outnumbered all of mine.

Yet here I am looking at you sitting on a bench in the corridor, my heart thudding, teeth clenched shut. I wait to make contact with your gorgeous eyes. Eyes that’d always made me wonder if fire now burned an arctic blue. But all I see in them now is a flicker as if caused by the embers of a dying fire and an underlying blankness. Who are you worrying your pretty head over? A new boyfriend? A new victim?

A doctor came and took you inside. After some time, he saw you out and you went away without giving me a second glance. I casually asked the doctor about you, dreading the answer. He told me you were Bethany, one of his patients with early-onset Alzheimer’s. I flopped on the hospital bench you’d vacated.

Oh dear Beth, looks like I’m going to have to leave post-its all over the house for you earlier than planned.

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