Please Don't Forget

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Tap. Tap. Tap. John taps his foot violently against the table which he uses as a foot rest. Combing his long bony fingers through his straggly hair, John tries to let his mind wander while eagerly awaiting his company. “Mother should be here any minute,” John thought. “God, I hope she doesn’t forget again; I really hope she doesn’t forget,” he mumbled to himself when he meant to say it in his head. The café looks big to John; he never liked this café but knew it was his mother’s favorite. Anything to make the old woman happy in her time of need.
John’s American Apparel V-neck cottony material tee shirt is sticking to the leather chair that he is lying down on. He moves around to fix his shirt and make himself more comfortable. Now John is sitting up with his feet firmly placed on the floor. Tap-ta-Tap..Tap-ta-Tap… Glancing at his jeans he thinks about how he “acquired” them. It was the kleptomaniac part of John that he was not proud of.
John Smith takes out his phone to check the time; 5:57 the clock read. “5:57,” he thought to himself. “5:57-that-means-she’ll-be-here-in-three-minutes. Three minutes and mother will be here. Gosh what if she forgets, mother forgets everything. Always, Mother forgets everything always! I don’t even like this café I’m here for her and now she’s going to forget and I’m stuck here alone… that man already came in and out with his food while I was sitting here waiting and mother is still not here…. STILL!”
Suddenly the scene comes back, the scene that has been playing over and over in John’s mind. “John,” his father said firmly, and yet with some compassion. John wasn’t used to that tone from his father who was generally a tough guy, the disciplinarian in the family. “Your mom was diagnosed with a disease which makes her forgetful.” John was only seven at the time. Ever since that day, John had an excuse every time he f***** something up. Whether it was school, drugs, girls, it didn’t matter. He managed to blame everything on his situation at home, everything.
Tap. Tap. Tap. “Crap I don’t know my lines,” he realized. John finally succeeded in letting his mind wander. He had forgotten to memorize his lines for the show he’s doing, a remake of ‘Little Red Riding Hood.’ In the show, John’s playing the hunter which requires hours of memorizing pages of monologues. It’s kind of ironic how much John loves theatre but hates work. Show business and hard work always came hand in hand, but for John it was different. For him, it was a way of escaping the real world, his family, his problems, and his sucky life. It was a way to be someone who he never thought he could be. Maybe there was more to his passion for theatre, though. John thought about when he was little; the only memories he ever had with his dad were talking about shows and movies.
He takes his phone out again, playing with the touch screen anxiously. “Crap 6:01 she’s late.” Tap. Tap. TAAAAP. He cracks his knuckles. “God that feels so good, why don’t people crack their knuckles? Like people do, but everyone should! Is it not good for you? Who cares? It feels good… I like cracking my knuckles.” He decides to call her.
“Mom?” he said into the phone before she even picked up. “Mom?” he repeated a second time, cutting her off as she greets him with a hello. “Mom, where are you? Are you okay?” he asked. Somewhere in his deep subconscious mind, John knew that he wanted his mom to respond no, that she wasn’t alright, because that would mean that she didn’t forget, which would mean that her condition isn’t getting worse. John tried his hardest to believe that his mother was the same mother that pushed him on the swings when he was a child and told him nursery rhymes. He pictured the sunset on the beach as his mom helped him build a sand castle. “I’m so sorry baby, I forgot I was supposed to meet you today.” She responded. Tap. Tap. Tap….





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