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I couldn't wait. I needed to know the end. The story was like an unknown substance. I was drawn into it. Like I was addicted. He came to sit with me on the bench by the sea. He seemed relaxed. Relived. The shore whispered, softly it lay. The ripples fell short of the cream shells that lay among the round edged rocks.
A strawberry blond lady strode along the damp sand. as the lady took one stride I saw the sand rise up separating from its past brotherins and wedging itself between the pale white ladies toes. i wondered why she wasn't wearing shoes. She looked up as she felt my eyes focused on her. I flet my slapped cheeks flush. She turned her body and changed her path. She took a step towards me and I noticed her pink toenails shimmering as the sunbeams flashed down on her. The air whipped me. I felt unsteady. I felt the punch. My chest fell open. The whole of my heart dropped. As it hit the soft white sand it cracked into a thousand crystals. Scattering. I was broken.
There was not a fluffy sky today. It was empty. No birds. No planes. Just itself and the big yellow light. It was warm. Very warm. I felt the moisture build up on the rim of my eyebrow. I felt the sweat make a pathway through my pours. Two droplets were racing down my face. The starting line was at the tip of my eyebrow and the finish line at the dimple in my chin. The air was heavy. Built with moisture. This was definitely a summers day.
I opened my eyes, although I never realised they were closed. I am puzzled. Here I lay, cosy in a bed with blush pink sheets. The floral design ran on for miles. My bones ached as I sat up to view my surroundings. The blood rushed down my arms. Through my veins. My heart fluttered, it felt as if I was the cage holding the humming bird hostage. My breathing was loud and heavy. It was uneven. I concentrated on making my breaths steady. I counted two seconds to breathe both in and out. My lungs filled thirty times and emptied thirty times in just one minute. My eyes rolled in relaxation. Now I was breathing evenly I searched all around my empty head. I searched for an image or even a memory. Something. Anything. To supply me with the answer to my question. Where was I?
A long white hand shot out in front of my face. The hand moved so fast it blurred. It was waving. It hit me. I realised what they... well the owner of the hand was doing. They were checking to see if I was really here--in this moment of time, or if I was off to another world. Dreaming. But I was in reality an in reality i was confused. This person had a lot to explain. I was dazzled to see the same strawberry blond lady standing by the bedside.
"Hello Madam. My name is Precious, and I am your care worker." her voice rang in my ears like church bells.
I cleared the lump in my throat and spoke. "I...I...whe...whe...where am I?"
"Madam you are in your home."She said.
I was sure I had never seen this room before.
"How did I get here?" I puzzled.
"Sorry Madam I don’t quite understand?"
"I was on the beach. I was watching the waves-" I started.
The floor creaked on the other side of the room. I turned towards the sound. There sat two black shoes, hanging over the shoes were grey trouser bell bottoms. I slowly looked up from the trousers. Elongating my neck. There stood the man who sat with me by the sea. The man who never finished reading to me about his treasure. His treasure was special. Especially rare.
"Madam this is Arthur, he is going to finish his story. Do you remember the story so far?"
"Yes I do. I have been very excited to hear the end."
"Well that’s good Madam. I will leave you both to continue."
I thought to myself. Although I haven't heard the entire story I already feel as if I have a connection. A greater understanding of the situation. He describes emotions I know have not hit me, though I feel the emotions he speaks of. I feel them like they had hit me in the past although I do not regard them doing so. The emotions push through my pulse. Pull through my memories. Smash through all barriers. I do in fact feel the emotions now, the descriptions dig deep into my mind. I just cannot seem to find the memories that match these feelings.
In one swift movement I rotated my head. Arthur had placed himself in a large mahogany rocking chair. I searched the room, scanning all around but the strawberry blond lady was nowhere to be seen. I do not recall her leaving the room. I still sense her presence. Lingering in the air was the sweet smell of fresh perfume. Perhaps she crept into the other room. Not to worry I’m sure she will be back. I could ask Arthur about her. I think I should. I will.
"Arthur?" I spoke.
"Yes my dear?" He replied promptly.
"Who is that lady?"
"Why Margret, that is your care worker named Precious."
"Oh what a heart warming name!"
"Yes dear, I would have hoped you thought so as you chose it." He said gracefully.
Confusion crossed my face and I was sure he had noticed as he grimaced for a moment, and then quickly gathered his features.
"You have been a very important figure to her you know. You have known her for many, many years. She must just have the type of face you often forget.
"But I only just met her?" I added swiftly.
"Yes I suppose you have. Hhmmm yes. But you will have known her in another frame of mind am I not right?"
My mind drifted for a second. I thought about many things. I wondered what Arthur meant by "In another frame of mind." I put great thought into how I could have named a child I did not happen to know. Arthur had also briefly said that I have been a important figure to her. How could this come around? I have only known this lady for a few hours! Or was Arthur right? Have I known of this graceful child for the many years he spoke of?... And have I just forgotten her along my travels? I could not answer any of these thoughts. I cannot even recall moving from the bench on the beach into my bed! What is happening?! Are there people blocking out my past? This again is an unanswered question.
I turned to look out the window and I spotted a robin hopping along the freshly cut grass. I could smell a hundred aromas rushing around the room. The time ticked by shortly. Smoothly. A few small gushes of wind pushes through the wide opened window, this forced the aromas to run wild around the safe playground. Running from one end of the room to the next I could describe each and every sent. Fresh berries. Pineapple and nuts. I could hear everything around me like one large conversation. New born lambs rising on their limbs. Horses hooves 'clip, clopping' off the rocks far out in the distance. Bumble bee's buzzing on a bunch of flowers. Roses possibly.
"Margret. My dear." Arthur gestured to me with his hand. He was offering to help me out of this well... I guess my bed. I hesitated. Where was he taking me? He must have noticed my unassurance because the opened his mouth to begin to speak. Slowly emphasising each word Arthur said...
"My dearest we are just going to grab some dinner?"
"Dinner? I have not even eaten my lunch yet?"
He looked disappointed but I could not think why this would be. He was sent to read to me but now he wants to take me to dinner? I certainly am confused. I went over my days sequence in my head. I sat on the bench with Arthur. Saw Precious for the first time. Felt immense pain in my chest and I watched the pieces of my hear smash and shatter. The blank. Ended up in this bed confused. I Talked to Precious and Arthur. Listened to all sound. Watched out of the wide open window and now here I am. It must be time for dinner. It must be. Could I have blacked out again? Another piece of my day missing from my memory? I do not know. Perhaps Arthur had read his story. I need this one answer; I do not seek this answer though. I seek the end of the story. I need to understand.
"Arthur, if you can, could you tell me the end of your story?"
"My story? I just finished my story, do you not remember? Oh Margret! I miss you! Please remember?" He spoke with immense sorrow in his voice.
It hit me right on the head! All these memories! Arthur. Oh Arthur. I love him. I remember. I was the treasure in his story; I was the one who meant so much to him. Me. Me! Precious. Our daughter named Precious! I know the ending. I don't need to ask him. How could I have forgotten? How? He was my first ever love, my only love. How long has this been going on for?
I leaped out of my bed and into Arthur’s arms. I held his so tightly. Clasping my arms around him.
I whispered in his ear "I love you"
He was the nut and I was the shell.
"I love you too Margret! I really do. I missed you!" He whispered back. Overjoyed.
"How long has it been?" I asked. Nerved.
"You have had altzimers for the last six years. It’s good to hold you. My love. My treasure."