The Cherry Blossom Of Remembrance | The Inkwell Prompt #59

As beads of sweat rolled down from my temple to my chin, I angrily wiped it off with my palm while holding the steering wheel with my other hand. I tapped on the wheel continuously, glancing up at the traffic light. It was still red.

"God, I hope she's alright," I mused to myself. The events of the past two months have been torture, to say the least. These are things I see happen in movies and novels. No way would I have imagined they would happen to me.

Two months ago, my wife, Rebecca and I, went on a hike up the mountains when one of her feet slipped and she fell off a small cliff. I'd never been more afraid in my life. I would have given anything to take her place at that moment. The whole incident appeared in slow motion before my eyes. She screamed my name over and over, fear in her eyes. I tried to grab her hand, hurting my wrist in the process but she slipped and fell. I called for help and by the time the EMT came, Rebecca was unconscious.

After some tests at the hospital, the doctors put her into an induced coma due to brain swelling. When she woke up, she did not know who I was. I'd never been more frustrated in my life. Rebecca wouldn't want me near her until her mother visited and assured her I was truly her husband.

How can this be real? For a moment, I laughed hysterically thinking she was pretending or acting. I was almost at my wit's end. Then it dawned on me: I may have lost my wife when I came up with the idea to spend the weekend hiking.

The doctors assured me after some medical tests that it was retrograde amnesia and I could help her remember. That's how our journey of remembrance began.

I hired a nurse to take care of her at home as she recuperates while I was at work. The evenings we spent together as I recounted how our marriage had been for the past three years.

The first few weeks were difficult at first because she treated me like a stranger. I would rush home from work to share my day only to remember at the last moment that she'd forgotten about us. Sometimes we would argue because she was frustrated, trying to remember.

After two frustrating, unhappy months, her caller ID appeared on my phone and I couldn't believe my eyes. I answered the call. "Darling—," I started to say.

"I remember!" A barely audible whisper.

"What? Rebecca?"

"Everything, Charles. I remember!"

I couldn't believe it. "Rebecca, I'm coming home to you now." I hung up, informed my secretary I was closing for the day and I drove home as fast as I could.

Arriving home, the nurse was bewildered as she couldn't find my wife anywhere in the house. I became furious with her. Rebecca was in her care, how could she not have known when she left the house?

Then doubts hit my brain fast and hard. What if she did not remember and had gone off to someplace where I could not find her? What if something bad happens to her? The middle-aged nurse tried to calm me down. I wiped my face with my hands and took a deep breath.

"Can you think of a place that is special to her or-or to you both? Maybe she went there?" It was like I was seeing the nurse for the first time in my life. Her suggestion was just brilliant.

Rebecca and I rented a lake house surrounded by cherry blossom trees when we were dating. I proposed to her under one of the trees. She'd promised it was memorable and would never forget it. The memory came rushing back vividly at that moment.

I grabbed my car keys and dashed out of the house like a mad man. Immediately the traffic light turned green, I sped off, praying she was really at the lake house. As the gravel crunched under my car tires, I slowed down and parked in front of the house.

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It was like a dream, yet real.

Rebecca looked stunning in a flowery maxi dress under one of the trees, the pink blossoms falling on her upturned face and hair. She smiled widely when she saw me. And I knew. I knew she remembered.

My wife was back.

Photo by: Taryn Elliot from Pexels, edited with Canva

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