The darkness was engulfing the sky while the sun was setting, the chirping of birds ringing in the ears. Silence encircled the Clark house as it has been doing for the past twenty years. The old couple lived alone with their sons and daughters residing out of the country to grow their different families. Mrs Clark, the most loved and respected lady in the town knew and felt what it takes to live in loneliness and solitude, maybe more than her husband.
“Here’s your vegetable salad, Eric honey” she called out to her husband, beaming with a bowl in her hand
“vegetable salad? how many times I told you that I don’t like salad” Mr Clark said with a frown.
“but you just said-“
“no I didn’t”
The old lady sighed and returned to the kitchen. Mr Clark has been acting like this since six months now and there is no other way than to cope up with this building alzheimer. The Grays and Reynoldses always commented on taking him to different hospitals but when the town’s most famous and high standard hospital has declared this condition terminal as well as Mrs Clark’s internet searches have revealed, there’s nothing that can be done other than to wait and watch her beloved husband gradually lose his memory and forget his wife whom he dearly loved.
That’s the thing about being old I guess, that is the reason why youngsters are so afraid of getting old, to face such tribulations, afraid of being forgotten by people who mean the world to them. But has anyone ever been able to win against time? If she could, Mrs Clark would have travelled back to the time when she got married to her husband, the days that followed their marriage, the time they spent all day planning for their future and revealing their dreams and wishes to each other. If she could, she would have travelled to the time when she was not living in the fear of being forgotten by the love of his life, without whom her life is incomplete. When she wouldn’t cry lurking in the darkness of the night hiding from her husband.
“Eric darling, wanna make a trip to the art gallery?”
The art gallery where they first met, six months before they tied the knot. Before the alzheimer took hold of them, they used to visit it every month, to relive the days when they first looked into each other’s eyes. The visit have been none after the diagnosis.
“What will you do in an art gallery? but let’s go if that will make you happy, my love”
Showcasing a bright smile while her heart was breaking in pieces, she said “Maybe you’ll like it too”
The journey was a better one, since they talked about a lot, mainly Mrs Clark reminding her husband that their youngest son Roger lives in California and not Florida. As they entered the gallery, they made their rounds one by one looking at every piece of art and discussing what they could make out of it. They reached a painting that showcased a pretty young woman, smiling brightly, a smile that reached her eyes, dimples crossed both of her cheeks looking right into the viewer’s eyes. The whole body of the woman was shining so brightly, looking at it felt like she was just descended from the heaven, standing in an orchard, filled with smiling Dahlias just like the young woman. In the bottom left corner it was written- ‘the light of my life’
” Now that’s a masterpiece” Mr Clark commented “I wonder what was going on in the artist’s mind as he created it….but why does it look like I’ve seen it somewhere, this painting?” He frowned.
Mrs Clark looked at him with tears reaching her eyes, she thought this would at least make a difference. She quickly turned and went to the other side wiping her eyes before her husband notices. A kind young woman who seemed like a volunteer at the gallery reached her “Excuse me? hope everything’s fine, do you need some help?
“oh no dear” Mrs Clark said sniffing “it’s just my husband there….has been an amazing artist in the early days….he made that piece of art for me…..and now he can’t remember anything about it” a sob broke.