The man said he is looking for me, putting a picture of my younger self on the table. Though it is my face who’s staring back , I don’t recognize the woman. I don’t remember owning such clothes. Never been to Paris, yet (there is a silhouette of the lighted Eiffel Tower in the background, the woman who supposed to be me is standing against a railing of a bridge) I want to visit there sometimes but something always comes in between. Maybe someday.
I look up and smile at him shaking my head. “I’m afraid I can’t help you.” I tell the gentleman. He has such a beautiful face. He reminds me of someone I knew from a very long time ago, only younger and darker and perhaps a little bit taller.
His expression becomes sad, for a moment I thought he’s going to cry; I wish I could help him but I know nothing of the woman. After a while, he turns his back and walks away.
The young man crosses the street and get inside a café opposite where the older woman is sitting. He deliberately pick a table by the window so he can keep an eye on her. Physically she does not changed much. She still is the petite dark beauty who can turn heads whenever and wherever she walks by. Almost no wrinkles visible but what’s going on inside her is what worrying him these days. Every each day when she wakes up, she has to be reminded of who and where she is. She remembers bits and pieces of things in random, but never concrete; not anymore.
Sometimes she has rare lucid moments but they come and go, and they are few and far between. The only thing she can talk with great clarity is her childhood. Something he doesn’t care much to hear about. They are full of morbid ideas, grim memories, skeletons in the closet and shocking details. But she talks about them like they are the most normal natural things in the world.
And she wanders about. Disappearing longer and longer at times, like now; it took him a while to find her. If he’s not familiar with her habits he would not be able to locate her every time. He’s dreading the moment when he will not be able to do so anymore. That is something he is not ready yet to think right now. Sitting there, no one would suspect her real condition. She looks normal and talks normal. Even when strangers speak to her, she is able to hold a decent conversation without conveying the truth. Only those who know her well would notice the drastic changes that are happening to her. What a waste of a great mind and a remarkable person.
Lately it is getting harder and harder to come up with excuses to approach her in public without scaring the hell out of her. The last time he did that, he caused a scene worthy of a novel or a film. She always had been wary of strangers. Something in the past caused her to lost trust on people. Provoking her is not a good idea. Not then, not now. Their relationship is never been the ideal one, given the circumstances. But she is still his mother and he wants to take care of her despite of what had happened long ago.
For now he will sit here and wait till she is ready to leave, will watch her becoming confused, not remembering where she lives or where she supposed to be. Only then he will come to her, offering his help as a good citizen. But that’s for later. For the moment, he has to conjure up a mighty good excuse to approach her without causing unnecessary trouble, for both of them. Because of her he learned the art of patience…
This post is a response to today’s Daily Prompt.