Sometimes I forget
It’s hard to remember the good stuff when he won’t let me forget the bad. Fifty calls a day, on a good day, more if he can’t sleep. I’ve asked him to stop, everyone who knows him has asked, he just stares at them and shakes his head. He sleeps erratically so once it goes quiet I get a respite but I don’t know how long for. I get on with my work, phone on vibrate, and just for a minute, I forget…
My boss has been brilliant. I don’t know much about her private life but she seems to understand… friends less so. They tell me to change my number, move, call the police when it gets too much. It’s always too much but I know he won’t do anything. There’s never any malice.
“I don’t know how you can still love him,” Leah said the other week… we haven’t spoken since.
If you’ve ever had someone so close to you for all those years you can’t just let go and he needs me. He’s got no-one else. Actually, that’s not true, he’s got Madeline but she doesn’t know him like I do. She does what she has to do to get him through but she’ll leave, eventually, they usually do.
It’s been a quiet day today, quiet for a couple of hours, but the sun’s out so he’ll be in the garden, on the bench, the one I bought him to watch his fish and he’ll be too busy to think about me.
I don’t want him to think, it doesn’t do him any good. If he could remember everything it would be too painful… like it is for me. Every evening as I drive home I replay it; me taking him to the cemetery, me driving, me overshooting the junction, me screaming as the lorry hits his side of the car, his head slamming into the dashboard, staying with him in hospital until he was well enough to go home, come home.
Mum would have done the same, he’s my father after all. He’ll always be and I’m the one who can’t let go.
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