43 comments

Sad

There is no point in coming.


His hands burned with a nervous shake that couldn’t seem to leave his body. Such an insane urge to just grab the nearest chair and smash it into a million splinters, but that would get him kicked off the grounds. They would all look at him, judge him as he was forcefully pulled from his seat in the middle of the cafe.


She isn’t here yet. There is time to run.


His eyes scanned the different nurses and residents that passed by his table. Some had familiar faces, but never did he ask the name of any of them. He preferred that they stayed on the stranger side of things, keep it all simple.


It will never be simple, as long as I have to come to this place.


There came her nurse, the pretty one with green scrubs and flowers in her hair. Always so happy to be in a place that stunk of death, her shining smile within a pit of hell. She gave a soft wave as she guided his Mother over to his table for two.


“Good Morning Issac,” She chirped, pulling out a second chair.


“Hi,” Issac mumbled back, his cheeks flared up as he racked his brain for a name but came up with nothing. “Hi, Mom.”


“Who is this?” She asked the nurses while she was being seated in the same spot they had been meeting for four years.


Can she even love me if she can’t remember my face?


“It’s your son, Issac. He came by to visit you.” Issac didn’t know what to do while his own Mother squinted to read his face, as if she were trying to read the small words off a pill bottle.


“Oh, yes, my son Issac! It’s so nice of you to finally come by. You never come by and see your Mother, how terrible.” She reached out a weak arm to pinch his cheek, seeming out of breath from the short movement.


“I’m sorry, mom, I’ll try and come by more often.” Issac glanced at the nurse, her face holding the same look of remorse it held every week when she said the same things over again. Soon after she left, a waitress took her place carrying the drinks Issac had ordered.


“One black coffee and a sugar-free pumpkin spice hot chocolate.” The waitress deadpanned, spilling bits of overpriced coffee on the table before leaving. Issac wiped the coffee with a thin napkin while his Mother gasped in excitement at her drink.


“A pumpkin hot chocolate! What an exciting new drink! That cafe sure has a lot of creativity!” She praised the facility cafe for the same drink they offered every fall, but Isaac stopped correcting her months ago.


She is never going to remember. How important can I really be to her?


“I ordered it just for you. I thought you would like it.” Issac took a sip of his coffee, dissatisfying lukewarm fluid running down his throat.


“How thoughtful of you. You were always such a kind boy. You should stay for dinner. I was going to make your father’s favourite casserole.” She reaches out a hand to hold Issac's hand, the cold skin shocking him.


“That sounds nice, mom, but I have to work tonight.” He forced down a sniffle as his Mother spoke so nonchalantly about a man she cried her heart out at a funeral ten years prior. She spent sixty years of her life with the man, starting as lovers from high school with nothing but compassion till his dying moments.


Is it really that easy to forget the pain, to become oblivious to the horrors of reality?


“Thats okay. I know how hard you work. Are you keeping up in school? Studying hard for all your exams?” She asked, seemingly unfazed by the same thoughts that ran through Issac’s mind.


“The classes are hard, but I am doing okay.” Issac continued to recite class stories from a Masters he finished five years ago. All the words felt numb now, but she smiled and laughed every time, so the repetition was worth it.


Is it truly worth it? Is anything I try to do worth it? 


It was the moment between the silence that hurt the most. Watching the woman who raised and cared for him struggle to remember her own life. She was supposed to be his hero. She was the one who wiped his tears whenever life got him down. Now she was the reason he cried into the night.


When it was her turn to talk, she retold old stories between sips of hot chocolate. The stories were all old, and Issac knew them by heart, but he still forced a laugh at each funny moment. She told him about the card games she played that morning, and she spoke of old neighbours when they got terrible haircuts or repainted their houses weird colours. Issac tried as hard as he could to keep his smile alive, but it wasn’t so easy to do when all he felt was betrayal from his Mother’s own memory.


Will any moment ever hold real humour again? Can I ever give an honest laugh where there is nothing more than fatal reminders?


The nurse came back around to collect her soon after her cup ran dry. A sharp pain hit his chest when she greeted the nurse by name. Serenity was a lovely name indeed, but he still wished it was his face that his Mother remembered. Her last living family member, yet a nurse was still more prominent to her.


“It’s time for your medication. We are going to have to say goodbye to Issac for now.” She looked a bit disappointed, which offered Issac the slightest reassurance.


“Will you be coming back soon to visit again?”


“Yes Mom, I’ll be back next Tuesday.” He leaned down to hug her, not wanting to let go.


I just want my Mother back, the one who could hug all my problems away.



“You go get ready for work then, and make sure you eat something before you go. You are becoming too skinny. It’s not good for you.” She pinched Issac’s cheeks one last time before slowly making her way to the elevator. Once she was out of sight, Issac made his way out of the building.


I hate this place. I hate the pain. I hate the reminder of everything I lost.


But I love my Mother more.


October 16, 2020 21:40

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43 comments

Hello Lynn! I just wanted to stop by and say that this is so far the BEST story for this specific prompt! I think you did a great job writing this amazing short story! Great job! :)

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Lynn Penny
15:58 Oct 18, 2020

Really? Thanks so much, those words bring me joy.💗

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No problem Lynn! You deserve it! :)

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01:01 Nov 25, 2020

Hello! Great job! This story is emotional and very well written. Your description was really good and your characters were really thought out and felt so real. Amazing job!!

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Hello Lyn...!

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Hello Lyn! I think I've commented before but this is an absolutely beautiful story!!! Loved it, even if it was a re-read!

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Wow!!!! I haven't been on Reedsy for a long time but this is one of the best stories yet! It's so sad though, I really love it and it's so moving that it got me emotional. I recently lost a family member and it just reminded me. I really enjoyed this story and the fact that you spelt the name differently is really cool! Beautiful! Happy Writing! Lots of love and goodness, SS!

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I. F.
19:30 Nov 05, 2020

This really made me a little emotional. I feel like many people can relate to Issac. You did an amazing job of providing hope amidst the turbulence, which gave your story a bittersweet tone I really liked. It's nice to know that the mother at least has a loyal son and a kind nurse. These characters felt real to me, amazing!

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Lynn Penny
20:12 Nov 08, 2020

Thank you for the kind words!

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Tempest Wright
22:28 Oct 22, 2020

Awww, wow. That's a sad but amazing story you wrote. I love how you write the inner struggle. You reflect the emotions so well. Great job. Could you check out my new one? I only got 2 out, but I'm always late and at the bottom. I'd really appreciate it. 😊

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Lynn Penny
03:30 Oct 23, 2020

Thank you! I would love to read your work.

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Andrew Krey
01:54 Oct 17, 2020

Hey Lynn, despite the sad subject matter, I enjoyed this story, pain and love in equal measure throughout! I really liked your take on the prompt, to make the 'new' drink only new to one character, due to unreliable memory. I really liked this passage - "She was the one who wiped his tears whenever life got him down. Now she was the reason he cried into the night." I've suggested some tweaks below: "She is never going to remember how important can I be to her?" - 'I can be' "Her last living family member and a nurse were even mor...

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Lynn Penny
02:45 Oct 17, 2020

Aww, thanks! I appreciate the tips! I wrote this right before class so my editing was non existent.

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Andrew Krey
03:31 Oct 17, 2020

You're welcome, glad you saw it before the deadline :)

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Andrea Magee
11:00 Jul 18, 2021

Bittersweet story ....it made me feel the love and the pain.

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Khair Harun
06:57 May 16, 2021

Just a few pointers. A thank you for your recent likes on my story. Your story lacks the emotional and psychological side of human beings. I think you are writing with your mind. Not your heart. Sad is a subjective view. Your own perspective. Use metaphors. Dig deep. Bring us into your world.

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Lynn Penny
19:36 May 16, 2021

I really appreciate this, never thought about it that way. Thank you.

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Khair Harun
12:34 May 17, 2021

No problem. That's what the community is for.

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I.B. Dunn
04:17 Jan 12, 2021

Hey I was checking in to see if you had a new story I could read but there isn’t one since this one. I was still hoping you might check out my most recent submission, “The One”. I’d love to hear what you think.

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Fplldg Wakdwwdg
07:45 Nov 02, 2020

This was so touching. My grandfather is suffering from dementia and Parkinson's disease. Gradually losing memory is like gradually losing yourself. The feeling is really pathetic. And losing bowel control feels like becoming garbage to the family. No matter how the family members want to support, nothing helps the patient to overcome the despicable feeling. You did a great job with it. If you get time, can you stop by my story, "Case of the Grassyard cafe", And give some feedback? Thanks!

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Lynn Penny
23:37 Nov 02, 2020

Thank you for your kind words. I would love to read your work.

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B. W.
03:53 Oct 25, 2020

This was another great story, i've only checked out a couple of your stories but I think I'm gonna check them all out soon ^^ I'm gonna go ahead though and give this a 10/10 :) I think that ya did a great job with it. I was also wondering if it's alright with you, if you could check out my two recent stories "A strange night" and "Ghostly fun times" and then leave some feedback?

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Dalyane Deblois
19:32 Oct 21, 2020

Amazing story! Wonderfully written and the emotions are well shown. Strikingly realistic. I've heard about so many people not visiting their mother because of those sorts of sickness, it warms my heart when he thinks "But I love my Mother more." Really touching, great job!

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Lynn Penny
22:26 Oct 21, 2020

Thank you, it is quite sad to see those become isolated from their families because of it.

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00:54 Oct 18, 2020

I love your writing! Keep up the good work!

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Elizabeth Inkim
23:07 Oct 17, 2020

Beautiful story, I enjoyed the "winter of our lives" theme in the background/subtext. In which the mother's Alzheimers or dementia (I am boldly assuming) is fading her reality into thin air, and one day she too will become a forgotten memory, but I absolutely loved how the son kept fighting for and was kind to her. That is a different kind of love that hits home. Also, this week I did something completely new to me, I wrote a story without outlining it beforehand, its called "Aureolus Ashes". I was such a Pantser this week, and I would lo...

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Lynn Penny
15:54 Oct 18, 2020

Thank you! I’ll be sure to check out your work!

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Madhuleka Iyer
14:26 Oct 17, 2020

This story really touched me. The writing is also so beautiful. You showed the emotions real well.

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Lynn Penny
17:16 Oct 17, 2020

Thank you for your kind words

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Monica June
19:33 May 12, 2021

This is so sad. I'm really impressed on how you captured this specific emotion, it felt so real. Really great job, I can't think of any criticism :)

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Lucy Hutchinson
18:33 May 12, 2021

Very creative response to the prompt! I dig it.

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Charli Britton
16:22 May 12, 2021

I really liked that! So creative. I would have never thought of something like this. :)

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