I Can’t Remember You

Once upon a time, you were so real to me but now, he doesn’t want me—at least not yet.

Because I am a liar, a deceiver, a goat, a child. What would he do with a child like myself?

I put this on me. I caused it all. My selfishness and low self-esteem finally got me. I should have just let him go. I shouldn’t have placed that terrible sign in my eyes and lips that I was a woman in search of a last minute romance when I knew it would indeed backfire. How far can I keep doing this to him, huh? How far? Util he catches up with one of my mistakes?

I laugh. Emma, is that what you want? For him to know and then leave you? I often ask myself—myself… myself… hmm… Who is myself again?

I need to calm down, it’s happening again. Deep breaths but they’ve all stopped working. Nothing works anymore. Nothing makes sense. And there goes the coffee brewer screaming at me. But my bad, I forgot you. I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I left you. I’m sorry…

…Coffee. No, tea. Yes, tea, that’s what I wanted. I never drink coffee, it gives me headache and I can’t sleep. Where, where, just where did he keep it—it? What am I looking for?

The rice burnt again for the third time today. I wanted to make him something. I want to do something for him but I failed again.

Last night I burnt our new soup and he had to eat out, and today, I’ve done it again. Same old stupid mistakes! How dumb is he, can’t he see that I’m already falling apart?

…Sometimes I forget the sound of a ring tone. I thought it was an alarm, so I cut it off. But it just keeps going off, like an alarm, so I picked up the phone and it says slide to answer. The person sounded worried. She wanted to know if I would be coming to work today, she said I had to; I was the boss. Boss—but where? How? I don’t have a job. I… I… ah! I remember now. An unfortunate smile flashes across my face. I am the boss. I own a company once owned by father. I repeat my words to myself a thousand times. It makes sense as far as I can remember.

…Ugh! I’ve been trying to get this ring off my finger but it stays stock there. My fingers are fat. I don’t know why? Then he comes in—a strange mister. He comes in with a smile and opens his arms for a hug.

I take a step back, I’m scared, I don’t… I don’t know who he is. He looks at me stunned when I flinched away from his hold. He asked what’s wrong and I told him to get out.

“Get out!” I screamed at him. “Get out!”

I began to pace back and forth. I frantically ran my fingers through my hair. I’m losing my mind, Femi.

I tell him to fuck off before my… before my husband comes in. He slowly knees in front of me and takes my hand and places his other hand on my stomach. I look down at my swollen stomach and then back him with eyes as wide as the sea. I’m pregnant? I ask myself. I’m pregnant. Damn it! I forgot again.

He wants to know if it’s the baby that’s been the cause of my mood swings lately. He’s been asking that for the past month since I began to act strange. I can’t bring myself to tell him. I don’t even know where to start. I don’t know this man; I don’t know him so how can I tell him my secret? I can’t remember him because I’ve turned into a dummy—a sick woman.

11 thoughts on “I Can’t Remember You” by Ufuoma Otebele (@ufuomaotebele)

  1. Urrgh…pity. Has she got Alzeimer’s disease?? I once worked with a woman who ‘had something like this’ but the bad news is that she wouldn’t agree something was wrong with her. You captured the lady’s misery and confusion well. ‘These things’, they have a cure right?

    Nice write up.

    Très bien cuit, Docteur.

    1. Ufuoma Otebele (@ufuomaotebele)

      Yes @praize and the actual first dilemma is that they first have to go through this phase of denial. No one wants to believe that sooner or later they would be unable to remember what they had for lunch two minutes ago.

      There’s actually no cure for Alzheimer disease yet. Yet because I.know there are doctors and scientists out there working for a cure but they do have suppressant drugs that will help a low down the process.

      Thanks Praize for reading. And I hope the woman you worked with is doing alright?

  2. louis (@luwizdrizzy)

    Wow,true,I can’t believe she even forgot she was pregnant too.

    @ufuomaotebele you can’t just stop wowing us with your words…

    I truly love this, Nice write

    1. Ufuoma Otebele (@ufuomaotebele)

      I can’t believe it either and neither can she…

  3. Folakemi Emem-Akpan (@Folakemi)

    The first thing that struck my mind wasn’t Alzehmeirs, but post partum psychosis (temporary or in some cases permanent madness that occurs in some women either during pregnancy or after childbirth). I had a relation experience this with both of her pregnancies and deliveries and it wasn’t a pretty sight.
    I guess family members of people living with Alzehmeirs don’t have it any easier, and research shows that it is hitting even lower age brackets than before, so it is no longer just an old peoples’ disease.
    Good job, Ufuoma for educating us.

    1. ibukunwrites (@Ibukunwrites)

      You made me remember Ellis Grey in Grey’s Anatomy series! Alzheimer’s Disease is a pain . . . Beautiful words !

    2. Ufuoma Otebele (@ufuomaotebele)

      Oh oh I see what you’re talking about… This piece was almosta summary to a bigger book I might have an interest in goign into.

      At the begining, I thought you would caught the point where she said she was selfish and she should have just let him go. “I shouldn’t have placed that terrible sign in my eyes and lips that I was a woman in search of a last minute romance when I knew it would indeed backfire.” Basically, this woman knew she had this diease before she met her husband… which I was going to go more indebt into if I wanted to do something bigger with this piece.

      Thanks for reading aunty Folakemi

  4. Great write again @ufuomaotebele… This disease of the mind and brain is something else…it causes more trauma to the relations than to the sufferer, or do I say they suffer the same?

    Thanks for writing though I noticed some oversight here and there….like:
    “Util (Until) he catches up with one of my mistakes?”
    “He slowly knees (kneels) in front of me

    “I look down at my swollen stomach and then back (at) him with eyes as wide as the sea”

    There’s a fresh need to proofread and edit accurately.

    1. Ufuoma Otebele (@ufuomaotebele)

      Thanks for pointing out these corrections… I shouldnt have let them slip pass me…. I’m glad you saw them.

  5. Omena (@menoveg)

    So she knew and she never wanted him to know!

    1. Ufuoma Otebele (@ufuomaotebele)

      Finally!!!! Someone picks up on the most important part of this 400 words story. So yes she knew but she was blinded by love she didn’t tell him afraid he would leave.

      @menoveg thanks thanks thanks for reading!

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