Salt Water | Alex Sandoni

Suzy Hazelwood via Pexels

This is how it started.

We were sitting at the coffee table, on the couch, our plates on our legs and the TV on.

We used to have dinner that way for years, before we had kids, then decided to be proper adults and sit at the table at every meal. We started eating on the couch again when both Rebecca and Christopher moved out.

That evening, we were having pasta. “Nothing too sophisticated”, she would say every time she was making something. Everything always tasted amazing, but when we sat down and started eating, the food was bland, different.

“Oh no, I forgot to put salt in the water.”

That’s when she started losing her memory. For multiple evenings, she forgot to put salt in the water, until we realized something must have been off. She would call me twice to tell me the same exact thing or feed the cat again after Desdemona had just eaten and the bowl was empty. Just small things, but when the doctor confirmed it, she became much more aware of it. I remember looking at her while she was cooking: she was holding the salt jar in her hands and staring at it, trying to think as hard as she could whether she had already used it or not.

“I’m sorry if I already said it…” started being the beginning of so many of her phone calls, until she forgot about the diagnosis too and everything became new again.

One Christmas, I got the same gift three times, in three different wrapping papers. They were all in different hiding spots and when we realized, we just exploded in laughter. I just couldn’t tell her the truth and break her heart.

And she never broke mine. In the hospital, on one of her last nights, fully aware of her condition, she told me “My memory is bad, but I know I will never forget you.”

My dear, even though you’re not here anymore, you are the one we will never forget. You still live, in all our memories.

Leave a Reply