He woke up with an inexplicable restlessness. The room was unfamiliar and Tia was nowhere to be seen. He panicked as he got out of the bed and stepped on the ice-cold floor. His eyes darted about the room for a while before landing on a handwritten label on a door. ‘BATHROOM’, it read. He walked towards the door.
Once inside the bath, he saw strange gadgets fitted on the wall. He looked around for further instructions. ‘SHOWER, ROTATE LEFT’, another label read. “Didn’t I familiarise myself with this apparatus the other day? I am being very forgetful these days,” he mused. No sooner did he operate the shower knob than he got completely drenched in cold water.
When he stepped out of the bathroom shivering, he found himself searching for something. He couldn’t recall what. His mind was starting to play games with him again and he was losing. Helpless, he dropped down on the floor and curled into a ball. Like salt to injury, he suddenly felt a pang of loneliness in his heart. “Did Tia abandon me?” he asked himself. The thought made him weep.
A familiar touch on his shoulder, a few minutes later, reassured him. He turned around and saw his daughter Tia. He suddenly remembered what he was looking for. “I forgot the towel,” he said abashedly. “It is okay. I am here now,” she said, wrapping him in the towel she had brought with her. The warmth was comforting and he calmed down.
Over the years, Tia had seen her father fight a losing battle against Alzheimer’s. He might eventually forget her one day. And to Tia, it was an unsettling thought. She prayed her father never forgets her. She knew she was clinging onto a gossamer thread of hope, but that was all she had. Just then, he whispered: “I never forget to think about you, my child.”