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Can You Help Me?

By Simon Baceda All Rights Reserved ©

Romance

A Short Story

I don't know who I am. I mean, I know my name sure – it's David. I know my age too – fifty-two. I'm about six feet tall, I have dark hair, blue eyes, and my skin is tan so I'm pretty sure I'm outside a lot. Based on my wardrobe I'm the kind of person who likes to work with his hands. I don't think I have a single shirt without a stain on it. Well, that's not true. There is one. It's the only shirt in the drawer with buttons, and it's perfectly white.

Blank.

Like me.

Except that's not true either. I'm not totally blank. I have one memory. It's of you. I think it's the first time we met. It was at a craft store – or maybe it was a hardware store, I'm fuzzy on that – and I was buying a big paint brush. You were in front of me in the checkout line. I said hello and you smiled. I gave you my name and you gave me yours; Sam.

We talked while the clerk ran your items through – about the weather, about politics, and social media. Sorry, I guess I'm kind of lame. You didn't think so then, though. You had a smile the whole time. Your pretty pink lips parting to show your white teeth. You played with your long red hair. It looks good up like you have it right now, but I like it better down like you had it then. With those wavy curls that bounced when you moved your head. You were paler then too, but the colour looks good. Guess we've both gotten some sun.

You finished paying for your things and said goodbye. Then you left, and I watched for a few seconds. Watched your long legs carry you through the automatic doors. I quickly paid for my paint brush and ran to catch you.

I didn't see you at first. The sun hit me and everything was way too bright. Maybe I didn't like to be outside back then, I don't know. Anyways that was when I spotted you on your way to your car. (It's funny; I remember almost everything about these moments, but nothing before or after. I don't even remember how I got to the checkout line.) I called your name and you turned. I was already running towards you, waving my paint brush in the air. You waved back and waited for me to catch up.

I remember your green eyes sparkling then – like they are now – but without all the years of experience in them (and without the crow's feet). I asked what you would be doing later, and you said the most exciting thing you would be doing would be watching Will and Grace. I asked if you wanted to get something to eat with me, maybe go for a walk around the lake after. I remember my heart beating its way out of my chest while I waited for you to politely decline.

You didn't though. You said it sounded like fun. I must have had the dumbest grin on my face. It sure felt dumb, but I couldn't stop. You took a pen out of your purse and wrote your number and address on my wrist. (527-668-4724. You lived in 223A in 'Alec Arms Apartments' downtown. Maybe you still do, who knows. Well, I guess you would, ha ha.) You said I could come pick you up at around five. I told you that I'd wear my best "going out" shirt. That's probably the white one with the buttons. We exchanged goodbyes, I turned around, stated walking and then…

Nothing.

That's where the memory stops.

I don't know why I'm telling you this, or why you'd want to hear it. No, I do know. I think you can help me. I don't know what's happened since then, but it must have been a long time ago. Your hair has lost some of its luster, and your eyes aren't so youthful. You have laugh lines around your perfect smile now and you don't seem to have the energy level you did that day.

But there's a ring on your left hand, and there's a ring on mine. Do you think you can help me? 

I don't know who I am.


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