by Joanna Wolford
Bernie was sleeping comfortably in his recliner until he got the uneasy feeling that someone was standing over him. He peeled his eyes open just enough to see his wife Aggie, but he refused to open his eyes fearing that she would make him get up, and fulfill something from her honey do list. After fifty years of marriage that list never got smaller. That would teach him to fall asleep watching the news. What time was it? Daylight wasn’t pouring into their living room from the sliding glass door yet. It had to be late in the evening or early morning. He squinted at the digital clock above the television. It was two o’clock in the morning. She’s lost her mind, he thought and nodded off again.
“There’s a man asleep on our couch, Bernie,” his wife said. He wasn’t listening.
“A bit early for errands don’t you think?” the old man grumbled. His body went rigid in protest and she thwacked him across his head. He recoiled into his chair from the surprise attack, “Hell, Aggie!” he cried but she shushed him.
“You’ll wake him!” she whispered.
Bernie ran a hand over his wrinkled head in annoyance, “What? Wake who? Oh, Aggie please tell me Old Alz’ hasn’t gotten the best of you.”
“It’s Alzheimer’s dear and no it hasn’t, just look.”
Bernie peered behind his chair. There was a young man sleeping on their sofa. Soft light from a lamp next to the sofa draped over him like a warm baby blanket. Bernie got up and they stood over him bewildered.
“What should we do?” Aggie asked, but just before a response could escape Bernie’s mouth, the young man sat up wearily. He looked at them, and they looked at him. He rubbed the sleep from his eyes and without a word he simply got up and left through the sliding door. Bernie and Aggie stood quietly as they watched him leave.
“Remind me to get that fixed,” said Bernie.
“It’s on the list,” Aggie replied.
Category: Short Story