He was wandering the streets looking worse than a lost puppy. He seemed worried. The traffic cursed at him while he crossed the road oblivious to the signal.
She was waiting in a car for her husband who had gone to the store to get some things. They had planned a romantic evening after a very long time. She noticed the old man who was lost, pale and oblivious to his surroundings. She refused to blink her eyes when she saw him cross the road. Then, she got out of the driver’s seat with her mobile in hand. A quick dial to call her husband to help. She had seen these symptoms too many times.
‘Hi darling, I will be there in a minute. Just a few more …’
She interjected, ‘Dear..forget the stuff. Come out immediately. We have some work to do.’
Surprised and worried her husband left the trolley of stuff on one side and ran out. She was not in the car. Dialed her number while looking for her but before it connected found her running towards an older man. With a face of enquiry mixed with worry, he ran quickly towards them. Before he could reach, he too saw and understood the symptoms of the old man.
‘Uncle, do you know where your house is?’
‘Yes, I stay in that building, pointing to the one straight ahead.’
‘Are you sure?’
A nod and she continued, ‘Please do let us drop you. You look tired and as we both are doctors we would like to reach you safely to your house.’
Her husband saw the tears welling up in her eyes as she held the old man’s right hand trying to lead him. She quickly passed the car keys to her husband. Holding the uncle’s hand tightly like a mother who fears losing her child in the crowd. They drove to the building that he had pointed. As they reached, they kept exchanging glances through the mirror giving each other strength in ways unknown.
The security of the building recognised the uncle and saluted. Some hope returning, the couple smiled. They took the lift, as he said he stays on the fifth floor. But as they got of the lift, uncle seemed confused and lost again. He took out his and was going to use it in the keyhole of the house right in front of the lift.
‘Grandpa, not again. That’s the wrong house. This is our home.’ A girl about ten years of age, ran and held his hand and steered him to the correct house. The girl noticed the two strangers accompanying her grandfather, and to them, she jovially said, ‘You must have helped my grandfather to find the house. Thank you so much. Won’t you all come in for cup of coffee. My grandmother makes the best coffee in the world.’
‘Sure, aren’t your parents in? We would like to meet them too.’ said the husband.
Looking at her watch, she added, ‘Dad should be home any time.’
And after a pause, she added with sadness, ‘my mother left us when I was born.’
The house seemed well-kept. The situation was well understood by the two doctors. But the urgency couldn’t be forgotten. She had just lost her father to an accident owing to the disease and couldn’t let that happen again to anyone.
The little girl’s father returned just in time for the coffee. They introduced themselves. While sipping their coffee in lower tones
the husband spoke to the father about the incident. The man’s eyes were welling with tears as he looked between his parents, little girl and the doctor. After some silence, he said, ‘I shall bring him tomorrow. I lost my uncle to Alzheimer’s disease and want to make sure my dad is safe.’
The couple soon left. However, their mood was altered. The girl had taken her heart but there was no more a mood to have a special evening….
The Image is from Morguefile. This post is a response to the Wednesday Prompt 2014 #8 at Write Tribe. This is my second entry. Please do have a look at the first one at ‘http://apsscribblesandwhims.blogspot.in/2014/02/the-key-clicks.html‘.