Scout's Honor

In the beginning, she could feel her mind slipping.  That’s how they’d told it would be, after all.  It started with the simple things.  You know, like putting the garbage in the washer machine, and the dirty laundry in the garbage.  Wasn’t it like that for everyone, though?  You can’t help but forget the simple things sometimes. 
No, they’d warned her about that.  That she’d start making excuses for her condition. 
She couldn’t help it.  “How silly of me,” she’d say, extracting the towels from the trash and depositing them in the laundry bin.  And then she’d go about her day like nothing had happened.
Her forgetful mistakes became increasingly common as time passed.  Half a dozen times a day she'd find herself in a pickle.  Then, after a few months, she stopped noticing altogether.  Hours later, she’d check the oven for dinner and find it empty, the cold, uncooked casserole already packaged into Tupperware for the boys to take with them to work.  Leftovers were their favorite lunches. 
Her husband, Bob, worried over her.  “Take things easy, baby,” he’d say.  His tone irritated her.  “I’m not crazy!” she’d yell back.  “I can drive to the grocery store myself.”  She did fine until the tenth month, when she got lost and didn’t return home until eleven-thirty.  Bob took away her license after that. 
“I’ve lived here my entire life!” she protested.  That’s when the seriousness of Alzheimer's really dawned on her.  The town was the size of a hamlet.  Wasn’t it? 
On their thirty-ninth anniversary, Bob gave her an old card from their dating years.  He told her the story over dinner, in case she’d forgotten. 
“Remember this card, baby?” he asked.  “I gave it to you just before my first deployment.  I was so afraid you’d find somebody else while I was away.” 
She looked at the card.  Even if you forget about me, he’d written, I'll always love you.  Scout's Honor.  He was home again in six months, and then they were married.
By the time she forgot Benny’s birthday, she’d stopped caring.  They’d warned her this might happen.  That her personality would slowly change until her forgetfulness ceased to bother her.  The early knowledge of how her symptoms would progress used to keep her up nights.  She became frantic, scribbling things down in a notebook in case she needed to remember them later.
But Benny’s birth date wasn’t in the notebook. 
“How old is my baby?” she asked Bob, after he brought home a yellow birthday cake from the bakery. 
“He’s nineteen today,” Bob said.
“No,” she disagreed.  “No, my baby is five years old.  He’s five with a red balloon.  He loved that red balloon.  Remember?”
Bob didn’t remember.  It was odd, how she occasionally recalled these random things.  Like the day she’d taken Benny to the zoo and bought him the red balloon.
After that, the nurse moved in with them.  She didn’t like the nurse.  The nurse was nosy, and rearranged their bathroom cabinets.  The razors and nail clippers went missing.
One afternoon, she found Bob sitting at the kitchen table with a notebook.
“Who’re you?” she asked, simply.  He glanced up, and there were tears in his eyes.  His finger was keeping his place on the page.
“I’m Bob,” he said.  “I’m your husband.”
She didn’t respond, just looked confused and poured a glass of milk.  The nurse came in and said it was time for her nap and they went back to the bedroom.
Bob looked down at the notebook where his finger waited.   The nurse had found it hidden in the sock drawer a few weeks ago.  He had recognized his wife’s hand-writing immediately.  On the front page, it said:  To Bob.
Even if I forget, I'll always love you.  Scout's Honor.

Written by Lauren Holgate


  1. this makes me want to cry... have you been reading Nicholas Sparks books?

  2. Eh, no. If I had been, a character would've UNNECESSARILY died for NO REASON WHATSOEVER and ruined the entire book WITHOUT CAUSE.

    Redundant much?

  3. Haha! I feel ya on the Nicolas Sparks, there.

    Lauren, this story was so beautifully written. Like Amy, I cried. Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. Congratters, ducky, you've reduced me to tears (impressive, in so short a space of time). Brilliant job! I love your peeks into fiction.


( hippies always welcome )