The Crime of Forgetting (An Inspiration Monday post)

Writing (image by healingdream)

An Inspiration Monday XIX post.

The post hit the mat.  She took a hesitant step forward her feelings a mixture of anticipation and dread.  Could it be that his card would actually be waiting with all the others this year?  Would she have been remembered?  The moments when she actually stood the chance of having a place in his mind were few but they were more than she ever really hoped for. 

How little time it takes to remember a birthday – to take the time to walk into a shop and buy a suitable card.  The few seconds it takes to unwrap the card, write a short message of greeting and scribble the address on the envelope.  A little longer if the address has to be researched.  Then stamp the card and take it to the post box or place it carefully (or more likely throw it carelessly) into the post-tray in the office.  Such a little gesture takes so little time, but how much that means in the hands of the recipient.

She wondered how it must feel to be him.  To forget one year and remember the next but never to offer an apology for the years missed.  Did he even notice?  She wished that she didn’t.  She almost came to dread her birthday.  Every year the sense of anticipation was the same.  She loved the other cards that arrived but there was always one that she almost cared about more than the rest.  This one card was capable of changing not just the day but her feelings over the days and weeks that would follow.

How hard would it be to post a message to her online?  He had her profiles, her email address – he could probably get hold of her mobile number and text her quite easily if he could be bothered.  And there was the rub.  He couldn’t.  Or wouldn’t.  It didn’t really matter to her which it was either way she got hurt just the same.  The stupid ignorance of someone who thought he could just walk away without causing pain to either of them.  And he didn’t really care how hard this was on her – probably didn’t even have a clue.  Clueless – she would use that as another nickname in the long list she now had for this man.

She plucked up the courage and picked up the pile of envelopes signally the arrival of the anniversary of her birth.  She repeated the actions she took every year.  She flicked through, recognising the handwriting on each and filing away in her mind those who had made the effort: her god-daughter, her niece, her closest friends, her mum’s oldest friend who she had always called auntie, her brother and sister-in-law, her grandparents – so many people who every year took the briefest of moments to remember her. 

She reached the end and the cloud that had hovered descended for one bleak moment.  It wasn’t there.  She’d had a premonition when she woke this morning that it wouldn’t be there but somehow she had persuaded herself that she was being silly and it was bound to arrive.  But there it was not.  For the briefest of moments she convinced herself it was just late.  Much as she wanted to believe it she knew it was a lie and she could not lie to herself anymore.  He had just forgotten.  Or remembered and decided not to act.  She wasn’t sure which she preferred but neither would take the fact away that he hadn’t bothered.    

She’d never added up the failures but she suspected that the list would not be short.  How could he do this time and time again without so much as an apology?  She would never understand.  But this year she made a decision.  She would never let this happen again.  She would not have her day ruined and she would not be controlled by this man who had given her so much of himself but never let her know him.  No, never again.  This year something would change.  She would hold him responsible for his crime of forgetting.

http://bekindrewrite.wordpress.com/2011/05/30/inspiration-monday-xix/

(Image by: healingdream – http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=989)

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13 Responses to The Crime of Forgetting (An Inspiration Monday post)

  1. Love this story. Have so much to say. We as women know. And honestly, men are not that clueless. Some of them are calculating. I think he knew exactly what he was doing.

    • loustar02 says:

      Thanks for the positive comments. I’m not so sure in this instance but agree with you that some of men and women can be very calculating.

  2. pattisj says:

    You did a great job on this. Enjoyed reading, I was right there looking over her shoulder.

  3. Something about this was very real – nice job! I’m glad she’s taking a stand – I hope she’s not going to kill him or anything. ; )

    • loustar02 says:

      Wow – thanks 🙂 That’s made my day. Thanks for taking the time to read it amongst all the others.

      No, I don’t think so. The end originally was that she was going to punish him but it didn’t feel real enough so I changed it. Not sure if that was the “right” thing to do or not! Comments welcome.

  4. pianolover1114 says:

    Very nice! Like, very! My one critique (which isn’t a big one) was it was slightly predictable. But that’s a plot critique. The writing was amazing. I never thought about letters like that. And a very good job of showing not telling.
    I wrote a very different piece off of this prompt. Did you read it?

    • loustar02 says:

      Thanks – helpful comments. I hadn’t set out to create a twist as such. The twist really was her decision that what had happened before would not happen again or at least would no longer have power over her.

      I did read it – liked the ending very much.

  5. Kay Camden says:

    I got somewhat stuck at the first line. I imagined the post of a porch, something architectural. Like the house was falling down. Then I realized it was the mail that hit. Are you from the UK?

    That’s my American bias, always thinking anything written in English is American English. It always takes my brain a little time to shift. LOL

    • loustar02 says:

      I was a bit worried when I read the start of your comment…then I realised what was going on. Yes, I am from the UK and actually wondered whether it might cause any confusion. Seems it did – sorry! Hopefully didn’t take away from the story too much once you realised she wasn’t about to die a horrible death from the house collapsing around her!

      Thanks for taking the time to read it again.

      • Kay Camden says:

        Don’t be sorry. I love reading pieces from UK writers. You use the same words I use but in different ways and it’s so interesting to me. And different spellings of the same words (realised, realized). Although my spell checker thinks yours is misspelled… and spell checkers never lie… I’m just sayin’… haha.

        But you have to admit we Americans took the English language and improved it. Am I right? LOL 🙂

      • loustar02 says:

        I’m not sure I can think of an appropriate response to follow. I’ll just be content with the knowledge that all spell-checkers think all other languages are misspelled other than US English. I think what you have there is effectively a deviant of a well-modelled original, i.e. the English language. 😉

  6. Pingback: Inspiration Monday XV « BeKindRewrite

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