An Elusive Memory

by Tameko L. Barnette

Sitting on the plastic covered sofa, I waited patiently to hear my name echo throughout the sterile-scented doctor’s office. I watched other patients pacing back and forth, while pretending to read a Ladies Home Journal magazine. I wondered at the other patients trying to take focus off my own priorities and to-be-announced test results.

One woman, who couldn’t be no more than twenty-two or twenty-three years old, sat fearfully rocking her twin babies while they whined and moaned the sounds vibrating off the walls. Her hair was blonde with brownish highlights, it was obvious she didn’t take the time to fix her hair that morning. There was a man sitting next to her holding another child. He looked impatient. He was built big with solid, well-toned muscles, his voice exuded the same strength. “Stanley and Patricia Greene,” the nurse yelled. The woman jumped as if she was in a deep sleep and suddenly frightened. I could barely hear her as she spoke, “I need the money to pay them, Stan.” He gave her a look that seemed to burn her soul as he responded, “I’ll pay the money myself. Sit down!” She obeyed him without debate.

He paid the nurse at the front desk and sat next to his fragile wife, who looked as if she didn’t weigh no more than a hundred pounds soaking wet. I wondered why were they together. Maybe because she got pregnant and he felt obligated to marry her. Obviously, he was the bread-winner and the ruling voice of their home. She laid her torso lazily against the back of the chair as she used her feet to continue rocking the babies to sleep in their portable cradles. Her face was stained with tears, probably fresh from that morning. Maybe his breakfast wasn’t made on time? I looked harder at the woman’s face, noticing a blue and purple looking circular mark on her right cheek.

She brushed the frizzy blonde strands away from her forehead exposing another dark trademark of their relationship. I felt the tears forming in my eyes as my heart went out to this woman. My heart tried calling out to hers, begging her to leave this man, who possessed the infamous hatred that may end her life.

My feet were leading me in her direction, but just then I heard the nurse yell, “Tamara Scott.” I turned towards the nurse, gave a half-smile that was a chore to bring forth, and followed her lead down the hallway to the examination room. I kept thinking about the woman, Patricia Greene. All the faith she may have lost along the way, I held in my heart for her.

An Elusive Memory by Tameko L. Barnette

© Copyright 1999. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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