favorite joke, more’s the pity,” Angie said tongue-in-cheek.
Although not long back Angie had tired of hearing the same old jokes over and over again, now she took them in the same lighthearted manner as they were delivered. Chris wasn’t trying to be clever; he was simply trying to make people smile, and Angie in particular. From now on Chris could tell as many of his corny jokes and one liners as he liked. After all, that’s what made him who he was. She loved him, corny jokes and all. It would take some time for the bones to heal and even longer to heal their marriage, but it was possible and that’s all that mattered. Soon after the paperwork was completed, Louise gave Chris his aftercare instructions, and after a fond goodbye to the very kind and supremely helpful nurse, the couple were leaving the hospital and going home.
Chris and Angie traveled home in relative silence, with only the sound of the taxi radio and occasional car horn spoiling the tranquility. Their minds were overloaded with thoughts, and each of them was thinking differently about what lay ahead. For Chris, it was picking up where he left off before they split up. For Angie, it was about trying to forget every angry argument they’d had in recent times. It may not be easy, and though they were both anxious to succeed, they were also both very nervous about doing or saying the wrong thing. The sooner they got back home the sooner they could get on with things. When their apartment came into view it was a welcome sight for both of them.
While Angie unfolded the wheelchair, the taxi driver helped get Chris out of the car. As the taxi driver steadied Chris while he climbed into the wheelchair, Angie secretly rejoiced that they lived in a ground floor apartment. Had it not been for the cracked rib, Chris would have been discharged with a couple of crutches. He could have hobbled around to his heart’s content. For now, although Chris had been given a couple of crutches to help him, most traveling around would have to be done with him sitting comfortably in a wheelchair. With Chris settled into his chariot, Angie rested his sports bag onto his lap and balanced the lightweight silver crutches over the arms of the wheelchair. All that was left for Angie to do was to pay off the taxi driver and steer Chris towards their front door, then they’d be home.
Cautiously maneuvering the heavy-laden wheelchair over the front door step, Angie swallowed nervously. This would be the first test of Chris’s memory loss. Would he remember everything about the apartment, or would he remember nothing? They had been living in the apartment well over six years now, and Chris had helped choose virtually everything in it. It would be difficult to know how far back his memory loss stretched until he got inside the apartment. Pointing out things that were either familiar or unfamiliar to him could help to pinpoint how much memory time he’d lost.
Once the couple was inside their apartment, Angie pushed Chris and his load speedily along the hallway and into the living room. For a second or two no one said a word, and then Chris took a deep breath in through his nose. If Angie had thought she’d have to wait a while to find out what Chris remembered, she was wrong.
“It sure smells like home, with the apple air freshener, but it just doesn’t look like home. When did you change the color on the walls? What happened to the pale blue? And where did that come from?” Chris asked as he pointed to the contemporary artwork on the wall.
At the same time as Angie opened her mouth to answer Chris, he interrupted her, and in a childishly sulky tone continued on with his questions.
“Where’s the old coffee table gone? Awww, where’s my footstool? I love that footstool. Tell me it’s in the bedroom or something. Please don’t tell me you got rid of it?”
“If you’d let me get a word in I’ll tell you,” Angie