The music had already started when I got there after a couple of hard days’ work. He was sitting securely in the front, with no real expression in his face. No real recognition either. A bowl of ice cream was devoured in globs, and then I coaxed him up to dance. Never had to do that before.

Occasionally a big smile would cross his face and once when i did a twirl away he quickly grabbed my hand and gathered me into an embrace, saying, “Don’t leave me.”

The singer played “Can I have this dance for the rest of,” and embarrassment in the middle of the special care ward full of folks having a good time, I was suddenly brushing away tears.

They got chased away by a few fast dance tunes, and Happy Hour at the care home was over.

“Come with me,” I said. By now he was happy and agreed. “Where will we stay?” I suggested supper was coming soon and he thought that was good but on the way back to his ward he asked, “will we stay together tonight? where will we sleep?”

Somewhat later, a little unquiet, he held me and stammered, “Forget me.”

I don’t know if he meant: don’t forget me; or forget me. He sometimes thinks long and hard to deliver messages in the rare moments when the clouds clear a bit. But I hugged him and assured him I would never forget him, and, although there was confusion his eyes, it seemed to be good.

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