A Much Needed Reminder, by Vicky Taft

Arthur was constantly listening to Zaria’s nagging. She repeatedly reminded him of what needed to be done because she was under the impression that he forgot everything. There were certain things he forgot about, but doesn’t everyone forget something from time to time? So what if he forgot to walk the dog, forgot about trash day, and forgot when her family was supposed to visit next. He never forgot anything extremely important.

It was Tuesday, and they were both rushing to get ready for work. Arthur worked for a small business their friend Peter owned, and Zaria was a teacher. Zaria came down the stairs and looked at Arthur, and he knew he was about to be reminded about something.

“Arthur,” Zaria said, “Don’t forget about tomorrow. It’s—”

“I know what tomorrow is,” He interrupted. “Why do you feel like you need to remind me about everything?”

“Well, you always forget,” she answered. He could hear her becoming more defensive with every syllable.

“I’d never forget about this though!” He argued. “What makes you think I’ll forget about what tomorrow is?”

“I just told you,” she said angrily, “You always forget. The past four times you forgot. Just don’t forget this time.”

“Sometimes I feel like you don’t think I can take care of things,” He stated bitterly.

“Well, make me believe that you can,” said Zaria as she picked up her purse. “We’re not kids anymore.”

“I never said we were!” Arthur debated.

“I know,” she said and she looked at her watch. He knew it was time for her to go to work. “I don’t have time for this. We shouldn’t even have to argue about it.”

“We wouldn’t have to if you didn’t remind me about everything like I’m a child,” he said. “But I don’t have time for this either. I have to get to work.”

“No, I have to get to work,” she corrected. “You work from home on Tuesdays.”

“Oh, that’s right,” Arthur said with mild surprise. In all honestly, he forgot that today was the day he was supposed to work at home. Then he caught himself, “Not that I forgot. I was just testing you.” He couldn’t let her know that she just unintentionally saved him from wasting an hour. He would’ve driven all the way to the office only to turn around and come home.

“I’ll see you tonight,” she said and shut the door behind her.

At first, Arthur was angry. Zaria needed to realize that she didn’t need to remind him about everything. He can remember things! He can be responsible! He was twenty-three years old, he knew how to keep track of what needed to be done. After around half an hour, he started to calm down. He logged online to start the day’s work when he realized something. He has absolutely no idea why tomorrow was such an important day.

Arthur had to remember why tomorrow was so important. He couldn’t forget, not after creating such a fuss over something that was probably insignificant. But what if this was actually something big? Arthur opened up the calendar on his computer screen to see what tomorrow’s date was. It was going to be November 9th.

That date sounded so familiar, like he should know exactly what happened tomorrow without having to give it any extra thought. What if it was their first date? Or maybe it was her birthday? He knew it was coming up soon…it could be sooner than he thought. It wasn’t their anniversary, was it? There was no way it could be. Or at least Arthur didn’t think so. However, when he tried to remember specific dates he just couldn’t. He realized that he needed a plan, or this could end very badly.

The next day came, and he spent all afternoon agonizing over why it was significant to Zaria. Suddenly, Arthur discovered a solution: he could bring flowers home for her. Flowers were a safe present to give her because it would make her happy regardless of what special occasion happened to be today.

After work he stopped by the local florist and bought a beautiful bouquet containing a variety of flowers. Zaria was already home when he arrived, so he walked up to her and handed her the bouquet. She took them and smiled at him, and he knew immediately that his plan was successful.

“What are these for?” asked Zaria. She was still smiling.

“You thought I would forget today, didn’t you?” He asked. Arthur couldn’t help grinning with pride.

“What are you talking about?” she questioned.

“You told me not to forget about today,” He explained. “And as you can see, I did not.”

Zaria gave him a confused look as she put the flowers down on the counter. “What did you think today was?”

“I didn’t have to think about what today was,” He told her, trying to be vague. “I actually remembered.”

Arthur was starting to panic now; he didn’t suspect that she’d ask for specific details. Maybe he wasn’t as successful as he first thought. He wondered why it wasn’t possible just to look up things about his personal life on Google. Things would be so much simpler that way.

“What do you mean, you ‘didn’t have to think about what today was’?” she asked. Zaria didn’t sound angry like he was expecting. She just sounded confused.

“I just knew it was a special day,” he answered.

Arthur figured that response was reasonable enough. If he was given that answer, he would drop the issue. But, unfortunately for him, Zaria was not the same way. She was determined to test him.

“Like what?” Zaria continued.

“Like…uh…” He was out of ideas. He could either take a guess at what today was and be right, or he could take a guess and be wrong. So far he’d been unlucky, so he wasn’t willing to guess. Instead he chose to stay quiet and hoped that after a few seconds Zaria would start talking again. Why did she have to keep asking for specifics?

“Arthur,” Zaria said as she started to laugh. “It’s trash day.”

-Vicky Taft,

Image by Sara Hazaveh