Forget Me Not, by Jon Moray
Samuel Killarney awoke to a woman’s seductive voice on his answering machine at 5:30 AM on March 1st, 2012. His morning routine of stretching, scratching, and showering was uneventful until a sudden thought widened his eyes as he glanced at the morning newspaper he had retrieved from his apartment front door entry. “March 1st? This is a leap year,” he mumbled to himself. He sat down stunned at the odd feeling he could not recall the day before. February 28th he recalled easily. It was his mom’s birthday and the bouquet of pink roses he had ordered was delivered to her home without incident. He had also taken her to dinner at her favorite Italian restaurant, just outside the adult community complex she resided at.
He tried desperately to remember the day before, with a squint of his deep blue eyes, spying through his living room window at a departing night. He checked text messages and voicemails on his phone and discovered he had made his fair share of communication, especially to the two women he currently juggled his bedroom time with. He surveyed the contents in his wallet and found credit card receipts from the coffee house he went to every morning and the taco shop he ate at every Wednesday. The paper trail of his receipts, dated February 29, told the story of where he’d been, but he couldn’t remember patronizing those establishments on that day.
As he was adjusting his striped, dimpled, half-Windsor knot, tie, he decided to call his secretary at home to ascertain how the office was managed on Leap Day. He finished dressing and picked up his cell.
“Hello,” a groggy female voice answered on the other end.
“Vera?” asked Samuel, reluctantly.
“It’s Samuel. I am sorry to bother you at home. It’s nothing urgent. I just need to ask you something.”
“Shoot,” she said, now awoken and cognizant.
“Vera, how was work yesterday? How did my meetings go? Did we do happy hour?”
A few moments of silence passed before Vera answered. “I…I don’t know. This may sound crazy but I can’t remember.”
Samuel paused at the eerie coincidence. Finally he spoke, “I guess I’ll see you at the office.” He ended the call and slumped down in his leather easy chair, in a daze. It’s a leap year, yesterday was Leap Day and I can’t remember living it. Neither can Vera, he mused.
Samuel clumsily grabbed the remote off the cocktail table and clicked on the television. A breaking news alert marquee scrolled across the bottom of the screen. Apparently, Samuel and Vera were not the only ones suffering from amnesia. Reports from all over the globe were coming in about the memory loss of virtually everyone. Newscasters, correspondents, and reporters all appeared flustered over the mystery of the occurrences of February 29th and the lack of explanation as to why. Scientists interviewed suggested that several video reports of an unexplained rippling phenomenon in the earth’s atmosphere at erratic intervals in the past twenty-four hours might‘ve played a factor. Flashing colors of periwinkle, hazel, and crimson, that battled for atmospheric supremacy during the early hours of Leap Day was also discussed by the world‘s greatest minds.
Samuel drove to work wondering how one day’s memory loss would impact the planet. World leaders are videotaped and documented at about every moment, nothing much can change there. Just about every bit of news is recorded. The stock market, sporting events, weather, anything that can be seen on TV can be retrieved. A quick look at the archives from the day before would piece together the events of the lost day.
But what about me? Besides e-mails, meeting minutes and phone records, what did I do and who did I do it with? he pondered.
He continued his 45-minute drive to the office in a funk, lost in his thoughts and driving on subconscious instinct. A part of him savored the challenge of playing detective and piecing together, hour by hour, minute by minute, the lost day.
He arrived at work and felt the buzz of other employees murmuring questions to each other, part excited, part concerned over the global amnesia. Production was lost for most of the morning and was reported as such on the evening news he watched when he returned home. He was about to turn in when the phone rang. The person on the other end was a woman he dated casually, but the relationship stalled two months prior.
“Hi Samuel. What a day, huh?”
Samuel relayed his story of trying to remember Leap Day as she did hers, and then a puzzling question followed.
“Samuel, do you think we were, you know, together yesterday?”
“I don’t know. I have no evidence of us getting together. No receipts, no e-mails, no phone or text messages. I really don’t know.”
“Me neither, however, I had a dream last night we did spent intimate time alone. The dream felt so real, so vivid.”
“I don’t know what to say. I don’t remember even having a dream last night.”
They continued their conversation with idle chatter until Samuel cut the communication short, announcing he had a busy day ahead and needed a good night’s rest.
Weeks passed and the mystery and curiosity of Leap Day eventually wore off on Samuel and the rest of the world. February 29th 2012 became known as “The day that no one remembered, but will never forget.”
It was early June and all was routine for Samuel and his ever bachelor lifestyle. It was a Saturday afternoon and he was reclined on his sofa entertaining a voluptuous member of the opposite sex when his cell rang.
“Hello Samuel?” a woman stammered, frantically. It was the same woman he spoke to the night after Leap Day.
“Betty, calm down. What’s wrong?” His lady guest’s demeanor quickly changed, like a bull that saw red, as Samuel attempted a seamless recovery.
“It‘s my sister,” he whispered, and nervously snickered as she appeared satisfied with his alibi.
Betty struggled to gather herself. “Samuel, I am three months pregnant. I haven’t been with anyone since we broke up. I want you to take a paternity test. I think you might be the father. It had to be on Leap Day.”
Samuel dropped the phone and sank back into the couch, struggling to process the shocking information he had just been hit with, while feebly trying to pry the massaging hands of his lady friend off of his shoulders.
Jon Moray has been writing short stories for six years and has been published in several online and print markets. When not working and being a devoted husband and father, he enjoys playing basketball and training for marathons.
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