Julie sat a dinner plate in front of Mac and then in front of Absidee. Since Mac's sinus infection, Julie had taken to cooking dinner at least once a week. Mac immediately picked up his fork and started to eat, an action that Absidee took as good sign. Maybe he didn't remember her still, but at least he hadn't lost his appetite.

Sitting down with her own plate, Julie gave Absidee a pointed look. "So are you going to tell me what's wrong or are you just going to push that food around on your plate and pretend like you're eating?"

Absidee sighed, setting her fork down. "Heather came into the shop today."

"With Beau?"

"No, by herself. I guess Beau is all right and he's home. I guess it isn't actually a seizure thing, he's got a cyst on his brain that causes his memory to degrade."

"Are you serious?"

"That's what Heather said." Absidee took a deep breath. "He doesn't remember me, Julie. That's why he hasn't called."

"That's impossible!"

"No, it's not. They told him about what happened when he had the seizure at the track and he had no idea who I was."

"I think you need to go see him," Julie urged. "Maybe he just needs to see you to jog his memory."

"Oh come on, Julie," Absidee scoffed, picking up her plate and dropping it in the sink. "You and I both know all too well how this memory thing works. You can't shock someone into remembering. If I could do that, my grandfather would remember me – he would remember everything. He wouldn't have Alzheimer's and I wouldn't even be here. I would be finishing college and I wouldn't know Beau and I wouldn't give a damn that he doesn't – damn it!"

She leaned on the counter as the tears fell without control. Julie looked to Mac who seemed to be unaware of the whole situation, despite Absidee's volume. Julie got up from the table as well and pulled Absidee into a hug.

"I know it isn't fair," Julie said. "It isn't fair and none of you deserve this. Not Mac or your father or you. You don't deserve to have someone who mattered to you as much as Beau forget about you. For whatever it's worth, I want you to know that your family handles the Alzheimer's so much better than most families I've seen. If you were the average family, Mac would have been in a home before he had even stopped being able to take care of himself. They think it is easier that way, but I think he's stayed well longer being at home."

Absidee nodded and wiped her tears. "Thanks, Julie. I appreciate it. I think I'm going to take a shower; can you stay a little longer?"

Julie nodded. "Of course."

Absidee thanked her again and went to round up a couple of towels. As the water warmed up, she tried to take some deep breaths and remember she just had to take it one day at a time. She couldn't break down like that again. Yes, it was terrible that Mac and Beau both didn't remember her but it was life, and life was unfair sometimes. That's just the way it was.


Evelyn watched as her son started out his seventh day in a row on the couch in front of the television. Since Heather had left the week before, Beau hadn't done much but shower, eat, and watch TV. Dr. Turner had decided to continue on with the injections and Beau agreed as well. Besides his agreement to continue with treatment however, it seemed the depression phase of his illness had set in. Both Owen and Evelyn could see that it was affecting his memory even more, and she couldn't stand it any longer.

"Why don't you get dressed, Beau, and I'll take you over to the parts store? Don't you think it's time you talked to Absidee about all of this?" Evelyn suggested.

Beau snorted. "Absidee doesn't want to talk to me. If she did she would have at least tried to get a hold of me by now."

"Or maybe she understands that you had a seizure right in front of her and has no idea what's going on, but that we need family time to deal with it. Does ignoring you really sound like Absidee? You know her much better than I do, but I think that Absidee is probably going just as crazy without you as you are without her."

"Mom, I'm old enough to not need a girl to cheer me up."

Evelyn shook her head. "It has nothing to do with age, Beau. You'll never be too old to need the person you love."

She didn't say anymore, and although her son pretended to ignore her, she could tell by the way his face changed that she had struck a chord. She mentioned this to Owen when he came home from work later that day.

"Evie, I think you need to just let him deal with this. You didn't think I should meddle between him and Heather, and look where that got us," Owen said.

"Yes, it got her out of the house," Evelyn replied. "They weren't right for each other. Beau didn't love her anymore, and we both knew that. Owen, he's in love with Absidee and if we don't get her back in his life, we're going to lose our son."

"Dr. Turner made it very clear that the cyst is not terminal."

"I know that, but I'm talking about losing Beau as we know him. How are you going to feel if you look at your son one day and he doesn't know the man looking back at him? If we let this go on, we will lose Beau."

Owen sighed. "What do you think you're going to do?"

"I'm going to talk to Absidee. I don't think she's blowing Beau off, but I think she probably is scared."

"You just have to be careful of what you say. Are you going to tell Beau that you're going?"

Evelyn shook her head. "I'm just going to go talk to her and we can go from there."

"All right. I'll stay with him while you go talk to her."

She smiled and kissed him. "See, I was right about what I told Beau this morning."

"What's that?" Owen asked.

"You're never too old to need the person you love."

For that, Owen kissed her three more times before finally letting her leave the room.


Absidee was in the middle of cleaning the house from top to bottom when the doorbell rang that Saturday afternoon. She had the day off from work, but she had determined to stay busy in order to keep her mind off of everyone forgetting her.

"Enough with the pity party," she told herself for the millionth time as she opened the door. "Mrs. Montgomery? What are you doing here? Is everything all right?"

"Please, call me Evelyn," she smiled. "Everything is fine. Do you mind if I come in?"

Absidee nodded. "Of course. I'm sorry, I just wasn't expecting anyone. We can sit in the living room."

Evelyn walked in the house, noting how cozy the place felt. No wonder her son had enjoyed spending time with Absidee here.

"Have a seat," Absidee offered. "Would you like a drink or anything? I made some cinnamon rolls this morning."

"No, thank you," Evelyn smiled. "I wanted to talk to you about Beau, actually."

"I appreciate you going out of your way to come over, but Heather explained everything the day she left."


Absidee nodded and took a seat next to Evelyn on the sofa. "Yes. She stopped at the parts store, explained about the TIA and the brain cyst. She made it very clear that Beau doesn't remember me. I'll admit, it isn't the easiest news I've ever had to hear, but with my grandfather's illness, I suppose I can understand something like that."

Evelyn reached out and put a hand on Absidee's arm. "Absidee, sweetheart, I don't know what possessed Heather to tell you any of that. Yes, Beau had a mini-stroke while you were talking that day at the track. Yes, he has a brain cyst that is causing his memory to degrade. But, no, I can assure you Beau hasn't forgotten about you. It's sort of a wonder, really. He remembers more with you and about you than anything else. He thinks that you haven't called or texted because you've written him off due to the memory issues."

Absidee's hand covered her face. "I'm sorry for crying, I just … I'm relieved. I've missed him so much."

"Please, don't apologize," Evelyn soothed. "That shows me how much you care. I have never doubted, Absidee, that you were good for my son. I just didn't know how good until you weren't around for him anymore. I know that you have a lot on your plate with your grandfather, but I'm asking you not to leave him alone right now. I don't know what's going through his head, his father doesn't know what's going through his head, and he doesn't want to tell us. He needs you."

"I could never dismiss him if I could help in any way," Absidee assured her.

Evelyn smiled. "Thank you. I don't want to push you, but do you think you could come by tonight? I'm afraid to let him sink any further into this slump."

"Of course. I'll just have to see if my dad can come stay with my grandfather."

"I know you try to not to leave him very often, so I appreciate that. I'll see you tonight."

The women embraced before Absidee saw Evelyn to the door. Evelyn thanked her once again, and then Absidee closed the door behind her. As nervous as she was, she couldn't hide the smile on her face.


Beau stared at his mother in shock. For the first time in a week, someone had said something that made him want to turn off the television, get off the couch, and do something about how angry he felt.

"Heather did what?"

Evelyn took a deep breath. "I went to see Absidee this afternoon. I was worried about you and as much as I didn't want to pry, I couldn't keep watching you go through this depression. Absidee is your friend, your best friend I would venture, and she deserved to know what was going on. Heather beat me to the punch, but she embellished."

He let out a deep breath. "What did Absidee say?"

"Well," Evelyn replied, "she cried, actually. But only because she was relieved that you still know who she is. Seems her grandfather doesn't know her anymore."

Beau shook his head. He should have been there for her through that. He let what he thought he had left with Heather overshadow anything and everything he felt towards Absidee, and he failed her. He would forever kick himself for that one, he knew.

"Can you take me to the parts store tomorrow?" Beau asked. "I need to talk to her in person."

"She's coming here, tonight. I don't think she wanted to wait any longer to see you, and I didn't want you to have to wait either."

"What do I say to her, Mom?"

Evelyn sat next to Beau on the couch and put her arm around him. "Whatever is honest. She knows the truth now, so there's no reason to hide anything."

"You're right," Beau replied quietly. "I guess I should take a shower."

"And put on some clean clothes," Evelyn suggested.

Beau smiled and nodded. He hugged his mother, thankful that she cared enough to push for him when he couldn't do it himself.


Absidee took a deep breath, finally satisfied with her appearance. Her closet was empty and her bed was piled high with clothes. Nothing seemed right, but she wanted to look perfect. She had started out with a casual summer dress, but that looked too done up. After going through every pair of jeans she had and almost every tank top, she decided on a pair of cut-off shorts, a motocross t-shirt and tennis shoes. She pulled her hair into a ponytail, then met her father on the front porch.

"You don't think it's too hot for him out here?" Absidee asked when she saw Mac sitting next to her father on the porch swing.

Michael shook his head. "The fresh air is good for him. Is Beau expecting you?"

"I'm not sure. Evelyn is expecting me, but I don't know what she told Beau."

"Well, good luck and take your time. I'll be here."

Absidee smiled. "Thanks, Dad."

Her nerves were on edge the entire way to Beau's house. She drummed on the steering wheel at every stop sign and red light. Her left foot tapped out the rhythm to the song on the radio as she drove. Finally she pulled up to the house, took one last deep breath and walked up to the front door. She knocked and Owen answered the door.

"Hey, Absidee," he smiled. "Good to see you."

"You too," she returned. "Is Beau home?"

"He is, he's in the garage. Come on with me."

Owen led her through the living room and the kitchen, to a door that led out to the garage. Beau was just opening the larger door of the garage, and her entire body tingled at finally seeing him again.

"You're good?" Owen asked quietly. Absidee nodded. "Then I'll leave you to it."

Absidee nodded, then turned back to Beau. He was watching outside, and Absidee thought he must not have noticed her car in front of the house yet. She cleared her throat, and Beau turned on his heel.

"I didn't know you were here yet," he said, walking towards her.

Absidee shrug. "I snuck in, I guess."

Beau nodded, rubbing one hand on the back on his neck. "Listen, Sidee, I'm sorry I didn't tell you the truth sooner. I'm sorry that I let Heather out of my sight long enough for her to lie to you. I'm sorry that –"

"Are you going to be apologizing for a while? I'd like to just hug you, but if you're going to keep apologizing, I'll sit down."

Beau grinned and swept her petite frame into his arms. Absidee buried her face in the crook of his neck, and Beau squeezed her tighter. He closed his eyes, feeling his spirits lift just by having her there. After a minute or so, he set her back down on the ground.

"Do you want to it on the porch with me?" he offered.

Absidee agreed, following him out to the front step of the house. She just couldn't stop smiling; she felt as through her heart would burst. Beau was her friend and she loved him, and now he was back in her life. It gave her a sense of optimism she thought she would never regain.

"I won't keep apologizing," Beau smiled. "But I do want you to know that I never meant for any of this to happen. I don't know what I was thinking, agreeing to let Heather come visit. The feelings I had for her were gone the day she walked out on me, and I let the history we had convince me that maybe I was just angry. Really though, I was just angry."

"I wasn't ever mad at you, Beau. I hope you know that. The whole thing at the track happened, and I got scared. I wanted to give you and your family and even Heather space to deal with it, and days just kept passing."

Beau sighed. "Well, you know the truth now. Still think it's worth sticking around?"

Absidee bit her lip, pulling her knees to her chest and playing with her shoelace. Since Evelyn had left her house that afternoon, she had come to the conclusion that she couldn't hide how she felt any more. Not from herself or her father and Julie or from Beau. Possibly the only thing that scared her more right now than Beau forgetting about her was the possibility that he didn't feel the same.

"I know it's worth sticking around. Beau, since I came home, you're the only person I've been able to completely open up to about how I feel. You're the only friend I've found who hasn't distanced from me because of my responsibilities to my grandfather. You take me for who I am and you don't ask me to be anyone more."

"Sidee, I don't need you to be anyone more. You're one of the most beautiful, caring, loyal people I know. You've never pushed me for more information about my illness, even when I told you it was just seizures. It's pretty easy to accept someone when they accept you."

"It's more than that. I told myself that I wasn't going to let anyone get close to me, and you made it happen without me noticing. These last couple of weeks have been the worst, thinking that you and I were just never going to see each other again." Absidee could feel the tears coming on, as much as she fought them. "No one has ever made me feel like this before. I have never needed anyone else besides my dad and my grandfather. I realized all of this, and then Heather told me you didn't remember me and …"

She shrugged, unable to complete the sentence as her tears fell. Absidee covered her face with her hands, and Beau didn't hesitate to wrap his arms around her. He pulled her to his chest and kissed the top of her head.

"Don't you know I could never forget you, Absidee? When I woke up in the hospital after that seizure at the track, the first person I asked for was you. I don't know how it works, really, but you're the person who makes me remember more than I'm supposed to with this cyst. All the talks we've had since we became friends have been so easy. You made me open up after Heather, and you put my broken heart back together just by being you."

Absidee pulled back, tears still falling but one end of her mouth turned up in the hint of a smile. "So what's next?"

"I guess we have two options," Beau told her. "We can go back to being the friends we were before, or we can stop pretending we just want to be friends. It's up to you though, Sidee. I don't want you to feel like we have to do this, but if the last few weeks have showed me anything, it's that I have to live like this cyst is going to take over one day. I'm optimistic, but that's the reality of the situation."

If Absidee had any doubts before, that statement erased them. More tears fell as she threw her arms around his neck. "If that's how you have to live, then that's how I have to live."

Beau let out a sigh of relief and embraced her once again. He held he until the tears subsided then smiled and wiped them from her face.

"Your girlfriend is a crybaby," Absidee chuckled.

Girlfriend, Beau thought as he smiled. He liked the sound of that, especially when he could relate it to Absidee. "Are you going to stay for dinner?"

"If your parents don't mind."

"Are you kidding me? My parents have been on me to talk to you since the seizure at the track. There's no way they could turn you away."

Absidee smiled, wiping her face again and lacing her fingers with Beau's as they went inside to tell his parents the news.


After supper, they went back out to the garage to do some maintenance work on Beau's motorcycle. He couldn't believe Absidee's patience with him. His knowledge had diminished somewhat with the loss of his memory, but she treated it like she was teaching him something he hadn't ever known before. They worked for about an hour before she announced she needed to get home.

"Dad's staying with Grandpa, and he told me to take my time. I don't want to be too late though."

"I understand," Beau assured her. "Come on, I'll walk you out to your truck."

Absidee dusted off her hands and reached for Beau's as they walked down the driveway. She couldn't find any reason why she didn't give in to how she felt sooner; nothing had ever seemed easier than being with Beau, even if it was only the very beginning.

She leaned against her car door, somewhat sad that she had to leave. Beau looked at her nervously, as though he was unsure of his next move.

"Are you working tomorrow?" Beau asked.

Absidee nodded. "For a little bit in the morning."

"Well, I don't want to smother you right away, but if you want to pick me up on your way home, maybe we can spend the rest of the day together."

"I'd like that," she smiled. "I guess I'll see you tomorrow."

"I'll see you tomorrow."

Overcoming his nerves, Beau put one hand on the truck, leaned in, and kissed her. Absidee happily returned the kiss, feeling her stomach to acrobatics moves to which she didn't know the names. All she knew was that it was far beyond flips and turns.

When Beau pulled away, she couldn't help but place a hand on his chest and give him one more chaste kiss before getting in the truck. She felt her cheeks on fire, not sure why she would be so embarrassed about kissing the same man who had just kissed her well enough that she knew she could never kiss another man and be so content.

"You're cute when you blush," Beau teased as she started the engine.

"It's dark outside! How do you know I'm blushing?" Absidee laughed.

"Because I know you. And you're right in the light of the street light."

Absidee nodded, putting the truck into gear. "See you."

"See you." Beau walked behind the truck up to the yard and stood there until he couldn't see her headlights any more. Because it was Absidee, he was sure he would remember, but he still planned on putting every detail of that evening into writing; it had been just too good to forget.