13 years

There are some things you just cannot seem to forget.

She came home when she was 8, report book squashed between multiple other thick textbooks in a bulky Digimon bag. Like any other night, after the 8 o’clock news, when both of them are resting in front of the television, she entered the room. The thin green book in hand as she made her way to the right side of the bed where he lay. She must have been smiling. She was probably 3rd or 4th in class. Never the smartest but it did not matter to her.

She handed the book to him, and he shifted further up the bed, leaning against the headboard, the flimsy book in his right while his left hand lifted his glasses above his eyes to rest on his head.

‘How could your average score be below 90?’

She had never thought of why she did not do better than she did so she really could not answer and just looked some place else. Her score was 86% or 87%, she could not really remember.

‘I’m not going to sign this, get your mom to do it.’

She was a little shaken and confused, mostly confused, so she took her book back and walked out of the room. It was either that or she moved to the left side of the bed, where the other lay and got her to scribble her initials in black pen instead. She must have slept on a salty pillowcase that night. The book was later returned to her class teacher, with the other’s signature on that page.

And all the pages after that. Every single one. She had never bothered to ask him for his signature after that day.

She is 21 now but she still remembers. Each time, it hurts the same way it did when she was 8.

I am sorry.

I love you, but I still remember.

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