Tuesday 1 February 2022


 by Niloufar Behrooz


It all started on the day that Betsy came to our nursing home. Our lovely blissful Betsy who for some reason chose to be transferred to different nursing homes every month. From the moment of her arrival, she brought an uncanny joyous atmosphere with her. She would sit all day in the garden and talk about her exotic voyages in faraway lands. Even though her card said she suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, no one seemed to care that her tales may not have been true after all. Just the way she narrated every story, the zest and life she put into them was enough to make the listeners believe she had actually lived all those crazy adventures.

I don't know if it was her Alzheimer’s that had given her such a unique and cheerful spirit or not but she never stopped smiling. She would especially beam up whenever she talked about her two dashing boys in the navy who would shower her with flowers and kisses whenever they’d come back. Her daughter was another story. She had been a child actress since she was five and now she was living a happy suburban life with her lawyer husband. And there were, of course, the framed pictures of her extremely cute grandchildren whom she adored but admitted to not knowing their exact age. She was everybody's favorite patient because she cheered them up with her bright face and soothing voice. The stories were always the same of course due to her Alzheimer’s. But she never stopped telling them. Her wonderful life seemed to have been immortalized in the past.

Things changed the day the visiting doctor came to the nursing home for monthly checkups. No one saw Betsy come out of her room that day and then it got worse and worse. The echoes of her joyful laughter were not heard since that day. The doctor had told everyone that not only didn't Betsy ever suffer from Alzheimer’s disease but she also never had any children or grandchildren for that matter.

Betsy was transferred to another nursing home the next week.


About the author 

Niloufar Behrooz has a PhD and is a lecturer in English Literature at the University of Isfahan, Iran. Her work has appeared in Raintown Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, Classical Poets Society, Lighten Up Online, Parody, Literary Hatchet, Litro, WHR and elsewhere. You can find her on Instagram @niloufarbehrooz


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