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Rated: E · Short Story · Family · #2320333
Jessie visits her dad and knows the dreaded question will come
Seven words. These seven words always left me on the brink of tears and laughter. Isn't that what they call the best medicine? Laughing through tears?

Alzheimer's does crazy things to the mind, and my father spent his days in front of the television watching court TV. Growing up, he always found Judge Judy entertaining and thought her truth detector was top-notch. He couldn't tell you what this trial was about, who had taken the witness stand, how long it had gone on, or anything else pertinent to what was happening. Still, there was one thing he did remember and remember well, and those seven words would be said every time I stopped by to spend time with him.

"Hi Dad," I said, entering his room and kissing his cheek.

I sat across from him, and he smiled. Sometimes I wondered if that smile was indeed recognition or just humoring me until it dawned on him who I was.

"What are you watching today?" I asked, knowing full well.

"Shhh," he whispered. "Court is in session."

I took a deep breath, listening to the craziness happening on the TV that sent the courtroom into bits of laughter when the Judge called people out on their bullshit.

"Jessie," he said.

Recognition at last. "Yes, Dad?"

"Do you swear to tell the truth?" he asked.

"About what?"

A conspiring flash danced across his eyes. "When am I getting out of this place?"

I bit my lower lip to suppress the laugh that threatened to erupt. "Just a few more days," I lied.

I swear that man knew I was lying but played along anyway.

He nodded and turned back to his show.

Just imagine the trouble I'd be in if he remembered to punish me. Thank God for small favors.

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