I looked toward the far corner of the room, where my deceased wife, Ivy’s, photo
was hanged. I allowed the dust to consume it. Better not to remember, I thought. Seeing my frail, bony hands, I tried not to dwell too much into the past. I remembered things I would have rather forgotten. All it ever did was make me depressed, and that would be all the more work for my granddaughter Jackie. My watch made slightly audible ticking noises, as there was no other sound to cancel it out in my old home. The time read 11:54 A.M. A few more minutes, and Jackie, my granddaughter, would arrive with some sort of board game to keep me from dying of boredom. I didn’t mind. I actually preferred not to be alone. It was way better than watching reruns of some soap opera all day long.
That always was a waste of time. Then again, I always wanted to waste time.
I decided to shut off the television and wait for Jackie to arrive to see what she
would humor me with today. The doorbell rang, and I took my time getting to the door.
She repeatedly pressed the doorbell, and when I finally came to opening it, an aroma of smells flooded through the door. It was a combination of various fruits.
“Hey, Grandpa!” Jackie said with a bright smile. “Happy to see me again?”
“As if I would ever be happy,” I retorted in a sarcastic manner.
“You know you love seeing me.” Her grin widened.
“No, I don’t. Come on in,” I smiled.
She carried a box of assets with her. On the top of it all, I saw an old picture of
someone I thought I knew. I realized that I had seen the woman in the photo before. I looked toward the corner of the living room and saw an old photo the same exact photo, with a layer of dust on it. It was Ivy.
“You have the same picture of your grandmother?” I asked in a questionable tone.
“Yeah.” Jackie’s face wasn’t so bright anymore.
“You just can’t forget her, grandpa.” She suddenly looked gloomy.
The air suddenly became cold. I took a glance at Jackie. Noticing myself start to
frown, I quickly changed the subject.
“Well, what are you waiting for?” I said. “Let’s get inside and see what you brought.”
“Right…” She replied, still gloomy about the subject.
We came into the living room and she laid out her belongings onto the closest
table she could find. Among the items were the photographs, monopoly, a few black boxes with labels on them, and a stuffed animal the size of her hand. I made that with Ivy,
I thought .
“What are those?” I pointed toward the black boxes.
“Your adventure videos with grandma.” She replied quickly.
“Jackie, you know you c”
“I know, I know,” She said. “It’s just that I miss her so much, and mom never
talks to me about her anymore..”
There was a silence that crept around the room. I felt a pang of remorse hit me,
and decided to watch just one video, at least for the sake of Jackie. I grabbed a random video from the box and slid it into my dusty, but still functional VCR machine.
It started with a really amateur video recording of me and Ivy running around the
huge property my father used to own. We wrestled and chased each other in the snow,
occasionally tripping over and falling over one another. I could hear the laughter of my mother echo in the background, and my father working loudly on a dog house for our expected puppy. It seemed like pure bliss, enjoying time with my loved ones. At one point in the video, she gestured towards me to follow her into the nearby woods, in which I obliged. My parents told me to come home before sundown, and considering it was early in the morning, we had a lot of time. She grabbed my mother’s camera and we walked into the woods. It wasn’t so much a forest, as it was impossible to get lost with so many signs strewn around, but it had a lot of trees to provide shade, privacy, or whatever necessities we needed for a midday adventure. She walked in front of me, pointing at various plants and calling them names such as doohickies
and jobbleweeds,and pretty much every other made up word she could think of. I was really young at the time, so I proceeded to nod and continue to follow her.
Soon, we reached a frozen creek, one of many that lied in the so called “forest”.
To her, it was an ocean, and an adventure. She walked on the frozen creek, slowly at first, then began to call herself an ice goddess, claiming that it was her that froze the creek. On camera, it was all out of focus due to her flailing her arms everywhere. But I remembered all of it. As she danced around on the creek, flakes of snow fell around her, surrounding her in a circle of bright, glowing snow. Everything in my eyes just went slow-motion. Her chaotic dance surprisingly had a pattern to it, and I thought to myself, she was beautiful . Soon after, she dropped the camera, ending the tape there. I looked at Jackie, who had a tear in her eyes. She sat down next to me and gave me a hug. Before I had noticed it, a tear had made it’s way from my eyes to my cheek, to the bottom of my chin. I brushed it away to keep Jackie from seeing me like this. I couldn’t let her see me like this.