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A Time Lost This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   From the corner of my eye I saw the end of myfishing pole bob once. Turning, I saw the wobble stop. I thought my mindhad started playing tricks on me. After sitting in the heat with mygrandpa for hours, I hadn't caught much more than ultraviolet rays.

The pole bobbed again, more emphatically than before. I bouncedto my feet with the pole in my hands, the clicker off, ready to yankbefore the pole stopped vibrating. My grandfather told me to wait untilthe fish took it, but I couldn't wait. I needed to yank that fish out ofthe water, and it didn't matter if I pulled the bones from ittrying.

I felt the fish pull the line again and prepared to yank.My grandpa told me again to wait. The fish took the bait, and he said topull. I jerked the rod back with all my power. I felt the fish on theline and began to reel frantically, not wanting to lose it. I pulled thefish up along the shore and Grandpa lifted it into the sky. I was proudof the four-pound fish I caught, though it didn't break any records.Even so, my grandpa held the fish up like it was a feast for a king.Looking back, I know that fish meant about as much to him as the worm weused for bait. My grandpa held the lake record for a long time with a 511/2-pound flathead. After catching a fish that size, my grandpa probablyfound it difficult to think much of the four-pounder Icaught.

When I think about those days, I regret not spending moreof them with my grandpa. I grew up and found hobbies without him that Ipreferred. He spent more time with his younger grandchildren, and wegrew apart.

I learned more about my grandpa and disagreed withsome of the things he'd done in his life. Learning that the people welook up to as young children aren't perfect is difficult. I discoveredmy grandpa had an alcohol problem and a smoking addiction. He woulddrink a 12-pack a day while fishing, which was virtually all the time. Ifound out about the man he was before he became my grandfather; I heardstories I never really wanted to.

Doctors diagnosed my grandpawith colon cancer and he went through chemotherapy. I didn't talk to himabout it often (though I felt terrible); we lacked the bond we used tohave. I'd ask him how he felt, but we never really connected. Hesurvived the cancer and is fine now, except for the same hyperactivethyroid problem I went through a year ago. We discussed how lousy itmakes a person feel; I enjoyed chatting with him.

There is stillfriendship between me and my grandpa, and I love him, but the bond wehad years ago eroded as we both grew older. I find it difficult toimagine regaining that friendship, but maybe someday we will.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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