My Grandfather Whom I Knew So Little About This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Love is so important but I regret to say it doesn't mean that much in my family. There are those who take it for granted. Oh, what I would do for old, traditional family stories before a crackling fire or family vacations. I want to feel as if I belong to a close and loving family.

Of all my relatives, I adored my grandfather the most. We were different people from different worlds. He was a mysterious man who would sit in his large, comfortable chair before the television set. I can barely recall sitting with him and having a conversation. Never did a smile break upon that melancholy face. He lived a sad, lonely life, even with his wife and family. He shut life out and lived alone in a dream. He built a strong, firm wall around his heart, forbidding joy or love to enter. It broke my heart to stare into his eyes; all I saw was a shattered soul.

My grandparents decided to return to their homeland, the Azores of Portugal. They felt that death was creeping up and wished to die peacefully on their native soil. Coincidentally, they were leaving on my eleventh birthday; I was overcome with grief. That day, the last day that I would ever glance into my grandfather's eyes, was the day my grandfather's wall broke.

My parents threw a farewell party as well as a birthday party. After dinner, my mother brought out the cake with eleven candles. In the dark room, the flickering flames danced and licked the air as I made my wish. I wished for love. I wished to be able to touch my grandfather's heart. It was decided that my grandfather and I would both cut the cake. I can still feel my hand upon his warm, firm hand as we sunk the knife into the cake. At that moment, as we shared a memory, my grandfather's wall crumbled. I felt his heart glow with warmth and light.

When my grandfather and I were alone, he gave me his silver fountain pen. He told me to cherish it as much as he did and to remember the old man behind the pen. He was giving me a piece of his life - a life I knew nothing about. He looked at me with his usual frown, and tapped my foot with his cane. He stood and placed his hand on my shoulder as he looked down on me. That moment is sacred to me. I have always cherished his pen, as well as that day. When he handed me his fountain pen, he was handing me his love.

Six months later, that man whom I knew so little about died. He left behind a bundle of mysteries and many untold stories. Never shall I forget that day when my tears streamed down my face at the news of his death. Though we knew so little about each other, we shared a moment that can never be forgotten. My heart bleeds and my tears pour when I hold my grandfather's fountain pen. I regret deeply that I never told him that I loved him. It's funny to realize how three simple words can be so difficult to say.


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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