Grandma This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I remember being back home in Ethiopia with my grandmother. We were outside on the front porch; I was helping her take the seeds out of the cotton. I remember sitting with her, listening to her talk, and suddenly being aware of everything around me. This wasn't the first time my grandmother and I had done this, but that day felt special.

The day looked, smelled, and felt so beautiful that sometimes when I get homesick I think about that day. I remember how the heat would bring out the smell of the flowers like a heavy perfume. Occasionally, a gusty wind would come and blow the trees like a huge fan. The wind would bring the scent of the flowers and caress your skin.

Grandma would sit there and talk, telling me stories about herself and my mom. Whatever she said back then I cherished like gold. We were so close then. She'd make jokes and reminisce, and when she laughed she'd throw her head back and let out a roar; her whole body would be shaking with laughter. We would talk about everything.

When we first came to America, I lived with her and we became even closer. Grandma was like a mother to me and even a friend. But we haven't lived together since I moved to my parent's house when I was fourteen. After I moved, I visited a lot, and we talked on the phone, but as the years went by, we lost touch. I live just across the street from her now, but we hardly see each other any more.

I feel she is disappointed in me. Now when I go over to visit, she treats me like a guest. I miss the closeness we shared and feel bad for letting go of what we had. Now all I have are the memories of the time we spent together. Sometimes I look at her and can hardly recognize her. How can five years make such a big difference? Is it because things are so different here than they were in Ethiopia? I know I let us drift apart, but I hope someday we can bridge the gap. c


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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