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

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   I watch his fingertips as he performs his usual after-dinner ritual of pushing his plate away. His fingers are long and thin, embedded with dirt from a hard day's work. He wears his blue-collar work shirt as if a badge, identifying him as a middle class laborer. I sit motionless, not knowing what to say to the man before my eyes. In front of me sits someone whom I admire, tied to me through blood, and author of a thousand tales. The distance between us is marked only by a few feet, yet it feels like a million miles.

My grandfather sits before me, his eyes posed as in reflection. Perhaps he is recounting his endless war stories, or maybe he is envisioning the days and nights spent in Arabia. Feeling the silence all around me, my eyes continue to search my grandfather's face. His wrinkles resemble a map imprinted on his face. The silence continues.

I remember a time when my grandfather would tell me his countless stories. Each story marked a chapter in his life. The characters consisted of people encountered in his travels, life-long friends and loved ones. Some remained through the years, others had a stay that was far too brief. I thought about his best friend and wife, my grandmother. I could hear his words as my mind wandered to his life in Canada, with his friend and brother, Hugh. At one time I was a main character, the side-kick who accompanied him on great adventures. I wonder what happened to the magic we once shared. My eyes once again meet his; I can see my own reflection. Gazing into my own eyes through the eye of my grandfather, I realize what happened. I started to grow up and write my own novel, with my own friends and journeys to tell. Over the years, the chapters got longer and more difficult to read. I did not invite my grandfather into my life, as he welcomed me into his.

I rise from the table and bring the dishes to the kitchen. I then sit back in the seat I am accustomed to, to the left of my grandfather. Without further hesitation, I begin to speak to him, ending the silence, in hopes that the chapter we once shared has not come to an end. 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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