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My grandfather, whom I called Binka, lived in an apartment in Vineland before he died. It was in a very quiet community, with neatly trimmed grass and white picket fences. He lived on the first of three floors because his old, weathered bones couldn’t mount the stairs any longer. Every time we visited him, his dentured-smile greeted us with pure pleasure, and his hugs enveloped me in the rich smells of aftershave and lotion. He would hold me tight, even though it hurt him to bend down to reach my level, but he loved me as much as anything.

Binka was sick for a long time. He had to go to dialysis at the hospital, and my father and I would sit in the stiff waiting room chairs and wait for him. My feet would dangle, not able to touch the floor, and when Binka come home with us, he would sit stiffer and seemed even more tired than before. When my Binka went into the hospital, my whole family was grim, waiting for a phone call, but at the same time hoping that the phone would remain permanently silent.

He came home after a while, but it didn’t last long. One day, his visiting nurse entered the apartment, calling his name, but Binka didn’t answer. He had died peacefully in his last restful sleep.

That apartment, however, was not where my fondest memories of Binka occurred. The apartment which I favor most is in Brooklyn. It probably still stands there, on the busy city street, crammed with the cacophony of sounds of the day to day city life. The pulsing beat of a manhole cover rattling, a stereo pounding, or a dance class thumping fill the city until it explodes in a wonderland of culture and the beauty of every color imaginable.

The memories of fun times in Binka’s apartment are innumerable. I can still recall the day that Binka, Daddy and I went down to the joint garage below his apartment. He led me, in the musty darkness of the garage, to an object covered with a plastic tarp. Uncovering it with a flourish, he revealed a shiny pink tricycle. The only thing that I had time to do before wheeling around in giddy patterns was give Binka a quick hug.

The apartment was a good size, and it had a guest bedroom that overlooked the entire city. At dusk, the city was etched into the sky as it with a whittling knife, with definite lines and strokes tracing the blackened buildings against the settling sun. But the grandest sight, by far, was the mountainous tower of the empire state building. I would see the twinkling lights blinking in odd, unpredictable patterns, as enchanting as the uncountable stars in the sky. At night, when the rest of the city seemed to be eaten up in the darkness of twilight, I’d gaze out of the curtained window, peering at the pinpoints of light. In December, the entire tower was lit with a warm, white glow, bathed in the loving brightness of the decorations.

When I think of my Binka, I try not to remember our last times together, when he was sick and weak. I attempt to remember the times when I got my tricycle, or when we sat at the windowsill in his apartment, three generations, Binka, Daddy and me, side-by-side, gazing out at Binka’s view.





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Marina said...
Jul. 8, 2010 at 10:59 pm
Great story!  Can't wait to read the next one!! 
 
JTStephan said...
Jul. 7, 2010 at 6:08 am
Very heartwarming story, Mikaela.   Your ability to capture the true essence of emotion and to paint vivid images in your details is a true gift.  Keep up working on your craft because your talent has a lot of potential to bring you great places in life!  Great job! -Mr. Stephan
 
Bubbie & Zaydie said...
Jul. 3, 2010 at 6:49 pm
What a beautifully written story!  Mikaela, you are so talented and write with such feeling.  We love you so much - Love, Bubbie & Zaydie
 
softballrox42 said...
Jul. 2, 2010 at 10:16 pm
this is such a great story! i can't wait to read more of your stories because i know you write almost all the time, :] but still, you're an amazing writer--keep it up, :]
 
Kael96 said...
Jul. 1, 2010 at 8:21 am

Reading your story takes me back to those days when we visited Brooklyn and we anxiously waited for the late evening so that we could see "Binka's View". You have  captured those memories so beautifully, and I of course am very proud of you. Love, Your Mom

 

 
Xela97 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 6, 2010 at 2:01 pm
this is such a sweet comment!
 
esgf317 said...
Jun. 30, 2010 at 10:52 pm
nice story-your binka would be proud!!
 
Cousin Jenn said...
Jun. 30, 2010 at 3:54 pm
Wow! Beautifully written.  You rock!  Jenn
 
Linda said...
Jun. 30, 2010 at 11:39 am

I'm really impressed!  You are an amazing writer.  I look forward to reading more of your stories. 

Your friend in Colorado- Linda

 

 
Abaigeal S. said...
Jun. 30, 2010 at 12:05 am
Kael! Your magnificent. Keep it up because your obviously AWESOME! I love the story and I really wish for your to post more. Because of you, I created my own account! -Baigeal
 
Xela13 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 6, 2010 at 7:55 pm
THIS IS SO TRUE - THAT KAEL'S AWESOME, I MEAN!!!! CAUSE SHE IS.
 
Flyerfan said...
Jun. 29, 2010 at 10:06 pm
I thought this was a wonderfully written short story.  The details were outstanding as all senses were visited. The story was touching and I loved it!
 
Snowdancer153 said...
Jun. 29, 2010 at 8:36 pm
What a wonderful story!!! I luved it.
 
Taurus121 said...
Jun. 29, 2010 at 6:41 pm
I love this story so much. Your wording is magnificent. I almost started to cry.
 
Xela97 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 6, 2010 at 2:02 pm
just letting you know that im alex
 
Healing_Angel This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 19, 2010 at 4:55 am
Wow! Powerful.
 
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