One Last Time

January 19, 2018
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The tires of the plane hit the ground with a great force as the engine slowly came to a halt. A small,  ten year old girl, filled with enthusiasm and wonder, exited the plane as her mother watched a wide smile beam across her innocent face. As they walked outside, instantly, the honking, the chattering, and the people made it feel like home. Her small legs moved as fast as possible, quickly grasping to the first item she found on her mom. In a country filled with hundreds of people on each corner, the young girl collided against everybody that touched her. Salt water drops began to break from her face as the warm sun hit her bare arms. A small burning like feeling overcame her, as the sun followed her every move. The humidity began to moisten her skin, as she longed for some brisk wind. She soon realized her feet were no longer sliding against the floor but that they had come to a stop. She looked up and butterflies began exploding throughout her body. Her dark brown eyes widened as the smile sitting on her face only got bigger. Her small arms quickly wrapped around her grandmother’s waist as she rested her head on the aged woman. After every heart beat, her grip only got stronger. She never wanted to let go, it was as if it was the first time the two ever met.

The yellow colored vehicle soon stopped outside a tall building. It wasn't as high as a skyscraper, but high enough to leave her in awe. The small girl’s head kept bobbing up and down as she attempted to look through the pitch black windows. Leaving the taxi door open, she rushed up to the security guard, waiting for him to open the door. Ignoring the elevator, her tired legs began moving quickly up the stairs until she found the number six. Once again, she began running, but this time it was to a door. She found the first door on the sixth floor and began shaking the handle up and down. A small noise came from behind her. As the sound grew closer, it sounded more as a chuckle. It was her grandpa. His body hovered over hers as he fit the key perfectly in the lock. As soon as the click of the latch hit her ears, she turned the handle towards her feet and bolted inside. Slowly, she looked at her surrounding and felt a sense of relief overcome her body. Everything was the same as it had been for the past five years. The T.V sat there in the shelf with dust surrounding it and the balcony held the entire view of the city from green trees to small shops. Although it was a small house, it made her feel safe. As she looked down the balcony, giggles began to form, as she watched the ant like figures walk down below. She heard a familiar sound coming from the kitchen, and her body soon began guiding her in that direction. Her eyes quickly began squinting as she found another little girl sitting in her favorite seat. It was her younger sister.  As her grandma pulled out a new chair, while making the sound of chalk against a board, she welcomed her grand-daughter to take the new spot. Her youthful body skipped to the chair as she pulled herself in, excited to see what has been prepared. Patiently she waited, as she watched crumbs fall down the face of her little sister. She laughed, but the five year old did not have a care in the world, as the bites kept getting bigger. Soon enough, her food had arrived. She took a big whiff and began drooling over the smell. There was nothing better than food made by the hands of the only good cook she knew. She lowered her head to get another smell, but the spices began to water her eyes. Abruptly, she lifted her chin back, giving a small jerk to her neck. A minute passed and her dish was empty, yet the aroma stilled traveled throughout the kitchen. With a feeling of hundred pounds weights on her shoulder, she held her stomach as she slowly dragged her feet to the couch. Following her steps, her younger sister waddled behind and plopped down next to her. Their backs slumped against the wall with drowsiness taking over their energy. After cleaning the mess left behind, the grandma found a space between both girls. She limped over to the couch, as her legs were beginning to cause pain. Her hands sat on the backs of both girls as she began telling stories. The ten year old listened to her grandma’s story with great concentration as the background honking of cars and chatters of people canceled out. Her head peeked over her grandma’s shoulder as she found her little sister with her eyes closed, quietly breathing. Her mother came to take her sister into a room, suggesting that the 10 year old follow. Quietly, she followed her mom and walked into the cold room. Goosebumps filled throughout her entire arm as she quickly went under a thick blanket. She looked up at the grey colored dresser and noticed peculiar eyes looking down at her. It was a pigeon. The same pigeons that always flapped their wings through the window and silently stood on top of the seven foot dresser. Her eyes began closing and soon the pigeon was just a blur.

Awake and alert, her broadened eyes saw that there was no longer a sun glistening through the window, but a white circle sitting in the center of the sky. She walked into the living room filled with laughter. Instead of saying something, she noticed that near the door, a pair of sandals were missing. She sprinted outside as the friction against her feet grew faster, and saw that her grandma was ready to leave. She walked back in the house, leaving the door wide open. Completely out of breath, the young girl grabbed the straps of her pink sandals and quickly put her feet through them. Again, she went outside and saw that her grandma was waiting for her with a grocery bag in one hand. The love she felt for her grandma was so great, it was something that could never disappear. She always wanted to go every with her. The connection she had felt with her was like no other. The young girl loved doing the most simplest of activities with her; playing games, cooking, and watching movies. She did not even mind scrubbing soap against the plates, as long as she got to talk with her grandma. Two months passed as she enjoyed every day that summer held. It was soon time to leave India and come back to the States. The small ten year old did not want to go. Instead of a smile, her mom caught a frown and tears running down her child like face. She felt leaving her grandma was not an option. Two days later, she was back in the dry desert full of arid  conditions and constant heat.

It was the Friday after they came back. During noon, the house phone did not stop ringing. “Ring, ring, ring, ring,” there was no pause and soon her mother answered the phone. As she was sitting from the other room, the young girl ran to where her mom was, because of the sudden loud cry. Uncomfortably, her mom somehow laid out the news as the young girl watched small droplets of water run down from her mothers eyes. Her heart dropped. Her stomach ached. The young girl was in shock. It was a feeling she wishes never returned again. It was as if some part of her had gone. She ran back to the previous room as her eyes just stared at the stained carpet beneath her feet. She sat still as the only sound surrounding her was the rapid breathing coming out of her body. One breath. Two breaths. Three breaths. No amount of slow breaths could change the one thing she hoped for. Her grandma was no longer there. She could no longer witness the presence of the bubbly old woman, she could no longer hear the deep broken voice her grandma made while telling stories, and she could no longer consume the mouthwatering food she devoured over. Who knew her last visit would actually be her last visit.

Five years passed, and the young girl was no longer young. She was a high school student. Life had moved on, but everything seemed to stand still when they visited the the small flat one last time. It was as if her grandma was still there. The house held the same scent, the balcony held the same view and the T.V was still left untouched. She walked to the cold room and couldn’t help but lift the corner of her lips. There was a grey colored pigeon sitting on the top of the dresser. Everything was still the same, and so were the thousands of flashbacks of her grandma running through her head. In a part of her beating heart, the girl kept a million memories of her and her best friend.

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