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Grandma's Arrival

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I first heard my mother’s footsteps as she rushed to the door, then the clicking sound of the key as it turned in the lock several times. I held my breath and stared down at the ground blankly. I knew I should have gone to the door as my mother did as soon as I heard the bell ring but I simply couldn’t. I didn’t know why my legs didn’t obey me or why I preferred to stare at the floor as if I was trying to memorize the details of the parquet but there was one thing I knew for sure -at that moment; the thing I wanted the most in the world was the door to stay closed.

Most of my friends had either never known their grandparents or lost them at a very young age and that’s why they were amazed when I told them that my grandparents from both sides of the family were (luckily) still alive and healthy. I couldn’t understand how rare my situation was back then; my grandparents were old but I never thought that one day I could lose one of them. If I were ever able to realize that my lucky state could change in a matter of seconds, I could’ve been better prepared when that cursed phone call came in the middle of the night.

“Who is this?” the guy on the phone had said -when it should’ve been me who was asking for names as it was him who was calling my home- when I answered. The guy’s talk was impossible to make sense of. All I could understand that it was about my grandmother so I gave the phone to my mom. Then, all of a sudden, everything went downhill. My mother started crying. My father took the phone and started bombarding the guy with questions in a voice that wasn’t his- too cold and too sharp. I didn’t know what was happening but I could feel with all my being that something was not right. Then I heard something that made my blood froze. It was my mother. She was asking if my grandmother was dead.

I don’t remember the events after that very well; my father called my uncle, found plane tickets to Alanya and rushed out of the house in no more than twenty minutes. Apparently, while walking back to her summerhouse, my grandmother who was 1.58 m tall and 54 kg was hit by a truck which was 2.5 meters tall and probably weighed more than a couple tons. While my father was frantically running around the house, trying to get the arrangements done so he could be out to meet my uncle and the two could be on their way, I sat next to my mother and hugged her- but it was like I wasn’t really there. I had this feeling that it was somebody else’s life, none of this had anything to do with me and I was only watching them through some sort of screen. I couldn’t believe it was actually happening. Something inside my head kept saying “It isn’t real… It isn’t real…” I felt like my breath was being sucked out of me. I wanted to cry but my tears refused to come out.

A week later the doctors had allowed my father and uncle to bring my grandma back home where she would be tended to by my mother until she was well again. She had broken several bones, one of her ears -which was already not hearing well- was probably going to be useless from now on, there was something wrong with her eyes -but she was alive. It was a miracle that she could return home after such an accident. I was so lucky that I’d be able to see her again in such a short time but I wasn’t sure the thing I felt at that moment was eagerness. I didn’t know what I would see, I didn’t know what kind of condition she was in and that made my stomach go tighter and tighter each passing minute. That’s why I didn’t want the door to open. She could be covered in bandages, she could be unable to walk by herself or worse, she could have an IV in her arm and as I couldn’t know which one of that endless sea of maybes was the reality, I felt scared and vulnerable
I went to the door just as my father helped my grandma in. Fortunately, she was not in bandages -as her broken bones were all on her back- or with an IV attached to her arm but it was obvious that she was weak. She could very well walk but she was holding my father’s arm for support while she was doing it and seemed really, really tired. The only thing that was the same as the grandma I knew and the vulnerable grandma before me right now was the happy way she looked when she saw me.
My mother helped her on a couch in our living room and I hugged her- but in normal circumstances I wouldn’t call that a hug. I had to be very careful not to hurt a bone that was broken or do something wrong so I simply held her carefully. My mother asked her how she felt and my grandma replied just as if everything was fine and she was just back from a trip. When my father came in the room to check on her, she held his large hand in both of her delicate hands and kissed it with gratitude. My grandmother was a short woman and I was taller than her ever since I was eleven but in all those years I knew her, she had never seemed so small.
I don’t remember the rest very well, it is all blurry and mixed up. I remember saying something but my voice sounded so ugly and high-pitched to me that I decided it was better for everyone if I just shut up. I left the living room as soon as I could and took refuge in my room. I didn’t know what to think, I didn’t know how to feel. I knew I should be feeling sad but it was different from sadness. It was like all my feelings had dried out. I felt so empty that it made me hate myself. I wanted to cry but my tears which often were easy to come out were now betraying me once more.





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