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

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      The last time I saw him was 12 years ago. Twelve years have passed, and still I remember eating pomegranates while his thin hands combed through my hair. To this day, I still remember stories my grandmother used to tell me. He is my harabugee - my grandpa.

As a child living in Korea, my harabugee was my closest friend, the man I spent every day with and depended on for piggyback rides. We were inseparable from the moment we awoke until I fell asleep in his arms. I ate the food he prepared, and he was my pillow and storyteller. Little did we know that a day would come when his first granddaughter would leave. My father was to be stationed in the United States and time would blur our images of each other.

The summer of my sixteenth birthday, I would see my harabugee again. On the plane, thoughts of him ran through my mind during all 14 hours of the flight. Would he look the same? Would he be healthy? Did he still have the pictures I drew for him? Most important, would he remember me?

I was four the last time we saw each other and I was worried about what he remembered. I was short then, bubbly and always smiling. He dressed me. Twelve years later and I was taller, had pimples and a different figure. I picked out my own outfits and had my own sense of style. I was scared he wouldn’t realize I was his granddaughter.

I landed in the airport and rode with my aunt and cousin to my harabugee’s house, where we found him pacing back and forth, awaiting my arrival. He looked the same, and as soon as I stepped out of the car and faced him, I began to cry. He ran toward me.

“Tina!” my harabugee kept yelling. We met each other with open arms and he whispered, “I’ve been waiting for my granddaughter to come home. I missed you, my little Tina. Welcome home.” Our eyes filled with tears as we walked up the stairs, arm in arm, telling each other all the events we had missed in each other’s life. He did remember.

As I walked upstairs, I laughed to myself. Why had I worried that he had forgotten? After all, I am his first granddaughter.

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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