Her Granddaughter

"Can do. The stuff they let kids get away with nowadays." The email was spare change words for him –in my eyes, they were gold. Immediately, I knew what I had to do.
“Bobbie.” As the receiver crackled, her face flashed. Surprised –“Bobbie, Joel Stein from Time Magazine agreed to an interview with me” –proud.
As a grandmother, Bobbie meant grammar corrections and public humiliation. At age five my family and I moved into her house for a year, and a streak of courage propelled me under her comforter at bedtime. That streak of courage was a masked streak of luck. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was a nice story –her syllables were magic.
She gazed at the interview questions sprawled before her. Her eyes snapped to mine, and my bated breath snagged. “These are really very good.” An un-asterisked compliment from her was rare, but when no amendment came, a smile leaked across my face. “Thanks, Bob.” She neglected my beam –“really very good” was expected –and continued, “When do you get to ask Joel these questions?”

When our family schlepped from Bobbie’s front door, we didn’t go far. An uphill pedal-job got me there in seven minutes, wheezing. As I “calmed my asthma,” Bobbie bewitched. She read the fifth HP book, and two years and a page flip later we were onto the sixth. Together, we tiptoed hand-in-hand through midnight release parties and pulled one a.m. bed times. We were tired; we were enchanted. Bobbie’s voice grew raspy, but never frail.

Monday, May 16, 7 p.m.: time to dial. I double-checked each digit; the final eleven lit up my eyes, emanating promise with an intimidating digital stare. My thumb hovered above the green button, and I smiled back at Joel Stein’s cell phone number. Call.

I was half-kidding when I “wanted to go to England” for my 11th birthday, but Bobbie knew that my imagination was hungry to see the places I envisioned from her bed. “Happy birthday,” she said, as my tears fell onto the pair of plane tickets. A month later, invigoration captivated me as never before. We were soaring, hours from British adventures, and she was deep in a book beside me.

“Actually, Joel, my grandma’s in the other room waiting for me to tell her how this goes.” I bit my lip. “She told me not to ask you, but, do you think it’d be okay if she came and listened?”

She rolled her eyes, pursed her lips, and sat. When I described her significance to Joel, she turned away. Her eyes sparkled the next time I caught them.

The mandrake-from-Harry-Potter costume needed to be prize-worthy before Book 7’s midnight release. As Bobbie and I discovered, full-body magical plant costumes take time. We stabbed our thumbs with needles and calloused our hands on fake foliage for hours, and on a break she handed me something new to talk about. An article she loved. By Joel Stein.

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Kindle said...
Aug. 28, 2013 at 10:24 pm
I can see how it would be tricky to write something only 500 words long. My stories are always at least 3 times that size >.< I liked how the ending wrapped everything up. 
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