“Granny, look what my friend brought; a brand new PSP,” Little John rushed towards his grandmother’s bed with a big smile in his face. He was very joyful that he finally got the merchandise that he desired for. With the pocket sized silver coloured gadget, he went much closer to his Granny. But there was no reaction from her.
“Granny!!”, he shouted with fear.
With great difficulty she opened her eyes and gazed.
Her eyes were watery and they seemed tired as if she has worked all night long. Her hair was messed up and lips were dry. The wrinkles on her face were more evident and the face was swollen. She looked bluish.
The merriment John had in his eyes just vanished within a second for he had never seen his granny look more pathetic than that. He was frightened. He continued staring.
‘My dear Johnny’, she called him with sheer love. She knew that he was frightened of her condition. ‘Come sit with me.’
With trembling feet he walked closer and sat beside her. She held his hands and asked, ’Finally you got your PSP, huh?’ She tried to distract him.
‘What happened to you Granny?’ he asked with a shaky voice instead of answering her.
‘What happened to me? I am just fine.’ She forced a smile.
Johnny did not believe her because he knew if she were fine, she would not have been lying in the bed with the terrible face, sick voice and weak eyes. His face grew pale and he could not speak a word.
“John!” his mother exclaimed, “Don’t you have to prepare for your exam? Go to your room and prepare for it. Granny is just a little sick. Let her rest.”
John was in 10th Grade and his finals were imminent. He was a hard-working guy and was one of the good students of his class. Apart from that, he had a lovely sense of humour and he was tremendously friendly. Because of that he was admired by all.
He went to his room with a very heavy heart. He loved his grandma and he could not see her that way. He opened his books but the concentration was never there. He kept on staring the books with granny in his mind.
“This way… this way”, he heard his father’s voice. He closed his books and rushed towards the granny’s room. He saw a man with long grey hair, ugly looking beard and small eyes. John didn’t like him as he looked more horrible when he smiled; he had a broken tooth upfront and a big scar on his forehead which was more like a wound created by a knife.
In no time, that ugly man and Johnny’s father lifted his Granny and put her in an ambulance. John was now clear that the ugly fellow was the driver of that ambulance. He kept staring to the ambulance while it raced towards the hospital. Nobody even told him to wipe his tears off. Those drops of tears kept on rolling down the cheek.
He went to his Granny’s bed. She was gone. He did not even know if she would be back. Beside the bed, a fresh Daisy was cheery on the table as usual. But it could not fascinate him this time. He turned towards his room ignoring its lovely scent. On the way back to his room, fishes in the aquarium danced as if they were having a great festival. With a miserable heart, he looked at them. But they were not blue like him and why would they be? Their Granny was not sick.
Days passed and his exams were going fine. He had worked his sweat off to secure the good grades. The only pain he had in his heart was his granny was not back from the hospital and he, too, could not go visit her as he was having exam. But he was always curious about her health and asked if she was fine to his papa and mama. And they used to convey him the positive news. He used to throw a relaxed grin.
One day when he was back from his school, his mother told him to get dressed up to see her Granny. He was happy as well as sad at the same time. He was frightened if she was in serious condition. But her mother said that Granny wanted to see him because she missed him. He managed to reveal a confused smirk.
On the way to the hospital, his mind was full of random thoughts. He didn’t speak a word. No awkward looking traffic men, no funny billboard, and other stupid acts on the street made him laugh. He had just that swollen face of her Granny on his mind.
“Johnny my son”, his mother broke the silence “Granny is alright.” He kept on staring the distant object.
After a little while they were both in front of a gigantic hospital. With an increased heart rate, shaky hands and feet and confused mind state, John entered the hospital. Fair looking mother’s face gave him a boost and convinced him that granny was okay but deep down he was afraid. The smell of the hospital was always a nuisance for him. This time, too, it was no different and he had to face it. He followed his mom with a pounding heart and the cries of other patients’ in pain did nothing to help him. Finally, they both were in front of the big room.
“Room no. 414, 4th floor. Silence please.” He grasped this information with a single glance at the door and marched on. He noticed huge machines to his right and one of those showed the heart beat details of his Granny. Next to those machines was her sweet Granny, lying on the bed.
Her wrist was connected to the bottle, via pipe, which was hung just above her head. The bottle contained the water like liquid. He didn’t know what that was.
He stared his granny’s face. The face was much brighter than the last time he observed. It was no more swollen but the wrinkles were hanging loose. She seemed thinner yet beautiful than before. Her eyes were watery but not numb; they were more conversing this term. She looked livelier than before.
“Look, who is here,” she said with ecstasy, “my little prince.”
He got closer with a light heart as her voice seemed as dulcet as those merry days. She kissed his forehead and held his hand.
‘How are you, Granny?’ he asked with a smile in his face.
‘Much better now, sweetie’, she grinned.
‘Yeah, I can see that.’ He joked. ‘ You look as beautiful as a 18 year old girl.’
‘Naughty.’ She chuckled.
They conversed for some time as if they were having a party-time. That eased John’s pain of the heart as he was convinced that his Granny was getting better. In addition to that, his father also told him that the doctor’s words were positive about his granny’s health. He was happy to know that.
‘Why didn’t you come to see me these many days, huh?’ Granny pretended as if she were angry.
‘I wanted you to miss me,’ he revealed his sense of humour. He watched his Granny laughing louder. He felt greatest bliss and had teary eyes. He wiped them off with real pace to avoid her Granny’s sight at them.
‘So will you come to visit me more often from now onwards?’ she raised her eyebrows.
He wanted to say yes. Moreover, he wanted to stay there with her. But it was his exam that he should take care too. So he could not say a word for what he wanted was something he could not do.
‘He has exams, mom. And it is final. So he should be aware of that. He has to score good grade’, explained his dad. ‘So he can’t come regularly. But he will be here once in a while.’
John threw a faint smile for his father spoke the words of his mouth. Grandma kept staring at him and she too gave a sweet smile.
‘Oh yeah, I was just kidding with my prince. You need not come here often. I am getting better each day. See, I look better than before. You just keep your head cool and do your best. You need to score good marks.” Granny told John. ‘You just wait me at the home. I’ll be there soon as I’m getting better.”
John felt awesome. He wanted her to be back as soon as possible. He came to know that she had lungs’ problem and she would be back after some days with the completion of some minor operations. Having this information, he was ready to head towards the home.
‘Granny, I will see you soon there. Take care okay?’ John said with watery eyes.
‘Aww! Don’t do that I am very fine now. It’s just about 2-3 days more and I’ll be back at the home fit and fine. You take care of your studies’, Granny told in deep voice.
She embraced him very tight and kissed him. He then headed back home and started to study with happier mind. “Just some days more and she’ll be back home”, he thought and continued to concentrate on his study.
“Tring.. tring…” the phone sang loudly and woke him up.
“Who is calling this late?” he groaned with his eyes closed. He then turned the light on and glanced at the clock. ‘2 AM’ it showed.
The phone continued to sing in a louder voice. He quickly rushed towards the phone.
‘Ah! What a cold night?’ he murmured to himself.
He received the phone.
Dad was on the phone other side. He was with Granny at the hospital. His voice was deep and depressed. John didn’t realize that as he was in half sleep.
“Call your mom, John”, he ordered.
John rushed towards his mother’s room. He didn’t know what was happening. He certainly had no clue. He forgot to ask to his father about his Granny’s health. He knocked his mother’s door.
“Mom, Dad is on the phone from the hospital,” he managed to utter only those words.
In a flash she came and received the phone.
‘What?’ she shouted in terror. ‘She is no more alive?’
All of a sudden tears started to flow from his eyes and turning to John, she said, ’Your Granny is no more son. She is gone forever.’
His feet started to tremble. He couldn’t withstand that. He landed on his knees. Tears started to rain from his eyes. He felt as if something is blocking his throat. His heart pounding and he felt an enormous pain in his chest. He could not speak a word. He thought of his Grandma. Only he knew how badly he wanted her back.
“It’s just about 2-3 days more and I’ll be back at the home fit and fine.” These words of his Grandma started to echo in his ears. The flood of the tears came down from his eyes because he knew that she would never come back. She was gone forever..