The Smile On Her Lips

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“I am so excited! We’re going to surprise Grandma, away from the busy New York streets, to the green countryside!!!” said the thrilled, 13-year old Katie.

“Shhhh…!” said her mature, much older brother, Jamie. “You are going to tell the whole city!” he added.

They were sitting in the living room, talking, as their parents were packing their bags and getting dressed. Katie was wondering what her grandma’s reaction would be when they would surprise her. Perhaps her grandma would hug her at once, or maybe she would get tears in her eyes! They had not seen Gran lately, mostly because of Katie’s mother’s office work. They had not seen Grandma for four years. How quickly they had passed, But maybe not for Grandma… Katie had especially made a beautiful stitched pattern on a handkerchief that her gran had taught her a long time ago. She had learnt and practised to make this pattern by watching videos, asking other people and searching for some tips on embroidery. She was very hardworking and patient; she never stopped the completion of her pattern, just because she would get tired. She would keep sewing, till late at night, when her mother, Lily, persuaded her to stop. Now, Katie was very eager to show her grandma her creation.

Katie could remember her happy memories with her gran. She would climb the treetop in her gran’s backyard, and her grandma would proudly say, “My granddaughter is going to be a confident, young woman, who will make her old grandmother proud.” Then she would smile sweetly.

Katie was just seven years old, then. Poor Grandma, Katie was thinking, living there all alone, with only a woman, Teresa, to take care of her. Gran must have missed us so much! Now Katie felt sorry. But she comforted herself again, by reminding herself that they were going to meet her and surprise her. They would spend many hours with her, they still had time… they would comfort her…

“Come on, now, Katie!” called out Lily. “We have to go. Have you got your things? Take them and come near the car. We’re waiting!” She said this and left hurriedly outside.

Jamie said “Okay…! Let’s go. Katie?” he added. Katie was suddenly woken from her thoughts.

“Yeah, yeah… let’s roll,” said Katie dreamily.

“Let’s roll, huh…, said Jamie under his breath, uncertainly. “She is definitely distracted! ”

The two siblings left their house quickly, grabbing their things along with them. Outside, a beautiful, sky- blue car stood gorgeously, waiting for them. The car had brown, luxurious leather seats, and clear glass windows. In the front seat, a handsome man sat, who was supposedly Katie and Jamie’s dad.

“Let’s ride!” he exclaimed enthusiastically. He was in high spirits. Everyone settled down instantly. They sat down with a ‘thump’ on their seats. They drove out of the New York City, and into the greenery. They were on a high cliff. Their pathway was clear, and the straight, plain road was empty except for their car. The scenery was beautiful outside. Katie opened her window and looked outside. Blue sea water waves crashed against the rocks at the bottom of the cliff on one side, and on the other side, trees were present. Her brown hair was glistening in the little sunlight. The reason that little sunlight was present was that most of the sunlight was blocked by the shade that the evergreen trees provided. A cool breeze was blowing. They soon passed by a sparkling waterfall, whose water was burbling. The water was clear water, and it poured over the black stones.

Katie’s dad had switched his phone off, to enjoy the surroundings, and avoid unnecessary messages. Lily was very strict about the technology, so she told Jamie to switch his phone off. She kept her phone on, in case. When her children reminded her that no network was present, and so the phone would not work, she said carelessly, “So what? Better for us!”

The journey was a long, but smooth one, probably for 8-9 hours, in which everyone, except Katie’s dad, had caught up on naps. It was maybe 9 in the morning when they finally arrived. A small cottage, surrounded by all kinds of bushes, and flowers, stood before them. Everyone, though tired, was jumping from the excitement. Maybe Gran was at the back of the house, watering the plants. “Grandma! Grandma!” Jamie and Katie started to shout. But gran was nowhere to be seen. Everyone was becoming worried by the minute. Teresa came out.

“Lily!” she exclaimed.

“Teresa! Where is Mother? We came to surprise her! Where is she?” Lily asked. “Teresa!”

“Lily… I am really sorry. She… is no more. I am truly sorry for your loss. She passed away when she was in bed, two to three hours ago… she was calling out your names,” said Teresa, her voice breaking by each second.

Lily and the others looked heartbroken. The handkerchief, the present for Gran that Katie had made for her grandma, slipped from Katie’s hand, and she started crying softly.

Teresa continued, “You are late, Lily. She … waited for a long time, to see you all, hoping every day that you would appear. She longed for your support. She missed everyone very much. She wasn’t ill. She just wanted to see you all once and for all.”

Teresa also tried to blink back the tears, but couldn’t. Katie was devastated, and tears continued to fall from her eyes. After all, she was the closest one to her. They proceeded into the home. Katie had wanted to make her grandma proud. She was her inspiration. Katie was mesmerised by the way her gran had cooked, sewed, did gardening, and everything in such a beautiful and graceful manner. Katie could not spend much time with her gran. She couldn’t show her the gift. Katie sank into the very chair, in which she had sat in with her grandma, while she was sewing a sweater for her. Lily comforted Katie, although filled with grief herself. Katie remembered her gran’s twinkling eyes, her jolly face and… the beautiful SMILE ON HER LIPS.

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