“Beautiful days,” I said to myself under my breath as I turn over the pages of my photo album. I could still remember the last time I visited my grandfather. It was about a decade ago but those memories still remain fresh in the back of my mind as if it was yesterday.
I was four then, and had just started school about a few weeks ago and as he had promised me before, he took me to the nearby bird zoo, where birds of different kinds were kept, and the best part was that they were not caged love bird specially those pair of newly brought blue winged macaws.
I took my brand new binoculars with me and looked here and there while my grandfather pointed out different sorts of birds and told me about them as we walked along hand in hand. Then suddenly we stopped in front of the big maple tree, “Why are we stopping here?” I asked my grandfather.
“Wait. Let me show you…..”and stopping in mid-sentence he hastily made an odd sound with his mouth and one of the blue winged macaws landed on his hand. They looked gorgeous up close, wings the color of the most vibrant baby blue I have ever seen, the green of the body feather effortlessly blending with the blue hue and gave off a golden sheen.
“Want to hold it for me?” he said turning to me with the brightest smile and I shook my head vigorously to say “yes” not being able to hold my glee.
The bird sat on my fingers with its sharp talons wrapped around them while I patted on its head and grandpa took pictures of me with that bird. We stopped by here and there around the trees to take more pictures of the birds; the fun, the delight went on and on until I realized that he looked exhausted, he was puffing and panting, and looked more pale and sweaty.
It was almost evening when we sat under the shade of the trees, beside the lake that ran into the zoo. I landed on the grass with my back against it, munching on a toffee bar and complementing the beautiful shades of neon pink, orange and yellow against the coming evening ,and the perfect reflection of the scenario above on the calm lake water, while a soft breeze carrying sweet smelling flowers shook the vermillion and orange leaves of the maple trees making tiny waves on the lake water and creating ripples and spreading across it like wild fire.
“Look at the evening star. Someday I will be there, watching over you,” said grandpa, his hazel eyes sparkling against all that was there.
“You have a spaceship. Don’t you? or else how are going there? “I replied and he smiled, “Can you tell mum to let me go with you too?” I asked, pleadingly, with the widest smile I could manage to pull off.
I could see him smile, all he did was smile, he covered his eyes from view and just kept a smile on his face.
“Promise me you will talk to mum, and force her to let me go with you there? I want to see those aliens!!! I want to see them!!! I want to touch the star!!!”
He started to chuckle and I yelled, frustrated, “Give me an answer already and stop laughing…” I lowered my voice a bit, “would you?”
“I will take you there, someday, I promise. Not today, not anytime soon, but someday, Okay?” He said through closed eyes.
“That’s a promise right? You will remember, right?”
“I will remember,” he said and patted on my head, messing up my pigtails.
The colors start to fade away slowly and suddenly, blending into a whirlpool of nothingness, disappearing and I try to hold onto the colors but they slip away ,slip away from my fingers…..”NO!NO!NO!NO!NO!NO!NO!NO!NO!NO!NO!” I shout…..breathless, my eyes flutter open, cloudy and glassy with unshed tears ,and then I start to cry my heart out silently, and watch as my tears stain his smiling face only visible in a little piece of colored photograph.
“Grandpa, you left without saying a word. Weren’t we supposed to go there together someday?”
“Are you watching over me now? Can you tell that my heart is breaking apart?”-were questions that I had, that were never answered.