Gift of the Gab

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I leave my luggage in the entry hall.  The kitchen is just as I remember it.  I put the kettle on.  Once the day gets going, I'll walk up the lane to the hospital. 

The air in the room feels stale, like the mood in a house where the family has gone away for the summer.  I close my eyes.  I can see Grandma sitting alone at the table, humming to herself and listening to the announcer on the radio, the back garden light shifting in through the curtains.

I remember sitting at the table with her once before. I was fourteen. We had breakfast: tea and brown bread with butter and marmalade. She buttered a thick slice on the top side with the wide blade of her knife.

How is school? she asked. How have your studies been?

I rolled my eyes--I had not yet learned my own impatience--and coughed up one word answers like "fine" and "good."  To my teenage ears, the questions sounded like the ones my parents always asked.  My shortness must have left her wanting, but at the time she only smiled and nodded. 

Now her chair stands vacant in the corner.  I sit quietly nearby and wait for the kettle to boil, thinking of all the things I didn't say.

10 bolts from the blue:

xoxo said...

sounds like an intriguing beginning.

Jon Paul said...

Thanks Xo!

Bethany Wiggins said...

Writing fiction rocks! And much more exciting than being a helicopter pilot... NOT! But both are an awesome use of time.

Jon Paul said...

You might laugh, Bethany, but I'm more afraid of the page than I am of flying. I still feel like a Kindergartener when it comes to fiction.

But what's that old saying--nothing ventured, nothing gained?

Bailey McKay Clement said...

Great beginning!

Jon Paul said...

Thanks Bailey!

Kristi said...

Loved this beginning and thought it was really touching! I felt like I was there and the mood was spot on for the subject material.

Jon Paul said...

Thanks Kristi!

Penny Manning said...

I agree with Kristi! I could see ol' grandma in her floral dress and grayed hair.... Interesting start. I didn't want to stop. :>)

Jon Paul said...

Thanks Penny. It appears I'm pretty good at beginnings. Need to work on some endings to go with my starts though!

Thanks for reading.

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