Day 3: Now send your character to his or her grumpy grandmother’s house for a visit. Write the scene of your character’s arrival.
I took a deep exhale as I stand in front of the door, the odd off-white colour that it has faded to over the years. I reached for the doorbell and heard the sound resonate inside, the ringing rapidly ended and was followed by a disconcerting silence. Therefore, I was left with no other choice but to wait, it quickly became clear that no one was coming to the door. As much as I wanted to turn around, I did not. Instead I chose to persevere. I pressed the doorbell and pushed it repeatedly. After the many attempts, I finally heard footsteps approaching the door. They were loud heavy footsteps hastily approaching the door. From the other side, there was a vague mutter, mixed with the sounds of the door being unbolted, a chain rattling, along with many other commotions. Then the final click.
As the door slowly opened I found myself praying ‘please don’t let it be her, please not her’.
The door cracked open ever so slightly revealing a livid face of a withered old lady. Even though she was clearly in her seventies, the look of disdain in her face evoked a twinge of fear in me. Not because I was afraid she would disapprove of me, or I worried about her judgment but because I felt she could probably pack a punch. She was that kind of woman, the woman everyone feared, even the burly men in this neighbourhood did not want to cross her.
“Oh, it’s you,” she said, her facial expression unchanging.
I faked a smile: “Nan, are you going to allow your favourite grandchild to remain in the cold any longer?”
“Who the hell said you were my favourite?” she simply opened the door. “What brings you here?”
I walked into through the hallway into the living room and crashed onto the couch. In a normal event like this a grandma would be baking cookies or maybe even greet their grandchild with a hug or a vague bit of happiness. In this household, there was no such luck.
“Do I need a reason?” I looked around, this was clearly awkward for the both of us.
“For now I wont question it. Do you want tea?”
I hesitated, “Yeah, sure. Where’s gramps?”
“Out with his friends. You’d think those boys are twenty by the way they act.”
I laughed. That’s so like grandad to be a kid. He would always teach me ways to piss of my grandma, and my parents, then he would laugh about it after. He taught me how to play cards, and that is how we spent a lot of time. I developed quite the poker face because of that old joker.
“You always did like him more than me,” grandma commented.
I remained quiet, there isn’t much that can be said as a rebuttal.
“I thought girls are meant to be chatty.” She looked at me up and down, “well, you don’t really act or dress like a girl. Your hair is in your face constantly and you are wearing damaged clothes.”
“Okay, firstly these jeans are ripped for fashion. Second, I came for a nice chat with gramps because I lost hope in you being nice years ago.”
And with that, by pure irony, the kettle alarm went off. Grandma still looking unfazed turned to attend to it.
As she had her back faced to me, I stuck out my tongue.
“If you have your tongue out be prepared to lose it.”
“Of course not, ma’am.”
“Please, the amount of times I caught you doing that as a child and you think I believe that?”
I laughed, “yeah it was always funny seeing your face go red when I got caught.”
“You really are your grandad.”
I was still laughing and managed to cough out, “Nan, how do you have a straight face right now? Remember when your face when redder than ever and it seemed like steam was coming out, I got scared but gramps started laughing so hard and he was drinking. I swear I saw water come out of his nose, and he started choking but still laughing.”
With that memory both their raucous laughs filled up the room.
“That is nothing though. When your grandfather first met my parents, he was so nervous my dad asked him a question about kids in the future, he got so flustered that he practically spat water on my dad and himself. He spent the rest of the evening in a woman’s t-shirt because dad refused to give him one of his.”
“No way! I need to ask him about that.”
“He really is an old fool.”
“But you love him.”
“Yeah and so do you.”
“That’s true. I love you too, though, nan.”
She reached over and wrapped her arm around me, “even though I am a pain.” She then kissed the top of my head and whispered, “I love you too, my child.”
It was silent for a while but not an uncomfortable silence, a nice moment because for the first time in my life I felt we were truly on the same page.
“You are obviously staying for dinner. What do you want to eat?”
“Nan, how would you feel about cookies?”
The two women were in the kitchen as the grandad walks into the house humming showtunes and clutching a bouquet of flowers. He is greeted to a sound he doesn’t often hear and it brings him such joy, he can hear his wife laughing with his granddaughter.
The grandma simply thinks ‘She really is my favourite’.
The granddaughter is glad she came because the truth of the matter is she visited because ‘she missed them both’.
The grandad thinks of how lucky he is, the woman who is his granddaughter is just like the woman he fell in love with 50 years ago; the woman he still is in love with. Despite these two women being stubborn and a big pain in his ass, they can get along and love each other.
They both look at him enter and greet him with a smile as he joined the laughter and help them bake the cookies the grandkid has waited long enough for.