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Grandpa’s England

I was born with no siblings to share anything. I am the only child in my family. I live with an over-protective Father and a very patient Mother and of course I feel lonely, thank God I met Ali. We’ve been together ever since we were born. He is my brother-like, my confidant, my partner-in-crime and everything. Ali said that I am a nonstop dreamer because I really love to imagine myself in some beautiful places in this world. I couldn’t agree more and England is one of them.

“Ah Amy, you talked about England like you have been living there forever.” said He.

“Well I am, in my dreams. But Al, I don’t want to live within my dreams anymore. I want my dreams live within me.” said I.

“Why England, anyway? Why do you want to go there?” asked Ali to me.

It was July 5th 2003, I was 8 when my Grandpa told me almost everything about England and I suddenly fell in love with that place. He was 79 at the time, old yet strong enough to tell stories for hours with every enthusiasm that left in his wrinkled skin. He put me on his lap, “Hey kid, Grandpa has a beautiful story –” and before he finished his words I’ve shown my curious face and smile widely, “I don’t mind spending hours to listen, Pop.” Then he began.

“Sweetie, there are two women that I love and always will forever. The first definitely is your beautiful Grandma. The second is not literally woman but I consider as that. It’s England.” He smiled. I was sleepy at the time; I listened though with my droopy-eyes.

“I’ve been there twice yet I still want to go back again and again. I was there when I was 18; I got a fully-funded scholarship for college. I was young and I love football so much. It was winter at the time; I always love when it is winter dear. You know, Santa Clause with his wonderful gifts and Christmas.”

He looked like a happy child who just bought a chocolate ice cream in a sunny day, while telling his stories. I stroked his gray hair. I remembered how I always ask him why his hair is turning gray from time to time.

“It is Manchester United, deary. I went to Old Trafford at the time and I couldn’t be happier to set my foot there in the place where my favorite football team plays.”

He talked like his Grandchildren would understand about places that he kept saying. He also said how tacky he was as he entered the Buckingham Palace; he said he spent his leisurely day in that palace.

“Pop, Amy wants to go to England.” said I to him.

Years passed, I was in my school when he suddenly picked me up and gave scholarship invitation programs, mostly to England. He even fights with my Father because my Father doesn’t want me to go abroad. “I’m the one who raised my child until today, she may not go anywhere but this country!” I can’t even believe my Father yelled at his Father.

Even when Pop was sick, at the last day I met him he asked me, “have you got the scholarship, yet?”  


“It’s England because of Grandpa, Al. He shaped my childhood with his stories, with his memorable memories in that gorgeous country. He formed me. Sometimes people underestimate childhood memories but I find mine is the strongest. I can’t even forget his humble smile every time he touched my head and told me that he loves me.” I dropped my tears. Ali hugs me.

“Hey, it’s okay. He must be so proud of you right now though he can only see you from heaven.” Ali smiles at me.

“It’s also about the autumn, Al. I imagine myself standing under the maple tree then I will feel the leaves are all falling through my hair. You know I always love something in between. Autumn is something in between, Al. The warmth yet chilly feeling it brings, the happiness seeing those red-orange-yellowish leaves, ah Borland even said ‘two sounds of autumn are unmistakable. The hurrying rustle of crisp leaves blown along the street by a gusty wind, and the –”

“Gabble of a flock of migrating geese.” Ali finished my words adroitly.

“What? You read it, too?!” I asked him, curious.

He nodded and we both are laughing. We often are spending our times together, once Ali was angry because I always talk about England. He said that there are so many countries out there I can visit; he hates it because I always cry every time I talk about England.

It’s because Grandpa. I want to see the gorgeous ‘woman’ he’s in love with. I want to ‘see’ Grandpa within that country.

I love Grandpa so much it hurts. I was with him when he passed away and I cried the worst cry of my life when he let go of my hand.

“I am sorry, sweetie…”

He died leaving me with the memories that I don’t want to recall yet it crosses my mind every single time. So if one day I were able to explain my over-protective Father that I am adult enough and really want to go to England, it would be for him. If one day I were able to set my foot in the magnificent Buckingham Palace, it would be for him. If one day I were able to sit on the London Eye, throw away my petrify feeling of heights and let the wind plays with my hair, it would be for him. And if one day I were able to touch the maple leaves when it is autumn in England, it would be for him.

“Be good, Am. I miss you already.” Ali smiles as he walks through the door.

“Ladies and gentlemen this is Captain Richard speaking. We like to welcome you onboard this Singapore Airlines flight to London Heathrow Airport. Flight duration is around 16 hours and 25 minutes and we are expecting a fairly smooth flight today. Once again we thank you for choosing to fly with us today and we hope you enjoy your flight.”

Hey Pop, I’ve been preparing my whole life.

Reference:

–  Borland, Hal. When the Legends Die. United States: Lippincott, 1963.

Thank you to Mister Potato who held this awesome competition.

Thank you to Alexander Thian (@aMrazing) because if I did not see your tweets, maybe I would not know a thing about this competition. Thank you for explaining in details.

Thank you to my silly friend, my amazing proofreader, Dimas Arbrianto who always wants to read everything that I write.

Thank you to my tough laptop, which always stay strong though I often opened hundred tabs in Google Chrome. Yes, I really did :’)

Thank you to my childhood memories, I am who I am today because of them.

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