Friday, October 06, 2006


“It’s nice, grandma. Really cozy.” Melissa quickly wiped a tear from the side of her nose as she spread the yellow and white floral quilt across grandma’s legs. Looking around at the sterile room as she opened the cardboard box labeled ‘Clara Barron room 721,’ she unpacked the faded wedding photo of grandma and grandpa and placed it on the table next to the bed where Clara now lay sleeping. At the bottom of the cardboard box was the silver tea pot, old and tarnished. It still had the scent of peppermint tea, grandma’s favorite. A manila envelope leaned against the inside of the box. Melissa took it out, lifted flap, slid her hand inside and pulled out a silver polishing cloth. She began rubbing the tea pot with the cloth. Grandma would be so happy to see the pot shining like new again. She wiped it until every inch of the cloth was black.

Clara opened her eyes. “Dad says ‘hi’ and to give you a big kiss”, said Melissa. “He’ll be here first thing tomorrow morning.” She walked over to the large window and pulled open the blinds. “Oh my God, the view is amazing, grandma! You can see the entire skyline of Chicago from in here. You have a better view from your room than I do from my apartment!”

“I’ll trade you,” Clara said. “Too bad I can’t see that view. You know, I just love this city – ever since I first came here.

“Really, grandma, I thought you were born here?”

“No, grandpa was born here, but I came here from Buffalo with a traveling dance troupe and when the show ended, I stayed because I fell in love with this handsome waiter. He was so charming, your grandpa. He swept me right off my toes. We had many good times here . . . so many memories. Once, we ate dinner at a restaurant right next to the table of Mister Al Capone.”

“I never knew you led such an exciting life, grandma. I can’t believe you met Al Capone!”

“Well, it’s good to know that even though your grandpa is gone now, and I’m stuck in here for the rest of my time, the heartbeat of that old city keeps pounding.”

“Grandma, don’t talk like that.” Melissa’s voice cracked.

“Oh, I almost forgot to show something I did.” Melissa said changing the subject. She brought the shiny silver tea pot over for Clara to see.

“It looks as beautiful as it did the day your grandpa gave it to me.”

Melissa started away with the pot.

“Wait a minute. I think I saw it.” Clara said.

“What do you mean, grandma?”

“I saw the reflection on the tea pot.”


“The city. My city”


Stewart Sternberg said...

Nicely done. I look forward to seeing how you handle The Apple Tree. I haven't started work on it myself, but hopefully something will come to me.

Stewart Sternberg said... Apple Tree????? How about the next one: THE GREEN ROOM?????