It was a simple dinner at Nina’s. Every cousin was there and in the unexpected May heat, we were all begging for our parents to get us bathing suits. They refused. As angry as we were we ended up playing manhunt as the sun melted away and the heat on our skin began to peel away. So just as the tiebreaker round was beginning our parents called us into the house. Being 9 years old, we tested our rebellious side and hid in the woods. eventually our hunger began to burn so we marched into the house triumphantly, expecting a bunch of “Where were yous?” and “What happened?” Turns out we had only been gone for 7 minutes.
We sat at the Kids table and started our meal. I knew the meal was delicious but I refused to let myself enjoy. My bitterness of the fact that no one noticed we were missing for a whole entire 7 minutes had gotten the best of me. I mean, a lot can happen in 7 minutes. We could have been abducted by aliens, or maybe eaten by werewolves or kidnapped by some guy who claimed to have candy. Look back on it, I was kind of an idiot. But nobody seemed to care.
As i walked by my grandpa i attempted to shove my foot as far into his careless shin as i could, while looking as innocent as possible. As soon as we finished dinner, a high pitched ding began to sound from the adults table. I saw that it was a knife tapping against one of my grandmothers antique glasses. My tiny grandad is trying to gather our families attention of everyone but he looked absolutely ridiculous. It look more like he was trying to break the glass into hundreds of shattered delicate pieces instead of gain the slightest bit of attention. I guess they did not clink glass in the Philippines, where he was from.
My irritations are now at an extreme high. I felt like a hurricane of the verge of unleashing one final blow that could knock down a couple of beach houses. I feel my grandmas smooth wrinkly skin squeeze my arm like she does when she gets excited. I pull away instantly.
inside my head I’m thinking, well you don’t really care about squeezing my arm do you!? you probably wouldn’t even notice if i came in here with two broken legs! she grabs me tighter and I tear myself away from her, accidentally knocking into the fridge. so NOW everybody decides to look my way and as i give them my, “what the heck look?” I notice I’m standing on top of a magnet picture of my grandma and grandad at their wedding. I must’ve knocked off only moments ago. I pick it up feeling guilt pour down on me. I look at my grandmas beautiful lace gown standing next to my goofy grandfather in his huge 80’s styled glasses. I place the picture back on the fridge only to catch the last few words of my grandad’s speech. His heavy accent makes it hard to understand but it sound something like “mickey mouse…”
At first it started with a high pitched scream from my baby cousin. I wanted to scream at her for making such a wretched sound but very soon the entire family joined in. They sound like a pack of wolves calling to each other under a silvery moon, until I realize they were crying for joy. IT only took a moment for me to piece it together. Mickey mouse. Excitement. The next thing i knew my grandad pulled me into his massive arms and whispered, his breath thick with the aroma of wine.
“we are going to Disney. sweetie, pack your bags.” except when he said it, it sounded more like,
“we are go Disney, sweet, pack you bags.” but at that moment it did not matter. All that mattered was that he cared, about the family, about taking the time to put a knife to a glass of finished wine, about me.