The Apple of My Eye

Lois Liu

© Copyright 2021 by Lois Liu

Photo by Khamkhor on Unsplash
             Photo by Khamkhor on Unsplash


I finally awoke from my state, grabbed some dark-washed jeans and a black hooded sweatshirt to put over my pajamas. Grabbing a bracelet my grandparents gave me, I walked out of my bedroom. 

Saturday!” I said ecstatically, going over the plans I made for today.

The smell of heaven drifted in from the kitchen, aromas of syrup, butterfly goodness, and pancakes wrapped around me like a blanket to a snuggly baby. I stepped into the kitchen to feel the draft of coldness cover me once more.

My parents’ faces fell as they sat around the table and ushered me to join them.

What happened?” I mouthed to my mom, eyebrows scrunching up. My mom waved a finger up and kept listening to what the caller was saying.

My dad finally put the caller on speakerphone, and my aunt’s normally calming voice came on. Except for this time she was speaking in a panicked tone. Before she spoke of anything important, I grabbed a few pancakes that just came off of the stove onto my welcoming empty plate. At that point, I blocked out the conversation my aunt and parents were having. I grabbed a red delicious apple from the fruit bowl and took a bite, tasting the sweet lingering taste on my tongue.

While I chewed, I thought, Must be important grown-up stuff.

Suddenly, my aunt blurted out, “Dad fell right after dinner not so long ago so he’s in the ER as we speak.”

I choked on my apple and started coughing hysterically. My hands gave out and my plate aggressively slammed into the cold tile floor with a clank. The blood in my head rushed up and before I whipped around, my eyes saw white spots on the floor.

Wait, WHAT?” I burst out, cleaning up the dropped food and styrofoam plate then throwing it out along with my plans for the day. I grabbed another plate of food and stood next to my parents.

Go outside and cool yourself for a moment, Néui,” said my mom. (‘Néui’ means daughter in Cantonese)

Nodding, I stepped outside, standing in the doorway one step away from a place of distraction. I sat down at my regular bench and held my plate in one hand while tracing the patterns on the armrest with the other. I took another bite while looking for something that could occupy my mind for a while. A sparkle caught my eye; it was the bracelet my grandparents gave me--something I’ve worn since I could ever remember. I stared at the charms that reminded me so much of my grandpa.

I exhaled, captured at the moment that nature gifted us with, an escape. A droplet slid down my cheek as I gazed as the dark clouds trampled over the pure blue sky. My tears colliding with the heavy bearing downpour. I felt ached while drenched in a mixture of confusion, shock, and of course, wetness. I dumped my food in the trash, losing my appetite after seeing my rain-consumed breakfast.

I stood in the rain, allowing it to cover me head to toe, drenching me in its emotion. It was like I just stepped out of a book where the protagonist stood in the rain, crying out their feelings.

Come back inside and change, you’re soaked!” Mom exclaimed from inside. She hates when I step outside in the rain without an umbrella. “Don’t get the floors wet, I just cleaned yesterday!” her voice rising as each word progressed out of her mouth.

Okay, got it!” I muttered, stepping into the bathroom right next to the door, overseeing the dew-kissed grass and rain jumping into puddles. I sighed and grabbed a yellow jumper and white cardigan off the hanger.

There’s an update!” Dad exclaimed, rushing to pick up the phone that was in the same place as he left it the last time my aunt called. We all rushed to hear what the caller was saying.

Mr. Liu is okay, we checked him for any broken bones, and good news, nothing except a few bruises. A bruise on the tailbone, and a few on the arm,” the nurse kindly and patiently explained to us. I let out the breath I was holding in, nodding my head. My parents exchanged grateful expressions with each other.

The nurse continued, “He is in recovery, would you like to speak to him?”

My dad answered for us, “Of course! I think my sister is there too, you can pass the phone to her.” We glimpsed at each other as we heard a scratch and rumble before a voice came back on.

Here’s Dad, he is doing much better now!” my aunt announced into the phone.

Hi, I’m doing better, just a fall nothing to worry about. My daughter insisted I go to the hospital. How’s my favorite granddaughter doing?” my grandpa’s intense voice boomed over the speaker of the phone.

Hi grandpa, I’m good and I’m glad you’re doing better!” I replied, relieved.

“They decided to move me to a nursing home for a while to look out for me since there is no one home that often. Not like I had a choice,” my grandpa rambled, as my parents and I giggled. Some things just don’t change.

We spent the next half hour talking with each other and enjoying the company over the phone, as the rest of the family came and visited Grandpa. Biting into my apple that I never released out of my hand, I looked out the window, fumbling with my bracelet. I counted my blessings of the sacred moments we have with a loved one.

Never take those for granted.

My name is Lois Liu and I am an 8th grader attending King Philip Middle School.

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