August 18, 2022
I was summoned by @samsmith1971 to join the current dreem-wotw challenge. And since the dreem word of the week is about "Time," I immediately got an idea of what to write. I feel sad about failing to join Dreemport's challenge this month because I got sick and lost my desire to continue the series I started drafting. So at least here, I could join on time.
Dreem Word of the Week (dreem-wotw): TIME
My day turned dark when one afternoon, I got a call from my brother telling me the saddest news of all time. My grandfather passed away and I wasn't even on his side. I didn't even have a chance to see him awake before his senses were all gone. I felt guilty and frustrated by the fact that I am a healthcare practitioner, yet, I failed to take care of my sick grandfather, even just as a granddaughter. Where was I during those days when he needed my care? I was busy taking care of other sick elderly. I felt like a bad granddaughter.
It's been a week since we buried his dead soul in a peaceful land as he opted to surrender in the battle with his sickness and just cross the bridge of life. His voice still lingers in my mind while playing with the wristwatch he gave me on my birthday. His joke, his laughter, his genuine smile, his warm hug, and his gentle touch, seemed to leave a mark on my mind and body. I feel like he's still around and just looking after us.
Image from Unsplash by Luise and Nic
I hope he is as I have so many things to tell that only him who listens. I owe him an apology for being an irresponsible granddaughter. I want to turn back the hands of time and I will make sure to stay beside him until his very last breath. I want to be his last Caregiver.
Tears welled up in my eyes as I remembered the last words he uttered on my birthday, "don't let any pain and setbacks turn you down. You are a strong lady. Each time you fall and get a wound, let time heal it."
I curled my body on my bed and hugged my pillow tightly.
"I wish you were here, Lolo (grandfather). I wish I had someone to express my feelings and emotions. Now that you are gone, they will all be buried in oblivion."
While touching my wristwatch, I let the hands of time pull me into the peacefulness of the night. My body got tired, and my eyes got heavier. Silence just took over the place. And before I closed my eyes, it seemed that I saw sparkling dust sprinkled above me, but my eyes were too tired and just wanted to sleep.
I was awakened by the warm touch of the sun rays that slipped through the window. As I waggled my arm to stretch, it bumped into a hard thing that seemed like a book. I opened my eyes and saw the photo album of my Lolo with a white flower on top.
Image from Unsplash by Zohre Nemati
My curiosity pulled me up and I wandered my eyes to see who entered my room without my permission. An enticing aroma of hazelnut coffee and freshly baked bread with melted butter on top hung in the air and transmitted to my nasal membranes. And a familiar man with a time-chiseled face appeared in sight holding a tray of a breakfast set.
"Good morning lady. What makes you stay in bed for too long? Check your time." The old man said.
As I heard those words, my eyes stared at my watch and its longhand seemed stuck that it couldn't move.
"Why is it not working? Why is he here? Am I dreaming?"
Questions filled my mind and I thought I was dreaming. I pulled my blanket back to cover my body and I closed my eyes. After a moment, a painful pinch was felt on my face that made me scream in pain.
"Who says you are dreaming? Get your arse up." The old man said.
"Wait? I'm awake? Aaahhhhhhh!!"
"Why are you shouting?"
"A ghost, I'm seeing a ghost!" I screamed.
"I'm very alive my dear. I was peacefully resting but you summoned my sleeping soul."
"No way! Is this for real? No, no, it's only happening in fiction stories. Lolo, you are back from death?"
I felt discombobulated by what was happening, or where on Earth I was. He put the tray down next to my bed and sat beside me on the bed. His appearance sent shivers down my spine as I couldn't talk with someone who just passed away.
He enclosed his arms around me and instead of getting freaked, I felt cold liquid fall to my face. I felt relieved and it seemed like my longing had been granted. I shed tears.
"Lo, why did you leave me too soon? Why didn't you wait for me?"
"Shhh. I'm back. Don't you like it?"
"It's creepy though. But, how?"
"It doesn't matter. Just let us be together this time, even if this will be for a moment."
"You are leaving soon again?"
"We don't know. Just let time handle it." He explained while touching gently the watch around my wrist he gave me.
"Lo, sorry for being away on those days that you needed my care. I felt too irresponsible and useless as I wasn't able to take care of you when you were sick. I felt like I wasn't good enough and a bad granddaughter."
"Why do you always feel bad about yourself? Why do you always say sorry for things that shouldn't be? Things are meant to happen. It's not your responsibility to handle time. It flows unstoppably. And our end inevitably comes."
"But Lo, you're the only one who's giving me the motivation to go with my life. What will happen when you leave again?"
"You kid. Who says you are alone? Have you forgotten your family?
He picked the photo album up and started flipping the pages.
"If you feel down and lonely, don't keep those emotions inside you, or else they will drown you down. You have them and you can speak out if you need to. You are not alone. But most importantly, don't ever doubt yourself. You are always good enough. You are a tough lady."
Image from Pexels by Pavel Danilyuk
"Thank you, Lolo."
He kissed my forehead and tapped my head. And as I leaned my head on his shoulder, my eyes caught the calendar hanging behind my door. I almost jumped out of my skin as I remembered the day.
"Oh my Lolo! It's Monday! I need to work!"
I was startled and about to get off my bed, but Lolo dragged me down.
"Easy my lady. Why are you always in a rush? You are so productive. Can you care for yourself once in a while?"
"But Lo, you know my status right?"
"Ah, those stubborn siblings of yours. But do you know what? You don't need to carry the world. They are all grown-ups and can stand on their own. Soon, they will have their own independent lives. They only need your guidance, not full support. Can you mind yourself and your well-being?"
"I wish it's too easy Lo."
"It is. Let their arses work out for their future."
I chuckled as I heard him say the arses and his expression was funny while poking their photos.
"The last time I heard your quinine laugh was when you were just too small."
Image from Unsplash by Johnny Cohen
He said softly while touching our old photo together. I don't seem to remember the scene in the photo as I was only about a year old kid.
"That long Lo? Am I really that harsh to myself?"
"You know the answer dear. Have you ever fallen in love again after your breakup with Bri? I guess that's what you need. You need to let go of the painful past and face the present time. Seize every moment as the time that has passed won't pass again. Be happy my dear. You only live once."
"I don't mind about it anymore Lo. My heart has been sleeping for so long. It doesn't want to beat romantically again, I guess."
"Because you built a thick wall around it. Free it and learn to love again. Soon, you'll feel what I felt when I met your Lola (grandmother)." Lolo said.
"Maybe? At the right time?" I dragged my body close to hug him and I leaned my head on his shoulder.
"Lo, thank you for coming back and lifting my hope again. Can you sing me a song?"
"Oh wait, I'm not ready for this."
We both laughed after. And he cleared his throat before starting humming the song. The room was filled with the harmonious melody of his rough old voice. I never get tired of listening to him singing our favorite song as it sounded like a soothing lullaby to my ears. He stopped and whispered something to my ears.
Image from Pexels by Pavel Danilyuk
"Can you kiss your Lola for me? Please, take care of her, okay?"
"I promised Lo."
I closed my eyes and He went back to humming the song and I never know for how long. Until silence covered the room and all I could hear was the tickling sound of the wristwatch. It seemed like it worked again and the longhand wasn't stuck anymore.
I felt warm soft lips touching my skin as the sun's rays hit my face. As I half-opened my eyes, a blurry figure of Lolo appeared in my sight and I smiled at him happily. I stretched my arms and scratched my eyes to get a better vision while uttering the words...
"Good morning, Lo."
"Yes, good morning dear. Get up now and we'll visit your Lolo later."
The voice that passed through my auditory canal wasn't Lolo's, but Lola's. I opened my eyes and saw Lola. With that, I concluded that I just had a dream about Lolo. But it seemed so real that his voice and touch still linger in my mind and body.
Lola was drawing the curtain in the window to allow the sun rays to give light to the room. I hugged her back which surprised her.
"Where did it come from, lady?"
"La, Lolo visited me in my dream."
"Oh, now I'm jealous. I need to scold him later as he didn't visit me in my dream."
"Don't worry La. He sent me a message for you. Here..."
I reached for her face to give her a kiss per Lolo's request.
"He's now forgiven."
We laughed and hugged each other.
Meanwhile, in the cemetery, a man in his suit was staring at my Lolo's tomb. I cleared my throat to call his attention and find out who he was.
Image from Pexels by Ivan Samkov
As he faced front and looked in my direction, I couldn't seem to recognize him.
"And you are? Why are you staring at Lolo's tomb?" I asked the man.
"Ah, sorry. I was just passing by and his name and birthday caught my attention. We have the same."
He scratched the back of his head and his sleeves were pulled up, revealing the watch on his wrist that was similar to mine. I looked at my wristwatch and he noticed it.
"Oh, we have the same watch too."
"It's from Lolo." I smiled while touching my watch.
"And my grandmother gave me mine." He explained while pointing to the tomb next to my Lolo's.
He extended his arm for a handshake along with introducing his name.
"I'm Elly. Short for Elillano. Sounds old right?"
"Of course, that's my old Lolo's name, haha."
He chuckled in embarrassment at his old name and I reached his hand to respond to his request.
Image from Pexels by Min An
His smile reminded me of my Lolo's. As his hand touched mine, it seemed like a bolt of electricity passed through my veins that activated my sleeping pulses. I let go of his hand and hugged myself to calm my loud heartbeat.
"Are you alright? What's your name?"
"Ahm, yeah, I'm fine, just cold, hehe. I'm Jane."
"At least yours is not old."
And we both chuckled.
Lolo's voice echoed in my mind.
"Soon, you'll feel what I felt when I met your Lola."
Lolo, you are totally creeping me out. I whispered to myself while smiling at Lolo's tomb.
If you want to join this challenge, you can check the dreem-with here.
Thanks for reading.