Withered Flowers | Teen Ink

Withered Flowers

October 25, 2015
By Qudsia PLATINUM, Aligarh, Other
Qudsia PLATINUM, Aligarh, Other
26 articles 0 photos 39 comments

Favorite Quote:
bravest of you are not those who can defeat a lion but the ones who can defeat anger

I woke up early that day, eager and excited. Grandpa was returning home. After all, he had been away to my Uncle’s for eight days and I couldn’t even bear my time at school without him. These days had been so boring and restless and I am sure he must have felt it too. So I put on my shoes and went out for my morning walk- alone. Grandpa used to take me with him when he could walk vigorously. As his age began to show its effects, he was forced to stay back.

I remember picking up those white flowers with orange stalks. How I used to gather them and put them in the baskets we made. We then had breakfast enjoying the pleasant smell of them until I left for school. I don’t know what he did after I went away. I never bothered to. I had so many questions to ask him and so many things to tell that we never had spare time. As I admired the beauty of nature, my mind rolled back to the time when I had first gained recognition in my new school. In grade 4, my teacher had challenged us to explain the formation of Himalayas. I was the only one who knew it and was rewarded with a chocolate. Till this day, my great source of information and inspiration has been my grandpa. 

As I walked down the park, I filled my basket wondering what grandpa must be doing. Maybe he was enjoying the morning as uncle prepared the luggage or probably he must be using his phone to check the weather and climate of the city. I hurried home. I put the flowers in their place. Just the other day he had called me up to tell me the scientific name of these flowers- Nyctanthes arbor-tristis. I put them in the basket on the table. Then I went to school. Wonders happened at school. I was selected for my high school basketball team. My unrest grew. Wouldn’t grandpa love to know it? I had also won an essay writing competition. I just couldn’t wait and all I could tell my friends was that I couldn’t wait. The last time I had won a speech competition, I and grandpa had had a little party in which we enjoyed my special coffee and mom’s sugar free cakes.

Walking back home, I passed the bookstore. I stopped to take another good book that I would read and then narrate it dramatically to grandpa. I stared at my watch. It was 5’ o clock in the evening. That meant it would take another hour for grandpa to arrive. After all, uncle lived so far from my city. He had taken him for a ‘change’ to his house. Grandpa had deliberately agreed, for whose sake, I don’t know. He had called me up just two days back to announce that he was coming back and that I should pick up his orders from the bookstore if they had arrived. The keeper smiled and handed me a brown parcel. I wonder why he smiles whenever I talk to him about grandpa. Well, most of the people get happy when I take his name.

As I came home, mom was merrily making some sugar free cakes for grandpa. I had learnt to bake cakes at school and had told it to him the day he was leaving. He had insisted that I should make some on his return. I took the dough from mom and in a little time, I laid down the tray of cakes. They were tempting but mom strictly warned me and I put aside the tray. I could wait a little and then the cakes would become doubly delicious.

We sat down staring at the clock. Uncle was taking no calls and granddad too had switched off his phone. So we waited till dusk. A few minutes later, a horn blared through the street. I ran out in excitement. My insides were blurting as the moment of grandpa’s return arrived.


A big white car stopped in front of the house. My uncle never owned a big white car. The doors of the vehicle threw open from which I expected grandpa to emerge, waving and smiling at me. Instead two men pulled out a stretcher from the ambulance. Then, beside the withered flowers and the cold cakes and his books, they laid down his dead body on the bed.

The author's comments:

The night was long, cold, sad and dreary. But at the end, there was bright, warm sunshine waiting for both of us, though a different kind for both.

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