Fanya (Lilian) Yuan


Every time when I go back home on holidays to visit my family, I always go to the apartment where my grandparents lived. It was the first present my Dad brought for my grandparents using his own money. 

I still remember the last time I met my Grandpa: when I pressed doorbell on the white painted wall, when my Grandma opened the security door from the inside, when I stepped on the cracked wooden floor. The whole room was very cold. They did not turn on the heaterbecause they wanted to save the money of the electricity bill. Also, the heater smells really bad. 

My Grandpa was sitting in the redwood sofa as always, the thick brown coat wrapped his fragile body that made him look like a huge decayed potato. After his second stroke, he could barely go outside even with Grandma’s help. He used to sit in the sofa all day and go back to the bedroom. 

Grandpa heard my voice and turned to me. He tried to stand up to give me a hug, but his hand just held the walking stick tighter. I walked to his side and sat beside him; I felt the hardness of the red wooden sofa through the thin cushion. It was uncomfortable. 

   My Grandpa could seldom speak a full sentence because of the illness; however, I could understand him with only few gestures. I put my hand over his hand and held it gently. His hand was cold and bony. It felt like holding a piece of ice. He had the smell of the old people which is antique clothes being kept in the closet for a long period of time. He always put a blanket on his lap and wore the scarf my brother wove for him.  There was a red wooden table in front of the sofa. My Grandma placed some of her grandchildren’s pictures beneath its glass cover. 

   “How………you?” my Grandpa stammered. His soft hoarse voice comforted my heart. He wanted to know more about my life.

   “Good. It feels like……” I started speaking. I enjoyed that peaceful moment. When the sun shined through the trees and passed. The small vegetables that my Grandma planted on the balcony. The old-fashioned calendar clock was clicking. The wind blew through the branches and tapped on the windows when I described my experiences at school. 

   I hoped, I could make, one second longer. 

About the author: Fanya (Lilian) Yuan is a sophomore currently studying at Annie Wright Schools in Tacoma, Washington. This is her first publication and English is her second language. Reading literatures from different cultures allows her to have varies perspective on the world. She is very passionate about art and she tries to work on her drawings and designs as much as possible.