Between The Pages.

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My grandfather loved books, and I think he loved me almost as much.

I know I loved him.

I can still remember the feeling of squashing down next to him in that comfortable ancient armchair.

No one sat in that chair except my grandfather. It wasn’t because we were scared of him or anything like that, it was just that it was his chair and to sit there without him in it, didn’t seem right.

I was working overseas when my grandparents died; one after the other with only days between them.

It wasn’t the kind of job that I could up and leave, so by the time I was back in the country, there wasn’t a physical sign that they had ever been here on this Earth. Their ashes had been scattered, and their house emptied and sold.

Indecent haste was how I phrased it.

“Where the fuck were you while all the work was being done?” was their reply. I guess I pissed my father off because he wouldn’t tell me what had happened to my grandparent’s furniture. It was the armchair that I was really interested in, but I guess it was landfill or in some op-shop warehouse somewhere. I hoped that it had been purchased by a house full of uni students. I could see a nineteen-year-old female English Literature student curled up with a tattered old copy of something by Somerset Maugham. Possibly, ‘The Razor’s Edge’. Yes, that would be good.

My grandfather introduced me to the delights of Enid Blyton and Robert Louis Stephenson in equal measure. He didn’t treat me like a little girl, he saw only a curious, young person who had fallen in love with the worlds that existed between the pages of a book.

He had the most wonderful husky voice, and sitting close to him was like sitting in an old dusty closet. He was warm even in winter, and I got the feeling that it was because of some kind of internal glow caused by his love of books.

He always read me books that were a bit above my understanding, and I think that was on purpose. He would smile when I asked him what a particular word meant, and he would sometimes get me to run my finger over the word as he explained its meaning.

I collect bookmarks because he did.

I give books as presents because he said it was a wise thing to do.

His heroes were authors, and mine are too.

He thought that reading was as important as writing, and so do I.

We will meet again someday, but for now, I have to be the person he wanted me to be, and I need to find a comfortable old armchair so I can sit and read and remember.

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24 thoughts on “Between The Pages.

    • Thank you for taking the time to comment….. I’m glad that you enjoyed it. I do have such a chair. It sits right in front of the open fireplace, and I think there is a good chance I will be sitting in it later today.
      Terry

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      • thanks. it’s nice to know someone will publish my dodgy work, even if it’s a little operation like Flash Fiction. I’m always at the top of their lists, but very few people “like” or comment. I wish I knew the formula.

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        • I’m not sure there is a formula…… no, that’s not true….. I do know…. it seems that ‘soft topics’ get a lot of comments…… anything in the ‘make me feel good’ category get a lot of reaction. Also, people often read things that they enjoy without saying a word……. I don’t think people understand how important feedback is to a writer……. drives me crazy sometimes, and other times I’m positively philosophical.
          Terry

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  1. I used to have a chair … but the kids grew up and then the grandkids grew up … this year I will become a great-grandmother … time to get another chair, I think. I love your writing … I dn’t drop by as often as I should …

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice piece.
    There’s nothing like a good old armchair.
    It’s like a friend.
    It envelopes you in cosy comfort with its great arms and yet releases you whenever you want to be set free.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I never knew either of my grandfathers sadly, but if I had known them I would have loved them to be exactly the kind of man your grandfather was to you. As you may have discovered, I very recently became a grandfather myself, and it is my hope that I will provide the loving nurturing and inspiring presence your grandfather clearly did to you

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    • Thanks Peter, sadly, I didn’t know either of my grandfathers very well either. One had died before I was born and the other didn’t like me all that much….. he was the wise one. I had a third grandfather but I never met him either. I’m sure you will be an excellent granddad, and your grandchild is lucky to have you.
      Terry

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      • I never knew either of my grandfather’s except briefly, when I was four. My dad’s dad made a squash casserole. I cried at the thought of eating it, and was sent to bed hungry. I’m sure I deserved it, but even today I don’t think I could stomach squash casserole. A sore disappointment that must have been for him. Alas, that’s my only memory of him.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I was only going to drop by and thank you for the “Like” @ Walking the Cat, but I read this post and I felt really nostalgic for my grandfather. He wasn’t a reader, didn’t care much for books. He was more storyteller. Anyway, I thought you’d appreciate some feedback. . .I can empathize with the writer’s need for some kind of acknowledgement, even of the harsh variety. I don’t know which is worse, unkind comments or being ignored (I choose comments every time; at least I know my stuff’s being read). Thanks, again and keep writing this kind of stuff. With all the crap that’s happening in the world, it’s nice to know there are “soft” places out there to drop by and “snuggle up” with a good story. Steve

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t write these kinds of stories all that often, but when I do they get this kind of reaction. I had virtually no interaction with my grandparents as a child, but the painting spoke to me. I’m a grandfather these days and my grandchildren live a long way away so I guess the pattern is repeating.
      I’m pleased that this story stirred something in you…… that is a large compliment to a writer.
      Thank you for taking the time to comment, it is very much appreciated. Writing is a lonely job, but I do love it.
      Terry

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