General Fiction posted October 12, 2016

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Blind man tells his grandson story

Blind Love


What Happened? Contest Winner 
"Just pick up the pieces," my grandfather says. He stands, bent like a wind blown tree. Once tall and proud, robust even, he now shows his age.

"I've got it, Joe," I assure him. I lift the pieces of the china teacup. It is beyond repair. Each time my grandfather drops it I do the tedious job of regluing it.

"Your grandma will skin us both if you can't fix it," he says, hastily licking his lips. He hovers close and I can smell the cherry tobacco of his beloved pipe.

"I can do it, Joe." I carefully carry the pieces over to the table and go to get the glue.

"Did I ever tell you about this cup?" He lifts his head and it's almost as if he's looking at me, but Joe's eyes are dim.

"No, I don't believe you have."

I look back at him, see him smile.

"They came for us. The Nazi s. Vile, evil men, took both Freida and I. I hid the cup in a spot behind the wall. It was Freida's favorite. Your mother, she was a little thing. Clinging to my legs. "

He pauses, lost in the memory that changes each time he tells me.

"When they released us, I came back and got the cup. I picked wildflowers and gave it to Freida. She loved flowers. "

My grandmother didn't make it out of the Nazi concentration camp. Some days he can face the truth, but today he can't.

"You have to be quiet, son. She's napping. Fix it quick."

I coat the edges of each piece with the thick white glue and press them together. The blue flowers painted around it are faded beneath the crackled glaze.

"I'll set it in the window so it can dry in the sun," I say.

Joe nods and sighs. "Did I tell you why I gave her the teacup?"

"No, sir. I don't believe you ever did."

"The blue matched her eyes," he says, his voice falling off. One tear slips down his cheek. "Freida had the most beautiful eyes."

He said 'had'. In this brief moment, Joe is here, with me in this cramped apartment. He's sad.

"Hush, Joe. Don't want to wake her up."

He nods and swipes his dripping eyes with the back of his hands. "No, Freida needs her rest. She's had a rough time of it."

I glance at the tiny black and white photograph of Joe and Freida on their wedding day. Long gone before I was born but I know her. I know her blue eyes, I know her love of flowers. I know what a huge part she took from Joe when she perished in the camp.

I see her through my grandfather's eyes. Through eyes that no longer see the world around him.

"Joe, would you like to go outside for a while?"

He turns to the window. "It's a beautiful day, isn't it?"

"Yes, Joe. We can pick some flowers for her."

This pleases him. "Did I tell you how much Freida loves fresh flowers?"

"Tell me while we walk."

I hook my arm through his and lead him to the door . We leave Freida to rest ... but only for a little while.

Writing Prompt
Write a story that starts with: "Just pick up the pieces..."

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