One cup of memory, please.

grandpa hands

He laid still in bed, in a kind of torture, because while the rest of world was fast asleep, he was wide awake all alone. His mind buzzed with every thought in the universe, pondering if he had made the right decision. He closed his eyes and the memories came flowing back to him, the smell of rain and wet earth, fresh mowed grass and coffee, sweet taste of sugar canes and nectarines. His thoughts reached a standstill and his mind went blank. He became more aware of the silence, and it was during this moment that he realised the consequences of his actions. Things would never be the same again. He brushed his hand across his unshaven face, and stood up making his way to the night stand. He searched through the drawers, only to find a handkerchief wrapped around some dirt. He gripped it tightly and walked outside. Seeing nothing but concrete, his heart ached. He spotted a small gap between two tiles, where workers would have labelled it as a mistake, but he saw it as hope. He unwrapped the handkerchief, and it was right then that he planted his very last coffee tree.

***

The mud that laid scattered over the concrete floor in uneven patches stole my thoughts and carried me somewhere I had not been in years. I barely closed my eyes and immediately there they were, lined up like soldiers, seven thousand coffee trees. Posing like divine fingerprints, curving and changing, no two branches ever the same. In all the world I remember this view to be unique, the dip and sway of the land, the shifting wind and as consequence dancing clouds. Somehow the aroma of sweet coffee had invaded my thoughts and just as I filled my lungs with imaginary scent, I felt his fingers entwine with mine. Time had rewind, I looked up and glanced at his young face, in my mind, we both smiled. We sat on a white hammock that hung from one orange tree to another. As the words came out of his mouth in perfect rhythm, so did the fireflies that gave light to the night. ‘Take them’, he said. ‘Hide them away inside you and wherever you miss me, let them fly’.

***

He sometimes stood at the same place for hours, with a blank stare, his worn out fingers now shook in an unstoppable frequency when he sipped his coffee.  He sat outside, he looked uncomfortable, but he didn’t say a word. The chair was new and fine, but it didn’t feel like his and he didn’t know why. She held his hand in between her own and he gazed at her confused. She brushed her hands on his unshaven face and smiled. He looked at the coffee tree that stood up strong and tall, everything went quiet for a minute and then she heard him say, ‘Hmm, I wonder who would have thought to plant a tree in between two tiles’, they sat there both in disbelieve. Inside her head she could almost see the fireflies filling up the air. She then began to tell him a story.

By: Moara Prado