161 comments

Mar 12, 2021

Sad Friendship Happy

It's hard knowing you'll be away from your granddaughter for a while. Brinn is the crystal dewdrops, the silken petals, the diving moonlight to my earth. She's the cinnamon to my apple, the sugar to my spice, the salt to my pepper. 

I love my Brinn.

She'll always be my sweet little darling and my granddaughter and partner in crime. I remember unclipping my fountain pen from my pocket and finishing off those words with a flourish in my cookbook.

"What's a partner in crime, Grandpa?"

I chuckle. "It means someone who commits crimes along with you."

"We're not bad! We don't co-commit any crimes!"

"But we do-making these pies is a crime against me because I can't eat them."

"Why not?"

"Diabetes." I smile, stretching my fingers out to show her the barely healing punctures. The same fingers I've dipped in pie filling so many times to check the consistency. The same fingers baby Brinn chewed on. The same fingers that fed her and brushed her hair and pinched her cheeks.

The cookbook is Brinn's now. 

Apple, blueberry, peach, pumpkin, banana cream, banoffee, blackberry, cheese, cherry, chess, coconut cream, key lime, lemon meringue, meat, mince, pecan, raisin, raspberry, rhubarb, strawberry, and sweet potato pies and their recipes line the pages, hand-in-hand, in my cramped writing. 

My favorite has always been pumpkin. I ignore this when three-year-old Brinn tugs on my finger to tell me she prefers apple and blueberry pie instead and spend every pie-baking or -eating time with her watching her consume apple and blueberry. 

Eight-year-old Brinn asked me once, "What's your favorite flavor, Grandpa?" 

I replied with apple and blueberry; any of Brinn's favorites were mine as well, regardless of my tastes.

Her eyes and dimples crinkled upon hearing so, a smile occupying her small face--a few teeth missing here and there, taken by the Tooth Fairy---and spirit.

I love my Brinn.

Her toothless-then missing a few-then adorned with braces-now diamond smile is the real treat, regardless of which delicacy we decide to bake that day. I wouldn't mind missing a pie, but I know I'd miss that smile-I still do. Video calling doesn't do her smiles justice, pixelating the whiteness and glints I've looked forward to so much every day of her twenty-six years of living.

I love my Brinn.

Her hands, slowly growing over the years, hadn't gone a day without occupying me in the kitchen. Hers, smooth, tanned, and plump, whisking the ingredients together, kneading the dough, slipping into oven mitts, and mine, liver-spotted, wrinkled, and bony, always guiding hers. 

I miss the warmth of her hands. The only time I see them now are during video call when she reaches towards her phone to take a picture or end the call. 

Even if I could see her, we wouldn't be able to hold hands-she works in healthcare, and I'm eighty-seven. The risks are too high; she repeats to me worriedly when I ask to see her.

I don't mind the risks if I get to see my granddaughter. If I do die, the last person I want to see is Brinn.

I love my Brinn.

I love her so much that I decided to cook an apple and blueberry pie dedicated to her. 

She might not be with me now, but she's always had a firm grip on me-my heart, my beard when she was a baby, my clothes as a toddler, my hands as a child, and my kitchen tools as a woman.

I think of her powerful hold on my heart now as I preheat the oven and pull the ingredients from my shelves.

The recipe has always been crisp in my memory book-it's Brinn's favorite, after all. 

Apples.

Blueberries.

Flour.

Butter.

Salt.

Water.

Shortening.

Sugar.

Sugar? What will I do with the pie? My blood sugar levels don't need this much glucose.

I don't know, but I push the thought into a cell now, planning on unlocking it for trial later.

Cutting the butter into small cubes, like the rainbow ones she'd twist and turn. What did she call them? Rubix? Yes, Rubix cubes.

I smile at the memory, remembering how she brought me one for my kitchen counter. 

"Every kitchen counter needs a little something-like you always said," she laughed. 

I cried that night. Brinn always remembered the little things I said.

I need ice water. I remember the Ice Age, our word for the winter. We had watched a documentary about how early humans lived during the Ice Age and how they used every component of their resources when preparing food. Giggling, Brinn nudged me, mentioning I used all parts of my ingredients when baking as well-the fruit flesh for the pies and the peels and stems for compost for my orchards.

So it became our little joke.

I push my fingers through the pie crust dough, a smile appearing on my face. It feels like flying through clouds-doughy, perfect ones. I'll be pouring some apple and blueberry filling sunshine onto these clouds soon enough.

Soon, I place pie weights on top of the crust, thinking of Brinn's marble phase in elementary school and how they'd roll everywhere. 

The oven beeps, and I pull the crust out, marveling at its golden flakiness. The apples and blueberries have simmered into a sugary delight, perfuming my kitchen. 

I assemble the pie and unlock my thoughts for trial. What do I do with the pie? 

A grandpa can have a treat, and besides, I miss Brinn. I haven't had pie in almost twenty years; I lament as I dish myself a mouthwateringly large piece of apple and blueberry.

The filling pours out the sides, just how Brinn liked her slice and how I like mine too, because her favorites are always mine.

I miss my crystal dewdrops, my silken petals, my diving moonlight, my cinnamon, and my sugar and salt.

I know this is dangerous. What danger is it when it’s for my granddaughter, though? What are risks when it's for an angel, a diamond, an inspiration, a friend, a loved one, a family member?

I slide a fork into the pie and eat.

I love my Brinn.

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161 comments

Laiba M
16:20 Mar 12, 2021

This story is a collab with Avani Gupta, my first friend on here. She's been supportive since the start and is one of my FAVORITE writers on this platform. Go check out her account!! I haven't written in a long time, but the quarantine prompts really pushed me to put out a story and collab with Avani! I started Reedsy in April around the beginning of the pandemic, and that week's prompts were quarantine-related. My first story on here is based on those prompts! I thought it'd be fun to come back in a circle and show how I've grown in this ye...

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Willow Byrd
16:42 Mar 12, 2021

Oh, Laiba. This was magnificent in so many ways. The way you showed the passage of time, and the wonderous love between Brinn and her Grandfather. Gosh, I don't have the words to tell you how amazing this was. So, so well done!!! P.S. My favorite kind of pie is either blueberry or apple. I can't choose :)

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Laiba M
17:34 Mar 12, 2021

Thank you T-T You're so kind!!! You're really making me smile and blush, haha~ Ooh! I've never had blueberry, but I LOVE apple :)

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Avani G
00:46 Mar 16, 2021

Oh, my favorite has to be blueberry! But apple is also really good.

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Laiba M
13:49 Mar 16, 2021

Ooh, nice!!!

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Alina Manha
21:01 Mar 12, 2021

This is wonderful Laiba. The relationship with the grandfather and granddaughter is shown in a really sweet way. It reminds me of how me and my grandmother used to bake back home. Keep writing and have a great day ahead. Looking forward to reading more of your stories.

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Laiba M
23:34 Mar 12, 2021

Thank you so much, Alina! I didn't want to make it completely chronological, so I tried my best to tell the events in an interesting way. I'm glad you enjoyed it!!! I hope you have a great day and you should keep writing as well!~

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Alina Manha
20:23 Mar 13, 2021

My pleasure! That's the least I can do for you! I love giving people a feedback on their work. Well, you did a good job on that then. Cause it was very interesting. Me too! Thank you and I will ;)

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Laiba M
02:41 Mar 14, 2021

Aww!!!~ Thank you! Good to hear :D

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Alina Manha
17:04 Mar 14, 2021

You are welcome! 😊 😀

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17:00 Mar 12, 2021

Yay, Laiba you came out with a new story! My favorite pie is definitely pumpkin pie, though apple is a close second. This is an amazing story, or parfait, as Luke already mentioned. Great job!!

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Laiba M
17:37 Mar 12, 2021

Thank you!!!! Ooh! I love pumpkin pie as well! Thank you so much :)

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Litlover 📖
16:41 Mar 12, 2021

This is PARFAIT!!!!! I love Apple and Pecan pie. I really think that this was wonderful, but be tasteful with how you repeat the line that the story's based on. Other than that, characterization was lovely and I SO HAPPY I CAUGHT YOUR POST!!!!!!

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Laiba M
17:34 Mar 12, 2021

Thank you SO much, Luke!!! You're SO sweet!!!!! I love apple as well, but haven't tried pecan yet T-T Thank you for the advice! This was written in an hour-ish, so I had to rush a lot. Do you have any other critiques? THANK YOU!!!

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Litlover 📖
17:40 Mar 12, 2021

PECAN IS AWESOME BUT APPLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!! No problem!! Ah I can relate XP nope!!

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Laiba M
17:42 Mar 12, 2021

Yesssssss!!!!!! It's the BEST flavor :D Yeah haha, thank you so much though!!!!!!!!

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Litlover 📖
17:48 Mar 12, 2021

:))))))))))))(((((((()))))))))))))))))(((((()))))(((())(()(

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Laiba M
18:41 Mar 12, 2021

Wow, LOVE the enthusiasm, haha!!!! :))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

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Lomi Willow
19:25 May 24, 2021

This story is heart touching. I feel like I can relate to it. Even though I'm not even an adult yet. I can feel the grandma's emotions. It's like when I remember when I play with my neighbors daughters or scot. It gives the nostalgic feeling of home with family and friends

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Radhika Diksha
16:11 May 06, 2021

I saw you liked my stories, I would love your comment thought.

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17:05 Apr 16, 2021

WOWWW Laiba! This was just sooo good! Your descriptions were such a vibe. It gave me an aesthetic feeling like a watching sunset in the cold, type of feeling. Anyways your descriptions were beautiful and just made up the whole story in a way that made this enjoyably sad. I love the ending- even though you didn't say what happened to the Grandpa, you made me- the reader- feel what happened. It was really touching! I love how you added in your love for cooking into your stories! That was a nice touch! And the whole story just broke my heart, i...

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Big Bad Bread
01:12 Apr 04, 2021

Your bio was really inspiring to me, and I wrote a story about down-voting! I would love for you to check it out! ( I put your account link in it!

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The Cold Ice
09:46 Apr 01, 2021

Loved the story. Keep writing.

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Laiba M
15:30 Apr 01, 2021

Thank youu~

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The Cold Ice
09:32 Apr 03, 2021

Welcome

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21:59 Mar 29, 2021

Wow, I'm all choked up after reading this. What a beautiful and sad love story about a grandfather and his granddaughter. He was willing to do anything to be close to his Brinn, even risk his life. This was a sweet and powerful piece. Really enjoyed.

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Laiba M
23:01 Mar 29, 2021

And what a beautiful comment! I really appreciate it a lot, and my relationship with my grandparents definitely heavily inspired the piece~ :)

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23:13 Mar 29, 2021

My single mother worked and my siblings and I were mostly raised by my grandmother. Having grandparents in one's life is priceless.

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Laiba M
23:15 Mar 29, 2021

Definitely!!!! I thank you so much for your comments as well~~

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B. W.
04:12 Mar 29, 2021

Heyyyy

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Laiba M
23:14 Mar 29, 2021

I decided to not comment on anyone's responses anymore, but I feel horrible doing that, especially to you. Hi, Hope! I hope you're doing very well. I won't be commenting on here for a long time, but I've missed our regular conversations! I hope your family and dogs are doing amazing and that you're still shining just as bright and imaginatively as you've always shone~ Keep writing (for real, I'll keep reading and liking), work hard in school, spend time for your own mental health, read, draw, even if you can only draw stick figures (I remem...

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B. W.
00:25 Mar 30, 2021

I guess I've been doing fine recently, though I have been a little bored on here and just in general recently. This IS really sweet though :) One of the main reasons why I've always wanted to draw is so that I could maybe draw some FNAF stuff and other things that I've been interested in for a little while. I'll probably try to try and learn to draw again at some point, though I'm not sure how long it'll take. Though I do hope that you'll be doing fine as well, and I hope that at some point we could talk a little more and stuff. I've honestl...

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Philip Clayberg
21:37 Mar 19, 2021

Thank you for writing this wonderful story. It feels alive when I read it. It makes me want to live in its world. I almost fell into it. It was like a soft, warm blanket wrapped around me. You know that you're in a happy place, even if the 87-year-old narrator reminds you that you're not that a huge amount younger than he is (34 years younger). It reminds me of helping my birth parents in the kitchen on Thanksgiving (my mother would make a homemade pumpkin pie and my father would make a homemade sour cherry pie). It reminds me of happ...

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Laiba M
00:36 Mar 20, 2021

Dear Philip, Thank YOU for reading it and blessing me with such sweet words~ I smiled, very much so, while reading your comment! I am SO glad that you enjoyed my story and that it reminded you of your youth :) I love pumpkin pie, have never had cherry pie, and LOVE apple pie! I love your comment and I REALLY look forward to reading your next story as well!~

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Philip Clayberg
01:29 Mar 20, 2021

You're very welcome. Like a letter delayed in the mail only to arrive at just the right time (the premise behind Hallmark's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" series), your story arrived at just the right time. I can really recommend not only sour cherry pie but also sour cherry jam. If you don't have access to sour cherries (or tart cherries), you can probably fake it by adding lemon juice to your sweet cherries. My late father would make sour cherry pies by adapting a sweet cherry pie recipe (I think in a Better Homes & Gardens cookbook publi...

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Laiba M
14:58 Mar 20, 2021

That is a beautiful comparison to make about my writing, and I VERY much appreciate it!!!! Thank you for the recommendation!! Haha, that happens a lot-I'll enjoy something, go back to get more, and there aren't any left T-T I can't wait to try them out!!! Are there any other fruits you enjoy? Thinking of what to write is usually the hardest part, haha. I think sequels are good ideas, because then you already have the background and don't need to think as much! I've read about people pressing flowers in books, but have never done it myself. ...

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Philip Clayberg
15:17 Mar 20, 2021

I was thinking while I was in bed last night: My late father (if he was still alive today) would be almost 87 years old (his birthday was May 31, and he was born in 1934). Interesting coincidence, wouldn't you say? You're very welcome. There are some stories on this website that are wonderful to read and I try hard to emulate their qualities (and level of quality) in my own writing. I try to refer people to the stories that I really like ("Timelapse" by Aerin B, is one excellent example) so that they can read them, too. Fruits that I e...

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Laiba M
13:39 Mar 21, 2021

Oh, wow, that's really interesting! Huh. Definitely! I think it is really beneficial to take things you see in successful pieces and let them inspire your own. Some people take this really literally and take direct passages or the entire story, but looking at the small things and taking inspiration from them really helps! For example, an author makes a comparison between themselves and a unique animal, so someone would take inspiration and make a comparison between their character and a unique object! I love honeydew, watermelon, pears, pea...

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Elle Orthan
16:55 Mar 18, 2021

wow

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Laiba M
17:09 Mar 18, 2021

Thank you, Elle!~

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Elle Orthan
17:12 Mar 18, 2021

ofc stay strong

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Laiba M
18:06 Mar 18, 2021

:)

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19:10 Jun 16, 2021

heyyyh Laiba. I noticed that we haven't talked in like forever, so just checking in :)

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Esther Kurisu
17:20 Jun 13, 2021

The second sentence… WOW. I was blown away at how descriptive you were! Amazing job! 😁

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Aww, this was way to sugar sweet! Loved the love between granddaughter and grandpa! Great work Laiba! btw. Please vote: http://chng.it/XVxQshfh And share! Thank you :D Also how are u?

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Julian Race
16:21 May 27, 2021

https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/author/julian-race/

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03:10 May 18, 2021

so, not active I hear? I guess I get that, just wanting someone to talk to so yeah

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Philip Ebuluofor
10:46 May 15, 2021

Adding my observation to that of others, it is well crafted.

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Radhika Diksha
07:51 May 06, 2021

New story out. Would love your feedback.

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