Title: The Unexpected Visit
Authors Note: Hello everyone! I hope you're having a great Friday! I had a lot of fun writing this story and I hope you all have a great time reading it as well!
I miss you. I want to come and visit, but mom's never free. She says she has a lot of work to do, so I feel like I can never meet you. It's been almost two years since I saw you, grandpa. I know your leg is not fine, and you can't visit us, but still, I miss seeing your face. I miss your bear hugs and your hot chocolates. The last time I saw you was when grandma passed away. I know you're still sad about grandma, and I am too. But I wish I could cheer you up. I'll try my hardest to persuade mom to drop me at your place grandpa. Don't worry, I promise you, I'll be there soon.
P.S. My break already started! If I am extra good this week, I can stay for two weeks!
P.P.S. Whenever you have time grandpa, please try to write back. I always love receiving your letters!
P.P.P.S. If I come to your place, promise me that you'll teach me how to bake your cookies and hot cocoa, because I want to know your special ingredient!
Young Mina wrote as she looked at her snow-covered window. If she squinted, she could see little Christmas trees and backyards covered with lights and decorations. She sighed and rubbed her finger over the mist on her window. Thinking of making a "finger-snowman" as she drew the buttons and put the carrot nose.
Mina looked at her letter, hoping her mother would let her send it to grandpa. She was always scared to ask her, frantic about what her response would be. Little Mina couldn't do it without her mother seeing. That was wrong! Besides, she never once thought of doing that.
She cleaned up the window and said goodbye to her snowman she drew and was so proud of. Closing the window tight, she stood up. Trying to make her bed and fluff her pillows, still being a little hesitant about asking her mother to post her letter. She once again looked at the sidewalk, which was now fully covered with snow.
At least the sidewalk is warm with the soft snow. she thought as she put down her pen in the drawer.
She covered the window with her lavender-colored curtains and held the letter tight in her hands, almost like she was never going to let it go. Once again, turning back, she looked at her room to spot any mess, just to procrastinate.
Mina frowned because her room looked spotless.
I guess it's time then. she thought as she closed her bedroom door.
Mina slowly and indecisively started walking down the stairs and made sure no sound of footsteps were being heard. Holding the thick mahogany railings as she continued walking down the stairs, holding a deep breath.
It's going to be fine. I know mom will agree. It's the holidays! Christmas is right around the corner. She'll say yes. Mina comforted herself as she skeptically went down the stairs.
"Mina! I am so sorry little one, I need to go to the office tomorrow. But I know you'll be able to handle being alone by yourself. If you want, we can even arrange a sleepover party with one of your friends! Oh, how about Ella? She's a nice girl and one of your best friends. You two can have fun at their house. Please understand my situation Mina, my boss called a few minutes ago and told me it was an emergency." her mom told her.
Mina was horrified. Her letter fell out of her hand as sadness took over her.
"But...mom, tomorrow is Christmas Eve! Y..you...you can't do this to me, mom! It's our family tradition to put up all the stockings and bake cookies and milk for Santa...and play Secret Santa! No, please ask your boss if you can go to work on the 26th. I'm sure he'll agree. Please, mom, do it for me." Mina pleaded as her voice whimpered.
"I—Mina, I know that I'm letting you down right now, and I really hate disappointing you, especially when it's almost Christmas, but ever since your father died—gosh, being a single parent is not easy for me. I know you're mad at me right now, but if you want to live in this world, you have to work. Then only will you earn money to live Mina, I'm sorry. But my boss said he'll pay me extra. I can get you that headset you always wanted. But if I want to, I have to make some sacrifices." she explained.
Mina couldn't hold her tears in. It was rolling out from her eyes, like a never-ending waterfall. Mina couldn't believe it. She couldn't.
"Mom, I get it. It's fine. You can go to work...I'll just stay home and stay up till you come. I can maybe even make some greeting cards for my friends." she spoke bitterly, but plastered a fake smile to not let her mom know how sad she really was.
"Thank you so much, Mina! But you don't have to stay home alone! You can go to Ella's house—" her mom spoke, but Mina interrupted.
"Actually mom, Ella and her family are out of town. They went to Wisconsin to visit their cousins. So, I'm fine about staying alone. I'll find plenty of ways to entertain myself." she continued speaking bitterly.
"Oh, well thank you Mina for taking this in such good sport. You have no clue about how proud I am of you. You really are such an amazing daughter. You're special, you know that? I am so proud of you—for being a mom to an amazing little girl. I know Mina, that you'll go to great heights, and achieve great things. I know that you have what it takes." she coaxed Mina, and kissed her forehead.
I know mom. I do. You also said to do whatever it takes to achieve your desire, your dream, and not letting any setback fall you down, and that's exactly what I'm going to do. Mina plotted in her head, as she followed her mother to her room.
She didn't forget to pick up her letter, and when she reached her room, she hid it in a drawer before her mom could even enter the door.
"Again, thank you sweetie for being so understanding, also have a good night my little Mina." her soothing voice immediately tucked Mina into bed as she dreamt off into her own world.
The next day, her mother woke her up, which suddenly startled Mina.
"I'm sorry sweetie, I know I woke you up early, but I have to go to work, remember to not open the door if you don't know who the person is. Also, I have made breakfast and lunch for you. We have a little bit of pizza leftover from last night, so you can eat that for dinner if I come back that late. Also, you know my number, right? You can call me any time for any emergency and I'll be there Mina." her mom went through all the rules and guidelines.
Mina softly chuckled, though still half-asleep, she mumbled, "Ok mom, see you. Bye."
"Bye Mina!" she said as she kissed Mina gently.
After two to three hours, Mina eventually woke up. She knew there was still unfinished work that had to be done. Slowly waking up, she folded her bed and rushed to the bathroom to wash her face.
"I'm sorry mom, I'll explain to you everything in a letter. I had to do this. I wanted to ask you, but I couldn't." she talked to the mirror as she was scrubbing her face.
After her usual morning routine, Mina rushed downstairs to eat her—now cold breakfast.
"Let's see, what do we have here?" she murmured to herself.
She pulled the lid and saw her breakfast: Burnt pancakes and maple syrup.
She hoped the maple syrup was at least good, but when she was putting away the bottle, it read: BEST USED BY 12/10/2020
Oh well... she thought.
Mina decided to try the pancakes and hoped it didn't taste as bad as it looked.
She sat down on the dining table and ripped a piece as she put it into her mouth.
At first, she tasted the flaky bits of the burnt parts, and then the real taste came up. The piece she bit felt really chunky in her mouth as she tried to swallow. Soon, after she almost choked into the pancake, she coughed a lot. Almost five minutes straight.
"Ok, I definitely need a new breakfast." she tried to make out words.
Mina hurried to get some bread and some honey. She quickly toasted two slices of bread using the toaster. Deep down, she hoped she was doing everything correctly. She'd heard many cases where kids tried to make their food, but eventually, everything just ended up burning. Having a wish to make something without creating havoc, she looked at the recipe book to look for ideas.
"Let's see, now where is the Fruit section...here! Ok, so Apple Pie—nope, too complicated. Strawberry Pretzel Salad—we don't have any frosting or cream left. I guess I could just chop a bunch of fruits and mix it all in and call it a Fruit salad." Mina said.
After spreading honey on her two slices of bread, she chopped blueberries, strawberries, apples, pineapples, and some oranges for the juicy flavor.
Preventing any messes, she carefully mixed all the fruits in and made sure to trash any of the unnecessary parts of the fruit.
As she sat down again with a cup of milk, warm honey-toasted bread, and some fruits, hoping that the food she made would be a bit more edible than her mother's burn pancakes and expired maple syrup.
"Hopefully I made a good dish," she whispered quietly in a raspy voice.
She took a bite off her bread and ate some fruits.
"Mmm...this is actually quite delicious! I might actually want to consider a chef as a career option in the future, I have an unknown talent for it!" she praised herself as she ate.
Finally, she was done with her scrumptious meal and washed her dish. Now she couldn't stall any longer, it was either now or maybe never.
Come on Mira, come on. You need to toughen up a little, you need to show the world that you're not afraid of setbacks, or the thought of getting grounded forever. You need to do what you think is right. she reassured herself.
Mira pushed the squeaky chair in and looked outside the window one more time to see the snow had stopped.
Yes, the universe has helped me for once. she thought excitedly.
Mira rushed up to her bedroom and found her letter which still looked just as clean as before. Mira smiled at her neatly written letter and put it in an envelope.
It's going to be posted, and no matter what happens, I'm going to visit grandpa today, I'm sorry mom, but you left me no choice. In fact, you're not even home! she thought, but quickly pulled out a loose sheet of paper and her favorite black pen.
I know you might be really worried or tensed about where I went. But don't worry, I went to grandpa's house, or at least I am going to go. It isn't even that far from here, only ten minutes, so I definitely know where I'm going. Also, your pancakes were burnt and the maple syrup was expired, sorry.
Please don't ground me forever mom, I had to do this. I've been wanting to visit grandpa for two years, but you never took me, so I had to take a stern decision. Yesterday night, I came downstairs to ask you to post a letter I sent, but you brought up the work thing, so I decided not to talk about it. But I'm really sorry because as I'm writing this, I already miss you.
P.S. The snow stopped right now, so the weather isn't that harsh. I hope you're having a great day at work!
Mina finished writing it and stuck it on to the door so that her mother would get the letter no matter what.
She got her jacket, her snow boots, her gloves, her winter socks, and her scarf as she glued on the note and went outside, making sure she had the envelope.
This is going to be some journey all right. she thought as she looked behind.
Even though it wasn't snowing in her area, she felt the cold and wispy air after three seconds she was out.
"Brrrrr! I do hope I'll get there soon." she stammered, and finally headed straight, towards 8th avenue. "All I need to find is a toy store. His shed is right next to his toy store." she reminded herself as she set forward her journey to find her grandfather, and stay with him for a while.
She hoped that his leg was a bit better than last year.
Suddenly, dark thoughts filled her head, thoughts she had never once thought before in her life.
If grandfather's place so near, why didn't mother ever bring her? Why did she refuse to post the letter every time she asked her mother? Why does she hate her own father so much that she doesn't even want to see him? What could have happened?
She kept thinking about all of this, and soon before she even knew it, she had reached her grandfather's toy store.
"Joy Land," she read slowly, as she got a little bit more closer to the store.
Her eyes caught a little light glowing from her grandfather's shed. She peeked through the window to see him building and drinking some water.
I hope grandpa will be happy to see me. she wondered but decided to toughen up and knocked on the old rackety door.
"Hello! Grandpa! It's me! Mina! Please let me in, it's getting a little colder outside!" Mina hollered through the snow.
She could hear her grandpa's wheelchair making a ruckus, but soon, he did open the door with a warm smile on his face, but she saw that he was also a bit surprised.
"Hello grandpa! I missed you so much! I have my school break right now, and it's for two weeks, so I can stay with you!" I exclaimed. "Also, I made you a letter! I wanted to post it, but—" Mina wanted to go on, but her grandpa interrupted.
"She didn't want to see me, did she? Of course, she wouldn't. I'm a failure as a dad." he went on.
"What-what happened? You're not a failure!" Mina protested.
"My dear, let's go inside and talk about this," he said, and Mina listened.
Her grandpa explained to her about how he had left her when his mother passed away because he was under great depression.
"Since then, you're mother has never talked to me. I understand why she's so mad at me. But I only want to see her one last time, before my life ends." he wailed.
Right then, the telephone ringed.
"I'll pick it up grandpa," she replied. "Hello?" she asked.
"Mina? Are you there? I just came home from work...I saw your letter...I was devastated. I am so sorry about not letting you visit your grandpa—my dad. If you open the door, I'll come inside." Mina's mother said.
She was shocked, too excited.
"Who is it Mina?" her grandpa asked with a shaky voice.
"Your dreams are coming true grandpa, my mom...she is outside the door," Mina explained.
She ran towards the doorknob and opened it, and her mother came straight to Mina, and then her father.
"Mina! Father I—, I've been a terrible daughter. I shouldn't have left you alone for two years. I don't know what I was thinking. Also, Mina, I owe you an apology too. I didn't want you to not bond with your grandpa. I was being too selfish. I'm sorry to the both of you." she confessed.
Instead of saying anything, Mina and grandpa looked at each other and then looked at mom. They did a group hug.
"I am so glad you're back sweetie. I got worried when Mina came by herself. But, I too am sorry. I shouldn't have left you and your mother at the time. I was devastated—didn't know what I was doing. But I am so glad you talked to me." he replied.
"Me too dad, I feel the same way. I always wanted to meet you this entire time, but...I didn't know what you would think and how you would react, and all of that."
"Isn't it time for her to receive her dove?" asked grandpa to her mom.
Mina was confused.
What dove? she thought.
"Yes! You see Mina when I was about your age, I got my bird too. I know you don't know how to take care of it, but it's a family tradition to give a dove on Christmas Eve. We get it for the holidays, and taking care of it shows just how much of a kind heart an owner has. It has been going around for many, many generations in our family, and our family symbol is also a dove. So you have to prove to me that you're mature enough to take care of your dove Mina." she explained.
"Wow...thank you so much, grandpa! "she exclaimed in delight.
That evening her grandpa and her mom ate dinner at her grandpa's house, spending their Christmas so joyfully.