Fiction Romance

My grumpy grandpa always scolds me for doing something -- even if it's just a small mistake -- his eyebrow will instantly narrow at me and then shake his head because of irritation.

My Dad, Grumpa's and Grandma's only son, told me that Grumpa does not hate me. He's always as grumpy as he was in his younger days. My Dad even rebelled against Grumpa's strictness, he couldn't live his life fully because of Grumpa.

I kept laughing at my Dad's past story because I finally knew that the recklessness I have was because it runs through our genes.

I don't hate Grumpa, I even love him more than resent him. All his scolding taught me to be better -- I am just thirteen years old and I still have a lot to learn more in life -- that's what Grumpa said.

I am happy, very happy, that I got to hear Grumpy-Grandpa's angry voice as well as my beautiful and gentle Grandma's care. Not all of us has this type of Grandparents, some of my friends have dead Grandparents and some are distant from them. So, I am very lucky to have Grumpa and Grandma.

Grumpa and Grandma are opposite but their love unites them. I always wonder how Grandma loved my grumpy Grandpa. 

One morning as I went to the kitchen to boil some water and drink some milk -- sometimes I secretly put some coffee if Grumpa isn't there in the kitchen -- I saw Grumpa making sandwiches with lettuce and mayonnaise in it. 

"Good morning, Grumpa," I greeted and got used to calling him Grumpa, short for "Grumpy Grandpa" -- Grumpa didn't hate it either.

"Clementine?" he called and I looked at him with my brows raised and a slight smile, "Bring this to your Grandma Emilia."

"Okay..." I replied as I receive the plate with a sandwich atop and water for Grandma. "Can you make some for me too, Grumpa?" I begged, "Please..."

Here goes his glare again and wrinkled forehead that shows how grumpy he is at me. "Ay," he complained, "Okay, okay. Go now, your Grandma is hungry." He waved his hand like shooing away a bee, busy buzzing his day.

I chuckled and went outside. I saw Grandma sitting near the garden while humming. Grandma is sick and everyone -- my mother, father, me, and especially grandpa -- we are all scared but Grandma doesn't want us to worry.

"Grandma!" I called and went near her, "Good morning..."

"Good morning, honey..." she said slowly with her weak, cracking voice.

When I was near her, I sat beside her and gave her the plate while I placed the water on a table between us. "Grumpa made you some sandwich," I said and smiled.

Grandma laughed and then sighed. "What's wrong, Grandma?" I asked because she looks weary. I held her hand and looked at her with concern.

She looked at me then back to the garden. "Did I told you the reason why he is grumpy every day, Clementine?" she said and took a bite of her sandwich.

"Yes, Grandma, it was because Grumpa's father was strict at him and that it made him strict also to Dad and me," I answered with complete certainty. 

Grandma chuckled and shook her head. She put down her sandwich and looked at me with a gentle smile. "No, it was because of the lover he did not have."

My lips pursed and gave Grandma a confused look. "What do you mean Grandma?"

Grandma took in a deep breath before answering, "When we were young. Your Grandpa Julio is just my high school friend. No deep feelings attached, just plain friendship..."

I placed my chin atop of my palm and smiled as I listened to Grandma's and Grandpa's love story

"Until I... my feelings... I fell in love with my friend who is in love with another."

My brows furrowed when Grandma said that and questioned, "So, Grumpa's first love was not you, Grandma?"

She let out a faint laugh and then continued, "No." She looked at me bitterly but still with a gentle smile.

"I encouraged my mother and father to tell his parents that we should be put in an arranged marriage. I love him so much -- I was desperate. They did tell Julio that we will be put in an arranged marriage and when Julio heard of it, he did not agree."

I never knew that Grandma did that because of love. "Did Grumpa hated you?"

"Yes... He did and I do not know if he is still angry with me," Grandma said.

"I am not angry at you, Emilia," Grumpa went into the conversation. I looked behind me and saw Grumpa walking towards us. "Clementine," he called and gave me a plate with a sandwich.

"Thank you, Grumpa..." I whispered and watched him while wanting to ask more questions. Grandma and Grumpa never talked about how their love started.

He grabbed a chair and sat beside Grandma. I stared as Grumpa slowly moved closer to the table and gave Grandma her medicine.

"I learned to love you," Grumpa said, "You may have courted me in the beginning..." Grumpa fixed Grandma's hair and kissed her forehead, "I am still the one who kneeled and asked if you can marry me in the end."

I couldn't hold back my smile. My wide smiling lips lifted my blushing cheeks. "I did not know you are that sweet, Grumpa."

Grumpa looked at me with his grumpy face again. "The real reason I am grumpy is that I don't want your Dad to make the same mistake that I did. And for you him to discipline you better. Do you understand me, Clementine?"

I showed him my playful smile and nodded to stop him from scolding me even worse, "I understand, Grumpa, but back to your love story. Who was your first love then? If not Grandma."

"Ay, this kid... You don't need to know that," Grumpa took a bite on his sandwich but stopped when Grandma whispered, "Let her know, Julio. Don't be too harsh on your grandkid."

Grumpa sighed out of annoyance and took another bite of his sandwich. Grandma laughed and glanced at me. "Do you still remember your other Grandma? Mother of your mother?" she asked and I smiled.

"Do you mean Grandma Teresa? Yes, I do, Grandma... Why?"

"She was your Grandpa's first love."

My eyes widened and blinked three times. I looked at Grumpa who was looking at me with his grumpy face again and again. "Is that true Grumpa?"

Grumpa quickly nodded and looked at Grandma, "Eat your sandwich, Emilia."

"I will only eat it if..." Grandma smiled at Grumpa, "You tell me that you still love me."

"Of course, as long as my heart is beating, it will only beat for you, Emilia, that was my vow to you until death part us."

The day ended with a wide smile on my face. It was a huge coincidence for my Dad to marry my Mom who was the daughter of Grumpa's first and past love.

Of course, the feelings were long gone and no awkwardness left between them. After all, we became a family because of love. 

Loving someone at first sight or learning to love them is the same, as long as it made them complete and happy. Just like Grumpa learning to love his Emilia and Grandma faithfully love and waited for her Julio.

February 16, 2021 04:46

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Holly Fister
23:18 Feb 24, 2021

Sweet story! I enjoyed it. Good little twist there at the end.


Meggysa Nine
06:41 Feb 25, 2021

You are the first person to comment on my stories. Thank you so much ❤❤❤


Holly Fister
12:30 Feb 25, 2021

You’re welcome! 💕 Yeah, when I started doing this contest a few months ago I was surprised to get very few comments. I think it’s such a big contest that it’s hard to get noticed unless you go out and really ask people to come look at your story. So I always comment on the ones I’m given for critique circle.


Meggysa Nine
13:23 Feb 25, 2021

I see. This is my first time joining Reedsy Contests, so, I'll try my best! Thank you again. ❤


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