The phone rang at 7.48 am. Helen had just entered the house after her daily morning walk and yoga session in the park nearby. This was her routine since the past 35 years and was probably the reason for her svelte and fit figure at 62 yes. She never missed a day unless she was bed ridden , which was not very often.
She had lived alone for 10 years now after her husband passed due to a cardiac arrest and she was determined to keep herself well enough to be independent and non intrusive upon her son’s life.
She heard the phone ringing just as she inserted the key into the lock and rushed to pick up the phone before it went onto the answering machine. It was her son’s voice and she didn’t want to miss the call.
He didn’t call as much now as she would have liked since getting married almost 3 yrs ago. She told herself it was because he was occupied by the new job in NY but heart of hearts she knew it was more due to her unsocial and selfish daughter-in-law.
What John told her on the phone was something that couldn’t knock the smile off her lips for the next 3 days. No leaking kitchen sink, dripping bathroom tap or jammed garage door could ruin her mood.
She sang through all her daily chores, skipped to the nearby supermarket for groceries and whistled noisily through her shower ! She didn’t let anything ruin her days or wipe the smirk from her mouth.
She had become a grandma…of twins he said…Little Anne and Andrew!
She was a grandmother finally!!!! She could scarcely believe it ! She had waited so many years for such news !
Three days later she was driving down the expressway , bag and baggage in tow, all prepared for the 2.5 hours drive to her son’s apartment in the city…it was a lovely one through the countryside which was beautiful this time of year. The mixed hues of rust and yellow tempered with the reds of autumn on the trees that dotted the hills and lined the road cheered her up even more! By the time she drove into the parking bay of her son’s NY building, she was practically leaping off her seat in unison to the hip hop beats emanating off the radio.!! ” Yes I’m happy” , she sang to herself!
She was received by a beaming John who gave her a quick hug and carried her bags to their guest room after switching on the coffee maker. “Why don’t you put your feet up a while while I make you some coffee, mom”!
She realised she actually was tired and sank into the couch even as she expressed her joy and excitement to her son.He listened quietly, amused at her childlike rapture and happy to see her so well and alive!
“When do I get to see my grandchildren”, she asked?
“They’re asleep but we could have a peep”, was the answer.
She practically gulped the delicious aromatic coffee that had a dash of cream just as she liked it. It secretly relieved her to realise that he still remembered that about her. She had thought he had distanced himself enough to forget all that they had shared for years. Her motherly heart always sank at the idea of being forgotten and no longer needed by her only son.
Oh God they were adorable! Golden curls and cherubic faces greeted her as they lay in their cribs! They were wide awake! Anne’s blue eyes were just like her John’s and Andrew’s light brown ones looked suspiciously like their mother Linda’s.
She was too entranced to ask where the mother was, by the way, but soon learned that she had gone into the city for a couple of hrs and would be back soon.
Who cares! She shrugged her shoulders and continued to admire her little Angels while exclaiming “they’re so sweet or so adorable”, every 2 minutes.
All of 5 days and 5hrs old, they already looked so big and alert to her. They were listening intently and staring back at her with bewildered yet wisely eyes.
“So sweet”!!! A voice rang out, slightly tonal, suspiciously mocking, that was not hers. She looked over her left shoulder, expecting to see John and Linda, now back home , making fun of her but the room was empty!
She was alone with the twins as John had stepped out to call out to Linda and inform her that their ‘guest’ had arrived.
Her forehead drew frownlines as she shook her head at her own stupidity.
” So sweet”!! A baby voice called out again, as if to make fun of her , followed by a chuckle.
She looked down at the crib in disbelief! Anne and Andrew were exchanging looks. As she gasped, they turned back to stare wide eyed at her, innocent yet wiley . “Am I crazy! They’re all of 5 days old”, she scolded herself!
“So sweet”, Andrew said again and they both laughed heartily.
Thats when she panicked and stumbled out of the nursery, looking for John and trying to catch a breath as her heart almost stopped beating in her chest.
“John”, she screamed!!!
John and Linda came rushing out of the kitchen on hearing her cry and she practically fell into his arms , acting all crazed and depraved !
” What happened , mom? Are you okay”?
“I..I..I” !!! The words refused to leave her lips and she just stood their clutching him and panting like she had run a marathon!
He shook her hard, trying to get to get her to speak but she just stood there in shock!
“Linda , get some water for mom”, he said as he propelled her towards the couch and set her down gently.
“Mom, calm down and tell me what happened! You’re scaring me ! Talk to me, mom”!!!
No answer could she give.
Just then a voice rang out.
“Its okay, Dad”, said Anne as the twins strolled into the room holding hands and smiling crookedly.
“Grandma and us were just getting to know each other” !