The Shooting Stars | Teen Ink

The Shooting Stars

December 30, 2015
By CosmoPhoenix PLATINUM, Ernakulam, Kerala, Other
CosmoPhoenix PLATINUM, Ernakulam, Kerala, Other
28 articles 5 photos 31 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela

I, am a little boy of seven. My story is not an adventurous tale. In fact, it is a sad one. I live with my loving grandmother, in my village. My grandmother has wrinkles all over her face. It is her caring smile and the wrinkles that give her the beauty. She bakes me almond cookies that I love the most. The aroma of the baked cookies, along with the roasted almonds, gets me transferred to a whole new world. Outside, the village is marvellous. The sky, the mountains, the fields, the brooks, the lakes, the trees, the woods, the squirrels, the birds, the shops, the people, everything , is beautiful. In that case, I am the luckiest.


I lost my grandfather a month ago. He was a healthy man, who died at the age of 94. He used to give me rides in his old bicycle. Together, we start from the house, take the short route that runs through the lush green fields, chatting and laughing, singing a song when the meadows are steep, and he pushes the bicycle uphill when the grasslands became steep. There was one spot, under a huge apple tree, in the meadows. This was the spot me and grandfather loved the most. That spot marks the territory of the apple orchard. We pick up the fallen apples, and collect them in the basket grandfather always carries with him, in his bicycle. In the distance, the sheep graze. When a lamb comes trotting uphill, I feed it with apples. It munches on the apple, leaves the remaining part, and trots back to its herd. My grandfather wears a pair of round-rimmed glasses. He plays the flute. He tells me several stories. He makes me laugh. He buys me sweets. He stood in the place of my father, and did everything for me. I miss him now. More than anything else.


Now, it is nearing dusk. I am sitting under the same apple tree, alone. My hand is holding a huge, red apple. It looks fresh and juicy. But, my thoughts are about my grandfather, not the juicy apple. It could have been nice to have him, so I could share this with him. It is just a tiny thing to me, but a precious possession to us. I have heard adults saying that children can never feel what they feel. But, I say, adults never feel what the children feel. Every day, every single day, I sit under the apple tree, weeping. Will you come back? When will I meet you again? Will you never speak to me? Where will I find a greater love than yours? Even though my grandfather was a selfless man, the society has forgotten him. He has become a historic relic. I think he is still alive, in here, in my little heart.


I am crying. I am not able to hold back my tears. Adults do that. They never show their tears. I am sobbing, unlike an adult. I know my tears will reach out to my grandfather. No one is near me to soothe me. None other than the gentle wind from the West. I am still weeping. My tears fall on the apple my  palm is clutching. I am able to see my face, my own reflection, on the tears that have landed on the apple. I wondered for a moment if it was the apple that was crying.


Just then, I saw a star falling from the night sky. It approached me. The light from the star grew bigger and bigger. It became too bright, I had to close my eyes. There was a beautiful bird. A sparrow. It was singing. But, there was agony in its voice. The soft tone suddenly changed to a high-pitched scream. It was so shrill, the sound could have deafened anyone. As it carried on, the rose bud near it started to bloom. It displayed its bright red petals and began to bloom. The little sparrow was at the peak of its singing, when suddenly, it fell to the ground. It died.


I woke up with a start. There was no star, no sparrow, no rose. Grandmother would be worried stiff. She would be searching for me everywhere. Just when I stood up to go, I saw another star nearing me. This time, the light was greenish, and was less powerful than the first. Still, I had to close my eyes. Then, I saw three kittens soaked wet. Soaked wet in rainbow colours. They were apparently searching for their mother. They mewed as much as they could. But, in vain. All of a sudden, the colours from their bodies were removed by some unknown force, probably by magic, and the colours went on to form a huge rainbow, leaving the kittens milky white. The rainbow was like a glass shield. The next moment, it was shattered to tiny pieces of colourful glass.


This time, when I woke up, I was sobbing pathetically. Why am I getting illusions of death and shatters? I have to find refuge under the warmth of my loving grandmother. I decided to stay there no longer. To my surprise, the tears which fell on the apple started to glow. It started to glow like a star. Slowly, the apple lifted itself from my hand, and stood suspended before my eyes. The light was warm, comforting, soothing. I peered inside it, eyes wide open. I saw my grandfather’s face. He actually was there, smiling. He said, “Close your eyes, Little Warrior. Close your eyes. Come to me. I have something to show you.”


My eyes were already closed. He called me! He called me to go with him! How can I deny this opportunity? Dream or not, I have to. He turned his back and started walking towards the light. I shouted, “Grandpa, wait! Wait for me! Take me with you! I am coming!” I ran after him, panting. When he heard my voice, he stopped walking, and turned to see me. His round-rimmed glasses shone brightly. He gave me a gentle smile. I caught up with him, and slid my hand into his. I lifted my left arm and showed him the apple.


“Can we share this, grandpa?” I asked.


“Sure, son.”


We laughed. And, we walked towards the light. Together. Forever. Now, under the huge apple tree, only my body lay. My soul is high in the sky. With my grandfather. Leaving the Earth does never mean we are dead. It just means it is time for us to move into another space. Throughout, we are all alive. As long as I am with my grandfather, I am alive. Forever. For families are very important.

The author's comments:

Inspired by an old Danish story I read when I was seven.

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