Ten years ago, my grandfather died on this day of lung cancer. He was alone when he died, and the last time he was visited was by my mother, father and I, the day before he died. I wanted to be with him because the last time I saw him, my father was having a fight with him and my mother took me out of the room. I never got to say goodbye, or see you tomorrow because after my father left the room, we left straight away. The next day we got the news that he had died.
“Grandpa, I never got to say goodbye.” I whispered. Grandpa smiled at me. “I don’t ever want you to forget about me. I mean, the version of me that you know is only five years old.”
“Calum, my dear pirate; I will never forget you. I don’t know why you look like this or why you are so much older than I remember. All I know is that I could never forget you and whatever is after death, I will watch over you even then. Calum, I love you buddy and I’m so happy that you came back for me.”
I sniffed sadly. In his half asleep and delusional state, he had no idea how strange it was that his five year old grandson was somehow ten years older. God, I missed him so much.
“Pa….” I mumbled, my hand reaching for his. His hand shook when I took it and I closed my eyes. He was so cold. There was barely any life in him. But at least he seemed happy. Elodie was so far from my mind right now.
“So…glad…you’re…..here with me….now….” Grandpa choked out. With his free hand, he reached up and pulled the breathing tubes out of his way. I had forgotten the way his face looked. I sniffed again. Grandpa smiled slowly, full of love. “Don’t cry….I’m so…..happy…”
His voice grew softer with each word and I didn’t let go of his hand. There were no nurses or doctors around. I knew that the top floor was reserved for lost cases. People who they knew were going to die. People like my grandfather.
His breathing became laboured and his grip loosened. I tightened my fingers around his hand, hoping for him to stay for a little while longer but I could feel him leaving.
“Pa…” I whispered hopefully. No answer. His hand suddenly tightened in mine and I opened my eyes wide. I stared at my grandfather. He opened his mouth and shook. I knew he didn’t have much time left.
“Calum… I want you to know…. You don’t live in the world that you think you do. You have to find Stone and tell him…. You have to tell him…. You have to tell him….” He wheezed. “Tell him…”
His hand went loose and his eyes closed. His head rolled back and I knew that my grandfather was dead. I leant over him and cried.