“Look at me, honey, look at me,” she says.
I try real hard to shroud the sorrow from my eyes, but she always sees it. I smile and pull her close. Her arms are narrow but strong, and she folds herself around me and I feel the warmth of her old steady bones.
“I’m happy now, Gram,” I say. Just a whisper. “But I really need to pee. I could pee beans right now.”
She chuckles in my ear. “You always was frank. Go use the toilet and then we’ll sit out here. The wind is cool, but I do like Mister Sun this time of day.”
I allow myself a few seconds to enjoy her face. It’s the only face I know that dares show kindness to me, a frank love that makes me shiver inside. It’s a hard face from so many years of living, but I see the mildness underneath. Maybe I’m the only one she shows it to.
“You ain’t redecorated or nothing?” I ask. “You ain’t moved the rooms around so I can’t find the bathroom?”
“Same old,” she says. “Still in the back. Though I do think there’s a new stopper in the sink since the last time you was here. Got that maybe two years ago. Now you git, and I’ll pour us some tea.” She pauses. “The tea is new, too. Bought it just last week.”
I skitter along like the girl I was, right up them steps like I don’t have any gravity in me at all. I ain’t skittered in a long time.