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Mangoes

My granny might have been frail but her mind was knife-sharp and her nature was sweet as a mango. It was a fragrant, ripe Alphonso mango that I took her when I visited the care home she lived in. It was a biting, windy autumn day and with every step, I fought to keep my All Stars on the ground. The almost bare trees looked just like Granny's shrivelled prune fingers.

On this visit, she seemed to be shrinking even deeper into her enormous armchair. Her silver hair was assembled in a sleek bun perched on her head. This particular day she was sat gazing out of the window and into the void that was the empty concrete car park.

'Granny, what are you looking at?'
'The sun,' she replied
'What do you mean the sun? The sky is grey and it's freezing outside.'
'Close your eyes,' she replied, 'and listen carefully.' I closed my eyes. 'When I was your age I would run out of the house just after daybreak and lie on our hammock waiting for the heat of the midday sun. When hunger took hold I would fall from the hammock landing on the soft, lush, green grass, bouncy as a mattress. I used to climb to the top of our mango tree, pick the ripest one, massage the skin and bite a hole so I could drink its juice and suck its flesh. I would sit in that tree for endless hours reading whilst gobbling fresh, juicy fruit. The mango, guava, banana and coconut trees were my favourites. The fruits looked like jewels in a crown, twinkling in the golden sunlight. The branches felt like my mother's arms around me. The leaves felt like her fingers stroking my face. I could feel the presence of the mountains, the sun weaving in and out of them as I soaked up the fragrance of the fresh flowers scented like exotic Parisian perfumes. The sun was so warm it used to put me to sleep. Can you feel the sun now?' my granny asked.
'Yes, yes I can,' I replied. I rose and kissed her on the forehead. She was glowing and felt very warm, as if the sun really had been beaming down on her. I said goodbye and just before I left she promised to recount her antics during monsoon season on my next visit. Granny always left me hungry for more and that is why the care home was my favourite place to be.
As my shivering huddled body scurried along the path to the exit, I thought what fun it would have been to live Granny's childhood. I looked back at her window and could just see her falling asleep hugging the mango as the nurse appeared with her steaming, hot supper.
It was the last time I saw my granny alive...
I never got to hear about the monsoon season.

by Maesa Hussain (11)
Independent Entry


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