Where do you keep your heart, love?
Is it free and allowed to roam?
I’ll show you where my heart is
And you shall be my home.
From morning to night I wander
From darkness to light I roam
But you are where my heart is
And you shall be my home…
As she waited for him to arrive, she hummed the tune he had taught her as a child. Fond tears welled up as she remembered those happiest of days.
The reunion itself started joyous enough for her. She wrapped her frail, ageing arms around his chest, pressing her cheek tightly against the warm wool of his jumper. He had changed so much since she had last seen him. The flowing white hair was much shorter, and now a slightly curly brown. As he whispered into her ear, “I’ve missed you”, she even detected a Celtic accent. Pulling him ever closer to her, she realised that what was once a frail, feeble body had become taut, upright. In fact, he was now so much younger in appearance than she was that she felt strange calling him ‘Grandfather’.
The happiness did not last. Looking up into his face for the first real time since his arrival, she noticed that the piercing grey of his eyes was diffused by sadness deeper than anything she had ever seen in him before.
His mouth opened and closed, opened and closed in an almost comical manner as he tried to say the words he needed to tell her. She could see the palpable fear of hurting her holding him back, strangling his words before they had the chance to emerge. Finally, painfully, he spat them out:
“I’m not your grandfather.”