The next morning I was in the stable brushing the only horse we had when grandpa came in to see me.
“You sure you can’t stay for long?” He asked and I shook my head negatively and smiled sadly.
“Works starts soon, Grandpa.” I said sighing. “Why don’t you both come and stay with me for a while? We’ll arrange someone to take of the farm. It will be like a vacation for both of you.” I suggested.
“This is home, dear. I can’t bear to be away from here. And who will your grandmother gossip with there?” Grandpa asked and then patted me on the shoulder.
“We will be happy here as long as you are happy there.” He promised.
“I am happy, Grandpa.” I assured him
“I can see that. You don’t look like you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders anymore.” He said and glanced at Xavier and Ace who was sitting by the window inside the house.
“They are good for you.” Grandpa said after a minute. Grandpa hadn’t talked to Xavier that much during our stay. He wasn’t much of talker to begin with but was instead a good observer.
“I’m not saying they are the reason for your happiness. I know very well that you are capable of being happy on your own. But I can see that they have become your people. And it’s important to have your own people with whom you can be free. With whom you can let your guard down and be vulnerable. Whom you can trust wholeheartedly and lean back on when needed. And I’m happy that you have got them because of that.” Said grandpa and I did not know what to say.
“They make my life more eventful and..fun. I look forward to the next day partly because of them.” I admitted. “And you don’t have to worry about me at all, grandpa. I’ll be safe.” I assured and he nodded with a smile.
“There comes your grandma with your boy.” Grandpa said and nodding at the pair coming towards us. Grandma was walking side by side with Ace who wore a cowboy hat and held a little basket with eggs in it.
“Isn’t that the hat I lost when I was a kid?” I asked my grandparents.
“I wouldn’t say lost..” Grandpa mumbled looking at my grandma but I managed to hear it.
“What do you mean by that? It was lost during a party or something right?” I asked and he just looked slyly at grandma who was glaring at him.
“Grandma?!” I called in shock realizing that she had lied to me.
“What? You kept wearing that thing to everywhere. To school, weddings, birthdays and funerals. You wouldn’t step out of the house without wearing that hideous thing and you wouldn’t listen to me when I asked you not to wear it. So I took things to my own hands.” Grandma justified.
“You stole it and lied to me.”
“Don’t be so dramatic!” She waved me off.
“And now it’s mine.” Ace intervened patting the hat.
“See, I passed it down to the next generation as a redemption. So don’t you fuss about it anymore.” Grandma ordered and walked off quickly to escape from me.
“Mamma, look at the eggs we collected today. I also picked berries and veggies.” Ace showed off.
“That’s great, little one. You worked hard today. Why don’t we head inside and have breakfast then? You must be hungry.” I said and all three of us headed back to home. Xavier was home reading the newspaper and checking his emails and while I took a quick shower, Ace showed him the hat he inherited and the things he picked up with grandma. After breakfast we said our goodbyes and with a promise to return soon we went back home.