Little Porcelain Angel

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


A little girls connection with her grandfather, being raised in a big family.

Submitted: February 07, 2018

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Submitted: February 07, 2018

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  Aziz leads his dad towards an armchair places on the edge of a Persian carpet, like a throne at the end of a Great Hall. Ahmed sits down and watches his children and grandchildren form a line reaching the other side of the room. The smell of Bukhoor, wooden chips that are soaked in pure fragrant oils, fill the air. Traces of smoke swirl around the room like a dance of fairies. From the high ceiling, chandeliers adorned with gold and crystal hang down. Family members are scattered across eight gilded couches lined up against its four walls. 


Next to Ahmed’s chair is a table with tiny cakes for the occasion. Ahmed spots the cake he brought in the middle of the table. A baby porcelain angel standing in the middle of the small chocolate cake with vanilla frosting. She has short ceramic hair pulled back with a pink ribbon on the top of her head and wears a white long dress that covers the frosting she stands on with little wings sticking out of the back. She has a small round face, pink rosy cheeks and big blue eyes.


  A crib appears in the middle of the room, carried in by a couple of maids dressed in matching grey outfits with aprons along the front. Aziz and his wife, Diana, walk into the room with a baby bundled in a blanket. Diana walks up to the crib and carefully places the baby in.


  ‘Welcome my dear family. We are happy that you can all join us in this blessed day. Please come and welcome our baby Sara.”  announces Aziz.


  As the head of the family, Ahmed goes up to the crib first meets the new born baby girl. 
Ahmed looks at Sara in the crib and the first thing he sees are big blue eyes staring up at him. The first of his grandchildren and children born with blue eyes like his. He looks up at the sea of brown eyes, making sure that he hasn’t lost his sense of colour recognition, then back at the baby blues. Sara could have inherited her mother eyes but Ahmed likes to think that she got it from him. He leans in to the crib and gives the baby a kiss on the head. Then the rest of the family crowed over to see the baby, as laughter and voices fill the air.


  At the end of the day Sara sleeps under the porcelain angel looking over her. Diana kept the little statuette in Sara’s room and whenever they move houses, she makes sure it is never left behind. 


  Sara grows up with the baby porcelain angel feeling as though she really does look out for her. Every night before a test, Sara preys to the angel and asks to bring her luck and take care of her and her family. 


  The angel reminds her of her grandfather whom she doesn’t really know. Growing up with over thirty cousins, their weekly family gatherings on Friday at her grandfather’s house are chaotic, especially after some of her older cousins had kids of their own. She never has the chance to be alone with him, except for the time they all line up to greet him. A shake of the hand and a kiss on the head. Five seconds of alone time with her Grandpa.


  One morning Sara wakes up confused from a dream; It is a typical day when the whole family gathers at her grandfather’s house, and she’s standing in line with her cousins greeting their aunts and uncles, all in a long row, leading up to her grandfather, who is sitting on his arm chair at the end of the hall. When it’s her turn to greet her grandfather, she holds his cold wrinkly hand and leans in for a kiss. She feels his hand tighten around hers. She kisses him quickly ready to pull away, but he still holds on to her. Amongst the noisy chatter of the family around them she hears her grandfather whisper clearly in her ear.


  ‘Don’t listen to them, Sara. You are extraordinary.’ 


He let go of Sara’s hand. Puzzled she moves away as to not hold up the line behind her. It was as though that was the first time he had ever spoken to her. She wakes up feeling strange and asking herself questions which will probably never be answered. 


  Later that morning she receives the news of her grandfather’s death. She realizes that her father, Aziz, isn’t home. He must have left as soon as he got the phone call at 5am that morning. Her mother, Diana, stands at the door of Sara’s room and gives her the news. She doesn’t cry. She didn’t know him well enough to cry.


Sara doesn’t remember the funeral and the family stopped gathering on Fridays after that. Although she didn’t know her grandfather and she doesn’t think she had ever even spoken to him in her life, she thinks that she was his favourite grandchild. The only one in the family with his eyes. And that little porcelain angel, which she had received from him on the day of her birth, still stands on the top shelf in her room, looking over her and keeping her safe.


  Whenever Sara felt neglected by her arguing parents, insignificant among her over achieving peers, or got bullied for having light eyes in a society of dark eyes, she always remembered the dream of her grandfather whom she didn’t know, and his words that still puzzled her. She felt better.


  Sometimes she wondered if all her cousins dreamt the same dream. She hoped that they didn’t. 

 


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