IN MEMORY OF MY NONNA AND NONNO
I stand on the side of the busy road, staring at the old brick house across from me, not even noticing the steady stream of cars that is constantly blocking parts of the house from view. The house looks quite pathetic squished between the towering blocks of units on either side. The grass is overgrown, the row of roses that used to line the driveway is gone and, if I stand on my tip toes, I can make out a carport and a blue shed in the back garden. I feel silly thinking that it would still be the same, but I have a tiny glimpse of hope, even though it is almost squished by reality.
That feeling of being nine again! I walk across the road, brushing my hands along the roses as I walk up the driveway, jump up the steps, stand on my tippy toes and ring the door bell to be greeted by her – my Nonna, her grey hair neatly pulled back with a black velvet head band, her wrinkles smiling down at me as she ushers me inside, hunched over and clutching her brown and black walking stick as she waddles back down the corridor.
I almost want to storm across the road right now and slam my hand against the door and follow this by screams directed at the people who answer. Scream at their carelessness for not mowing the lawns, not pruning the roses, and why, in hell, have they painted the inside of the house that murky green colour, covering the familiar wall paper that would lull me to sleep. Why have they got rid of the vegetable patch and the never-ending line of sheds that my Nonno built? What were they thinking?
As this rant rolls through my mind, I don’t realise that I am drawing quite a stir amongst the people hurrying along the street. I stand red-faced with clenched fists and with tears running down my face, slowly forming a large puddle around me. Swirling around me, my salty tears transform into an ocean – the Indian Ocean, and the 8,804 miles that separate me from the homeland of my nonna and nonno…
(only an extract)