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The Vine Vase

Phoebe Whittfield

It’s been 5 years since Gran was diagnosed. Dementia is slowly eating

her alive. Her grey curls cover her chocolate brown eyes. Gran’s

skinny figure is slumped down on the couch, her hand moving with

hesitation up to her chapped red lips as she takes a sip of her tea.

I placed the sunset pink tulips into the tall, skinny glass vase

mum gave her. It is carved with vines that are swirling around it.

Her memory was getting worse. I remember her doctor mentioning

it could get as bad as her not remembering how to talk, eat, drink or


The thought of Gran not being around for much longer scares

me and I try to escape the thought from my busy 16 year old mind,

but sometimes I fail to do so.

“Hey Gran. How’re you doing?”

“Hi Charlie, I’m doing great. Could yo–.” She kept talking but I

stopped listening.

First of all, my name isn’t Charlie and with this response, she is

not doing great. She’s getting worse.

Gran took another sip of tea and looked at me, expecting me to

do something. She must have asked me to clean her room like the

last time I visited which was probably last month.

“ Um, Gran, I’m not Charlie, I’m Kaylee. Your grand-daughter.”

I can feel my face tense with worry because I can see her

expression turn from her regular happy self, to a confused and

uncomfortable look as her brown eyes wonder around the vintage

wallpapered walls and furniture and her worry lines appearing on

her forehead.

“Oh, sorry dearie. My mind has been playing up on me these last

few years. So, how is school?” Gran took another sip of tea.

“Fine.” I said.

I’m getting a little bit impatient, but I stay for as long as I can.

Silence kills the normal chatter of our monthly visits. I look down

at my blue and white spotted watch, which reads 3:20.

“Um, Gran. I better get going.”

She looks into my pale ocean blue eyes, as if she can see right

through me, but still waves her wrinkly hand, her long fingernails

painted a strawberry red and replies,

“Okay dearie. See you next time.”

Gran then smiles her crusty crooked smile back at me as I step

outside. The air smells as fresh as a daisy. As I walk down the street,