Her Pale Envelope

Tatia Veikkola

           Grandma was impatiently staring at my bedroom windows. I knew it even without opening the old wooden shutters and looking out at her colorful balcony. Still in bed, I was remembering grandma’s latest bedtime story, which she sent me yesterday. Every day, she would write a short adventure story for me, put it in a pale envelope, insert old wooden cloth pins all around it to give the letter some weight and throw it to my balcony. The distance between our windows was just ten feet. When I would go to my balcony, the pale envelope and grandma’s kind eyes would greet me every morning. After the greetings, grandma would ask me how I liked her story and once again remind me that I should not open the envelope until the bedtime. Then we would talk about the topics which interested me very much. For example, we talked about soccer, a massive box of Lego recently bought by my parents and adventure books. I was always happy to hear, that grandma knew every team and player I mentioned and that she would always agree with me whatever I said about soccer. Though, I have never seen any soccer game on her TV screen, which was perfectly visible from her room to mine. That’s how we lived during lockdown in Italy, seven years old me and the grandma.

          She was not my real grandmother though, but everyone in the neighborhood called her grandma. She loved colors, flowers and writing. That is what she has always told me. Although, as a boy I was not especially fond of flowers, I was sure that her balcony was the most beautiful in the whole neighborhood. I could see those rainbow colors and her beautiful stories in those flowers. While watering, the grandma would tell me that as soon as the lockdown was over, she would take me to a soccer game and an ice-cream parlor to treat ourselves with a sweet delight. We loved talking about it. In our imagination we would fly over the old narrow streets of our small town, gliding like shadows over the brick-colored roofs of rustic cafes, shops and very old, but stunning fountains, where water, reflecting the sunrays, would shine with a thousand sparkles. Oh, we absolutely loved dreaming about it!

          Though one morning I could not see her pale envelope or her smiling eyes. Almost all day long I waited for grandma in my balcony, impatiently staring at her windows. But she would not appear there to water her beloved flowers or throw her pale envelope towards me and talk happily about our future adventures together. I was told that she went to heaven. Whatever kind of place heaven was, I was sure that grandma went on an adventure there, perhaps even visiting ice-cream parlors and attending soccer games. “But how could she go without me?!” I was devasted. For a long time after, I would longingly wait for her pale envelope to appear in my balcony.

Tatia Veikkola is a writer and a self-prescribed citizen of the world. She attained her Master’s degree in Science and Economics from the University of Eastern Finland. Her interests include history, learning about different cultures, as well as practicing Korean sword fighting. She lives with her husband in Helsinki, Finland, where she emigrated to from Rustavi, Georgia.

Find her on Instagram: @tatiaveikkola


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