• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 12
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The wait

I'd been staring down that path for what felt like years. When Masie ran past the gate, closely followed by Charlie, I knew they’d be back soon. Soon. I stared down at my watch – 25 past. I watched as the hour hand slowly crept around the face, taunting as it neared closer to the hour. Where were they? The orchard was only down the road; it took me a few minutes to hobble there and back. Where were they? In the distance I could hear the church bells ringing, the yapping of a dog followed by faint laugher.

“Masie,” I called. “You know your mother doesn’t want you two staying out without lunch.” Again, muffled giggling followed but no reply.

“Charlie! Come on, she'll be worried!” Still, nothing. I begin to wander around the garden, peering through the trees, hoping to catch a glimpse of them. It was futile. Every time I saw a glint of their golden hair, I’d spin around only for it to be a bird taking flight. The crunch of leaves was nothing more than a mouse in the underbrush; the whistle in the air nothing more than the wind whipping past. As I was approaching the gate, resigned to having hunt for them myself, I spotted them. Skipping arm in arm with a basket of apples in each free hand.

“Grandfather!” Masie called out, face beaming in excitement. “We saw a deer and her baby and–"
I started chuckling to myself – of course! They always got distracted by nature. “Well, that must’ve been a good adventure! Now, let’s check the weight of these apples, shall we.”

Masie headed to the scales, reaching up to the blue bag and starting to tip the apples into it. Before I could follow, Charlie stopped me, abruptly


The wait

tugging on my sleeve.

“Weight of the apples? But we picked them when they are still ripe!”

Looking down at him, pure confusion plastered on my face, he continued: “They didn’t have to wait! We were there for when they were ready.”

Still confused, I tried to work out what he was saying. As it dawned on me, Masie started giggling again.

“He’s been doing this every time I said we needed to hurry up! Got concerned they were getting bored so went to pick some more!” By this time Masie was struggling to keep herself upright – doubled over with laughter, the apples were beginning to spill everywhere. Charlie looked up at me, so fiercely determined to prove that he hadn’t taken too long and was trying to help.

Pulling him close in a hug, I explained the differences whilst trying not to make him feel silly – I think it worked, since he jumped up to go help Masie collect the fallen apples so they could find the weight.

“We should do this more often! That way, you won’t have to wait so long, Grandpa, and we can still find the apple's weight!"