My grandpa is in the hospital. No, scratch that. Right now he’s freezing in the morgue.
There are so many people in the house on a Monday morning. Someone’s muttering prayers, an aunt is crying in the corner. My grandma breaks down when she sees me and then asks “Have you had breakfast? Do you want tea or coffee?"
His chair has been moved. To make place for everyone who will come to pay their last respects. His bed is now storage for everyone’s bags, baggage from faraway countries. His walking stick is nowhere to be seen - someone has probably already laid claim to it. A distant relative has brought meat puffs for us for breakfast and a neighbour has taken them away. He loved meat puffs from Vaz Bakery; the neighbour says "No meat for the mourning."
I’m not mourning. I’m just missing him.
I sit at the kitchen counter, just like I would when he made omelettes because I refused to eat fish. My grandma asks me "Why didn’t you come here on Saturday? He was asking for you!”
I don’t have the heart to tell her that mom didn’t tell me he was asking for me. She didn’t tell me he was on his deathbed. Another aunt tries her hand at fifteen seconds of fame at a funeral: “He was waiting for me to arrive. He raised his hand and blessed me.” Mom chips in, “I was feeding him water with a spoon till his last breath.”
There’s going to be no end to this.
I wait in the living room. It’s noon. The body is here, someone announces.
The body? That’s my Papa they are talking about.