Like Yesterday

By Mozhgan Mahjoob

I closed my eyes and the moments passed through my mind so quickly. I saw her again, her kind face and wrinkled forehead, her sweet smile, her hopeful shining eyes and her calm voice that had the peace of life.

I took her hand and we walked through the streets of Shahr e Naw until we reached the Four-Seasons ice-cream shop. We sat on the pavement next to the shop and she ordered my favorite ice-cream, the cherry flavored one. Meanwhile a salesman screamed, “Buy nice bangles, bracelets, necklaces, earrings and rings!”

I asked her eagerly, “Grandma, can I have my favorite colored bangles? The pink, purple, blue, and white ones to wear with my dresses!” She happily bought me the glass made of delicate bangles that shine in a special way, with all her savings.

As the shopkeeper brought the ice-cream, I insisted that grandma eat too, so she ordered another. We both ate ice-cream. As cars, taxies, bicycles, motorcycles, and people crowded the streets of Shahr e Naw, she took my tiny hand and we walked past the end of the street to the bus station.

Today I found myself in the same area, near the same Four-Seasons ice-cream shop on the same crowded street. Cars stopped at the corner and people went in to buy ice-cream and juices. Men, women, and kids happily walked up the stairs to sit inside the ice-cream shop. Seeing the kids that tightly held their mother’s and grandma’s hands awakened the ardor of childhood in my head, the world of different ice cream tastes and colored bangles.

Again a salesman shouts, “Bangles! Bracelets! Earrings! Rings…” The cars and people cross in front of my eyes. I drown in the memory of my childhood and waves of ennui reach my eyes. I turn around to look for her everywhere, but I cannot find her in the crowd.

This time I do not want to eat ice-cream, I do not like to wear the bangles, I only want to be with her, to take her hand and to walk with her till the end of my life. I want to tell her how much I have missed her and how much I like her.

I want to tell her that once more I want to hear that long story of the fairy and the demon. I want to let her know how much I have missed hearing her fairytale stories in the cold, long nights This time if I found her I would never let her go. I look to see her but she is not there anymore.

Suddenly I see her smiling face. She is going fast and I run after her and shout, “Grandma! Grandma wait for me!” But she vanishes right in front of me, after twenty years she flies as fast as time, but for me still it seems that it was yesterday. Again, I walk the whole reach of my childhood and find myself in the middle of the street among the crowd but lonely…

28 August, 2023