A post based on today’s prompt for The Short Story Club – Sugar.
“Grandpa, I can’t eat that yoghurt. Mom says it’s full of sugar.” Georgia has snuck upon me unpacking the groceries. In the week since she’s been staying with us, I’ve been amazed how quiet she is, for a three-year-old. Her mother was never quiet. I am suddenly dizzy and have to turn away from her serious, beautiful face. Her mother’s face. “That’s okay though, sweetie. It’s just a treat.” I snap one of the Barbie-branded plastic pots off the six-pack and dig in the drawer for a spoon. Georgia eyes me suspiciously. “Mom says sugar makes your teeth fall out.” My legs can’t hold me anymore. All of this morning’s restless energy, the need to keep moving that drove me out the house and to the shops while she and Maggie slept – has fizzled out. I slump at the kitchen table. “When will Granny wake up?” Maggie hasn’t left the bed since we got the call two nights ago. Eons ago. Georgia climbs into my lap and reaches for the pot of yoghurt. “When she does, she can help me phone Mom in Paris and I can tell her I had it just for a treat.” I squeeze my gritty eyes tightly closed. I have literally no idea how I will be able to move from this moment to the next and the next and the next until I have to tell Georgia what’s happened. When I open my eyes again, they won’t stop streaming, but my granddaughter doesn’t notice. She is busy licking the silver lid of the yoghurt tub in the deliberate way she does everything. She turns to me, eyes wide with delight. “Yum!” she says. “Isn’t sugar lovely, Grandpa?”