The Golden Watch

*** Fiction (kind of) ***

“So, what do I need to do, mom?”, I asked.

“Sit there”, she points to the floor, “Yes, there. Here’s a box with your grandma’s stuff. I need you to separate the papers and the other objects. When you finish, let me know. We’ll throw some things away and keep the most important ones. Got it?”

“Yeah. I got it.”

She left my thirteen-year-old self alone in the room. I opened up the box with much care and took a look at everything.

There were a lot of things, most of them were paid bills. My grandmother used to be very organized and responsible. When she died and we had to separate and split things with other family members, we got impressed with such a structured system of hers.

I took the papers with my little hands out of the box and reflected on how my job there would be simple and small, compared to what she’d done for me. When I was little, sometimes I had the clear impression that my grandma was the only person who cared deeply about me. The adults were always too busy, my baby brother was too young. But she always paid attention.

It was a shock for me when she passed away, even though she’d been sick for a long time before.

Going back to the box, I spotted something interesting inside as I took the bills out. It was a watch.

An old and indeed broken watch. It had a golden strap, a circular golden bezel and it showed numbers in Roman numerals. ‘Classy’, I thought as I held it. ‘How long has it been broken?’, I asked myself.

Thinking back now, I believe that it might’ve been broken for over forty years. I just considered “a lot of time’ then. The golden parts had small risks along them. The part behind the numbers had oxidized.

“I wonder why she never got it fixed. It could be easily fixed. Maybe she didn’t like it… but if she didn’t, why is it worn out? No, no, she liked it… ”

I remember that I spent time thinking about all of the situations that watch witnessed. Maybe it was with her when she went to high school… when she go married… When her kids were born… It is weird to think about the time our grandmas were young. It’s like there were always there, old and wise, ready to hold us tight and cook delicious cakes and watch us play. And tell us to behave well, to study a lot…

I envied that watch a bit for the maybe thirty, twenty five years it spent with her. My grandma. My dear grandma…

My mom came back.

“So, what did you find?”

“uh… These bills… and this watch. Do you remember it?”, I showed it to her.

“No… “, she took it, “gosh, it’s old!”

“Can we fix it?”

She looked at me and smiled.

“Sure. I think she’d like that. Now c’mon, get up, let’s go eat something, shall we?”