When live has taken all the possibilities, people often think that they’re at dead-end. I wonder how many people in the world are lucky enough to get out of the worse situations, or they’d be buried in grief. Through life experiences, I have learned that when you’re encompassed by the darkness, somehow there will be light that brighten your way out. For once, I and my grandma got into a difficult situation, and I thought that we would be homeless, nowhere to go.
My grandma told me, “we are going to Cambodia to find your mother.” I wondered why she said that. From my understanding, my mother was still around town. I just barely saw her. I could only see her once in awhile when it was some kind of holiday like family reunion or traditional New Year. She was living with her boyfriend. My grandma and my mother didn’t get along well, and my grandma refused to let my mother take care of me. So they separated from each other, and I had to live with my grandma instead of my mother.
“Where is Cambodia grandma?” I asked curiously. In my imagination, Cambodia was a fancy place. A misty place, covered with fog. It was like an illusion to me. I was excited to discover that place.
“It’s very far from here. Do you want to come with me sweetie?” she asked me.
“Of course I’ll go with you grandma. I won’t be staying with the other grandma, she’s mean to me. I don’t like her,” I tried to explain as much as I could so that my grandma would never change her mind to take me with her. She did that all the time, always changed her mind. Once she told me that she would bring me with her to the other city for awhile, but then she ended up sending me to the other grandma for three months. After that, I promised myself I would never let my grandma go away from me again. It was scary.
“Okay then we should go sleep, tomorrow will be a long trip,” she commanded.
She kissed me on my forehead then fell asleep right away. I was so excited I couldn’t sleep. It took me awhile to fall asleep because I kept imagining about that place.
My grandma was a kind of person that didn’t really have plan for what she was going to do. She always did what she thought of and never thought of the consequences after.
We got to Cambodia. The motorcycle driver dropped us at in front of the jewelry store. My grandma asked him to wait as she would go to sell her gold, and then she would pay him. He agreed to wait for us. My grandma looked excited opening her purse. Suddenly, her face turned red. Her hands went through the purse hastily. She checked over and over again. She looked up to me and asked, “did you see a small bag in my purse?”
“What bag grandma? I didn’t see anything,” I was surprised, and I didn’t understand what she was talking about.
“There’s a small paper bag that has a ring. Now that we don’t have the ring, we don’t have any money,” she almost cried.
I couldn’t say anything to her but kept my mouth shut. I was worried after I heard what she said. We didn’t have any money anymore.
It was so hot that the motorcycle driver got all wet by his sweat. He was waiting for us patiently; however, I could see that he was no longer patient. He said something to my grandma, and my grandma said something to him. He looked mad, but it seemed like he couldn’t do anything. He got on his motorcycle and ran away. I didn’t see my grandma giving him money, so I guessed he gave up waiting for us as he figured out we had lost our gold ring.
No money left, we wandered around the city. My grandma held my hand walking. Her hand was cold. I could feel her hand was shaking. She was worried about me mostly.
“Where are we going now grandma?” I asked her innocently.
I was scared. I was thinking where would we stay tonight, and how could we have food. We didn’t have anymore money. It was a different land, and we didn’t really speak the language. My grandma knew a little Cambodian. Still she couldn’t understand much of what people were saying to her.
“We will go to find my friend. I believe they’re around the city, it’s just I don’t remember which way. We will ask as we go along,” she answered sadly.
We walked under the shade of the trees that lined up on the sidewalk because it was so hot. I was thirsty, but I couldn’t ask for anything from my grandma. I didn’t want to upset her. I started to get hungry, and it was around noon already. We walked silently through the street, didn’t know where to go.
I was so exhausted. I felt like it was our end of live. We had nowhere to go. We had no money. We were tired. We were homeless. My grandma was still thinking. She kept looking around, but didn’t say anything. Then we heard a group of men talking. They were speaking our language! I smiled, hopefully we got to talk to them. I could see my grandma’s face was brightened.
Eventually, my grandma decided to go and talk with them. I didn’t understand what they were talking about. I sat at the stone chair by them and looked around. They looked at me pitifully. I could feel that they were sorry for me. I knew what my grandma said. She probably told them about our situation and why we were here.
They gathered together, and then one of them came to us, gave us some of their money. At that moment, I felt like there was still hope for us. I finally had food into my stomach. It was great. The food was so good. I didn’t know whether the food was good, or I was so hungry that I couldn’t stop eating. Everything was perfect. My grandma didn’t eat. She left all the food for me because she knew I was very hungry. She kept talking to those men. They looked not better than us. They were labour men. They walked around selling their chicken feather broom. The brooms were so beautiful with different colors. They must have put a lot of effort on it. Those broom were made so skillful.
My grandma talked to them for like an hour.
One of the man came up and said, “alright, we get to get going. We need to go back to work. So we’ll show you the address where we live, you can ask a motorcycle driver to take you there.”
“Thank you, that’s very nice all of you. I don’t know when I can pay you back,” my grandma said faithfully.
“Don’t worry about it auntie. Hopefully you find your daughter soon.”
The men gathered together again. They spoke to each other, and then came up to my grandma. They gave us some more of their money. They called a motorcycle driver for us. They carefully asked the motorcycle to take us to the address they gave us. My grandma and I said goodbye to them. As the motorcycle was rolling, I was already fell asleep. It was such a tiring, grateful day that I had ever experienced.
I was so thankful that we met those men. Those broom men were also poor but they were willing to help other who had hard times. If there weren’t them who helped us, I wouldn’t know where we would end up. I could never forget their kindness toward us. Right now, somewhere in the world they are, I always wish them all the best of the best.
Finished my short story writing. It’s a homework assignment actually. I wouldn’t have finished it if it wasn’t a homework 😉