The Photograph

Author: • September 17, 2017 • Short Stories

old photos-pixabay“You know we all have to do it, Joe,” Stephanie said over the phone.

“I mean I’ll do it, but it’s not going to be pleasant. We’re not even close to Yeh Yeh.” I stared blankly at the multiple windows open on my computer screen in my cubby at the office while twirling the phone cord. It was almost 5:30 and I was nowhere close to finishing my daily deadlines.

“Correction. You’re not close to him. It’s only dinner with him once a week. Mom said it’ll make him feel better now that Po Po’s gone. He’s been pretty lonely.” Po Po, next to Stephanie, was the only woman who could get our quiet grandfather to be expressive in any way. We always wondered how their marriage worked.

“What would I even say to him? We never really talk.” I bent over to look at the “To-Do” basket by my desk. A stash of unread manila folders sat there.

“You’ll be fine. Brett ate with him already yesterday. I visited him on Monday.”

“So just me? Why couldn’t we have eaten together with him? It would be so much better.”

“You know your brother sometimes has to work weekends, and I now have a tiny person that cries and poops nonstop. Please, Joe. Be a good grandkid and just do it.” I heard my nephew’s muffled crying over the phone. Stephanie was the older sister whom I looked up to, juggling her full-time businesswoman and mother duties. There was no excuse for me.

“I will. I’m just dreading it. Did you still want me to pick up his iPad on the way there?” I heard some giggling and voices behind me. I turned around. The new employees were leaving before me.

“Yeah. I fixed it all up for him. Call me when you’re at the house.”

“Will do. See you soon.”

The phone clicked silent.

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About the Author

Cecile's Writer: Lisa KoAuthor: Lisa Ko

Country of residence: United States of America

Nationality: American

Mother tongues: Cantonese, English, Mandarin

Lisa Ko is a Californian born writer raised by Chinese immigrant parents who have lived in Hong Kong before moving to the United States. Cantonese was her first language. She started learning English when she was five years old. She continuously discovers the complexity of hybrid identities in her daily life, sometimes feeling neither American nor Chinese. Lisa is currently the managing director of an interdisciplinary journal, Anastamos.


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