When most people are asked who their hero is, their minds would become as clogged as a rush hour traffic jam in Los Angeles. Would I be one of the cars driving on that freeway? No.
There is always one person lingering at the back of my mind. He is not the one who leaps and flies over enormous skyscrapers to save the world. He is not the one who turns into a spider and shoots out web with his bare fingers. He is my grandpa. He is the hero who saves the world in my heart.
It was almost December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened. First sentence into reading The Giver, and my heavy eyelids already felt as if they were going to sink right into the book.
My grandpa loved this book. He would read it over and over again and would talk about it twenty-four seven. Sitting at the dinner table, going out to the park, or even right before school, it was all Jonas this and the Giver that. Whenever we talked, whether it was about sports, homework, or current events, the conversation would always lead back to the book. My grandpa really wanted me to read it. “You have to read it... You have to!” Those words were on limitless replay in my mind. It felt as if he had pushed a thousand weights onto my shoulders, forcing me to read The Giver. I had no choice but to read it.
I did not think that finishing one sentence was going to be so hard. My negative attitude was getting the best of me and pessimistic thoughts were piling up inside of me. The cover is creepy, the old man’s face is frightening, the blurb is not intriguing, the font is too small, there are too many pages… It was 10:00am and there was no excuse to fall asleep.
Frightened meant that deep, sickening feeling of something terrible about to happen. My eyes traced the second sentence of the book, as my interest rolled down an endless hill. I tilt my head towards the window, watching the early May sunshine stroke my arms with soft, golden fingertips. How much harm could one tiny catnap do? I gave into the warmth and my eyes slipped closed. Then I forced them to open again. One tiny catnap could make my always-happy grandpa turn his eyebrows inwards and his mouth downwards. One tiny catnap could make my grandpa furious and dejected at the same time. One tiny catnap would be an insult to his part.
It’s all about the posture. Chin in palm said bored. Chin on knuckles said in deep thought. I decided to pose like the statue, The Thinker. Frightened was the way he had felt a year ago when an unidentified aircraft had overflown the community twice. I could not withstand another sentence. Three, two, one and into my hazy dreams I went. I had fallen asleep.
There was no sound to wake me up. The hair on the back of my neck prickled and my heart changed rhythm. Skipping one beat. Then another. My silent dreams were then interrupted by a large “BANG!” to my head. I was afraid to open my eyes, but I did. I blinked blearily and lifted my head up. It was my grandfather
I couldn’t believe it. My grandfather had used his own bare hands to smack me on the head. A feeling of grief and exasperation closed around me like a fist. I had never been hit before, never by my mother, never by my father, or even by my brother. Goosebumps chose to rise on my arms as panic shot through me like a shock from a bad plug. No, this could no have been happening. It’s all a dream. Wake up, Michelle. It’s all a dream. I rubbed my eyes to make sure I had not been stuck in my endless nightmare; however, my act of reassurance had just made things worse. My grandpa used his other hand to smack me right on my shoulder. It was definitely not a dream. I felt my grandpa’s hands go through me. I felt it in my bones. My heart screamed. The pain hit me like darts, needling me toward the impossible truth. I was looking for words to say, but I stopped at “wow.” My grandpa had hit me, he…