I like my mother’s scarves, thick blues and greys and creamy whites, thin pastel pinks, all with the lingering scent of her perfume. I like how she never leaves the house without one in the winter, and how she brings one in her handbag in the summer, just in case we encounter a mall that has its air con on blast. I like how she unwinds her scarf from her neck when she sees me cold, scolding me with a huff about how I always forget to bring mine out, and that she’s cold too, so ‘you better remember to have one next time’. I like how she doesn’t ask for it back, silently and stubbornly bracing the harsh winds, her shoulders up, hands tucked into her pockets. I like seeing her exasperated smile when I wrap it back around her, telling her that I’ll be alright, helping her tuck the ends of it into her coat collar, so that there isn’t a single bit of bare skin left for frosty cold to bite.
I like hearing the sizzling of a pan and the steady chop, chop, chop from the kitchen when my stepfather makes dinner. I like how he grumbles when I pop in to ask what he’s making today, responding with a ‘what do you think?’ or a curt ‘food’. I like how I know that he isn’t trying to be mean, and how I always stick out my tongue at him in response, before retreating back into my room to study. I like being able to smell what he’s cooked when we’ve all sat down at the table - it’s always steaming hot, full of herbs and spices, guaranteed to taste amazing. I like the way he tries to hide the way how pleased he is when my mother asks him about how he’s managed once more to make such a tasty dish, brushing it off with an ‘it’s not that hard to make’, but explaining it to her anyway.
I like seeing my grandfather every morning at the train station, wavy hair always picture perfect due to his dutiful routine of gelling it - a habit that I’ve been told has followed him since his working days. I like watching him spot me in the crowd of bustling, busy people - how his smile-wrinkled face lights up, starting from his eyes, the warmth in them moving to curve his lips into a toothy grin - and make his way towards to me, a black umbrella in hand, a red plastic bag in the other. I like how he always greets me with a chirpy ‘good morning’, handing me that red plastic bag, telling me what he’s made me to eat for breakfast - I like how I always know it’s going to be a sandwich, but hearing him tell me it always makes smile. I like holding his hand as he takes the one minute walk with me to the bridge where I go down to catch another bus to school;I like how he holds my hand - he only holds onto one finger, my pinkie, but his grip is always tight, always there. I like waving goodbye to him as I head down the bridge, then turning to wave at him again a few steps later, just wanting to make this brief moment he gets to see me every day count for him, to let him know that the time he spends making my sandwich for me and walking to the train station to see me means more than the world.
I love them. And I like how I’m so lucky to be able to love and have somebody as wonderful as them.