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Goodnight, Grandma

Updated: Dec 31, 2020

“ 晚安,婆婆。”

(“Goodnight, Grandma.”)

After snuggling into bed, she lay there, clutching the comforter.

Staring at the ceiling and counting the seconds, she finally heard the snores.

Smiling to herself, she peeled back the covers and tiptoed over her grandmother’s body to reach the spacious ledge window.

She stretched her body out on the cool marble. Peeking through the heavy curtains, she caught a glimpse of the streets below. Lone late-night buses, decked with their red and green roofs, paused at traffic lights. At the turn of the light, they sped off, like little critters eager to escape the scrutiny of the broad street lights. She was grateful to be inside with the cold blasts of AC that provided relief from the sticky, parching heat.

She sat there for a while, pondering about nothing in particular. A blur of the previous months flickered through her mind: eating fresh durian from the markets, running through Ocean Park, and smelling the warm aroma of creamy Portuguese egg tarts-- her new favorite snack. A bittersweet emotion swelled up inside of her. All good things always had to end, anyway.

She was leaving in a week.

As she gazed out at the brightly lit streets, she had a sudden recollection of something her mother had told her:

“Hong Kong has all the colors at night.”

She decided she would see for herself.

She craned her neck closer to the window, hands pressed onto the cool glass. Exhaling slowly, her breath molded into a fog that slithered across a large area. She used her palm to wipe away the vapor.

There, directly across her view, was the glittering cityscape.

Closing her eyes, she contemplated over a color to test it out.

“Pink,” she thought, and slowly peeked an eye open.

And there it was.

Gleaming from the city lights, pink was amongst the various vibrant colors that were sprinkled across the skyscrapers. Her eyes widened in surprise.

She shut her eyes again.

“Blue,” she whispered and blinked her eyes open.

She was right. A deep indigo shimmered across the murky waters of the Victoria Harbor. She felt herself become giddy.

She continued to try numerous other colors until her brain felt it could produce no more. By then, she was sure her mother was correct. She sat there, amazed, and almost in disbelief.

So it was true.

Hong Kong really did have all the colors at night. Filled with satisfaction and glee, she leaned against the wall and continued to admire the cityscape.

She suddenly wondered how long she had been there on the ledge; her feet were starting to grow cold. She had no idea what time it was.

Oddly, she wasn’t tired at all-- rather, she felt more awake than ever.

Suddenly, her grandma stirred. It jolted her back to reality.

Reluctantly, she lowered her feet back to a sitting position. She lingered at the window for a while and waited for her grandma to settle again.

Then, sneaking back to her side of the bed, she gently slipped under the covers.

She felt a strange sort of satisfaction and contentment as she nestled into a comfortable position, dotted colors tucked behind her eyelids.

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