A Simple Gift

My grandfather has a gift. A talent. Something that makes him different from all the other humans. But this gift is something he never speaks about.

Well, that's what my father says.

Like I believe it. Honestly, this "gift" my grandfather talks about? Bullshit, it just makes him talk crazy talk. I sigh and take a bite out of my burrito. Well, I used to believe it. When I was, like, five. I'm freaking sixteen now. Who believes this gift now? It's just crazy talk. I shake my head and take another bite out of my burrito.

"Turkey," croak my grandfather. I sigh. His "gift" was starting again. I get up, mouth still stuffed with burrito, and walk over to his place. He is sitting neatly on a rocking chair, his eyes blankly staring into the crowd of people who have gathered on our porch. Ah right, there's a party today, held by my parents.

"Gramps," I mumble. "Whatcha looking at?"

Grandfather weakly lift his arms and point at a dirty, scrawny kid. "Mouse," He murmurs. I scratch my head. The kid did have a mousy look to him. His shredded clothes were covered in dirt. He seemed hungry, and so skinny.

"Dog." Grandfather's pointing at Mr. Riley from across the street. Mr. Riley is a very eccentric man, always hiding from here to there. He's nice, but there's always something off about his smiles. A crooked sneer, almost. Anyways, everyone knew he owned a million dogs in his house. "Yes, yes," I say softly, "Gramps, we all know that Mr. Riley has tons of dogs."

At this point, my grandfather makes a very ugly frown. Then he speaks, "human." I sigh and I stare at where he's pointing this time: Mr. Adams. He's a nice man, quite plump, with a bald head. He has a set of very bright, white teeth, and small eyes. Just last week he gave me a piece of pie. ('Freshly homemade,' he had said. It was delicious, but my grandfather refused to have any of it.)

My grandfather coughs a little and rocks himself wearily on the rocking chair. He keeps staring at Mr. Adam and finally sighs, "Mrs. Adams." And then promptly makes a sad face, where tears threatened to fall.

That night my grandfather passed away. That very last day is still engraved in my mind. Today, I am forty four and all my children call me a lunatic. They don't understand. They don't understand the "gift" I had inherited from my grandfather that night.

I still live in the same neighborhood, and most of the neighbors still remain. When my children go out to play, I let them tell the other children I am a lunatic. But only one thing remains the same that I will always tell them before leaving.

My youngest daughter gives me a kiss on the cheek before leaving. I tell her the same thing as always before she leaves. She rolls her eyes and runs out.

I see her run across the road and wave at Mr. Adams, now an old man. I stand nervously at the window, watching them. I had told her but she never listens.

"Beware of Mr. Adams."

He gives my daughter a piece of pie. My daughter runs at full speed back into the house and beams at me with her new piece of pie. I grab it from her and dump it in the trash. She cries, and she runs into her room. My wife and children look at me, the same puzzled look on their faces.

They don't understand. They don't understand my gift. My talent. Something that makes me different from all the other humans. But this gift is something I never speak about. It is a simple gift that causes me to "see" what people have recently eaten.

Mr. Adams catches sight of me and waves.