Spending time with grannies

They used to visit her mom’s aunts quite frequently - at least once a month. They’d take a metro or a yellow bus, or Marshrutka, a mini bus - the only available public transportation at that time, during the mid-90s Tbilisi. The 30 minutes ride would take them to a different part of the city, surrounded with grey, six-floor buildings called Khruschevkas, constructed during the Soviet period and called so after Khruschev. 

Grannies were living on the fourth floor. Someone has scratched a male name “Kolija” on one of the steps of the staircase on the third floor. So, she knew, if by any, almost nonexistent, chance she missed the right entrance, she should search for this scratch on the step, which was reassuring!

Grannies, who were the kindest and sweetest of the relatives, had every single thing a person would need and could fit into a two-room flat. Cute and tiny kitchen, equipped with all Soviet furniture - fridge, gas, cupboards, even dishes.  Even though the apartment was much smaller compared with her own place, here everything seemed tastier and more cheerful. They’d cook the most delicious meals and opened homemade lemonade, marinated fruit and vegetables, winter storage, for her and her little sister. They’d play backgammon and dominoes after dinner. This was Margo’s routine, the eldest aunt of her mom. So, she didn’t have much choice here. Margo had an exceptional eye and taste for fashion. She was an experienced tailor, paired up with Europe’s based designers. Margo would always tailor the clothes for the girl and her mom and sister. Mostly everyone was dressed in the same kind of clothes in the 90s, but thanks to Margo, this was not the case for her. 

Their visit to grannies’ place was unimaginable without cutting out pictures of girls from the papers and crafting baskets out of the papers as well - one could always find sugar cubes at their place, so Margo would never hesitate to fill the paper baskets with candies and sugar cubes, and kids usually would bring those back to their home. 

Everything at their place was sweet and nice for her child's mind, but there was a thing in their living room always disturbing - a black and white wooden framed portrait of their younger sister, who passed away in her quite younger age a long time ago. 

Margo has also passed, but until today when visiting her sister, pronouncing “Kolija” in her mind on the third floor, waiting for Giuli, Margo’s sister to pour compote in the glass in her tiny kitchen, still avoiding contact with the beautiful woman staring from the top of the living room cupboard.