Looking out across the room that time forgot, I can’t help but wonder how we got here? What made them just get up and leave and why didn’t they take me with them? I served them endlessly and this is my repayment. For a very long time I kept waiting for them to return, yet they never came. Eventually I just gave up waiting. Watching the time pass by, I lost hope. But I never lost count of how long it had been since they left me.
I have always been very good with time. I can remember everything that happened in this room, when and what time each event took place. A room that was once filled with laughter and memories, now stands alone. It looks the same as before they left me, except now there is a smell of old lingering and a layer of dust that can’t be shaken. It feels like only yesterday when that dreadful day came out of nowhere. Everybody was very excited about the impending move then suddenly that all changed. ‘Finally, that’s the last of it loaded up. Let’s go’. Then after one last sweeping look around their loving home they went, without me. They used to love me, those that lived here and those that didn’t all the same. ‘Oh isn’t it lovely’, they would say, ‘I would love one’. Yet where are they all now? It was clearly all a lie. Nobody loves me and nobody wants me. If they did they would not have left me here, to die.
I can feel myself growing weaker with each second that goes by, I know that it will happen soon. Once I was the centrepiece of the room. Standing tall and proud, rising above it all. Every hour I would chime in delight and get the same warm looks from those all around. I never let them forget the time, never missed a single tick or chime. Now I cannot chime anymore, my booming voice is gone. I still tick here and there but not in a regular pattern, my timekeeping excellence deteriorating due to a significant lack in care. I spend my days trying to regulate my tick, in an attempt to return to some of my former glory. It’s always the same, my pursuit comes to no avail. I am weakened and old and cannot rejuvenate my health.
Even my name implies that I am old. A constant reminder that my time has passed. Grandfather’s clock. That’s what they call me. It was an insult in my prime, I felt as young as all and was as healthy as can be. Now the only part of the name that is true is the part suggesting my age. Now in this state, the only insult is being referred to as a clock. All clocks should be able to tick and chime on demand and I can’t even do that anymore. Perhaps that is why they left me here. They didn’t want such an embarrassing feature in their new home.
I know I need to hold onto hope, after all nobody knows what the future holds. I feel like my impending death is all that I have left, but does it have to be that way? Looking across the room and out the tiny window I can see the For Sale sign. It used to stand so high and tall and gave me hope. Now after fighting the weather and time it leans at a slant, a sign of hope long extinct.
Something feels different about today, I just can’t quite place what it is. Maybe today is the day I will make my last tick, but, no, it does not feel like that. From the darkness I can almost feel hope. Maybe it is just my old age making me delusional or maybe today really is the day that things could change. The room feels lighter, like joy is about to arrive. I hope it happens. I want nothing more than a new loving family, although even if somebody new was to arrive they would probably just want rid of me. Why would anybody want a dusty old broken grandfather’s clock?
There seems to be a commotion going on outside, I can hear vehicles and voices. Presumably it is just the family from next door. They look nice and kind, they remind me of my old owners. A face that finally fits the voice I can hear comes into view out the window and it isn’t the neighbours, it’s some strangers and they are tampering with the for sale sign. That poor sign has been through enough, I wish they would leave it alone, pulling it this way and that, ripping parts of it off. Isn’t it bad enough that it has to stand outside the house nobody wants and now it has to deal with these vandals. They finally move out of view and I dare to look at what damage they have to done to the sign. Just as I look up a bright gleam of sunlight shines through into the room and I see that they have attached something new to the sign over what used to say for sale. I read it once and feel my pendulum jitter. Can it really be true? I read again more slowly and carefully this time.
It is true. The house has finally sold which can only mean one thing. New owners. I hope they like me and want me to stay. I glance back around the room with much more love, the burden of being forgotten disappearing. I struggle to comprehend how only moments ago I was waiting to die and now there is the chance of a whole new life just around the corner. Momentarily I had forgotten about the strangers that had altered the sign, distracted by the idea of a new life I was idiotic to not realise they would be coming inside. The creak of the door slowly being opened reminded me. A man and a woman entered the room and took in the sight of neglect. This was the moment they were going to realise how much work was needed and they were going to decide to get rid of me surely, or would they want this old clock? The woman turned around and started to walk towards me. I could feel my pendulum start to swing faster and my ticks came more easily. She gently raised her arm, and with her jacket sleeve quickly wiped away the thick layer of dust off my face. Oh what a joy to be able to see clearly again.
In the next moment my whole life changed and I knew that happiness was coming to me. She turned to the man and said, ‘Oh what a wonderful clock, it will be such a prominent feature in this room, I just love it. Do you think it still chimes?’ The surprise of this woman wanting me filled me with such a warm feeling and a burst of energy that made me feel healthier than ever before. My chime rang out through the room signifying the start of a new life.