Thursday, December 4, 2008
Some fiction-- The box- written for a writing class
There was a box in my living room. I wasn't supposed to open it. Christmas was coming. It's all wrapped up. The UPS guy left it on the front porch yesterday. I looked for a return address, but couldn't find one. My husband carefully opened it last night and then sealed it back up after I had gone to bed. He told me this morning "Don't touch it. Wait." So I'm waiting and wondering. It's just an average sized box. Nothing rattles when I shake it. It's not too heavy, or too light. What could be inside? My mother likes to send odd gifts. She has sent some nice stuff, and some really bad stuff over the years. One year I got her back. I sent her 2 big boxes for Christmas. The first box had many presents all carefully wrapped, and lovingly selected. The second box had 2 pennies and a can of tuna fish. It said "Don't open until Christmas". So I am looking at this box. Is it a can of tuna fish and 2 pennies? Or maybe deep inside is the new wedding ring my husband promised me. The box is so big though. It couldn't possibly be either of those, could it? Perhaps a new bathrobe and a pair of slippers. That would be nice. Our house is always cold in winter, and I am up so often at night with the child who can't sleep, and the husband who snores. Maybe my in-laws sent us toys for the kid, or maybe a grandmother sent cookies. Could it be cookies? I take a sniff. I hope not. If there are cookies inside, then they are stale by now! I wonder... did my husband go on a big shopping trip for himself, and he doesn't want me to know what he bought? Or did the publisher send 100 copies of our friend's book to us by mistake? What is inside that box? Who sent it? Where did it come from? The wrapping is simple, pretty, but untraceable. The ribbon is store-bought. What has my friend Jo been up to lately? Could she have crafted something? I sit and wait. My daughter ignores the box. She doesn't seem interested in it one bit. My husband allowed himself to look, but won't let me. The box sits there for a week, until it is finally Christmas eve. On Christmas eve we all open one gift. I surprise my husband though, and I resist. I open another gift instead. Whatever is inside the box can wait.