For Christmas, my therapist gifted me four boxes. Beautifully wrapped with thick, Clinton paper and ribbon. Each had a label. ‘Work’ was decorated in snowflakes, the ribbon was blue. ‘Love’ was deep red with a sprig of holly on top. ‘Friendship’ was busy with candy canes and glitter. ‘Childhood’ was gold, just gold and without ribbon; I could see the sellotaped edges and folds. My therapist advised me to open them carefully, when I was ready and certainly not all at once.
I began with the box I deemed the easiest. ‘Friendship’ made a mess of my shirt and carpet; glitter fell free as the candy canes were stripped bare. It was easy to unwrap and inside I found:
smiles and heart shaped cookie cutters.
a pouch of fresh lavender; my favourite scent, made to stay.
a locket with heartache inside.
a scarf with the depth and colours of the midnight sky.
an empty jewellery box.
I promised myself I wouldn’t always wear the locket. One day I would lay it to one side. I took the lavender from its pouch and rolled a tip between finger and thumb, brought my hand to my face, inhaled deeply and remembered how it feels to be grateful for what you have. I did not discard the jewellery box. One day, I will find what was previously lost.
Part Two will be published tomorrow.
© Kristiana Reed 2018