After failing to heed my therapist’s advice not to open them all at once, I stopped. I cleared away the mess ‘Friendship’, ‘Love’ and ‘Work’ had made and left ‘Childhood’ on the table. It stayed like that for days; like a baby elephant in the room with all of the gold edges becoming unstuck.
A week later, the day before New Year’s Eve, I couldn’t take it any longer. The patience I had found had left me again and I was aching to know what was inside. I wondered if ‘Childhood’ would even be a surprise, considering it contained only the things I had already lived.
The box had practically unwrapped itself. It took the slightest touch for every gold layer of paper to shed. In the box I found:
another box, unwrapped.
I sighed, the memories of prank presents stinging like papercuts.
In this box I found:
another box without a lid and at the bottom there was a circular object wrapped in tissue paper.
I pulled gently at the crumpled folds and shuddered with every emotion a child learns, as a pendant was revealed:
it is pale green and bordered by heavy sterling silver. it fits my palm but used to fill my whole hand. I found it in my Grandmother’s bureau. it was the prize and plot-line to every make believe tale. it was magic and mystery and every weekend, it was mine. it was anything and everything I imagined it to be.
on the back is a note which says: ‘remember how you once harboured hope better than a lighthouse; forgive and forget all the rest.’
I sat and stared for a while. I could feel the air above me better than the bones which held me. I felt weightless yet heavy. Heavy with knowledge and heavy with the hope the four boxes taught me lessons I will not understand all at once but will do, eventually.
© Kristiana Reed 2018