In college, I went on a date with the son of my mother’s coworker. I couldn’t remember if his name was Jason or Justin, so I spent the entire night maneuvering my way out of saying his name. He... [+]
She dug into her closet. Then she sat on the edge of her bed with a small green box.. It seemed like just a normal box—cardboard, not very large. Not artistically decorated. Yes, by anyone else's eye it would have been overlooked; but this box contained something no one else could understand. This box contained her soul.
In this box was everything she had ever felt or feared. Everything she had ever dreamed of or hoped for—love. Pain and grief. Joy and happiness. And you couldn’t see it or hear it or touch it, but she knew it was there. She opened the box, and all those memories she had tried to hide away came flooding back. The smell of roses on the table, the nights spent eating sushi with her soulmate. Now empty. This box had once held Lost valentines she wished she’d kept. This little box had once held a ring. Simple and golden, with two names engraved around it in hearts. This box used to contain photos of them together, letters and notes, flowers and gifts--all given to her by the one she loved.
It had been years since she had lost her soul and burned all that reminded her of him—the day they planted him in the ground. But now she wished she hadn’t. She wanted to touch those lost bits of her past one more time, but all she had was an empty box. For so long she had stared at the box, too afraid to open it, knowing that she’d see all the nothing that remained, Be forced to look at how, in her grief, she had removed everything that could possibly remind her of the time her soul was one and happy. The box felt so light in her hands, so worthless. So empty. She couldn’t stand it. But neither could she put it down. She held the box to her chest and cried. She fell asleep with it in her arms. She dreamed of the time she and her husband had spent filling this box with memories. But there was no more sadness in these dreams—only a sort of peace.
And the next morning, when she awoke, she ran her hand along the box, feeling its flat, smooth surface. She slowly opened it to reveal the emptiness inside. She uttered a sigh of relief, mingled with a tint of sorrow. She had finally come to terms with the fact that this box would always be empty. She gently placed the lid back onto the box once more. But she didn’t put it back in the closet to hide it again; she instead set it out in the open, above the mantel piece. And just glanced at it. She wasn’t crying anymore or regretting.
She was calm.
Then she took a shower, combed and dried her hair. Adorned her make-up and a little red dress, then walked out the door. She was greeted by a man at the steps. He stood with a single white rose, which she smelt, embracing its fragrance, before they headed off into the night, arm in arm.