The Box


It came in an unmarked box, delivered to my door by someone, and left on my front stoop. The brown paper wrapping was unassuming, but it was the fact that only my name appeared on it that really tied this all together in a consortium of confusion. I placed it on the table as I slung my purse into the chair, then sat in front of it, contemplating what it could be.

I turned it over a few times, hearing a distinct sliding noise coming from within. The box being as small as it was, maybe 3 inches long, it was heavy, and whatever it was, it was most likely metallic. I set it down again and then just stared at it, placing my chin on my hands and brushing my hair back behind my ears.

My mind wandered as to what could be in the box, not wanting to open it for fear that whatever it was, it would be dangerous at best, fatal at worst. However, curiosity got the better of me and I eventually untied the brown string wrapped around it and slowly peeled back the edges, until it was finally undone and the box was laying on the table, sitting atop the brown wrapper.

The box was wooden, stained a deep cherry color and very plain. The lid looked to be just placed on the box, easy enough to take off, but for some reason, I still hesitated. Finally, I took a deep breath and lifted the lid.

Inside, a folded piece of white parchment rested, it’s leading edge begging to be opened. I grabbed it and as I pulled it out, an ornate metal key fell from it back into the box. My eyebrows furrowed and my face contorted as puzzlement filled me about the key. Still holding the paper, I flipped it over and saw writing on it.

“This is the key to my heart, handle with care.”

I laid the paper down next to the box and reached in, grabbing the key, it’s burnished silver look with three loopholes at the top and boxy teeth at the bottom. A single translucent heart-shaped gem just below the loopholes refracted the light in the room into a prism on the paper wrapping.

I smiled as I looked at the note and stroked the key in my open hand. Images of him filled my mind, of the relationship that we have had for the last 9 months, and how he had come into my life and loved me like no one ever had. As I sat there and thought about our relationship, I heard the doorbell ring. Not wanting to put the key down, I stood up and walked to the door, the weight of it reminding me of the handwritten note laying on the table.

As I opened it, I saw him there, on his knees, hands outstretched, an open box in his hands and the sun glinting off of the diamond ring in it.

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