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The Lunchbox

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Oliver Henry had been born into a fairly poor family. His grandfather had moved in after losing his job when Oliver was only four years old. His father died a year later from a work accident and Oliver’s grandfather, Alan, quickly took over as Oliver’s father figure.
Oliver was close to his grandfather, but that didn’t stop Oliver from wondering what life would be like if he was rich. He could buy new clothes. He could invite girls out to the fanciest restaurants. He could buy movies and music and maybe even that drum set he had always wanted. Thoughts of money had started to cloud his mind.
When Oliver turned sixteen years old, his grandfather called him into his room and sat him down.
“Oliver,” Alan Henry started slowly. “I am growing old. I never thought I would live to see your sixteenth birthday.”
“You’re not that old.” Oliver assured his grandfather, but even he knew his grandfather was right.
“I love you so much. You are my one and only grandson. And because of that I want to give you my prized possession. What I have worked and waited my entire life for.”
Images of money sprung up in Oliver’s head. He saw himself swimming in his grandfather’s life savings. Oliver instantly held out his hand.
Alan placed a key in Oliver’s hand.
“What’s this?” Oliver asked, confused.
“You won’t get it now. This is a key. When I die, your mother will give you the box with my possession in it. Don’t lose that key. I dare say, you will be happy when you see what I have chosen out to give you.”
Oliver ran to his room and put his key under his pillow, unable to contain his excitement. Money! Cash! Riches!
“Soon.” Oliver smiled to himself, squeezing the key.


Later that week, Oliver and his grandfather were home by themselves. Oliver’s mother was at the store and his sister was at soccer practice. Oliver was sitting on the couch next to his grandfather, watching Wheel of Fortune.
“Oliver!” His grandfather croaked. Oliver turned his head to see Alan grasping his chest. He was having a stroke!
“Grandpa!” Oliver yelled and started to reach for the phone. Then, Oliver remembered the money. His grandfather was old, he would die soon anyway. What did it matter if he died now?
“Sorry, grandpa.” Oliver murmured and headed to his room. He put the covers over his head and pretended to be asleep.


Oliver tightened his tie around his neck and looked in the mirror. He wanted to look good. This would be the last time he ever saw his grandfather, even if he was dead. He wanted to make a good impression.
“Oliver.” His mother stepped into the room and held out an old black lunchbox. Oliver’s heart soared as he realized what it was.
“I hope you like it.” His mother said, wiping her eyes. Oliver nodded solemnly and seized the box. Oliver waited until his mother left the room and then seized the key from under his pillow.
Hands sweating from anxiety, Oliver fumbled with the key and quickly unlocked the box. Oliver’s heart fell as he saw what was in the box and he started sobbing, putting his head into his hands.
His grandfather’s prize possession, the thing he had waited and worked his whole life for, was a baby picture of Oliver.




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