The Box

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She touched the small box in her pocket and smiled. The cold of the wood bristled against her fingertips as she pulled it out of the worn down jacket. She fingered the lid, long forgotten memories bubbling to the surface. His smile, his laugh, his ever-sparkling, stormy eyes. The way she felt when his arms wrapped around her, the way she felt like she could fly. The day she got the box. He was smiling, pulling her by the hand toward the big oak tree where they first kissed. She didn’t know why they were there; she didn’t know why she was always so happy around him. When they stopped, his eyes flashed a smile at her and she melted into a puddle of joy.
“Here,” He said, pushing her back against the tree. “Don’t move.” She looked at him questioningly, but he shook his head. He took a few steps back, then stopped and got down on one knee. He pulled out the box and asked the question. The Question. She remembered saying yes. She remembered the years flying by, the times he was there to comfort her, and the times he was there to laugh with her. She loved him. Loved him with all her heart. She recollected the time when they decided that two wasn’t enough, that time when they went to the doctors’ office. That time they cried together when they found out there would be no waking up in the middle of the night, no teaching to ride a bike, no first day of school. Too many tears, too many regrets. But he told her two was enough, that two would always be enough. But he didn’t know. He didn’t know that always was too short. Always wasn’t forever. Why did he have to go? Didn’t he care enough about her to wait for another year? Two was enough, he had said, but one wasn’t nearly as much as she had needed. She loved him so dearly, but he left her. Pancreatic cancer shouldn’t have taken away her life, her love. But it wasn’t his fault, she thought. He didn’t mean to. She loved him. So she raises the box to her lips, kisses it lightly, saving all the memories. The ocean rolls and the wind whips her from all sides. She’s warm and happy even though the tears are flowing freely from her eyes.
“Goodbye,” she whispers to the box, to the world, and she clutches the box so tightly that it hurts. And then she jumps.





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