Thanks to Hélène for another What do You See challenge.
‘Aren’t you going to open it?’ Alice asked her mother.
‘Eventually, but not now.’
‘But aren’t you curious?’
Alice had found the neatly wrapped parcel when hanging up her coat and brought it into the lounge.
‘Not as curious as you obviously, but no, I shall open it later.’
‘Have you any idea what’s in it?’
‘Aw Mum! Don’t keep me in suspense!’
‘Alice, sweetheart. I’ll let you know. Now you’d better go and collect Oliver from school.’
Jean watched her daughter drive away, then went into the kitchen to make a cup of tea.
She sat down and looked at it, absentmindedly raising the mug of steaming liquid to her mouth and scalding her lip.
She knew exactly what was in the box, but doubted if Alice could understand.
It was the first gift John had ever given her all those years ago, a time when they had no money and only each other. He had perfectly wrapped an empty box and told her it was forever filled with his love.
She had never opened it, afraid that should she do so, his love would be lost forever, the same as he was to her now, struck down by cancer some eight months before.
But she had the memories. Forty seven years of memories to be exact.
And a box of love that could never be replaced.