Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Short Fiction - I Wouldn't Be Surprised - Part I

     I wouldn’t be surprised if something wonderful happens today.  I woke with the feeling that good news was around the corner and happiness was within reach - such an elusive thing - happiness.  Ever since my parents died, I have felt adrift, wondering which direction to go in my life.  My grieving has had a grip on me, but today I planned to move forward.  When the intercom buzzed, it broke my reverie. 
    “Hello,” I said. 
    “Is this Linda Sanders?” the disembodied voice inquired.
    “Yes, how can I help you?” 
    “I’ve got a delivery with your name on it.  Can I bring it up?”
    “What kind of delivery?”
    “Lady, I don’t ask questions, I just deliver stuff.”
    “Okay, come on up.”
When I opened the door, I was faced with a large delivery man hoisting an even larger box.  How he got it up four flights of stairs was beyond me, but now it was on my doorstep awaiting entry.
    “Just sign here, lady.”
    “Can you help push this inside?”
    “Yeah, but once it’s through the door, I’m done.”
    After the delivery guy was gone I gave the box a long stare.  It was about five feet tall and two feet wide.  The postmark was smudged and the return address absent.  I hadn’t ordered anything.  I felt a tingle of anticipation.
    I hurried to the kitchen to retrieve scissors and began cutting away at the seams of the box.  And there it was - a beautiful old cabinet of carved cherry with intricate inlaid wood on the door.  But the real treasure was inside.  I didn’t even need to look to know what I would discover.  Happiness was starting to move from my toes to the top of my head as I unlatched the door.  There were the board games of my youth and the dusty family photo albums - a gift from my parents from beyond the grave.  

   How this gift arrived at my apartment on this particular day would be discovered later, but for now I grabbed a cup of coffee and spent the rest of the morning paging through the photos and reliving the past.  
   Happiness can never be permanent, but a small piece of my past had just given me a surge of joy that would carry me for many a day.