The doorbell rang the minute I turned the water in the shower off. Figured. I didn’t dry off as well as I normally did and as a result slid across the bathroom tile and feared for a moment that I was going to fall and bash my brains in on the toilet behind me. Once I’d made my way to the safety of carpet, I threw on some gym shorts and ran across the house to the front door. A Fedex man was plodding back down the walkway toward his truck with a box. He turned and headed back my direction when he heard the door open. It was addressed to me, but I wasn’t expecting anything.
I signed for the package, took it from the man, and was shocked at how heavy it was! I stepped back into the house, left it on the kitchen table and resumed drying off and getting dressed. My curiosity was piqued, but I was basically half naked and was still dripping wet. Once I was appropriately clothed, I returned to the kitchen, pulled a knife from one of the drawers, and cut the clear plastic tape on top of the box. I pulled cardboard flaps back to reveal an envelope on top of wads of newspaper.
I opened the envelope to find a document indicating that somebody had died and it was in their will to leave this to me. I didn’t recognize the first name, but the last was Lee, so they had to be related to me because there aren’t millions of us around the world or anything like that at all. Typically when relatives died, my mom or grandmother called and told me about it, regardless of my relationship with them. This was strange.
I’d never been in anybody’s will before, but had always hoped and dreamed that some wealthy, mysophobic shut-in would leave me millions. But, that only happens in Charles Dickens’ books, so I never put much into it. Truly, as of late, I hadn’t put much stock into anything other than the basics: God is good, people are sinful, and someday you will die. It’d been a rough year.
I pulled some wadded brown packing paper out of the box only to reveal dirt and gravel. Was this some stupid joke? Probably. I didn’t have time to deal with this, I had dinner with friends in thirty minutes and wasn’t about to dirty myself up before that. Fearful that the box might leak or that something might crawl out of it while I was gone, I lifted it from the table and set it out on the back patio before running out the door.
Dinner was a blast. But it’s not pertinent to this story.
I got home near midnight and threw myself onto the couch. I was exhausted, but can never go right to bed, I need to unwind first. I opened a book, got two paragraphs down, then remembered the box outside. I dropped The Half-blood Prince, brought the package inside and began pulling clods of soil and rocks out. I threw them in the trash. I was waiting for an animal’s head and a death threat to appear. After several handfuls of dirt, I encountered something wooden. I scraped away some more loose dirt. It looked like a box. So, it was a box with bodiless feline and an intimidating note in it. Oh well, I probably deserved it. I continued to dig.
It was odd. I pulled the box out only to find that it was locked. I pulled the rest of the dirt out, but found nothing, so I went back to the envelope I’d opened and in the bottom, found a small brass key. I was actually nervous. Even if this exploded and I died, this was like something found only in outlandish stories! I inserted the key into the hole, held my breath and turned. I jerked the lid open and found exactly what I’d hoped for…
★ ★ ★
I like cynics. They make me laugh. So-called realists do too. Though they’re funny, I feel bad for them. I think that if a man talks to one of these kinds of people long enough, they’ll find they’re conversing with an idealist who’s been tarnished. They’re covered in mud from disappointments, knives in the back, flakes, and people who can’t drive very well. We just have to remember, that under all that crap and crud, there’s someone secretly waiting for their own dramatically blissful event to come.