The Box (a short story)

**Short Story** Sofia's mom passes away when she was ten, leading to a traumatic childhood. Then, on her 15th birthday, a package made by her mother for her when she was three arrives. story by Ilyushka, edited by Mrs Panda

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2. The Box

 

"The goal is not to live forever, the goal is to create something that will," I remember the night before my 15th birthday when I read that on a website. I remember wondering what my mother created that stuck to the ground. She must have done something, if she didn't, why did she die? My mother was an accountant, possibly one of the dullest jobs. Why did she die? I mean, I know why she died, she got hit by a speeding bus, right in front of me, on my tenth birthday. But how could the universe let it happen? I was a faithful person. I had faith in everything, the bird who lives in my backyard oak tree, to that ninth grader that kept getting rejected from the basketball team. I used to have faith in the Universe, but it had quickly disappeared the day I saw her coffin lowered into the dirt ground. Even though the doctors told me she was gone, I didn't believe them. Of all the people in the world, I had the most faith in my mother. I still had some left the day before my 15th birthday. I had faith my mother would come up to my door with a big smile, covered in dirt and dust, but with open arms. I would hug her, and maybe my dad would put down his beer bottle for a bit. He would crack a corny joke that made me laugh, and wouldn't stare blankly at a wall for hours, occasionally taking a large gulp of beer. We would be a family again.

That evening I went to bed late. 2 or 3 AM. Even though technically I was already 15, I didn't care. Who would I celebrate my birthday with? My non-existing friends? My drunk dad? My only friend was Katrina, my cousin who lives across the country. 

The next day I awoke at noon by the sound of the ringing bell and my yelling dad. I ran downstairs. 

"Dad, get to your bedroom now!" I said sternly, leading him away from the front door. He grunted and muttered some gibberish under his breath. I sprinted to the door and opened it to the mailman. 

"Package for Sofia Melingo." He said handing a package. I took it. Probably from Aunt Diana, Katrina's mom. 

"Thanks." I smiled, taking it.

"Bye." He grunted, turning away. I shut the door and checked the return address. "Miranda Melingo" it read. I reread it again Miranda was my mother's name, and the handwriting was her's too. I ripped apart the paper, revealing a brown cardboard box with a letter attached to it. 

Dear Sofia, 

Hi from the past! You're three right now, and a happy toddler. How do you feel, my 15-year-old? My mom made me one of these when I was 15, and I went through the box with her, and it was incredible seeing all my memories. 

As you might have already realized, this is a memory box. Just some little tokens from me, you, and your father. 

I love you so much. 

Love, 

Mom

I looked at the box. It had a sticker on it. It read; 

PROUD MOTHER 

OF A LEVEL ONE

GYMNAST!

Valley Hills Mini Gym for toddlers

 

I smiled at the round sticker, a trail of memories sinking back from Valley Hills mini gym. I stop and stare at the box. If my mother were here, we would be looking through this greedily. Dad would be asking what's inside, but we'd be hiding it from him, giggling. He'd crawl behind us and peek over our shoulders and start tickling me. I'd laugh hysterically. Then Mom would join in, and they'd chase me. I'd hide in my bedroom, leaning against the door. Then maybe they'd push open the door with a stack of golden waffles and yell, "HAPPY 15TH BIRTHDAY, SOFIA!!!" I would laugh and hug them, and them maybe later I'd rush out the door for a date with my boyfriend. My parents would give me a list of things not to do, and I'd carry a mile long sheet of paper in my stylish purse. 

Maybe life could be like this is that stupid truck wasn't there. It wouldn't have run over her while she hurried to grab my cake from the car. I didn't have to see it if I wasn't so eager to see my cake. Maybe if I could go back in time I could push her out of the way and I would die. 

Then I wouldn't have to go through this pain. 

I sat in the living room, the sticker in my hand, tears rolling down my pale cheeks. Silently, I wiped them away. Then I heard a soft voice.

"Happy Birthday, Sofia," Dad said. He was standing in the doorway. I could tell he was still drunk, but I ran up and hugged him, sobbing.

 

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