Lost and Found

Super short story about a girl on her eighteenth birthday. It just didn't turn out how it was supposed to.

Forgot to say thanks to @Lavern2002 for making me a cover!


1. The Box

My dad was a whistling man with a tune in his heart. My mom was a story with something to tell. I lost them when the car glided across a patch of ice and came to a slamming halt into the highway divider.

No, I wasn’t in the car. They had just dropped me off at my grandparents and were on their way to a spontaneous weekend in Paris. That was the type of people they were—the type that drop everything, including me, for a random trip. But I’m not complaining. They always remembered to kiss me goodbye.

A cloud of dust blossomed and dissipated as I opened the lid of a moving box. It’s called a moving box, but it hadn’t been touched since I was moved out of our apartment in the city and into my grandparents’ house in a village. Breathing through a nose filled with 10 years worth of dust, my heart gave a jolt as I looked inside.

Not what I expected to find. I pushed aside some birthday decorations and revealed a sealed envelope taped to a bottle of cabernet sauvignon. The label was pristine with bold flowing script spelling out the year: 2014. My birth year.

My attention returned to the envelope. Mom. I recognized her slanted writing from her journal. Without another pause, I tore the envelope open, yanked out the card inside, and stopped, gazing at the front cover before opening it.

Happy 18th birthday!

I’m a little early with this card, since you’re only 7 right now, but as you probably now very well by now, I don’t like to leave things waiting. Sorry in advance for all the Clean-up-your-damn-room’s you’re going to get as a teen. I bet you’re going to be a sloppy teen, because you take after your dad more than me. 

I mean that as a compliment. You may be a little hell raiser, but you’re also the kindest and most generous soul. Just like your dad. Of course, the bottle of wine was his idea. He plans to get you drunk “with class” is what he told me. 

My sweet girl (you hate that I call you that by now, don’t you?), don’t lose your sense of adventure and your kind heart. Those are the two things you really need in life. And by now I’m sure your dad has found the corkscrew opener and is insisting you open the bottle. Enjoy, sweetie!

The tears wouldn’t stop. How do I make them stop? I looked down at the bottle in my hand and found my answer. My eyes scanned the room for a corkscrew opener. I almost gave up when I spotted the soft glint of metal in the box. Oh, mom. Now you pull through?

The cold metal soon warmed in my hand as I plunged the tip into the cork. I had no idea what I was doing so I watched the cork crumble and break off. With a grunt, I jabbed the remainder into the bottle and took a huge swallow. Sweet and spicy, hitting my stomach with a burst of fire.

This isn’t how I thought eighteen would feel like. 

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