Jess unpacked the box marked ‘1999 stuff’. Gosh, this is from university! She thought. Mum was right, I AM a hoarder.
She reached in and the first thing she took out was a green glass bottle. She looked at it, held it up to the light, trying to remember what it was exactly. Why was it in the box?
Then the memory came back unbidden.
She got into his car. He’d parked at the park just 5 minutes from her house. When she got in, she immediately gave him a kiss. Then, he backed away and pointed to large concrete pipes that were lined along the park and said, “Gosh, those look horrible! Why did they put them there?”
“Ask me a question I know the answer to, next time, Jake,” she told him and continued kissing him.
“Wait! There’s something in one of those pipes!”
“Jake,” she whined, “you’re seriously spoiling the mood here.”
“Look, look!” He was insistent. Jess turned to look to where he was pointing and true enough, there was something in one of the half-pipes, glinting in the sunlight. She turned back to him and asked “What could it be? Should I look?”
“I think you should,” Jake told her. Jess got out of the car and quickly went to the pipe to where she saw the shiny glass object. She reached in and removed a green glass bottle. Weird, she thought. She turned to Jake who was still in the car and held it up.
“Open it!” He shouted! Open it? Oh, there was something inside. She removed the cork in the bottle and turned the bottle upside down so that the rolled up paper would fall out.
Then it dawned on her. This was a set-up. She smiled. Jake. She opened the paper and in it was a message – I love you. Will you marry me?
Tears flowed down her cheeks and when she looked up, Jake was standing in front of her. “So?” he asked. “Will you?”
“Yes! Yes! I love you too!” She hugged him and he twirled her around and around.
A month later they were married.
Six months after that, Jake was dead.
Jess held the bottle in her arms. She was sobbing, curled up on the floor beside the box she was unpacking. How could she have forgotten. How? She got up and threw the bottle against the wall. CRASH! It broke into a million pieces. Good, she thought, now it matches my life.