The box sat on the desk. It was a simple black shoe box from the outside, but knowing what was held within made it so much more.
I sighed, brushing a tear off of my cheek before it could slip farther down and ruin the composed mask i wore. blinking my eyes rapidly i stayed the waves of tears that threatened to further expose my facade as what it really was. I stood unsure before forcing myself to grab the box and make my way to the door leading outside to my back yard.
The sun shone down in beautiful arcs of light, ironic to the event planned for the day.
My path directed at the little hole in the ground, barely big enough for the box to slide into for its final resting place. all around it were laid out trinkets i valued most, sheets of paper with words scribbled on them in barely legible script, sticky notes covered in little doodles, a book series i adored through the winter months and many more objects.
I sank to my knees inches from the hole and pushed the box deep into the Earth, struggling briefly to fit the edges of the dip.
I pried the lid open one last time to reveal a tattered pair of slippers with a second smaller pair fitted inside.
The argyle patter faded, the soles holding on with the last of the few strands of thread, and the cushion falling from every orifice of the comfortable shoes.
A faint smile touched my lips and nostalgia crashed over me as i looked at my beloved slippers for the last time.
Pulling a folded paper from my pocket I began to read.
“You were the first thing I purchased as an adult. No matter you’re mixed matched appearance necessary to fit my small feet I treasured you with every step. And with every step you comforted me. When I was sick you comforted me, when I was cold you warmed my toes. Whether the day was lax or my hours filled with errands, you never left me. True I couldn’t wear you when I jogged but you never failed me when finally I put my feet up.
“I wore you down and you never disappointed. With every word I wrote, every page I filled, you were the constant cozy companion that I had….and I want to apologize. I know I wore you in rain and on rough terrain. I sported you wherever I went even when maybe I shouldn’t. I watched you deteriorate and never mended you because my hands were too busy with the keyboard, And my stories.
“The wear and tear you display are battle scars of my abuse, or your use. You my slippers were dear, were tough, and resilient. Even in my moments where I broke down and was tore up you weren’t, I can never repay you, I can never replace you. But I know you wouldn’t have my feet go cold without you. So don’t worry I found some thick socks to do the trick while I find something to take up your mantle. I pray I can. But here, now I lay you to rest, my loyal friend. Good bye…”
I replaced the lid back on the box and pushed the loose dirt over the top with my hands, patting it down. I sat back on my knees and cast a long look over my shoulder to the fuzzy multicolored socks I had bought the day before a the dollar store. The rubber coins adhered to the bottom for grip. It wasn’t the same. I scrunched up my face and reached for them, pulling one over my right foot and then over the other. The unbroken fabric tickled my toes as I wiggled them.
Without ceremony I hoisted myself to my feet and gathered my other treasured items to bring inside where they would be safe from the weather. I couldn’t help but feel bad for the subliminal message they might have received from this assembly, that one day they too would be retired. But that was life, we live, we die, we all move on. And I moved away from the bury box into my house to write.