Love Potion Number Nine (part 5)

I feel compelled to open the package with some sense of ceremony. I retrieve scissors, a candle and matches from the kitchen and tip toe back to our room like I used to do as a teenager sneaking in after curfew.

Before I cross the threshold, I light the candle, and solemnly enter. I circle the perimeter of the bed, I eyeing the small brown package like I’m trying to size up my opponent. I kiss Loopy’s head and then place the candle on my bedside table.

I kneel beside the bed and stare at the package while I finish the glass of wine. Then, slowly, I cut away the musty smelling wrapping paper with shaking hands. Inside, an envelope with my name in unfamiliar handwriting rests atop a book wrapped in a single layer of white tissue paper. I open the note card. It’s from Casie’s mom. In 1940’s penmanship, she wrote that Casie had asked her to send this to me just before she died. That was five years ago. I remember when the package arrived. I knew Casie had died, and was surprised something had come for me after how everything had worked out between us. I had stowed the package away in the back of a dresser drawer. I hadn’t wanted to look at, but couldn’t bear the thought of throwing it away. I wasn’t sure I wanted to look at it now. What good would it do? Even so, I found myself gently pulling away the tissue paper…

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