An unexpected present

Come, let me open it for you. A present, with a nice ribbon and a festive wrapping paper, lies on your lap. But it is not your birthday. You feel happy, because someone thought you exist, and yet you are afraid it could be a bomb, because you are an important person, after all.

You sit there, motionless, and think that if it were a bomb, it would have exploded already. Maybe it is a doll full of cash. And you accepted it. Was a bomb not better, then? Or maybe it’s a box of chocolate, those with the whisky cream you love so much. You unconsciously anticipate their taste, and your mouth is watering. But I remind you it is not Christmas or Easter or any other festivity, which would justify a present.

I wait patiently for you to hand me over the present, my hand stretched towards you, kindly but firmly. I want to protect you from its content, I want to look inside and say that it is something ordinary like that box of chocolate you had in mind. Isn’t it what I always do?

The present is now in my hand. I unwrap the present, first removing the ribbon, then the transparent adhesive tape with the help of my long nails. A wooden box. I knock on it to let the dull vibration reach your ears. I open the lid, hiding from your sight the content of the box. I feel your eyes eager, but you don’t utter a word. Neither do I. I close the lid and imperceptibly shake my head. I get up and take the box with me, letting the sound of my high heels be the answer to your unspoken irritation.

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