The Box

10357775_1Harry held a wood box in his hands, darkness surrounding him with a small unseen light illuminating him. In his head a voice spoke, “Do not open the box.” The voice did not stop, but Harry couldn’t listen. He lifted the lid. Inside he found darkness, the inside of the box went on forever. Deep within the box a small glimmer of light appeared, it grew in size. Harry couldn’t close the box. He wanted the light.

Harry woke up, the box and light were only a dream. Every night for the past few weeks he dreamed about the box, he opened it for the first time. For the few moments after waking up he felt happy, the first time in a long time, the next time he slept he would make sure to open the box and sleep for as long as he could.

He dressed and went out to the kitchen where his girlfriend, Molly, made breakfast. “Good Morning,” she said.

“Morning,” Harry replied, almost too quiet to hear. He walked to his girlfriend and stared at the kitchen counter.

“What’s wrong?” Asked Molly.

“Nothing.”

Molly put her hand on Harry’s shoulder. “You might think you’ve been hiding it, but I know there’s something wrong. You’ve been hurting for awhile now and not saying anything about it.”

Harry didn’t react, but Molly knew what she was talking about. He looked at Molly and said, “Are you going to leave me?”

“Why would I do that?”

“You’ve done so much while I just sit around and do nothing all day.”

Molly embraced Harry around his chest. “I do those things because I love you.”

“I know what you’re thinking, I can see it. You’re never smiling, you think I’m lazy and…” Harry trailed off, not wanting to anger Molly.

For some reason Molly found this funny and smiled. “What? I smile all the time, but I can’t smile all day even though I wish I could. Just because I’m not smiling doesn’t mean anything.” She gave Harry a kiss on the cheek. “Want to know what you look like?”

“What?”

“You always look like you’re about the cry. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, even when you laugh you look like you’re going to cry. When you’re hurting I hurt too. I do everything so you don’t hurt as much.”

A switch went off in Harry’s mind and he had to fight back tears. While practice made him good at stopping tears, one tear escaped. Molly watched the tear fall down his face. She wiped it away and waited for Harry to finish. “I’m sorry,” he said.

“You don’t need to be sorry, it’s not your fault. I should have said you didn’t need to hide it a long time ago.”

“I should have told you how I feel.”

“How about this,” said Molly, “from now on we tell each other how we feel every day. Even if we want to hide it or if we think it will hurt us we will still tell each other how we feel.”

Harry rubbed the tears out of his eyes, some of the tears overflowing and escaping down his face. “I think we can do that.”

“First, let’s eat, and then we can do something together. How about play a game?”

Harry thought she was joking, but he could see the seriousness in her eyes. “You never play.”

“Starting today, I do.”

After eating they went to the living room. Harry picked out River City Ransom Underground. “This one will be easy, it’s 2D so there’s less to worry about.”

“What do I do?” Asked Molly.

“Move with the left stick, press the buttons on the right to attack.”

“Who do I attack?”

“Everybody.”

The game started up and after choosing their characters and watching a cutscene they took control of their characters. “Hey, there’s an enemy.” Molly ran over to Harry’s character and fidgeted around a bit as she tried to figure out the controls before picking him up.

Harry laughed. “That’s me, don’t pick me up.”

“How do I put you down? Wait, maybe I won’t put you down, I’ll just carry you.” Molly hopped around with Harry’s character and then a few enemies came running onto the screen.

Harry pointed at the screen. “Those are the enemies. Put me down, we have to fight them.”

“I don’t know how to put you down.” Molly smashed the buttons on the controller, eventually finding one that sent Harry’s character flying and knocking over an enemy. “I found out how to put you down.”

“Nobody tosses a dwarf,” Harry said with his best Gimli impression.

Every now and then while playing Molly looked at Harry, she had not seen him this happy in a long time. He didn’t look like he would cry at any moment. After an hour of play Molly paused the game. “Are you feeling better now?” She asked.

“Yeah, I am,” said Harry. He had a wide smile on his face for the better part of the hour, tiring out his face. “Does it always hurt to laugh and smile this much?”

“Yeah, that’s why I can’t do it all the time.” Molly stood up. “Wait right here, I’m going to get something.” She went to their bedroom.

Harry didn’t think he would ever feel this way again. A heavy weight didn’t push him down, he could play the game without worrying about anything else. With Molly there it made it that much better, just knowing she knew how he felt made him feel free of depression.

“I want to give you this,” said Molly, back from the bedroom. She held a small wood box in her hand. Harry took the box and held it in his hands. The memory of his dream came back to him, he held the same box from his dream. “What this?” He asked.

“It’s a wooden box. Open it and see what’s inside,” replied Molly.

He knew it had to be an ordinary box, it couldn’t be like the one from his dream. A voice didn’t tell him not to open the box, but anxiety had struck him and was telling him not to open the box. He ignored his anxiety even as it seemed to burn his body and opened the lid to reveal nothing but a soft material. “It’s just a box.”

Molly slapped Harry’s back, smiling. “No, it’s under that.”

Harry lifted the soft material, a small glimmer of light shined off an object from within. He picked up the object. “A ring?”

“Will you marry me?” asked Molly.

Harry rolled the ring in his fingers and looked at Molly. “Yes, I will.”

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