The Promise.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
Promises are like porcelain dolls, they're supposed to be broken.

Submitted: December 18, 2011

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Submitted: December 18, 2011




There was no doubt that there would be a brown paper package on my doorstep just eagerly waiting to be opened on my birthday. The stamps of course would always be different, little snapshots of faraway lands much bigger than Orangeville, Florida. Gram's loopy cursive handwriting would always be positioned in the center.

There was never a return address on the packages Gram sent, she made sure of that. Her hints and clues would always be found in the forms of stamps or stickers that adorned the mystery present inside, but Grandma Marie never formally called to let us know what part of the world she was in. For five years, with the last of her tiny retirement fund, she had been touring the continents with a fiery passion. According to the cards that always accompanied the birthday present, she absolutely adores 'exploring the true meaning of life'. Sometimes she even graces me with the opportunity to take a look at her adventures with the amateur pictures that she sends.

Without failure though, Gram's gift always came on the morning of my birthday. Despite the fact that I knew what was inside, I always found myself sitting out on the porch, weighing the package. Carefully unwrapping the paper to save for later, I was always greeted with the same, generic white box. Inside the box was an endless supply of tissue paper that required you to shovel through before you actually get what you’re looking for.

It was always a doll. 

The most recent one was jade (or knock off jade that is seeing as though I can't come up with an idea regarding how Gram would get the money to afford real jade) carved into a lovely Asian girl. It was more like a statue rather than the collectable porcelain dolls sitting on my shelf, but beautiful all the same. Gram explained in her brief post card from Shanghai that she bought it relatively cheap from a merchant because she immediately knew that I would love it.

That's what promises are like.

Promises are like Gram's dolls.

Wonderful and alluring, yet fragile and easily broken.

We were pretty drunk. Do you remember? But it wasn't because of alcohol. We were drunk with fun. I had already lost two games of air hockey and three dollars, but I wasn't going to give up because I was determined to beat you. You were laughing at me with your back facing the air hockey table, trying to convince me not to waste my money. Ten dollars, that's what I was offering you if you won again. If I won, you had to buy me an extra large popcorn from the snack stand. With both our pinkies interlocked (because you refused to spit and shake on it), we sealed the deal.

Little did I know that you had your fingers crossed behind your back.

You knew that I was going to lose and instead of letting me win, you stole the game with zero to six. But instead of taking the money that I was offering, you smiled and brought your hand, with its fingers still crossed, out from behind your back. After apologizing for breaking the deal, you ruffled my hair and bought me the popcorn anyways.

I have a love-hate relationship with Halloween. Although the free candy was nothing to complain about, some costumes like the sexy French maid made my eyes bleed. I was a modest clown that year while you were Michael Myers. We were planning on walking around the entire neighborhood with pillow covers as our trick or treat bag. An hour and a half before we were supposed to meet, just when I was finished applying the last touch of my makeup, you texted saying that you weren't going to make it. Apparently, this girl that you were close friends with, was having a party that was going to be ten times better than last year. There was a steady stream of text messages asking if I was alright with that.

I wasn't upset, I just felt stupid.

I felt stupid in layers of makeup and bright polka dot clothing. Why didn't I choose something more exotic like Pocahontas or even the stupid maid? Would that have made you stay? You promised next year that you would go trick or treating with me but it didn't matter anymore. I was screwed over by a girl I didn't even know. I replied to your pestering texts with a brisk 'whatever'.

We were lying in the grass side by side adjacent to the soccer field. After several attempts of trying to get me to rest my head against your chest, you give up, sigh heavily and roll your eyes. “It's nothing,” that's what you told me. Nothing was going on between you and that girl from the Halloween party from several months ago. It was hard to swallow considering the fact that she had been over to your house more times than I could ever imagine. In the eight months we were dating I haven't even met your parents yet, not to mention step inside your house. What about the pictures on the Internet, and the secret, flirty conversations online?

There were tears that day. As much as I wanted to trust you, I couldn't.

You swore we were going to be that couple that made it.

But we didn't.


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