The Pandora’s box was sitting on the upper shelf, a heavy white rock, a deadly cold piece of ice, huge. They took it down with apprehension, as if it could open its mouth wide and bite in protest. A painful necessity it was that they could not avoid, packing away his past. To keep the cold winds away, the doors had to be closed tightly and window shades pulled down, too. After that, one could ignore the winter and enjoy a cup of hot tea with honey.
They used a knife to cut into the cardboard. It resisted the intrusion at first, but then it gave in, reluctantly revealing its contents. Heavy folds of glimmering fabric, intricately embroidered, had delicate lace netting and pearly beads sown into it. The memory was kept in a box to be carefully preserved, but time took its toll. It sneaked through the narrow seams between the cardboard flaps and left ugly rusty stains, ever so tiny, on the snow-white beauty of the past.
Sensing a chilling breath of the wind, hypnotized, they froze. Their day was filled with painful reminders, telephone calls intruding upon their peaceful existence, lawyers to be placated, papers to be signed - and now this… Then, as if it was nothing but another gap to bridge, and there had been many, she knew exactly how to go about it. A little rebellious bunny, she had learned that a carrot was meant to be consumed before it started revealing its rotting flesh. She took a deep breath, and plunged herself into the cloud of the expediently destructible lace.
In a shimmering white gown with its netted cleavage and puffy shoulders, the one that had been designed for, and mistakenly given to the other, she stood up in front of him. There he was, bending over the bits and pieces in the midst of the shipwreck of his own making. Yet, what really mattered were his eyes, her mirror, and she saw in them everything she ever wanted to see. “Run, little bunny, run, straight ahead, right into his arms…”
With a startle, they woke up in reality, walking hand in hand on the grass so soft it tickled their soles. In the emerald meadows, daisies danced around them, and birds were singing midsummer songs over their heads. That day, the two celebrated their birthday. Born in the same year, with a few months in between, they chose this day to rejoice in their love, for the next sixty years or so.
The couple were in their early twenties, and the world was still a big mystery and a challenge to explore. But the day had already come and they knew they would always be, staring nights away, driven insane with passion and fearing nothing, for the next sixty years or so. On the softest carpet that ever existed, their souls blended forever, and their bodies became one delightful entity. And while they abandoned themselves completely to loving each other, a thousand wildflowers around them started opening up to the sun.
Later, exhausted, they dozed off in each other’s arms… Just then, in their heavy sleep, did they realize that it must have been sheer madness - they would be asking themselves for years ahead what possessed them to open the Pandora’s Box.
There were no fields with flowers and bees, and her simple cotton dress had been cast away somewhere else. Why and how, making love to her now, in a bed of the other, clad in his ex-wife’s wedding gown. He was making love to her, confused and anguished for not being there for him, all those years when he needed her so much.
The Almighty was scandalized and considered interference. He reckoned that a bit of a miracle could help. In His garden, the grass grew supple and thick in the shadow cast by the Tree of Life.
There, He would bring them back to each other, and let them be.
© Copyright 2016 Ro Slade. All rights reserved.
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