Anna smiled as she rooted through the small box in front of her. It had been years since she’d thought about any of this and even longer since she’d actually seen it, but as her hands picked up every item, fingers caressing certain points, her memories drifted to the front of her mind easily enough.
A small candle, half melted down, the wick blackened by both use and age.
She’d been barely a teen, her friends deciding she needed an abundance of candles, regardless of the fact that no one in their right minds let her use matches. (Trying to use an arts and crafts project where you carefully edged a picture with burnt paper hadn’t ended well, but thankfully, the fire had been contained before it really damaged anything.)
A small red and white box with the names “Meier & Frank” stamped on it, opened up to show a small necklace, earrings and bracelet set.
They’d been lovingly crafted by her grandmother with plastic pearls, silver beads and both large and small chain links. She’d worn them several times, but had actually lost the large pendant from the necklace the first time she’d ever put them on and had never found it. The set still was beautiful after all these years.
A folder filled with notes and small pamphlets on various houses, colors and different floor designs.
After several years in college, she’d finally found her major: Interior Design. Something that no one in her family, no matter how far out you searched, had ever gone into. It was completely new to her and yet also came slightly more easily than she had hoped. Her years of helping her mother rearrange the house once or twice a month, something that had annoyed her as a teen and amused her as a child, had finally gained an appreciation within her.
An old packet of photos in a card-stock packet that had been taken as a roll of film to the store to be developed and returned with little imperfections like fingers around the edges and heads cut off from inexperienced hands handling the old film-stocked camera.
The camera had been a gift from her elder sister, a hand-me-down that had been carefully fixed before given with a small packet of four rolls of film for the excited would-be photographer: aged 13. She’d loved that camera and mourned its loss after flooding in the house had broken it beyond repair.
A small gold ring with a strange pale pink gem set into it.
It had been a small gift from her favorite aunt and had fit her little ring finger perfectly at age 7. It had no real gems or costly metal in it, but it was her first piece of jewelry and she’d worn it until it wouldn’t fit on her ring finger anymore. It barely fit on her pinkie finger now.
A scuffed and breaking red binder with childish scrawl across it stating “Anna’s Folder.”
She’d watched her eldest sister as she’d drawn with her fine pencils and pastel crayons a beautiful sunset. Anna had a hard time drawing stick figures, but with patient hands (and some frustration…a lot of frustration) her sister, Mary, helped her to draw on several pieces of paper and then grabbed an unused red binder from her desk. Carefully using a hole-punch along one side of the paper, Mary eventually had a little book for Anna to collect her drawings in it. On the second page was the sunset that Mary had drawn right next the clumsy attempt a five year old Anna had tried to draw as well.
There were more things within the broken little box of memories and Anna smiled, tears glinting in her eyes at times, as she carefully lifted everything and placed it to her side in a newer, plastic box.
“Almost done, honey?” a male voice called from the front of the garage.
Anna turned to her husband, Ivan, and nodded, “Just about, give me another five minutes and I’ll be through.”
“Don’t forget to wash up, we’re going out to eat after we’re finished cleaning the garage.” he reminded her before grunting as he lifted his second to last tote up onto the shelves they’d set up over an hour ago.
Anna looked around her at the small pile of boxes they’d gone through, together and separately throughout the last month. It had been slow progress going through the single garage, but at the beginning of spring they’d decided they wanted to actually use the garage to store the car instead of leaving it full of boxes from their move. Now, half a month later, they were almost finished.
Their first house still had a lot of work (they had barely touched the backyard and Ivan was certain that there was something wrong with the heating), but it was their’s.
Written for this week’s Dungeon Prompt: http://theseekersdungeon.com/2014/03/06/dungeon-prompts-season-2-week-10-dreaming-big/
This was supposed to end differently, but I think I kind of like it. This Anna is a little older than she was the last time I wrote about her (and originally was going to be a different person altogether, but she demanded screen time.)
(Also, I’ve been rooting through our garage for the last month, but have mostly been working alone due to work schedules. I am nowhere near as done as Ivan and Anna are, but my sister has helped me install the shelves and promises me new boxes as soon as she gets back from work.)