The Box of Beautifuls
by Evan Guilford-Blake
Tall, lean, gray hair severely cut but a warm smile pervading his turquoise eyes. He looked so like her wonderful Oaxacan father! (though he [and her shy Pennnsylvanian mother] had been dead many years), standing at the door she’d just opened.
“Senorita Tesoro?” he asked in a rich baritone.
“Yes,” she answered hesitantly. She had never been comfortable talking to strangers and, at 36, she preferred to ignore her unmarried state.
“This is for you,” he said, and handed her a large envelope.
“Si. Do enjoy it. It is a box of beautifuls.” She looked puzzled, but he bowed, smiled and left, turned the corner and vanished, leaving her standing, the envelope in her hands.
It had no address, hers or return, just her name. She debated whether to open it; these days you could be sure of nothing, but she couldn’t think why someone would wish her harm: She’d done little in her life that had been of consequence to anyone. But a gift? There was no occasion.
She went in, sat, toyed with the clasp, then tore the manila open. And gasped.
There was a – kind of box with a screen; across it, she saw her childhood dance, one wondrous image, one beauteous day, after another. There were her beloved parents, her brother who’d died of tuberculosis, her little white dog. They smiled, they waved. The dog wagged its tail.
All afternoon and evening she sat there watching, staring into the box of beautifuls.
Evan Guilford-Blake is a playwright, novelist, poet and short story writer. His novel Noir(ish) is published by Penguin. This month, Holland House is releasing his short story collection American Blues. He and his wife (and inspiration) Roxanna live in the southeastern US.
October 8, 2014
Photo by: Gessy Alvarez