Wolfpack Press

Memoir: Box

Talia DeBlasie

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Waking up to the smell of fresh homemade cinnamon rolls, Christmas morning was upon us.

I was nine. Marissa was eleven. Dominic was thirteen.

The three of us sprinted down the long, carpeted corridor to reach the family room draped with Christmas.

When we thought the gift train was over, Dad reached under the tree for three more surprise boxes.

He tossed a box to each of us, little boxes of air.

“You can open them now!” Mom’s sly grin was notable as she cozied up next to my Dad, both of whom were covered in torn wrapping paper.

Dad sipped his coffee and Mom held her short glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. Mom and Dad’s eyes met with that first blind date look.  

After Mom’s signal, it didn’t take long for the three of us to delve into each of our own silver 5- by-4 boxes.

Marissa reached the inside before Dominic and I even had a chance to pry off the clear tape.

“No way! You have got to be kidding!” Marissa screeched with excitement, leaping to her feet.

Bursting into her three-year-old ballet self, pirouetting through the crumpled wrapping paper beneath her dancing feet, Marissa celebrated. In tears, shoulders curled toward her toes; in a state of hysteria, Marissa flashed the cell phone around so everyone could see.

Dominic and I peered at her. A phone! There was no way!

Nine, Eleven, and Thirteen. The three were astonished.

A cell phone bestowed upon Marissa the excitement that 52% of other teens already had. She could now mold herself into the rest of society. That is what a cell phone offers, belonging.

It’s also something to show off to the person next to you.

She can now join the Distracted Herd. That phone would now be her life. A distraction from reality. A distraction from friends and family.

Dad and Mom were still smiling.

I picked up the pace and shredded the wrapping paper as did Dominic.

Dominic got to the booty first. He looked down at the the plastic-coated device, and he rubbed his thumb over the Fisher Price logo in the bottom right corner.

“Mom?”

Now she was really smiling.  

“Fool.  It doesn’t even work.” I heard Dominic whisper on my left, maybe to me, but Marissa definitely didn’t hear it.

She was still romping among the wrapping paper. We laughed and pointed.

“It’s a toy!”

With those three words, Marissa’s head snapped around, her jaw dropped to her feet, her knees buckled in, and her silhouette crumbled to the ground to meet the wrapping paper, bows and ribbons.

Dominic and I snuggled up to one another and my parents, Mom’s head on Dad’s shoulder, Dad’s fingertips through my mother’s hair.

We sat in amusement. We sat in enlightenment.

As a family, we observed the broken ballet dancer.

Marissa’s expression looked as if she didn’t get enough likes on her post, devastated.

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