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The Box of Memories

Unexpected Connections: A Chance Encounter with Clara

By Med KarimPublished 3 months ago 3 min read
The Box of Memories
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

"I think it's kind of ridiculous you're not sitting down," Clara remarked, eyeing Elroy as he stood in the crowded waiting area of the train station.

"I don't mind standing," Elroy shrugged, adjusting the weight of the box he held against his hip.

"Well, there's plenty of room, and I'm not intimidating," Clara chuckled, trying to ease the tension.

"Yeah, that's true," Elroy nodded, offering a faint smile.

"I have to ask, what's in the box?" Clara's curiosity got the better of her as she gestured toward the container Elroy cradled.

"It's, um, it's nothing," Elroy replied quickly, though his mannerisms suggested otherwise.

"Well, you carry it like it's something," Clara observed, trying to gauge his reaction.

"Sorry, it's none of my business, I guess I was just intrigued," Clara apologized, sensing Elroy's discomfort.

"It's picture frames, a stapler, paper clips, pens, and a stack of papers, not a human head, then?" Clara joked, hoping to lighten the mood.

"No, it's not a human head," Elroy chuckled nervously, appreciating her attempt at humor.

"I'm Clara, by the way," she introduced herself, extending her hand.

"Hi, sorry, uh, I'm Elroy," he reciprocated the gesture, shaking her hand.

"So, Elroy, sorry you lost your job," Clara's expression shifted to one of sympathy.

"What? No, oh, because of the box? No, I didn't lose my job," Elroy clarified, a hint of confusion in his voice.

"Oh, well, congratulations then, why for not losing your job?" Clara teased, trying to keep the conversation light.

"Okay, right, thanks," Elroy chuckled, appreciating her attempt to diffuse the situation.

"This is my mom's stuff," Elroy explained, a hint of sadness creeping into his tone. "She died. She worked up at the insurance company up the street. Yeah, she worked there for a long time, a really long time. When I was in high school, I'd get up for school in the morning, and she'd already be gone. But, um, she would leave these little notes on the door. It's kind of nice. I don't know why I'm telling you any of this, to be honest."

"She sounds amazing," Clara offered a comforting smile.

"Yeah, she was," Elroy nodded, a bittersweet smile playing on his lips. "Her and I were really different, though."

"How so?" Clara inquired, genuinely interested.

"She was so nice to everyone. I mean, honestly, half the time, I can't stand people. But she could find something nice to say about pretty much anyone," Elroy explained, admiration evident in his voice.

"Well, you could do that," Clara pointed out, nudging him gently.

"No, I can't," Elroy shook his head, a hint of doubt clouding his features.

"It seems like you were just waiting for an opportunity," Clara observed, offering him a reassuring smile.

"Could be," Elroy conceded with a shrug, appreciating Clara's insight.

"Hey, Elroy, this is my friend," Clara introduced another person who had joined them, momentarily breaking the solemn atmosphere.

"Hey, Elroy, can I borrow a Post-it?" the newcomer asked, interrupting their conversation.

"Yeah, sure, go ahead," Elroy replied, passing a sticky note to the person.

"Nice shirt," Clara quipped, earning a playful eye roll from Elroy.

"What are you doing?" Elroy chuckled, shaking his head at Clara's antics.

"I wrote 'nice shirt.' What do you think?" Clara grinned mischievously.

"It's great, I mean, it really is a nice shirt," Elroy complimented, unable to suppress a smile.

"Here, would you stop throwing stuff at me, please?" Elroy chuckled, dodging another playful toss from Clara.

"It's your turn," Clara reminded him with a smirk.

"Okay, nice mustache," Elroy joked, earning a laugh from Clara and their friend.

"You guys are weird, you know that?" their friend remarked, shaking their head in amusement.

"I don't even know her that well," Elroy shrugged, joining in the laughter.

"So, do you have anything else to do today, Elroy?" Clara asked, her tone laced with genuine interest as they continued to chat, the weight of the box momentarily forgotten in the warmth of their conversation.


About the Creator

Med Karim

"When you have a dream, you've got to grab it and never let go."

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