“Where is it? I bet you already opened it. You couldn’t stand the pressure!” Trevor said, as he moved around the living room looking for the box. Claire watched him search the room as she took her jacket off and draped it over the back of a dining room chair. She had to stop him when he began to remove her sofa pillows and negligently threw them behind him.
Catching a pillow with one hand, she grabbed Trevor’s arm with her other and dragged him into the hallway. “If you would stop for a moment you can help me take it off the top shelf. I put it back up there because I couldn’t stand to have it sitting out.”
“But I thought that you didn’t want to open it at all. Curiosity finally killed the cat, huh?” Trevor remarked, smugly smiling and crossing his arms.
Grimacing at the snide remark, she tossed the pillow back into the living room and brought out a chair. “Can you hold the chair so I don’t fall?” She gingerly stepped on to the seat of the chair and felt towards the back of her linen closet for the wooden box. All she felt was dust and more dust. Pulling her hand out, she took one look at it and wiped it down Trevor’s arm. He looked up at her and leaned his head to one side with puppy dog eyes. Raising an eyebrow to silence him, she stuck her tongue out and continued to search blindly in the back of the closet.
“Pay dirt!” she shouted as she quickly maneuvered out of Trevor’s roving hands. He had been steadying her legs not so much as he should have been steadying the chair. Jumping down and running into the dining room she jumped on to the sofa. Trevor, noticing this change come over her, sauntered into the room casually. He deliberately removed his coat and cap, hanging them up responsibly on the coat rack.
“Ants in your pants, Dr. Allen? Or are you just having a wooden box-induced flashback to Christmas’s past?” Trevor said taking a seat next to her and crossing his legs.
“I don’t know what you mean.” She said, not pulling her eyes away from the box. “Screwdriver.” She requested. Next to Trevor he found a screwdriver and a pair of pliers, not to mention rubbing alcohol and a small spray bottle of “Rust Remover”. Holding his hands up, like he was a doctor who had freshly sterilized his hands, he slapped the screwdriver into her hand, as he had seen on E.R.
“I can tell someone was prepared to open the box.” Trevor remarked as he handed her a cloth that had been lightly saturated with the ‘Rust Remover’. Not bothering to respond, Claire continued to pop the hinges off the box, after swiping the cloth over the remaining hinges.
“One more to go.” She said, a little bead of sweat showing up on her brow. Trevor watched her hands work at a feverish pace to pop the last hinge. Sucking in his breath he waited for Claire to remove the top. Hands shaking, she put the box on the table and took a deep breath. Trevor, growing more impatient with each breath she took, bent down to look closer at the box.
“Trevor, I can’t do it. You do it. Just make sure you do it so I can see.” She said backing as far back into the couch as she possibly could.
“You want to watch me do it? Kinky. I would have totally guessed that about you.” He said as he lifted the lid off the box. He picked up the box and sat it on his lap and pulled out the first thing he saw. It was a yellowed piece of paper, filled with a spidery script. Coming closer to see what it read, Claire leaned over Trevor as they both silently scanned the page. Stopping midway through the letter, Trevor dove into the box with wild abandon. Tossing the letters over to Claire he searched through the box. Finding what he wanted he jumped up off the couch and started pacing the room.
“Trevor, what’s in your hand?” Claire asked as she looked up from reading.
“A photograph. Soldier and girl, arm in arm in the snow. I bet you it’s the people who were writing these love letters.”
“And notice how simple their love for each other was. Pure, simple, full of faith and hope.” She commented as she continued to rapidly read their letters. “It says in this one that they were planning on getting married when he came home on leave.” She read. “But wait! It mentions something about her mother being opposed to the marriage and being ill.” She watched Trevor pace around her living room. “I wonder if they ever married?” she said off hand.
“I wonder if they are still out there.” He said, looking out the window at the snow falling. “Claire, can you take me home now. I really need to get to work.” He said, urgently looking outside and then back to Claire.
“I guess. I am surprised you don’t want to stay here and pour over all these love letters.” She remarked, standing up and grabbing her jacket. Moving to the door, she noticed Trevor watching the children, especially the little boy and girl who were sitting on the snow with their tongues stuck out catching snowflakes. She watched the little girl and boy for a few moments and then motioned Trevor to get into the car.
Jumping out of Claire’s car, Trevor turned around, waved good-bye to Claire, and dashed up the stairs. Jamming the keys into the door, he unlocked it and burst into the living room of his apartment. Champ was sitting on the couch, eating popcorn, and watching “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Walking straight past him, Trevor went into the kitchen and pulled out a turkey drumstick and stuck it in his mouth. Grabbing pen and the local Chicago “White Pages” he scanned through the listings.
“Don’t throw the bone on the ground this time, Trevor.” Champ shouted from the sofa, mouth full of popcorn. “Remember that you aren’t in Olympus, where little fairies come around and do the cleaning.”
“Champ, how many times do I have to tell you that there were never and still aren’t any fairies residing at my house. We had a dog that came around from time to time and ate whatever had been thrown on the floor but no fairies. “ He paused, thinking. “I think that you are thinking of my Celtic cousins who live in Wales. Brigid had the fairies at her place.”
“And I am sure the dog you are referring to is Cerberus?” Champ said through another mouthful of popcorn.
“That would be the one and only. He was all bark and no bite. “ Looking up at Champ, he smiled and said, “except for his head on the left. That one was a mean one. The other two were like kittens. The other one ate kittens as a snack.” Smiling to himself, in between bites of turkey and turning pages in the local listings he said.” I miss that dog!”
Shaking his head, Champ went back to ignoring Trevor and watching his favorite movie, but not before he threw a handful of popcorn at Trevor.
“I am not cleaning that up.” Trevor said as he bounded into his room with the cordless phone.
“I didn’t think that you would be.” Champ said, pausing the movie and grabbing the vacuum to clean up the mess. He found the turkey bone near the trash on the kitchen floor. Frowning he shouted, “Trevor!”.
Walking into his room, he glanced up at his beads. Two more had moved over to his side since he had left the apartment this morning. Laughing like a school kid, he bounced on to the bed, grabbed a note pad and started scribbling ideas down. Glancing out at the snow that was falling and the lights of the city, they inspired him to new matchmaking heights. Laughing again, he wrote his final thought down on the notepad, ripped the paper off the pad and tucked it into his jacket.
Switching off his bedroom light, he once again flopped on his bed and sighed. Clapping his hands twice, twinkling Christmas lights lit up the room. Illuminated by the multi-colored lights and the ideas running through his head, Trevor turned on his side and promptly fell fast asleep.