Continues from here.
“Fuck me!” I muttered upon seeing the sender’s name but my mutter must have been louder than I thought because Tom asked me if I was alright.
There was no way Tom hadn’t seen the senders name on the box as he carried it to the back of the house and placed on the door step yet he said nothing. I also knew Tom would have recognized the name, if not the full name been able to join the the dots and work out who the sender was, yet when I muttered he still asked if I was alright as opposed to making any comment.
“Oh, excuse me I didn’t mean to say that out aloud.”
“It’s okay Kat, I’ve heard the word before, there is no need to apologize for it. Are you alright?”
I quickly debated whether to tell Tom the reason for my outburst or whether just to hide it and say it was nothing, but to me that felt a bit like lying, or at very least keeping secrets and I didn’t want to do that with Tom, so I told him.
“It’s from Simon.”
“Simon, as in Simon from the other day?” Tom asked. I could tell from the look in his eyes he knew who Simon was without asking but he was letting me guide the conversation wherever I felt comfortable.
“Yes, that Simon.” I figured Tom was trying to decide which way to take the conversation and I didn’t want it getting any more uncomfortable than it already was so I kept talking. “I honestly thought he’d gotten the message loud and clear. I really thought he’d given up but obviously I was wrong.”
“Is there anything I can do?”
“No, not really. I’m honestly sorry he keeps popping up between us.”
“Kat, seriously, it’s fine, we’ve all got a past and he’s not between us. Well at least I don’t think that way.”
It was sweet of him to say so but I wouldn’t have blamed him if he’d been annoyed with Simon’s interference. “Thank you for saying that Tom, I just wish you didn’t have too.”
“It is what it is!” Tom said. “Would you like me to carry it inside for you?”
I took up Tom’s offer and while he picked the box up I unlocked the back door. I held the door open for Tom and once he was through it I let the door go, followed his foot steps and said. “Just put it on the table. Thank you!”
I dropped my bag on the table next to the box then stood in front of it with my hands on two of the corners just staring at it.
“I’ll go and put the lawn mower in the car and give you a few minutes to open the package.” Tom said, it obviously wasn’t a discussion topic because he was already headed to the door when I turned around.
“No. Tom, you don’t have to. Honestly. I’m not even going to open it.”
“It’s okay Kat, I need to put the lawn mower in the car anyway. Open the box, satisfy your mind. Do whatever it is you need to do. I’ll be back in a few minutes, if you need anything before than call me.”
Tom was right I did have a curiosity that wanted to be sated, but I also had something in the back of my mind telling me I didn’t want to know what was in the box. Simon was my past, whatever Simon had decided to send me belonged with that past, there was nothing related to Simon that I wanted in my present or future.
I stared at the box for several seconds thinking if there was anything, anything at all, that Simon could be sending me that would make a difference. I then snapped out of my trance and realized I had what I wanted, I had everything I wanted from life, a successful business I enjoyed opening everyday, a small but excellent group of friends, a loving daughter and the respect of a man I was falling in love with.
I picked the box up and carried it to the spare room where I dumped it on the floor. I could have thrown it out unopened but I wasn’t that kind of person, I would either get it redirected back to Simon’s house or ring UPS and tell them the parcel wasn’t mine and needed to be returned.
As I walked out of the spare room Tom walked back in. “Are you okay hun?”
Awe he called me hun!! “Yep I’m great!” I replied.
“You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to but I feel I should ask. Are you ok with whatever was in the box. No surprises, nothing you need to be worried about?”
“Tom you really are a sweet and caring person.” I said as I walked up to him and kissed him on the cheek. “First you cut my grass for me, then your only concern about a parcel from my ex is whether I am okay. I don’t know what it will be but I am going to make you dinner my wonderful man!”
“As much as that sounds wonderful, I’m going to have take a rain check. It completely slipped my mind until this afternoon, and with the parcel I didn’t get a chance to tell you.”
“Tell me what?” I inquired.
“I have my monthly dinner with Becky parents.”
“Oh.” Becky was his deceased wife.
Tom had told me he was still in contact with Becky’s parents, I couldn’t remember their names. He’d also told me they were lovely people and they treated him like he was their son, even more so after their only child had died. For Tom he knew they’d never replace his own parents who both died when he was in his early 20’s but they also never tried to be a replacement, just an alternative.
“I’m sorry I forgot to tell you.”
“Don’t be silly Tom, you’ve got nothing to be sorry for, we all forget things.”
Tom smiled and looked me directly in the eyes. “Warren and Abigail would like you. I’ll introduce you one day.”
“Wouldn’t that be weird?” I asked compassionately and wondering if I should be asking at all.
Tom didn’t even hesitate with his answer. “Not at all. For the last few years they’ve both told me that life is too short not to find a wonderful lady to settle down with. Until recently I wasn’t sure there was another wonderful women for me, but recently I’ve started to re-think a lot of things.”
“We have that in common.” he looked at me with a blank look. “We’ve both been re-thinking a lot of things.”
After Tom left to visit his in-laws I felt a little lonely, I know it was silly but I couldn’t help it. I knew I’d see Tom the next day but I wasn’t just falling for him I was fairly sure I was actually falling in love with him!
I’m not exactly sure what it was that tweaked in my mind but just before I was about to go looking for dinner my mind told me to go and open the box Simon had sent me. It made no difference what was in the box, there was nothing Simon could send me that would change things but that also meant that there was nothing he could send me that could upset me.
I retrieved the box from the spare room and placed it on the table, I then stepped into the kitchen and picked up a sharp knife to cut the tape. Standing at the box I slowly cut the tape from one side to the other, placed the knife on the table and grabbed the ajar cardboard flaps. Pulling the top flaps back didn’t revel much, it wasn’t until I pulled back the second layer of flaps that the contents of the box was revealed.
I stared at the box in shock!