The Box

Humidity was playing dirty tricks on my hair that hot summer evening. Too bad the 70’s fro was already out of style, I would’ve definitely rocked it.  The groceries in my trunk were almost half cooked, even though I just put them there 20 minutes ago, courtesy of July.

It was a dreadful day at work, not that work days are ever pleasant, and my sore feet were forcing me to go home and plop on the couch for the rest of the evening. Who can argue with that? Not this lady! This lady is easily influenced, mostly to the benefit of her own child. That girl could get away with a murder because she could convince me it was the right thing to do. Of course, she would argue to the contrary. As she grew older, she became even more persuasive. With that gift, she should be in politics or at least in sales. Why, try to disagree with her! She’ll intimidate every last logic you possess until you have no more. You’ll be dumbfounded and defeated. She’s so headstrong she’ll make you quiver!


Where was I? Ah yes, the hot dreadful day and the groceries in my car trunk. I arrived at the apartment complex where we used to live to find my parking spot occupied. By someone illiterate who couldn’t read the big C on it, such an unfortunate guy. Having too many bags and one small box in the trunk I wasn’t going to park in the garage. That’s too far for my tired feet. The “visitor” parking spot right in front of the building was occupied too. What is this, some kind of a building invasion? Unacceptable! Hey, there is one free spot on the far end of the lot. How did it get overlooked is beyond me but I’m overjoyed that it will spare me those extra five feet had I parked in the garage. I managed to bring all the bags with me huffing and puffing all the way up to the second level. One would’ve thought I just finished 5k-5 bag groceries in each hand-marathon if one would’ve seen me and if such marathon existed. I came in last place.

“Andrea! I need your help” I yelled across the hall. She came quickly, letting me call her only four times.

“Here’s the car key, I need you to bring that thing from the trunk” I instructed too tired to even explain what “that thing” was. It didn’t really matter; I mean there was only one thing in the trunk. No mistaking there. One thing-the box. I proceeded putting the groceries away, contemplating setting them out on the balcony to finish its cooking. What would you call a dozen of eggs cooked in the sun? Hard-sunned eggs? Now there is an idea for my next recipe!

“Where is my child” I thought, “how hard is it to bring one small box upstairs?”

The door opened, my poor child carrying what appeared to be a set of golf clubs (or that dead body I told you earlier she could get away with) in a bag.


Unalarmed by my question, she answered bluntly: “The thing you told me to get out of your trunk.”

“THAT thing was not in my trunk!”

Normally, my first instinct is to panic but the sight of the bag almost twice her size on her back and the baffled look on her face made me laugh hysterically.

“Where…hahahaha… did you…hahahaha…. get that from?”

“I got it from your car, mom! What’s going on?”

When I was stable enough to talk without bursting out laughing I learned that silver Honda Civic, just like one I owned, was parked on my parking spot.

“Ok” I said, “but how did you get the trunk open? The key shouldn’t match!”

“It didn’t. I released the trunk from the inside of the car”

“Oh my Goodness, the car was unlocked?”

“Yes” she exclaimed, “and I was wondering why you left it that way and why your new car is so dirty. There are things all over it and it’s dusty. I know you always keep it clean and locked.”

“Take this thing back before they drive away without it!” I urged her.

“I can’t, I locked the doors” she said matter-of-factly.

Ok, time to panic now. As stupid as this was, the child was being responsible for once.  What to do? We can’t just leave the bag next to the car and we can’t find out whom the car belongs to. I certainly wasn’t going to knock from door to door. Maybe Andrea would? I shed that idea unhurriedly out of my mind.

Instead, I decided she should take the bag to the apartment office and explain what happened. Let them call all apartments and find the owner. And no, I’m not going with her. That would be so embarrassing! They would think I was crazy and besides, I’d risk being seen by the bag owner. Who would believe my story? Nope, she should go by herself as she made the mistake.

The truth was I was horrified. Still thought it was hilarious, but horrified nonetheless. No one is going to judge a child, right? It happens all the time that child removes strange objects from strange cars by mistake.

Do not think for a second that she did this without the fight. Oh no! We wrestled, pulled hair, bit and pushed each other around…well, at least it felt like we did by the time she obeyed to take the bag to the office. She doesn’t give up easily, that girl. I think her daughter will be just as stubborn. She’s already showing the same suspicions by being late to arrive to this world. Trying to make a dramatic entrance just like her momma. 🙂

I watched Andrea from the balcony dragging the bag towards the office, feeling guilty for making her go. I wondered how will they find the owner and what will he think? Is this incident going to change his habits? I know I’ll always make sure my car is locked. I then realized we didn’t even know what was in that bag. I wanted to call her back so we can open and examine the darn thing just as she disappeared around the corner.



  • photo borrowed from the Internet

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publisher and creative director at All that's Jas
Jas is a cheesecake addict and the author of Balkan Comfort Food cookbook available on Amazon. You can download a free excerpt of the book when you subscribe to All that's Jas newsletter updates or purchase the full version below. To learn more about Jas visit her About page.
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