Under my arm is a funny little box. It’s carefully wrapped in black and white comics sealed with clear tape. I’d rather recycle than immediately put wrapping paper in the landfill. Inside is a broken clock in the shape of a golden horse. My grandpa mentioned Monica liked it last time she was over and that I should give it to her. He’s been giving things away as if he’s holding a liquidation sale.
It’s an unusually chilly day. Nothing a hoodie can’t fix. Even the sparrows are puffed up while they search for food. At least the sun is out to keep the plains dry. Only contrails in a perfectly blue sky.
Monica’s apartment complex is old, but kept in decent condition. It may not be constructed with high quality materials, but at least it has a pleasant appearance. Her place is up the stairs and the first door on the left. Mismatched mailbox stickers let me know the units number: 2A. I knock on the door.
There’s a sound of dishes rattling. The distinct smell of burnt toast. A few heavy footsteps.
“Oh… Um… Is a Monica home?” I’m startled that the door is answered by a guy about the same age and build as myself. Doesn’t help that he’s only wearing a band t-shirt and bright boxers either.
“Uh… Who are ya?” He scrutinizes everything about me in an instant and doesn’t like what he sees. Most of his attention is on my gift.
“Oh… Just a friend, I guess.”
“Well… She’s still sleepin’.” It’s barely perceivable that he’s slowly closing the door. “Wanna leave a message or somethin’?”
“Um… Sure.” I hold out the gift toward him. “Just give this ta her ‘nd tell her I said ‘thank you’.”
“Okay.” He takes the present in one hand. “Who do I say it’s from?”
“She’ll know who it’s from.” An answer that just makes him a bit more suspicious. Can’t blame him. “It’s just a broken clock.” This doesn’t help.
“Yeah man, see ya.” The door closes and I hear the clock clang on the floor. Can’t hurt it since it’s already broken, I guess.