The morning after you were born, a mysterious package was furtively thrust into your mother's hands, along with a note directing the package to be given to you, Dizzy, on your 16th birthday.
Today, is that day...
-a prompt/response by Dizzyism
The spring air was warm and everyone was already abuzz and excited about their plans for summer once the school year ended. There was more than a single reason for Dizzy to have flown down the stairs with a huge grin on her face though – today was the day that any teen had been waiting for, the day of big presents and new freedoms, the day of, for some arbitrary reason, leaving the era called ‘childhood’ and finally graduating to ‘young adult’. Finally, she was sixteen.
The day had been planned in advance, though she hadn’t asked for anything as elaborate as the huge parties some of the other girls in her school twittered about. What she had arranged was better than live music and sequined dresses; her parents had agreed to drive her and a few close friends to the boardwalk for a day – A road trip to roller coasters with ice cream cake kept on dry ice in the trunk.
“Come on!” She urged impatiently, bouncing at the kitchen counter while her father was packing snacks.
“The boardwalk doesn’t even open until ten,” he told her with a chuckle, “You won’t miss a minute.”
After placing a plate of pancakes in front of Dizzy, her mother hung up her apron and clapped her hands together, “Ah! Can’t forget the presents!”
That caused Dizzy to perk up, absently drowning her pancakes in syrup as she itched to follow Mom up the stairs to at least get a first glimpse of the size of the gift-wrapped boxes for a hint of what was in them. But she remained at the table as her mother went up to retrieve the gifts.
In her closet, Dizzy's mom pulled out two boxes, setting them on a uncluttered spot by the half-open door. She paused, and took a deep breath, pulling a stool over so she could reach up above the top shelves, arm sweeping until her fingers made contact again with a small box she had hidden there so long ago.
She had pondered this mystery for months at a time; many restless nights. Two years ago, she’d finally dared to open it, unprepared for what it contained. Several folded sheets of strange paper she had hesitantly set to the side. Then, three ordinary sheets of binder paper, which she had unfolded, and stared at. Each sheet was covered in neat, penciled row upon row of uppercase letters. Unsure of herself, she set them down, already focusing on the next layer. She studied this next paper, and lifted it free of the box. It felt like thick cardstock, cut the exact size of the box, covered with strange geometric shapes, numbers, and hundreds of tiny words, all in a language she could not read. The last item seemed innocent enough at first. Lying on a bed of the blackest silk, was a stone, roughly cut and unpolished. It was an almost opaque onyx, she thought at first glance, but, as it caught a glimmer of the overhead closet light, she was sure she saw an indigo spark inside.
The opening of the box discomfited her in a way she had never before felt. There was something about their strangeness, something intuitive and intangible, all wrapped in a knot, like when someone was staring directly at her. She had shakily reassembled the package, and pushed it into the undusted space beneath the closet's ceiling.
Now, as she brushed off the memories of the past, she stared up at the top of her closet. torn. 'Sixteen, only when she is sixteen,' she could see the handwritten instruction in her minds-eye. Clearly, whoever wanted Dizzy to have the papers and the stone, meant for her to have it today.
Closing the closet door firmly, she rejoined her family downstairs, a shaky smile carefully held in place, and a gift under each arm.