X is for Excitement
“Impossible,” Caroline repeated. Logic warned that it was a mistake. Perhaps Peter didn’t know the bonds were behind the picture. Perhaps they were intended for someone else. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. She could find a million reasons why such a gift wasn’t intended for her but not a single rationale for why it was.
Holding bonds of such great value in her hands did something to Caroline. It sent a shiver of excitement up her spine and ignited the spark of possibility in her mind. Although she was willing herself not to, Caroline began to think of things like buying a new washing machine and replacing Wilbur’s gold pocket watch.
When those thoughts came, she tried to draw back. “Impossible,” she repeated over and over again. The logic of some unknown benefactor giving either Ida or her those bonds was too overwhelming. It was simply not a thing that could be real. In the wee hours of the morning she slid the bonds back into the envelope and decided that tomorrow she would take the picture and the bonds and go back to Previously Loved Treasures. This time Peter Pennington had obviously made a mistake.
Caroline cleaned up the remaining bits of glass, then showered, pulled on a pair of pajamas, and climbed into bed . Given the long day of work, she should have been tired. She should have closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep seconds later. Were it not for that envelope she might have, but now sleep was impossible to come by. Lying in bed she tried to find a reason, a logical, explainable reason to justify her right to the bonds, but there was none. Every scenario she imagined was offset by an even more valid point proving this had to be some kind of crazy mistake.
The argument with herself was one Caroline could neither lose or win. Either was impossible because both sides knew what the other was thinking. If only Wilbur were here, she thought. He’d know what to do.
The night seemed a thousand hours long. When the first ray of dawn creased the sky, Caroline climbed out of bed and got dressed. She gathered the picture, the broken frame, and the bonds and tucked them into a tote bag.
First she would stop by the hospital and check on Wilbur. Then she’d visit the Previously Loved Treasures store.
Peter Pennington would be able to provide an explanation.