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The Trunk: Chapter 4 The Trunk: Chapter 4
by Bohdan Yuri
2006-12-30 10:50:12
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She knew the story by heart: War refugee, started out as a janitor in this country (one with a college engineering degree), then free rent as a building superintendent while still janitoring at night, nine years later a master’s degree from Fordham, along with a lower level engineering position at Macro Tech Inc., another four years and a PhD from NYU and the first promotion that eventually ended with a vice-presidency in the company, then, with retirement, a professorship at Columbia, and still...

When her soul felt drier, Taissa walked into the family room where her parents were listening to the evening news, Mom crocheting another afghan.

Taissa looked carefully at the trunk against the back wall. Just another piece of furniture, she’d always thought, the one in which her mother had kept her yarn. "Is that Gramps' trunk?" she asked. "Yes it is," replied her father. "It's yours now. Mother has already emptied it so you can use it."

Taissa had always liked the trunk, with its brass corner braces securing aged heavy pine walls, reinforced by steel and hardwood straps, dotted with brass buttons; a squeaky brass lock plate and latch that many time Taissa’d opened pretending that when she’d raised the bowed top there would be a pirate’s treasure inside, strings of colored jewels, cleverly hidden under the fitted tray. But, she knew the truth.

It was too big; nearly 3’ x 2’ and the wood might as well have been lead. Her friends would never approve taking that monstrosity with them. No, no, and no, their plan was to travel as light as possible. She searched to balance the scales: maybe she could leave it for now and come back for it later? But, she knew that this trip was planned to be a lasting one, who knows when she’d be back again to finally retrieve it. Ship it --- to where? And she also knew that that’s not what Gramps had meant. Yes, she knew as she headed back to her room, to unpack, and to call Vera...

Taissa’s father looked at his wife, he already knew the question, "and are you ever going to tell her that Gramps had originally written that letter to you and not her” she asked. "She’ll find out herself to whom it was written," he replied.

The end


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