In the strobing light, with the music calling the rise of the night’s entertainment, she carefully peeled the tape off the wrapping, sliding the gift out of the still perfectly folded packaging. It was a moment out of the noise. Her usual exuberance for ripping off the paper overwhelmed by the generosity. Unexpectedly reverent in the face of many presents. So many people taking time to choose, wrap, care.
She was surprised. It felt good. But too much. Like she didn’t deserve this outpouring. Like it carried a message she was not ready to hear. The gorgeous orange box, the books, the glittering earrings, the soft black scarf, the bubbles for both long baths and tall flutes. The balloons. The Venetian glass. Black Adder and the Body Shop. Pots and candles and cushion covers. Chocolate, body massagers, vouchers, vases and creams. A whole other bag of useful little things. Overwhelming.
She closed her eyes for a second. Sending back the love twofold and more. Wondering if they knew that it was not about the presents, but about the sharing. That celebrations would be empty without them. And then opened them and let in the glorious night.