The Gift,

Pasatiempo - - Holiday Writing Contest -

par­ents! It must have slipped from un­der my arm. I know I had it when I got off the train, but it wasn’t in the taxi when I reached my friend’s house. We searched. We came back im­me­di­ately. And now it isn’t here!” She was al­most in tears.

“Can you de­scribe it?” I asked. She did. Her de­scrip­tion was ac­cu­rate. I was ready to hand it over, but I had to be sure, cer­tain, not to raise false hopes. “What was in the purse?”

With­out hes­i­ta­tion, she reeled off the con­tents: “Two en­velopes ad­dressed to me, in­vi­ta­tions to Chicago and Wis­con­sin for the hol­i­days, the tick­ets, a pa­per­back book, lip­stick, comb, tis­sues, a match­box and cig­a­rettes, but most im­por­tant of all, my pass­port and cash in the in­ner zipper sec­tion.” She also gave her name and ad­dress with­out be­ing asked.

With a big smile, I pulled the purse from un­der the counter. “So this must be yours! I had to look through it for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion; to be sure I gave it to the right per­son when it was claimed!”

She beamed. “Yes, oh, yes!” She clutched it to her. “Thank you, so very, very much. I am so grate­ful.”

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