My parents packaged my head at age five. Just left a few peep holes for my eyes and a slit for eating. It wasn’t about disguise, or anonymity, or anything so profound. No, the box was all about being properly delivered to your true love.
The Ceremony of Sealing took place the first Sunday of every month. All recently turned five-year-olds were brought before the community and told to look into a monstrous mirror one last time and say goodbye to their reflections.
“Goodbye, nose.” I sniffled and touched my nose with eyes closed. I wanted to memorize its spritely shape, so I could think of it whenever it ran in the future.
Now I was frantic to notice anything else about myself, lest I should be sealed in a box for the rest of my days.
“Goodbye, lips,” I pouted then smiled, shifting between the two rapidly, in a panic. After all, I needed to know my own smile. I noticed how my top lip protruded just a bit more than my lower, how I only had one dimple on the right side.
“Goodbye, eyes.” This was my hardest goodbye. It was through my eyes I expressed all unsaid. I only remember my blue eyes could smile fuller than my lips.
Then, my parents completed the ceremony fitting the box around my neck.
“You’re the perfect package, sweetie.” Dad whispered as he sealed the thick cardboard into place completing the folds.
“You’re sure to be unwrapped soon.” Mom cut the eye slits with precision to try and give me the perfect view.
I picked up another black pebble and tossed it into fog. Was there a sea down there or just a never-ending ravine? From within my mildewy box, I couldn’t be sure.
The unknown only deepens each day when you’re waiting to be someone’s special delivery.
Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge. Photo credit: DeviantArt.com.