“Beauty lies in the bond that is shared by two people whose differences are so vast yet have the little things in common; choosing to become fond over the minute details rather than segregate based on the bigger picture.”
I still remember the day he tugged me aside on the night of my birthday, midst the happy people wishing me well and joking at my expense with ridiculous stories from high school and kindergarten.
He said “Come with me for a second.” and I did. Not to a breezy balcony or starlit street, nothing overly dramatic but a back stairwell instead.
Having been friends for a long time, I thought nothing all too much of the ambiguous peremptory gesture of asking for a few minutes with me. I just didn’t know.
“So, the girls were going shopping for your presents and asked if I wanted them to pick up something on my behalf and I said yes.” He explained. “That’s why I supposedly gave you one of those wallets for girls things…whatever.”
I smiled, knowing full well he was talking about clutches. He never did remember these sorts of things.
He continued, “So, I actually wanted to give you this for your birthday.” He extended a rectangular shaped package, gift wrapped in purple with a bow. It was a tad bit clumsy, indicating he’d wrapped it himself which was nice of him, really. I didn’t expect it.
He looked at me expectantly, waiting for me to pry the gift wrap off. So I did and when I saw what was inside, I was touched.
“You bought me a book?” I asked, surprised. He smiled to the side and before he could answer I just hugged him. One of those tight hugs that are supposed to say what you can’t out loud. The one where the huggee understands what the hugger means and hugs you back just as tight. One of those.
It’s true, I knew a lot of people who’d have scoffed or asked what the value of the book was but truthfully it wasn’t a first edition or a fancy copy or anything at all. It was just a book you could pick up at a local bookstore. But that’s not even close to the point.
“I wasn’t sure if I were going to get you this since I don’t read at all and you read a lot and I didn’t have any idea exactly what you’d like but…if I know you well enough, I think you’d like this.” He rambled as I stared at the paperback in my hands.
I waved away his doubt saying, “I love it.”
He nodded, thrusting his hands into his pockets like the way he always did.
“I’ll start reading it the minute I get home.” I promised genuinely.
He laughed in jest. “You have a sad social life.”
“Yes well that’s why I spend time with you, isn’t it?” I retorted, joining in on the joke.
He smiled and then suggested we head back to the table. I held the book as close to me as I could. My thumb graced the pages and the binding securely rested against my side as we walked back, the discarded wrapping paper in the other hand.
All the while I was thinking.
You see, the true point was that he’d gone into a bookstore and picked it up on his own. And this was the boy who never finished reading a book in his entire life apart from To Kill a Mockingbird and even that was for a school requirement.
Because he went into that bookstore without a clue of what to expect (just as I would in a store with sports merchandise) and picked up a book because either it reminded him of me or he thought hard enough about whether I’d like it enough to give it to me. It wasn’t even a book I’ve been caught staring at through the display window or whilst browsing the aisles, nor one I’d previously mentioned in wanton. It was a genuine gift rife with thought.
And sadly, that was something I hadn’t been given in a long time. So yes, I’ll admit I teared up a bit. Because he dusted away the glitz and glamour behind extravagant gifts and gave me something much more important. Gratitude, realisation, a new book.
And a new outlook.
For I knew him as the boy who strummed his guitar and sang in his spare time. The football enthusiast. The one who wants to drive to McDonalds late in the night, a few minutes before it closed and…my friend.
Now, every time I read that book, I remember this moment.
Because while the world is preoccupied with grand standing gestures and extraordinary miracles, I remember it’s the little things that matter.
And that is the key to my contentment.
That and the lad who gave me the book.
This is a piece of fiction but I suppose these types of moments make you love your significant more 🙂 Gotta love love