Emil was always the favorite.

Submitted into Contest #62 in response to: Write about a character putting something into a time capsule.... view prompt

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Creative Nonfiction Inspirational Happy

Emil felt the card from his grandmother, the glossy finish now matte from years of him caressing it. “Today is the day.” He whispered.

“The day for what?” Mom asked. Emil glanced up, eyes glassy, as he held up the box of trinkets.

“I’m going to put these in a time capsule for Ellie.” A thin smile wrapped around his face as he sighed.

“What will Ellie do with a time capsule about a woman he’s never met?” Emil stared, flabbergasted.

“What…” he hesitated as he searched for the response in her confusion, “what will she do with this stuff? This is nana’s whole world. She would be honored to be remembered this way.” Emil was stunned with emotions he could not explain with words. New fathers are notorious for this lack of eloquence.

“Emil, my love, I know you’re a deeply passionate person. I just think this might be better left in the box for you.” Mom prodded for him to keep it safe with him.

“I want this to be left here. I have a treasure hunt planned for Ellie when she is old enough.”

“For a time capsule? Honey,” mom started as she placed the napkin over her lunch.

“You can not change my mind.” Emil took the box and padded upstairs to his old room, where he would be abandoning within the coming months. He sighed, filling his diaphragm with needed oxygen to quell his tears.

Emil planned this capsule for several months, having bought a weather-proof safe with lock and key. It was not large, merely the size of a standard briefcase as he sifted through the belongings be intended to pack into it, naming them as he went.

“Nana’s cards in which she wrote her poems. The books she asked me to hold onto.” He recited as he positioned them just so, stacking them neatly. “A one-hundred-dollar bill from her I couldn’t bring myself to spend.”

“Why didn’t you spend that hundred-dollar bill?” Mom shrugged as she entered, no longer possessing the ability to hold her tongue.

“Mom,” Emil complained, turning to her as most young children would when their parent barged in on them, “this is deeply private.”

“It’s a time capsule for a daughter that hasn’t been born yet.”

“That’s what will make the treasure hunt so special. OF all people, I would have guessed you to be on my side.” Genuine anger starting to build as he seethed.

“Alright, I’m sorry.” She obliged, with concern of course, but she obliged.

Suffice it to say, she had better ideas than a time capsule to remember Nana. A photo book with plastic slips, laminating them, or even just placing them into the safe and putting in their daughter’s room for when the time came would be better than a time capsule to be buried underground.

“You cannot tell me anything to change my mind.”

“Wouldn’t it be better to take the safe with you? What If I open it before your new daughter comes to fetch it?”

“It’s getting buried here. Are you planning on moving?”

“No, this is my house. This is my house. I don’t want your burying it in my yard.”

“I know you don’t mean that.” Emil said as he continued with placing the trinkets into the briefcase. Mom smiled devilishly as she crossed her arms.

“What if I did mean it?”

“I know you’d be more than happy to allow me to keep Nana’s possessions safe.”

“Alright, you may bury it, but it gets buried in the basement.”

“Alright.” Emil scoffed as he snapped the briefcase closed and placed the key on his key ring. Mom led him downstairs to the basement.

Emil and mom decided on the best place to dig when he found something interesting. The small shovel tapped something beneath the soft dirt.

“What’s this?” Emil questioned; eyebrow cocked at the protrusion in the dirt of the foundation.

“I don’t know.” Mom answered as she slowly moved the dirt with her finger. Emil gasped at the sight, as he brought out a metal box the size of a shoe box.

“What is this!” Emil exclaimed, brushing away the soot and silt glittering the top. Emil removed the lid as the light that filtered through the window illuminated the contents.

“Mom, how dare you judge my time capsule when there’s one already buried here!” Emil shouted as he pushed aside the photos and letters.

“Alright. Your father and I made a time capsule also. It was around the time you were small and while I was pregnant with John. I didn’t want to say anything yet.”

“Wow, is that me with Nana? Wait, I remember this.” Emil said as she pulled out the photo of him and his dad fishing when he was camping at the Great canyon lakes. Mom nodded with a smile, biting her bottom a little as she felt as silly as Emil looked.

“I want you to take this one and bury the one for Nana.” Mom said, smiling.

“I would never have guessed you had a time capsule for me.” Emil said softly as he pulled out more old photos and letters until something fell out of one card.

“This is for you.” Emil recited quietly, realizing what the rolled parchment said.

“Wait is this the deed to your house?” Mom sighed, leaning against the wall as she smiled nervously.

“Don’t tell John.” Mom said quietly, not even checking to see if John were close enough to hear them.

“I didn’t know I was getting the house.”

“I didn’t know you were constructing a time capsule for Nana that you wanted to bury here.” Mom retorted.

“I won’t tell John.” Emil said with a grin.

“Don’t sell your house yet, Dad and I are still in good health.” Mom said in jest, nudging his shoulder with a partially closed fist.”

“I’ll give him my house.” Emil said.

“You would give him your house instead of this house?” Mom asked incredulously.

“Are you kidding me? To live in the house, I grew up in with my daughter? Without a doubt. John has no kids and does not even had a prospective lover to speak of. He can have my house.”

“Emil, I love you.”

“I love you too, mom.”

October 05, 2020 22:26

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1 comment

Kevin Broccoli
04:58 Oct 21, 2020

There’s a real sense of tenderness in the story that I really appreciate.


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