Mrs. Rhonda’s Boxes


Part One

Eventually I got used to the smell. It’s like when the dog farts; at first it takes you by surprise and nearly kills you and then it kind of fades. Not that the boxes smelled like dog farts. Like I said, I can’t describe the smell. I’m not going to even try.

By the time the boxes were cleared out of the basement I had to go home for dinner. And you know what? They were still in the same place the next week! I asked her why she didn’t have someone help her move them.

“Oh child, I ain’t got time for that. That’s why you’re here!”

I scratched my head when she said that because I didn’t think she had a job.

We stared at the river of cardboard. There were boxes of photographs, boxes of different types of toys, boxes of green and yellow dishes, even boxes with bags of clothes in them.

We decided to start with the old photos. She wanted me to put them in books and label them. I offered to take pictures of them with my phone and add them to her Facebook page too. That made her scratch her own head.

“You kids. Pictures of pictures? Can’t get enough of those phones can you?”

She had empty albums ready, so I found a marker and got to work. The photos filled up two full boxes. I decided to just go for it, so I grabbed one and heaved it upside down. Hundreds, maybe thousands spilled to the floor in a giant heap. A cloud of dust popped up that made both of us sneeze. It was going to take forever. My shoulders sank and I must have frowned because she pushed herself off the couch and told me she would go look for the chocolate cookies she made last week. Even after all these years she still knows me really well. I’ll do anything for chocolate.