Every day, people look at the old man with the grey hair sit on the park bench, holding nothing but a cardboard box. It is a simple plain box, without the slightest touch of decoration, but still he is seen clinging to it as if it were his most precious possession of all.
Sometimes, when he thinks no-one is watching, he lifts the lid. Those who peek over the top of the books they pretend to be reading let their imaginations go wild, thinking that this old man is clutching a box of jewels or treasures.
But their hearts drop when all they see the old man’s fingers flicking through a pile of wearied old letters.
What they do not know, however, is that to the old man reading the letters of a time long gone by, the box contains more treasures than he ever thought he could have.
The oldest letter at the bottom of the box is written is his own messy script. Meet me tomorrow at the large overgrown tree by the lake. I have something to show you.
Back then he did not have any idea what this single note would cause; that with two simple sentences he had secured a future of happiness. Not that it had all been happy, of course. In his long life, there had been many ups and downs.
He thumbs back through the letters, looking for the photographs he had slipped in here, to remind himself of those times long ago. Soon he pulls it in front of him, and his heart swells with joy as he watches the seven red-haired children wave back at him, all of them wearing heavy woolen jumpers as they crowded around a tree at Christmas time.
Now his children have hair as grey as he does, apart from the one that didn’t have the chance to grow grey hair at all.
Back when he was younger, he used to take care of his grandchildren and shared as much love and joy with them as he had his own children. But now, his children have grandkids of their own, and live all over the country. Sometimes, though, when the family gets together, he comes to spend the evening with them, and shows his great grand-children all his memoirs of the past.
The other photo in the box makes him catch his breath. It is a photo of his late wife, Molly, taken just the day before she passed away. Before they went to sleep that night, she said, “I’ll see you in the morning.” But when he woke up the next day, her eyes were closed and never opened again.
Sun breaks through the clouds and a beam of light hits him in the face. He whispers to the sky, “I’ll see you in the morning.”
The next day, the bench is empty. With time, the other people in the park forget about the old man, and go back to reading their books.