Wednesday, August 1, 2018
An Old Cigar Box
“Would you please go into the other office and get the box?” Al looked puzzled as she got up and came back carrying an old Dutch Masters cigar box.
Mrs. Williams stood in front of Al holding the old cigar box. One of her hands was under the box and the other was across the top. Then she said, “All of your friends gathered up a gift for you.” Stretching out her frail hands Mrs. Williams handed Al the old cigar box. Al’s hand rested on hers for a moment and they both sat down on the squeaky sofa.
Reverend Williams said, “We are not really sure how much the trip north will cost, but this should help.” Al opened the old cigar box to find a mixture of coins and paper money. A few folded and crumpled bills were atop the coins. As Al held onto the box his hands shook and his lip quivered as he tried to talk. Mrs. Williams took Al’s hand, causing the cigar box to slip on his lap. Reverend Williams said, “I didn’t count the money and tomorrow we will go to the bus terminal and find out how much the ticket is.”
Back at the Williams’ home, Al sat on the edge of the bed, with the cigar box next to him. He opened the box and tuned it upside down. He pulled the bills out and very carefully, almost cautiously, straightened them out and positioned each one facing the same. After he had each bill straight he counted them, nineteen dollars in all, a five-dollar bill and fourteen single dollar bills.