It had been years since they saw the box. It had gone with them everywhere and had been overlooked countless times.
But now, there was no doubt it was finally time to see what was inside. As the contents came to light, their eyes went wide. This was the last thing they imagined.
For Kathy and Brandon Gunn it had been the magical day they had dreamed of – food, family, and amazing wedding memories.
The happy couple watched everyone laugh, drink, and dance the night away. The gift table also overflowing with touching generosity. But there was one in particular that caught their eye.
The silver-wrapped box had a sealed envelope attached. The only thing written on it gave them very specific instructions NOT to open it until the first argument as husband and wife.
It was so tempting, but they restrained themselves. Eventually, the gift ended up forgotten in their closet.
Years passed and they had their share of arguments. But it seemed pointless to waste the mystery box on a tiff about dirty laundry or dishes.
It wasn’t until an unexpected email appeared in Kathy’s inbox did things take a serious turn for the worse and the need for a lifeline become very real.
She had been offered a new position. It was the closest thing to a dream job and with a salary to match.
But there were two major obstacles. First, it was on the other side of the country. Second, Brandon wanted to stay where they were. From there, things exploded.
It was the worst low of their relationship. One wanted to stay, the other wanted to go – which sparked countless other disagreements.
Nights turned to sleeping apart and crying when they tried to talk it out. Both felt not only lost but also like the other person didn’t care. Suddenly, Brandon’s ex came into the picture again.
One day, Kathy spotted the old wedding gift on the table, and her husband staring at the opened envelope.
His eyes were red and puffy from crying. She scanned the generic greeting card sentiment … and at the name underneath. It was from Brandon’s ex – who obviously hadn’t been invited to the wedding.
Over the years, the gift had become a symbol of their stubbornness to make their marriage work.
Now, seeing the ex’s name … it felt like a final stab of defeat. But what did the instructions mean? Was it a last-ditch attempt to get Brandon back? Was it to gloat about their pain? And what was inside?
There was nothing left to lose. Kathy took one end, Brandon took the other, and they tore back the silver wrapping.
The next layer contained two gifts wrapped in pastel yellow tissue paper. There were also two smaller notes – one for each of them. Their hearts raced with dread.
The first box revealed a cheap raspberry scented bath kit – like something anyone could get at a pharmacy or discount bin.
It wasn’t only offensive, but confusing. The truth didn’t fall into place until they read the first note. The words flowed from Brandon’s lip and he quickly broke down.
The second part contained a small vase and two wine glasses.
Kathy’s note was wrapped $20 worth of cash. The words within brought them to another level of tears. It was the last thing anyone would expect from someone’s ex. It wasn’t malice or rejoicing in their marital pain. It was advice.
Brandon’s long letter reminded him that he was scared of change. It had been one of the main downfalls of the last relationship.
“You’re wonderful together. Life can be hard. Don’t let the little (or big) things ruin that.” The rest were specific instructions for how to reconcile.
Brandon was to use the bubble kit to run Kathy a warm bath and put a gift of flowers in the vase.
The money was to buy a pizza and watch a movie while they drank wine from the new glasses. Around the entire gesture was the wise reminder of communication, compromise, and support. They stared at each other.
Never in a million years would anyone think an ex would be someone to try and save the next marriage.
But there it was, simple yet profound words that reminded them of things they had lost sight of. “Let’s sell the house,” Brandon said, opening the bath kit. Kathy stared at him, dumbfounded.
After a long talk over red wine and a 12-inch pepperoni, and plenty more tears, they came to a final decision.
Brandon could work from anywhere, and Kathy’s new job would be great for them. Who knew that after 10 long years of collecting dust, one little box would save their entire marriage.