A Gift Freely Given

I had to do it all properly, of course. With the decision made, I visited those places again, with a new eye toward what I wanted. Certain scarves, certain charms, just the right blankets, a fine pair of socks or two. It helped to know her tastes, and the colors that suited me best.

But there were practical matters, as well. I want to the market office for my certificate and had it notarized, the transfer of ownership properly certified. I sold or stored my things, and placed my apartment on the market.

As the day approached, I picked out the right size and shape of frame, and exactly the right cornflower blue paper to wrap around it. Finally, an hour before, I slipped under the tree, taped the envelope containing my ownership certificate on the outside, then drew the wrapping paper around me.

And then, with a rustle, the wrapping was removed and the pure surprise and heavenly joy lit up her face before her arms wrapped around me in a tight hug. “Oh, thank you!” she cried. “You’re just what I wanted!”

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