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The leftover lunchbox

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‘Maybe you should just leave it for a few more days, and it would exit the lunchbox on its own. Imagine, the lunchbox monster escapes and you would have so much less washing up to do.’
‘It’ is the leftover lunch that is awaiting, unopened, on the school rack. It was abandoned since Friday, so it had a whole weekend to work its way into life.

Leave it. Forget it there. A tempting thought. I almost act on it, but my daughter remembers to pick up both lunch bags from the stack. Today’s one and last week’s.
A series of thoughts comes over

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me for a few seconds, with the supremacy of a hurricane, and there is little to do but to indulge them:

‘When will this lunchbox game end?’
I silently count: next year, I will be packing two, or maybe three individual lunchboxes. There will be high potential for either of those, or all, to be forgotten in the playground.
I continue counting. I see myself in the future: fifty years old and one, or maybe two of my children will have left home. The third one, a teenager.

‘Imagine life then.’

This thought process stops with a

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halt.

A new, more vivid and far less comfortable sensation replaces it all: guilt.
After that, silence.
Suddenly I wake up: we are still in the playground, and I cannot locate child no 3.  A few people around me read it all in my blank, panicked eyes. The child is found and the four of us rush away from the playground, away from school, into the safety of home.

We settle into our evening routine, but what does not leave me is the sudden despair that one day, not that long into the distance, I will suddenly have a lot of time to spare, no

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lunchboxes to pack and only occasional visits from them, my children.
I will simply have to hope that where ever they are, the grown-up versions of them are safe, and sound, and happy.
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Alexandra Cuncev

By

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- 14 Nov 18

‘Maybe you should just leave it for a few more days, and it would exit the lunchbox on its own. Imagine, the lunchbox monster escapes and you would have so much less washing up to do.’
‘It’ is the leftover lunch that is awaiting, unopened, on the school rack. It was abandoned since Friday, so it had a whole weekend to work its way into life.

Leave it. Forget it there. A tempting thought. I almost act on it, but my daughter remembers to pick up both lunch bags from the stack. Today’s one and last week’s.
A series of thoughts comes over me for a few seconds, with the supremacy of a hurricane, and there is little to do but to indulge them:

‘When will this lunchbox game end?’
I silently count: next year, I will be packing two, or maybe three individual lunchboxes. There will be high potential for either of those, or all, to be forgotten in the playground.
I continue counting. I see myself in the future: fifty years old and one, or maybe two of my children will have left home. The third one, a teenager.

‘Imagine life then.’

This thought process stops with a halt.

A new, more vivid and far less comfortable sensation replaces it all: guilt.
After that, silence.
Suddenly I wake up: we are still in the playground, and I cannot locate child no 3.  A few people around me read it all in my blank, panicked eyes. The child is found and the four of us rush away from the playground, away from school, into the safety of home.

We settle into our evening routine, but what does not leave me is the sudden despair that one day, not that long into the distance, I will suddenly have a lot of time to spare, no lunchboxes to pack and only occasional visits from them, my children.
I will simply have to hope that where ever they are, the grown-up versions of them are safe, and sound, and happy.

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Alexandra Cuncev

Stories about everyday life, causes that change everyday lives

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