I had my plane ticket ready and my bags were packed. I had sold the house with all my belongings and was ready to start a new life in New Zealand.
Before leaving to the airport, I checked around one last time to see if I was forgetting anything, when I saw something on the floor peeking out from behind an empty bookshelf. It was a book. I picked it up and read the cover. It was Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Inside, the book was autographed by the author, and dedicated to my ex-girlfriend Emily. Emily had moved in with me over a year ago but things didn't work out so we split. It was a horrible split, with no one to blame but ourselves. Since then, I had lost all touch with Emily and even deleted her contact information from my phone.
I looked at the book and briefly thought I should just dump it in the trash and be done with it, but then I felt that would be a total dick move from my part.
I made up my mind to drop the book off at her place. I knew where she lived and it was on the way to the airport. I took a taxi and told the driver to keep the meter running. I rang the doorbell on Emily's building. There was no answer. I rang again, longer. A woman's voice came through the intercom. I recognized the voice, it was Emily's mother.
"Hello, Mrs. Silva, it's me, Mark. Do you remember me? I have a book that belongs to Emily. I was returning it."
"You have a book for Emily?" said the woman.
"Yes, can I drop it off?"
The buzzer sounded and the entrance was unlocked. I walked down the hallway and Emily's mother opened the door to her apartment.
"Is she in?" I asked. "Emily."
"Son, didn't anybody tell you?"
"I don't know what you mean."
"My dear Emily died last Spring."
I was speechless. Finally I said, "I'm so very sorry for your loss." Then I gave her the book and left.
The taxi driver was waiting outside. I told him to take me to the airport.
"Where you traveling to?" said the driver. He was being friendly.
"That's one heck of a long flight."
"So what's there, in New Zealand?"
I looked at the airport sign on the highway speeding closer. "Everything," I said.
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