The White Box

“What do you think it is?â€? I asked, turning the box over in my hands several times. It had no visible seams and was made of a heavy plastic substance that appeared granular up close, the whitish substance looking almost like the surface of the sun, but smooth and pale. There were no markings on it.

Padma watched me from the other side of the room her half-grin giving her away. “Hmm, I have no idea.â€? She curled up on the aerogel couch that extruded itself from the wall for her. “It could be a birthday present or something. I’m pretty sure it’s not a bomb.â€? Her laugh was infectious.

“You really didn’t have to get me anything.”

“Who says I did?” Again that playful smile that made me want to push her against the soap bubble thin walls of my studio and…

Instead, I shook the box. No sound, or shifting weight to reveal its secrets to me. I sniffed it, watching her all the while, laughing at me. “No really, what is it?”

“You’re just going to have to figure out how to open it yourself.”

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