A book for Pandora

At the very bottom of the box, under all the aluminium ring-pulls, squashed bottle caps, tarnished costume jewellery, bent paperclips, and neat bags of lavender long lost of their scent, is a single book with one word stamped across its cover in gold lettering. The word looks familiar, but you can’t recall what it means. You spell it out: H-O-P-E. The meaning refuses to stir in your mind, so you pick it up, turning it over in your hands and caressing the cover. A button catch clasps the book shut. Even when you press it, it refuses to open. Dismayed, and by now a little bored, you put the book back. Under the lavender bags, under the paperclips, under the jewellery, under the bottle caps and under the ring-pulls. Now the book is completely obscured, you close the lid of the box and turn away, intending to walk off and forget about it. But even though the book is hidden, buried under so much, you cannot let go of it. You know it’s there, and it always will be there, waiting for you to pick it up again.