The Very First Thing

The box is heavy, and of course on the very top shelf in the garage.

He’s such a pack rat, but I secretly think this shows his sentimental side.

I am searching for an old diary of mine, a book of thoughts and silly rants written by my 12 year-old self. I think it may help to bridge the distance between my 12 year-old daughter and her mother who seems to not understand a thing.

About being 12.

I bring the box down to the floor and blow the dust from the top. How long since it’s been down? I can’t remember.

The packing tape pulls off easily; the adhesive has lost it’s grip long ago. I peel it away and toss it aside, then gently pull open the top of the large box.

Right on top of the pile of memories and treasures it sits.

But not my diary.

It’s the baseball cap.

It has seen better days, the Kuhn & Co. baseball cap. The brim is no longer stiff and straight, having finally been washed one too many times. The bright blue lettering has faded and the white background has taken on a shade of dull.

The pizza parlor was crowded, infested with teenagers that Friday night. The basketball game was over and groups of friends spilled out of the doorway and wound around the tables. The jukebox was playing loudly but it was hard to make out the songs over the excitement of the young voices.

The boy sat quietly at the table, soft curls peeking out from under the Kuhn & Co. cap. I knew who he was, but we’d never spoken. His friends were loud and animated, and he stood out among them. A soft smile, an easy laugh.

The baseball cap.

I tossed my shy, reserved nature aside for a moment and went over to the table. I was drawn to him.

And in that I’m 16 and don’t know what to say way, I playfully grabbed his hat.

And put it on my head.

Thirty years ago this Sunday.

We’ve built an entire existence together, for better or for worse, based on the foundation of that old baseball cap.

And am I ever glad that he’s part pack rat.

This post is for The Red Dress Club weekly writing prompt: write a piece – 600 word limit – about finding a forgotten item of clothing in the back of a drawer or closet. Let us know how the item was found, what it is, and why it’s so meaningful to you or your character.