Susie eyed the tiny piece of art with a kind of dread. With a steady hand and a pair of fine tweezers, she held it up to the light. Beautiful, completely intact, unused. She sighed at the intricate artwork. Susie was a stamp collector, had been since she was a child. She placed the stamp on the little tile that served as a platform when she used the magnifying glass. She brought the magnifier over and exhaled at what she saw.
They were still there, the tiny purple dots. Well, of course they were, these stains would never fade. She shifted her attention back to the stamp. It was from 1979, the International Year of the Child. That was the year her little brother Bobby had been born. Susie’s mother had gifted her the stamp on the day he came into their world and Susie cherished it all the more for it’s significance.
She remembered the late summer day when Bobby had come into her bedroom asking in his little boy voice “Whacha lookin at?”
“It’s the stamp mother gave me when you were born,” Susie had told her inquisitive little brother.
Bobby struggled closer to get a better look, leaning over the desk. Susie could still remember her horror when she saw the popsicle in his hand. It had, of course, chosen that precise moment to drip it’s deadly juice. The drop fell in an abstract splatter on the desk. It had missed the stamp, but tiny droplets from the force of the splat had flown across the desktop to land on the stamp. Although the stains were tiny, they had ruined the value of the stamp.
“Oh Sissy, I’m sorry” Bobby had cried as he ran out the door. In the yard, he had thrown down the offending popsicle and flopped down on the ground weeping. That’s how Susie found him, grief stricken that he had ruined her prized possession. Susie sat on the ground and wrapped her arms around her little brother until he stopped crying. That’s when she had told him, “Bobby it’s just a thing, there are many more. But you, little brother, there is only one of you.” She released him from the hug, ruffled his hair and he had smiled.
A tear ran down Susie’s cheek at the memory. Bobby was gone now. Killed in some random war somewhere. Every letter he had sent had ended with the words she had said to him that day. Now they resided on his grave stone.
Beloved Brother — “The important things in life aren’t things”
Susie shifted the magnifier back to it’s resting position, returned the stamp to it’s enclosure, turned off the light and left her room, the rest of the stamps untouched.
Written for Three Things Challenge over at Haunted Wordsmith, check it out, lots of fun stamp collector, tile, popsicle