• When the large brown box arrived at his downtown L.A. apartment earlier that afternoon, Jordan didn’t think too much of it. In fact, he didn’t think about it at all until he got home from shooting a late-night scene of the reality show he called a day-job. He had been so busy with this and that, microphones and fake friendships, that he didn’t even notice his roommate, and co-star, Mike, sign for the package, until Jordan tripped over it at nine o’clock. “What’s this?” he asked his roommate, who was just leaving the kitchen with a plate of micro-waved hot dogs. He was answered with a shrug and a snort, before Mike ran off, back into his room. He wasn’t really much for conversation after a long day of work. Sighing, Jordan picked up the box, and carried it with him towards the ratty old couch.
    Jordan lifted the heavy box onto his lap as he sat down. Picking absently at the packing tape, he read the label, curious to see who had sent it. He was surprised to see that the return address was that of his childhood home in a small Colorado town. It was one of those places where everybody knew everyone and their business. That what Jordan hated about it. But, the irony was that although he left that place, in order for him to earn a living, he decided to work for a reality show, broadcasting the director’s version of his “life” to the television viewers. Confused, he ripped the tape off of the box and pulled the flaps open.
    The first thing he noticed was a standard sized piece of paper, folded into three sections with his name printed neatly on the back. He slowly unfolded the letter, reading each word as he went. Apparently, in the three years of silence between Jordan and the rest of his family, his mother’s Alzheimer’s had become stronger, and Diana, his sister, younger by two years, had to move back in to care for her. With Diana’s career moving ahead and her mother’s memory deteriorating, his sister felt she had no choice but to admit their aging mother into a nursing home, so she couldn’t hurt herself, or anyone else. While she was packing up her mother’s possessions, Diana found some objects that she assumed her brother would want. Placing the letter down beside him, Jordan looked into the box, picking up the first thing he saw.
    It was a photograph. Two little children with similar, familiar grey eyes stared back at him. This picture of Diana and Jordan hung in his bedroom until the day he left for Los Angeles. Below that sat a familiar book, with a tattered, old leather cover, and the title written on the front, as well as the spine. It was a book about writing, with different examples of writing styles, poems and short stories. He flipped it open to one of the dog-eared pages. He recognized it instantly. His father loved to read excerpts from this book to the children every night before bed. This specific page that was staring back at him was one of his mother’s favorites. As he read multiple pages, recalling all of the memories and the laughs that were associated with the book, and its content, he realized how much he missed his family. Three years was a long time to go without talking to your family. He knew what he had to do. He put down the book and picked up the letter again. Judging by the date written on the letter, Diana should still be living in their childhood home. So he grabbed the cordless phone that was sitting on the shabby coffee table in front of him, and dialed the familiar number. Ring. Ring. “Hello?”