Outside her front door she found it sitting there: a small violet-colored box, the size of a billiard ball, with a note, folded into a small square, attached to it. The note read, "opening this box will cause the world to be destroyed." The box, light as air, fit within the palm of her hand. She contemplated opening it. If it truly worked, it would annihilate her last love, who left for another woman the previous week. It would eliminate everyone who has broken her heart or wronged her. But it would also wipe out everything else: herself, her family, the decent people of the world. It was selfish and not what she imagined herself like; nonetheless, destroying everything appealed to her. All in pain would be free; all causing pain would be destroyed. It was like killing the body to claim victory over a disease.
Feeling abandonment, rejection and loneliness—a chasm of life pain—she opened the box. Nothing happened. The pain was still there. She laughed then cried. She realized, somewhere, a stranger was breathing, eating, getting dressed. A speeding bullet, moving closer to the day he would enter her life and inflict pain upon her. She looked down at the open box. It was black and empty inside.