Jeremiah slipped his hand into the front inside pocket of his jacket. His fingers gently caressed the satin ribbon which he knew was tied around a small velvet box.
The box held the key to his existence. Without this box, he didn’t know if he would be alive.
He gripped the box tightly in his hand as memories of her gripped his mind.
She was the reason for this box. She was the reason he was still here.
He remembered her teaching him. Days spent sitting side by side as she showed him the ways of steam-powered technology. He remembered the feel of her skin as he brushed against her in the library and the smell of aether as they built their machines.
As he pulled the box from its resting place, he remembered the day she gave it to him. He remembered the way the sunset danced on the horizon; the way her eyes teared up as she sat in her wheelchair. The years had been hard on her body, though her mind was as sharp as the day they met.
As she handed over the open box, she finally told him the truth. Truth that she had kept from him for twenty years. Truth that he could never let anyone else know. Truth which he kept hidden in a small velvet box tied shut with a blue satin ribbon.