Epic struggle between right and wrong...

by Erin Zulkoski

The day was yesterday, November 11, 2010. 

I was home from work, and I pulled my car into the driveway. 

I stopped short of the garage to get out of the car and get the daily mail.  Bills and unwanted coupons for places I didn't go and for items I don't use. 

I looked on the porch, as something had drawn my attention in that direction. 

There, by the front door, was a yellow padded envelope.

I cocked my head to the side in a sort of "huh?" way and walked up the four steps.  Bending down, I picked up the envelope. 

Grasping it in my hands, I felt for the contents inside, like a child snooping under the Christmas tree for their presents, trying to determine what treasure was inside.

A hard, rectangular object was inside this envelope.  I turned the package over in my hands, giddy with anticipation. 

The label on the front said it was from Amazon.  Had I ordered a forgotten something and it had finally arrived?  Oh, joyous day!  Oh, rapture!

I quickly walked down the steps to the still idling car, and set the package on the passenger seat.  I pulled the Volkswagen into the garage and picked the envelope up again.  I wanted to wait until I was inside before I opened it.

I made my way into the house, setting my backpack on the kitchen counter and hung my keys on the hook.

Wanting to make this a proper opening, I walked into the dining room and pulled out a chair from the table.  I sat and set the envelope in front of me.  My hands were in my lap, as if I were waiting permission from someone to open up the prize.

Reaching for the envelope, I picked it up and tore open the top.  My breath caught in my throat.  What could it be? 

I looked inside and I pulled out the contents. 

It was a DVD! Then, reality set in.  I hadn't ordered a DVD.  I looked at the front cover.  "Modern Family."  I hadn't ordered this. 

I then had the thought to look at the front of the envelope again, this time focusing on the address label. 


It wasn't addressed to me, but rather to the previous tenant who had lived here before me.

Now, the epic struggle begins.  What do I do with this?  It clearly isn't mine, I hadn't ordered it, nor had I paid for it. Do I keep it, as obviously the person who did order was silly enough to not change his address after over a year-and-a-half of not living at this house.  Your loss, sir, is my gain. 

But then, my conscience, the ever constant companion, starts speaking to me.

This isn't yours.  Return it.  This isn't yours.  Return it.

I'm right, I thought.  This isn't mine.  I should return it.  What would Jesus do? 

Jesus would keep the damn DVD for himself, that's what Jesus would do.  I, being the better person, decide to return it.  With a sigh, I place the DVD back in the envelope.  I push back in the chair and go to the kitchen junk drawer for some scotch tape.  I walk back into the dining room and grab the envelope to seal it back up.  I find a pen and write "return to sender" on the front. 

A small sense of satisfaction creeps inside me.  "Way to go, E, " I congratulate myself.

But the battle is not over yet, my friends.  The envelope still lies on the dining room table, mocking me every time I walk past it.  Taunting me.  Begging me to be mine.

So far, I have not given in to temptation--unlike Jesus would have. 

The moral of this story is, read the address label to make sure the package belongs to you and not the doofus who lived here before, make sure your Amazon account is current, and eat your vegetables. 

The end?