Rory pulled into the driveway of hers, her mom's, and now, Luke's house in Star's Hollow. She noted the car-less driveway that told that no one was home. She turned off the engine and got out of her car, but not before pulling a good sized cardboard box that was next to her, on the passenger side seat, out and carrying it up the porch and walking around to the back door and pulled out her set of keys.
When just Rory and her mom had lived there they never locked the back door, sometimes not even the front, but Luke was a nut about those kinds of things, so Rory now had to make sure never to forget her keys. Rory smiled at the thought of Luke, she was glad her mother, her best friend, had found the one. Luke had always, for as long as Rory could remember, been a part of their lives. She was happy that they both finally figured out they were meant for each other.
Rory slipped into the kitchen and then into her old room, flicking on the light as she went. She set the box down on the bed and sat next to it and stared at it for a little while. She bit the inside of her bottom lip in thought and reflection about an event from a day ago as she started to dig threw her purse before pulling a marker and writing large on the side one word: Logan.
"What-what are you saying, Ace?" stammered Logan in a confused shock.
Rory took a deep breath and looked him in the eye, "It was real, Logan, everything we had, but it's just not anymore," Rory was trying had to hold back tears, "But you were never happy Logan, you were never satisfied with what you had, you still aren't."
"What do you mean!" the blond boy exclaimed, getting defensive.
"Oh, please don't get mad, you've never been able to settle down. You're always traveling from place to place, doing one crazy thing after the next. Everyday to you has to be full of excitement," Rory Gilmore had not meant to say all this, but she finally was able to vent everything, "You can't understand the pleasure and hanging out and watching old reruns or the amazing joy in discussing a book. You're smart, you're well-read, you have a great future ahead of you somewhere, but I can't see myself in it."
"What are you talking about? You are everything to me. I can give you anything, I can give you everything. I can give you the world."
Rory took a shaky breath, "The only problem is I don't want the world, all I ever wanted was for you to give me all of yourself. You've never been able to do that," he opened his mouth to speak, but she put up a hand to stop him, "Please let me finish. It's not your fault; at least I don't blame you for it. You're a great guy, and there is one special girl out there for you that will be lucky to have you, but it isn't me, no matter how much you think I am. I'm not right for you, and you're not right for me."
"Was it all fake then?" asked Logan bitterly and upset.
"No, I had really loved you…, but the problem was you could never say it back," and for the first time in that tense confrontation Rory let tears fall, they were silent and cold, as she turned her back forever on her college boy and walked out of his apartment.
Rory wiped a tear away from the corner of her eye before it could fall. She was over that, she did not love him anymore. She was putting him behind her thus the purpose of the box. She began staring at it again before popping the top flaps open to look at its contents.
On the top laid the light blue dress she had worn to Logan's house to meet his parents for the first time underneath the white hat she was had worn at the surprise party Logan had set up before her trial of the yacht stealing and that stupid costume she hade worn to Finn's themed party where she had made Logan so jealous. Rory smiled at the memories. She pushed them aside to reveal a couple Yale newspapers, one with her article about the Life and Death Brigade and one with the article Logan that Doyle via Rory had convinced him to write and even given him the research. Underneath those was a collection of mismatched objects from souvenirs from trips Rory and Logan took, to ticket stubs, and jewelry he had given her.
Rory looked over these objects and realized how little emotions they gave her now, just a sharp empty sting in her gut. She re-closed the lid on the box, and so finally closed that chapter of her life. The chapter of her life where she was a college girl who bar and club hoped, got drunk, and had free sex. She was not that, and she was not going to pretend anymore. Logan was truly special to her, but so were all her boyfriends, they all did something for her, all were different, yet none yet had been right, or so she thought.
Rory opened her closet and pushed aside the hanging clothes to reveal to other cardboard boxes sitting on the floor inside. She sighed and added the box labeled Logan next to the others. Three boyfriends, three boyfriend boxes, each filled with things that did not really mean anything to her anymore, but she could not stand to look at everyday. Things that she neither loved nor hated, but held some old significance that she could not through them away either.
She stood up and was about to close the closet door when the box on the far left caught her eye. Dean, it read in bright red letters. She smiled to herself and kneeled down on the ground and pulled it out to her. A faint grin formed on her lips as she opened the box that had been unpacked and repacked so many times. She remembered clearly filling the box up the first time as things she wanted to throw out. The bracelet Dean made her, the dress she wore to her first dance, the box of shop-lifted corn starch, the stuffed turkey, and a sweater he said he liked a few days before. Now it held some different things too, the keys to the car Dean made her and Jess and her crashed, the letter she wrote to Dean explaining the said crash, and few other things. Each of them meant something, symbolizing ups and downs in their relationship and bringing back bittersweet memories.
None of these things really meant something to Rory anymore. They were sentimental yes, but they no longer held true pain or love. Yet they were still special like Dean was and always will be in her heart, the first boyfriend, the first love, the first kiss, the first heartbreak, the first time making love, and the first breakup, and the second one too.
The brunette girl replaced everything in the box and put in back in its place and again was about to the close the closet door, but stopped as her piercing gaze met the box in the dead center of the other two. It did not have a name on it, but Rory did not need one. This box was different then the other two, just like the boy it belonged to was. Dean's box was created in an upset rage, wildly and unexpectedly, like their relationship, sudden. Logan's was slow and calculated, planned out. But in the middle was something else entirely. Rory had not made a box like she had with either Dean or Logan, right after the breakup. Jess' box had evolved slowly, like their relationship had. Whenever she came across something that was painful, that made her think of him, it got thrown in.
The young Gilmore looked at the box with uneasiness. She was torn inside of whether to open it or leave it be. It would be too easy to just leave so she leaned over and popped the flaps of the box open to reveal its contents. She had started a process that day, looking threw the other two boxes, she had to finish now, no matter how much it hurt.
The box looked so empty compared to the others, maybe that was because it was. The others were filled with so many pointless objects, and somehow the few things in Jess' box meant so much more than the items in the other two boxes combined. Rory was not sure what that meant or maybe she did, but did not want to face it.
In true, only three things were in the box. One of the things was at the dress she had worn to the Dance Marathon the day she and Jess had gotten together. The other was the worn copy of Holy Barbarians that Jess had loved so much when she had shown it to him the first time, and last and most importantly was Rory's copy of Howl. Tears almost came to her eyes as she bent down and picked up the book in her hands. She flipped through the pages looking at Jess' cramped notes in the margins.
Why? Why did this hurt so much? The items in the other boxes were sentimental and like memories, but these ones, they still felt… alive, real, fresh. No. She threw the book back into the box. No, she did still have feelings for Jess. He broke her heart too many times. She did not love him still, but for some reason, he still hurt her. Maybe it was because they was never an ending with Jess. He just left and came back again too many times and every time he stole another piece of her heart and broke it.
Yet, she would have to live on, that part of her life was over. She closed the flaps of Jess' box when everything was replaced, thus closing that chapter of her life over again. She sat back on her bed and looked intently at the three boxes on the floor of her closet. They all meant something to her, if it was sentimental, memories, or pain. She never ever wanted to forget anything about any of those people in her life, she never wanted to lose anything, but neither did she want them to hold her down, to burden her, so she had the boxes that she could open and examine and close at her own will and leisure.
Rory heard the door open and slam shut again, "My favorite daughter, are you here!" she heard her mother, Lorelai yell.
"In my room," Rory called back.
Lorelai came into the room, "Oh, it's you."
"Is that a problem?" asked Rory eyebrow raised.
"Yes, I said my favorite daughter," answered Lorelai sarcastically, before sitting on the foot of the bed next to Rory who returned her gaze to the box. Lorelai noticed her daughter's stare and followed it see the new addition inside the closet.
"Oh," she said in understanding, wrapping an arm around Rory's shoulders, "You okay?" she asked.
Rory tore her eyes away from the boxes and looked her mother in the eyes and smiled, "I think I will be." And they sat together for a moment, mother and daughter, best friends.
"Want some coffee?" asked Lorelai after a minute or two.
"Do you need an answer to that?" Rory replied.
"Two coffee's coming up," said Lorelai as she stood and went to the kitchen. Rory stood to follow her, but before she exited the room she closed the closet door.