In Hathaway's spare room, there was a box.
Its an unassuming box, plain cardboard, coming up to his knee. The word 'Privit' is written across the side in a childish, messy scrawl, the words.; 'James' box, keep owt' written equally messily underneath. The top bears the message 'Fragile', written in a much neater hand, whose owner has obviously learnt to spell since writing his declaration of box ownership.
It was a box of things that he held close, things that meant something to him. His comfort blanket from when he was a baby. A toy car, that he'd dropped from the top of the folly once, when Father Michael had taken him and Paul up there after their persistent begging. When he looks at that car, he can remember seeing the estate spread before him and thinking to himself that he'd get out from the shadow of the big house, make it in the big wide world.
There's an essay he wrote aged 11, the first one he got full marks for. It reminds him of what he used to be, of how much he used to care.
There's an 18th birthday card from his aunt, given to him three weeks before she died. She was one of the only people that ever believed in him. Despite losing her faith, she'd never discouraged his, being happy for him when he told her he was going to join the seminary.
After that card, James hadn't put anything else in his box. Nothing much seemed to be worthy of going in.
Until three days after his twenty eighth birthday.
He'd been sent to the airport that day, somewhat reluctantly. Now when he looks back, he can't imagine what his life would have been like had he not gone. It would be lacking so many things; purpose, meaning. More than that, he'd be lacking a best friend. The man he met that day, has no idea how much of an impact he has had on James' life, no idea how many times a kind word saved him from doing something stupid, how many times a gentle hand on his arm kept the panic down.
Now, tucked down the side of his box, there is a large piece of card, baring a single word. A single word that encapsulates that trip to the airport perfectly. 5 simple letters, the middle one more decorative than the others. Five simple letters, that signify to James that someone out there is rooting for him, that someone cares.