When her mom went to check the mail at breakfast, she returned with a thin box in her arms.
It was a package from her father.
Her dad was sort of like a traveler... at least, that was what she assumed he was. His job always had him jumping from city to city, country to country. He'd been to almost everywhere around the world, and every few weeks, he would send her a letter with a little souvenir from his stay. This time, it was a miniature Eiffel Tower.
So he's in France again, she mused, studying the two-foot tall replica. A small chuckle escaped her lips. It was about time he remembered to get it for her! He really should've thought of buying it six visits ago. She opened the small envelope attached to package and read the letter inside with a fond smile. When she finished reading, she stood up and excused herself from the table. Her mom answered with a sad smile as she nodded.
She raced up the stairs and headed for the Gift Room. It was a special place in the house just for her dad's souvenirs. Her mom gave her the spare room when the stuff started taking up too much space in her bedroom. She set the little tower among the many, many other gifts she received. (Miniature landmarks, books, paintings, mugs, clothes, toys, key-chains, jewelry
even strange-colored rocks and pressed flowers.) Each thing had a story behind them that her father always explained so vividly in the letter that came with it.
A small smile made its way to her face as she looked over at the large map that took up a whole wall of the room. It was her very first gift. On it, was an assortment of dots that formed dozens of different shapes and patterns. Each time her father sent her something, she would mark his location on the large map. Sometimes, she would try finding a pattern in her father's travels and try to guess where the next souvenir would come from.
She always loved the gifts her dad sent her. Who could say they had something from almost every country in the world? Even if it was just a rock or a flower. Her dad had the best taste in gifts too; he always knew what to get her.
But as she took a small thumbtack and placed a seventh brightly-colored marker on France, a frown made its way to her face. Her father had been almost everywhere around the world, but there was one place she was sure he had yet to visit.