… the handsome red-green prince in the picture on the wall turned into a grotesque. She was alone again. And lonely. She’d forgotten who she was. Alice Frame decided, then and there, to open up one and only one present to cheer herself up. Try to make herself jolly and happy and carefree once more. She liked that feeling! She didn’t like what she was feeling now. The Deep Down was lost inside a gaping Abyss. TILE had it right. There is no hole like despair.
She picked the one from Jack. Her lover now that she’d forgotten the entire truth. “Hmm,” she said aloud. “Looks like a belt.” The attached note said, “for when you start missing me.” He later defended the present, stating that he’d heard it was all the rage around Our Second Lyfe. She untied the ribbon, opened the box, and tried it on.
Disappointment. Just a dull, silver belt with no decoration or style to it atall. She’d forgotten to read the attached notecard telling her how to use it to transport people like her to a different place altogether. She tossed it aside in a corner, more melancholy as ever.