(What If? Exercise: Read the description here.)

In my backpack is a fifth-generation iPod Nano. Its casing is a shiny cobalt blue, and its design is thin and sleek. The glass screen is partially cracked, and its click wheel is slightly worn from hours of flipping through its hundreds of songs. On the back is a personalized engraving, etched in by laser over the Apple logo and the camera lens: “Don’t ever stop singing.”

The iPod was a Christmas present from my boyfriend and best friend in the world. He and I met through our common interest in creative writing, but one of the passions we share is our love of music. Interestingly, we both generally dislike the modern mainstream pop that constantly blares on the TV and radio stations, but he was the one who introduced me to the Indie genres. The sweet sound of music layered with true emotion opened me up to an artistic world that I didn’t even realize existed. For the past few years, my boyfriend has been sharing so much new music with me, and I can never get enough. He even shares some of his own compositions with me, songs that really showcase his musical potential. In turn, he can never seem to get enough of my voice, ever since I first sang for him. He and I agree that music is a gift, a passion best experienced with someone you love.

The Christmas before we became a couple, my friend sent me a present through the mail. I was shocked to discover an Apple iPod Nano inside the box, intended as a replacement for my four-year-old iPod Mini, which was on its last legs. I couldn’t thank him enough. Now I would once again be able to enjoy hours of music at a time, the music he loved to send me. He had asked me to open the box in front of him over Skype, so that after he saw my reaction, he could tell me to turn the iPod over. It was then that I saw the engraving. I was so moved; it was such a personal and thoughtful gift.

To this day, I cherish my iPod. I carry it with me whenever I go out, and I listen to it every time I take the bus to college. I was disappointed in myself for letting its screen break when I dropped it once. Still, I take care never to misplace it, for if I ever lost it, it would be like losing a special connection to my best friend.

Between his home in the United States and mine in Brazil, my boyfriend and I currently live over 6000 miles apart. But as long as we have music, we’ll always be close. All I have to do is turn on my iPod, and wherever I go, he’s right there with me.

This piece is based on What If? Exercise 73: “Things You Carry”. The exercise is to choose an object you carry in your pocket or your bag that’s special to you, describe it in detail using less than 100 words, and then tell the story behind it in at least 200 words. The objective is to demonstrate how much emotional attachment and significance can be connected to everyday objects. I hope you enjoy what I’ve written. Thanks for reading!

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