Two nights ago, Ryan took me driving. We were going to attempt to find our friend Josh’s house (we failed miserably…) so to hang out and talk about things. When I entered the passenger side I saw a tiny gift, neatly wrapped, resting atop Ryan’s CD case.

Oblivious to the fantastic music coming from the CD player, I said, “Oh look! A Christmas gift!”

I carried a pad of paper and some pens with me, so as I tried to find a place to put those things, I also tried removing the CD case and the small present somewhere else as not to be crushed by me when I sat there. Somehow, I situated myself in the car, but had several things resting in my lap. I held the gift in my left hand and the thick CD case in my right and looked about myself dumbly. I handed the CD case to Ryan, shoved the gift in his face, and asked, “What should I do with this?”

“Try opening it.”

My first Christmas gift! I was so excited.

“Seriously? Oh my goodness! Thanks, Ryan! This is awesome!”

I ripped at the paper which quickly revealed a face I knew all too well.

Nick Drake.

I gasped upon seeing his expression staring back at me with absolute longing. He was such a beautiful man. I opened the CD, ready to thrust the disc into Ryan’s player, but when I did, the plastic held nothing. Only the jacket remained.

“…there’s no disc.” For about three seconds, I was so sad… It didn’t even occur to me that someone would have taken it out. It just wasn’t there.

Ryan glanced at me and smiled. He reached his hand down and turned the volume up. The voice that rang out was sooner recognized than when I saw Nick Drake’s picture.

Thank you, Ryan, for the best Christmas gift I think anyone could give me. It is perfect.

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