Friendship comes in turquoise and lime brocade boxes.

Near the end of a particularly vicious week, I received a message from Jenny. She said her daughter was dropping off a surprise for me at the office, and it had an “outside and an inside.”

What a surprise it was.

I had to leave for a meeting, and opened the box when I returned to the office. Inside, I found a Pilot 77 with a light turquoise body and a patterned goldtone cap inside a navy blue felt case.

The timing was perfect; the week had seen me tired, cranky, sarcastic, zombified – and, at its very end, suffused with the pure joy that could only have come into my life as a gift.