As a kid I had gotten, and given, coupon books as gifts during Christmas. I never really cared for them, but sometimes there was no way to actually come up with any kind of gift, or funds were limited. Ma especially loved them because I put such things as “room cleaning without complaint” or other chores. My brother Paul would give me ones that said “no beating for a day,” which I hated, or “borrow my car for a night,” which I really needed when my car died or I wanted to take a girl out. Paul as the older brother was able to afford a better car quicker.
But now I gave a coupon book simply because I had no way to get a real gift for someone who could have, well, anything she wanted. I hadn’t even been imaginative with the coupons, making up for it with quantity.
I handed Nikki the envelope, and she arched an eyebrow at me, clearly skeptical. She pulled out the tiny booklet, printed from my very own computer and bound with a stray ribbon I had found in the recesses of my gift wrapping supplies, Nikki began paging through, then smiled.
“ ‘A night of dancing or a B movie date,’ ” she read.
I smiled and shrugged.
“A very generous gift, Matthew. However, you have neglected something for which I will make you pay. There is no condition limiting it to your stamina.”