I’m sorry that you feel that way, and I’m sorry if you were offended by anything I did. Take this back and we’ll call it even.

The note that had arrived with the junky old iPod made even less sense now than it had before. Other than the fact that it was perhaps the least apologetic apology note Milly had ever read, there was nothing to be gleaned from it. Wasn’t even handwritten. And the rainstorm had smudged the return address and postmark beyond all legibility.

Milly wished that the allure of a free iPod, even a beat-up first-generation one with only 10 gigs of space, hadn’t appealed so deeply to her inner cheapskate. She wished that her sleek new model hadn’t gone through the wash that same week, leaving a ‘Pod-sized hole in her workout routine.

But as she looked at her computer screen, the fifteenth crash of the day over an iTunes list full of songs with bizarre titles incorporating her name and add dates that predated the release of the gen one iPod by six months to a year, Milly wished one thing in particular.

That she’d returned the package, unopened, to the post office.

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