Our Necklace | Teen Ink

Our Necklace

November 15, 2014
By foreverSmall PLATINUM, Brighton, Michigan
foreverSmall PLATINUM, Brighton, Michigan
23 articles 0 photos 37 comments

Favorite Quote:
Psalm 23:2-4

The wind’s breath caressed my hair in a gust. I pulled my trench coat securely around me. The sidewalks of Chicago were a fashion runway. The newest styles presenting themselves in the glimmering sun. I smiled slightly, dragging my eyes down to the valuable fabrics that dressed me.
But then I smelled smoke. A thick, puff of ash which drowned me in fear like I was fighting to breathe under water. Poking at the last memories of my early life, my heart slammed against my ribs. I haven’t felt this panicked since...
I turn and he’s there. But surprisingly not as he used to be. The Mr. Waters I once knew had luxury at his finger tips. His deep voice of persuasion carried me to a far-away place. His sniveling growl shook my bones. His sparkling cars and polished leather shoes always made him look like the shiniest penny. He was the sharpest knife in the drawer and your worst nightmare. He was loved and loathed. He was someone you aspired to be, and someone you never wanted to see. The sun sparkled in his eye like a reflection of his treasures, but it always reminded me how fear was his greatest asset in his complex scheme of power. But now he is a heap of a man, dirty and dusty beneath the shadows of the city. His skin draped over his old bones and teeth that looked like he’d be eating rocks. His hair was white from tine and he had a scruffy beard which never existed in the days I knew him. But in his ocean eyes, even clouded and hopeless, a sparkling sun still shined.
“Hello Beverly,” he cooed, the whisper barely escaping his cloud of smoke. I was dead in my tracks. Suddenly, I felt like a young girl again, my hand caught in a cookie jar. I trembled, but slowly crouched to his level. I do not speak, in fear that my voice would shake and betray my confident and fearless image.
“It’s been a long time. You are well off,” a crumpled hand gestures to me.
“Yes...sir...” I said vibrating with fear.
I expected him to snap, like a dog released from his chain, but he only sighed.
“I do not own that title and you no longer carry the title who calls me by it. We are in different worlds now.” He looks me straight in the eyes. We didn’t have to say it. It wasn’t always this way...
Three years ago I dressed in a uniform everyday. I stepped into the gold-trimmed elevator which climbed to the fifteenth floor where Mr. Waters worked. I’d walk in with a fresh cup of coffee and an ashtray. Through the clear glass windows I could see him stand at the window, a cigarette clasped between his fingers. Smoke always started drifting at eight o’clock, and maybe even earlier if he had the time. Mr. Waters kept everything in his office. Every trinket was perched in a row on his desk, a pack of cigarettes and his favorite lighter laid in the desk drawer. There were stacks of cash at the bottom of his file cabinets and a sapphire necklace displayed under a glass case. Every time he ordered me to get him a drink, a copy, or his lighter he would run his fingers along the corners of the case and admire the necklace. I didn’t know who it was for or when he planned to deliver it, but it was always there.
I knew where ever possession of Mr. Waters’ was because I had seen it. I had visited every night and stroked ever object in envy. Maybe I needed to see if it was real, remember what it felt like or smelled like but I continued to come back. A late night activity I unhealthily craved.
On one night, I’d had enough of putting everything back in exactly the same spot it was left. It was the night that followed the day where he told me I was nothing. A stupid brat that didn’t need to be messed with. I wished I knew what drove him to this action. It was the day he fired me that the necklace had been tucked away.
So on that night I entered his office like I had every time before that. I went in search of the sapphire necklace. Instead of being hidden in the hours of the day, I found it perched on his desk. The glass case had mysteriously vanished. It lay on his desk, mocking me and urging me to hold it or wear it. I took a deep breathe before gently picking up the necklace. It was surprisingly light, and the jewel in the middle was so clear you could see your refection in it. There was not a scratch of the gently brushed gold chain. I stared at the sapphire again. A delicate ocean frozen among gold treasures.
Quietly, footsteps tapped the floor and ventured closer to me. I gasped. A man of luxury stared at me in the reflection of his admired sapphire necklace.
“Miss Beverly...” he sighed. My head hung heavily as I turned around. Smoke of a newly lit cigarette swirled around my nose.
“I’m sorry-” I began, a low sob escaping my throat. My heart pounded like a punching fist. I squeezed my eyes shut and cringed, awaiting a blow of anger. But there was nothing. No wind of his voice entered my ears and the necklace was not snatched from my grasp forever. When I opened my eyes he was out the door and halfway down the hall, a cigarette fixed between his teeth. Before he was out of view he glanced back at me. His eyes were alight with the sun once more, and with them he winked at me. I looked down at my chest, where the sapphire now hung.
I blinked away the smoke that burned my eyes. Someone squeezed my hand, and I looked down at Mr. Waters’ wrinkled hand in mine. My blush heated my cheeks. I squeezed back gently.
“Who was the necklace for Mr. Waters?” I asked. It was a question I always asked myself when I put it on everyday.
Mr. Waters sighed. “The right person.” I raised my eyebrows in surprise.
“I had a daughter, Beverly. She was quite like you. Quiet, obedient and very curious. The necklace was for her sixteenth birthday. Her name was Emory.
Although, Emory ran away. She ran away from the chaos and close quarters of the city. She ran away from her job and school. She ran away from her father who was a roaring lion when it came to arguments. Always frightening and never understanding. I fired you because whenever I saw you, I saw her.” Tears watered his silky cheeks. His daughter. The girl he adored so much who eventually broke his heart. Whether stone or soft, it can still fall apart.
“Where is she now?” I bit my tongue before saying sir. He shrugged.
“It doesn’t matter! After she left and I gave the necklace to you I sold everything.” His shoulders relaxed and he laid his head back against the concrete wall. “The money, the glory, the lifestyle means nothing now.”
Finally enough. It was finally enough for both of us. It was finally enough for him to stop obsessing over the power he once possessed. It was finally enough for me to stop snooping and quit being jealous. No more waiting for a lost daughter. No more questioning a necklace and accept the gift. It was finally enough to mentally escape the towers of the city and be content with your own world.
I clutched the necklace tighter as I walked away. Someday I hoped I would see Emory. Maybe the Waters’ would both share the sunlight in their eyes. No matter how stubborn their hearts may be on the outside, they’re soft on the inside.

The author's comments:

One of my favorite pieces from my creative writing class! This is a short story. 

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