The Necklace

By: C.M. Stephens

I lost a necklace. It just disappeared. And it wasn’t just any necklace, it was a present from my sister-in-law. This necklace had tiny pink opal beads linked together in the shape of a y. It was wearable with almost anything, especially my drab black and white wardrobe that hasn’t changed since the 80s.

In a rush to get home to take care of the dogs before I needed to pick up my husband at the airport, it must have fallen off. Maybe it fell off at work. I only noticed when getting ready to take a quick shower before heading out and it wasn’t there. I raced back to work, looked through my room, the hallways, the bathrooms, the parking lot, the sidewalk, desperately asking the custodial staff and anyone else standing around. Nothing. No one had seen it.

Now I have a lot of jewelry. It’s not like I am lacking in that area. There is always some new something I can’t do without. Much of it has sentimental value because of where it came from.

Through the years I have lost lots of jewelry, each time I feel so sad, like I lost the special person that gave it to me. Kelly gave me a pair of heart knot earrings as a thank you gift when my husband and I spent a weekend with her mother fixing up her house. Diane found some beautiful pearl earrings that were made with antique jewelry. She always finds unique things. I made some earrings that were so cool and lost one of those. My dad gave me a ring with my birthstone in it when I graduated. I had that forever, then it disappeared. It’s possible that could have been stolen. Who knows, but the things I lose are always my favorites. I have tons of jewelry that I would be fine with losing.  Why did it have to be the most special things from such lovely people? It’s like I stomped all over the love of my friends and family by so carelessly losing their gift.

Most people at work were sympathetic. Some I’m sure were like, ”Get over it.” And I get that. But damn it. So, I went through the five stages of grief, swaying back to anger more than is probably healthy. Lots of people had their own sad stories of lost jewelry. Shelly’s grandmother gave her an emerald and diamond ring when she was pretty young. It fell out of her pocket while weeding around a school. Sailor lost a bracelet in the winter, and it was found in the spring after the snow melted. There were many more stories, but I only half heard as I was too wrapped up in my own loss. However, it did make me feel better that I was not the only one who irresponsibly and stupidly lost something so precious. I should say somethings.

The first thing I remember losing was a bracelet identifying me as a Catholic given to me by our parish priest. I was ten and was showing it off after school. I told the kids that if I died it would help me get to heaven. Like they cared. But shazam, that thing was gone, instantly causing me grief. I knew it was because I was bragging and now God wasn’t going to be able to find me when I died. And although I avoided that priest for a while, I had to confess to losing the bracelet. Because I felt like a loser for losing the bracelet, I was too embarrassed to even talk to that priest again after that. There might be a silver lining in that story. But not in the others. There’s no happy ending to this story. I just have to live with it sucking really bad.

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