Note: I've been struggling with this piece for a few months. I started it quite easily, but then I stopped halfway as it got very heavy on me and I kept avoiding it for a while (also because I had no idea how to end it). After finally continuing the piece, I wrote a different ending, but didn't feel it was the right one. I didn't want to leave it hanging, but didn't want a sickly sweet ending, either, so this was my final choice. This piece is inspired by an heirloom I received from my mother. She gave me and my brother's wife a similar kind of bracelet after we got married.
Her legs buckled. The soft, thick carpet softened her landing. She slumped back to the edge of the bed, needing support. A long, raw sigh was heard, then her lips began to tremble.
Why did I decide to do this bloody autumn cleaning? she groaned inside.
Her right hand was holding the family heirloom given by her mother. It was an old bracelet made of white and yellow gold with a classic side clasp. Yellow gold lined up the outer rings of the bracelet, whereas the middle part made of white gold had intricate leaf patterns carved into it. Nobody made that kind of bracelet anymore. Her mother had received it from her own mother. God knows where her grandmother had gotten it from, but one important fact remained: she was planning to give it to her own daughter or to her son's bride.
Except that there was never a child.
She hugged her knees, feeling a wave of pain bury her under. No time to escape. The wave came so fast and hit her like a ton of bricks. She squeezed her eyes shut as grief clenched its mighty fist around her heart, making it hard for her to breathe. Hot tears started rolling down her cheeks and soon her sobs broke the silence of the room. Her sobs rose to a crescendo and then she started wailing as the intensity of the pain only seemed to grow. She let out a loud cry of anguish as she looked up and opened her eyes. More wailing, more groaning, back to sobbing until finally the sobbing stopped even though the tears kept on coming.
She felt drained. She stayed there for a long time, going back and forth mentally from her inner self to her surroundings. The tick-tocking of the clock, the subsiding pain in her chest, the neighbour's dog barking outside, the salty taste of her tears, the absence of children in her house, the intricate patterns on the soft carpet, ghosts of self-pity that threatened to come out from the shadows, the annoying tick-tocking of the clock, back to the hollowness inside. Then she hit the brake, wiped her face with the right sleeve of her shirt, and summoned her logic.
"What is the biggest lesson that you've been learning so far?" her logic asked.
"Letting go," she answered.
"And that is what you shall learn again, my dear."
Forty six years later...
I have been living here in this antique shop for a few years, waiting
for my new owner to come and get me. Until then, I'm going to make the
best of my time here surrounded with many other antique friends, talking
about our previous owners and their lives.