‘Did you pick the necklace up from the windowsill?’
Unfortunately, he didn’t ask until we were back in our own loungeroom, half a continent away from said windowsill. When I woke up the next morning – still not sure whether ‘housekeeping’ had found it, because by the time I rang they’d ‘gone for the day’ – I had that dreadful feeling you have when you know there is something you wish were different and as soon as you wake up a little bit more you’ll remember what it was.
I’ve had this – not sure what to call it, necklace? chain? – for a long time now. Seven years, or maybe eight. It is one of the loveliest pieces of jewellery the mister has ever given to me. Maybe the loveliest. It came from a significant place and he gave it to me at what I thought was a significant time.
So when I realised I’d left it behind I was all those things you would expect me to be.
I wasn’t really cross with myself for taking it on our trip. I wear all my precious things whenever I want to. I nearly lost my nanna’s wedding and engagement rings forever, because I involved myself in an elaborate hiding game and still believed that my memory was infallible (which it more or less is, but not quite). My mum gave them to me for my twenty-first birthday and they were the last significant birthday gift she gave me before she died, so they were pretty precious. But I did get a bit stupid about them. In the six months they were missing, I learnt a lot about having precious things to wear. Cherish them, but enjoy them too, and never believe that if anything happens to them you won’t survive.
Anyway, I found the rings. And here, only three phonecalls, two weeks and $7.60 COD later, my necklace is back.
Smiles all round. Except for the little boy whose flu has become an ear infection. The Goddess help us if this family is ever called on in our country’s neediest hour. He will be no stoic soldier and I’m no Florence Nightingale.