Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Writing Challenge: Treasure

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.

This is a piece of writing that I started months ago as my response to a group writing challenge, but I was really struggling with it. It was tough to get inside the character and feel her pain and it was tough to find the kind of ending that would satisfy me (yes, this is a highly personal one). Once I finished writing it, though, I felt that I had somehow healed a tiny part of myself. How uncanny! Healing through writing. :-) I'm going to keep on exploring this wondrous world of writing. :-) 


  1. What a gorgeous piece of writing -- and gorgeous bracelet! I've already given a few "heirloom" pieces of my grandmother's to my cousins' kids. Not sure they always appreciate the older stuff, though. :(

    1. Thank you, loribeth. I'm not sure yet whom I'll give this piece to. Maybe I'll keep it until I die. Who knows? Understand what you mean about the fact that kids may not always appreciate the older stuff. :-(

  2. This is really lovely, Amel. I can so relate to the line " ... she hit the brake ... That explains perfectly what we have learned to do.

    My biggest issue is my great-grandmother's piano. It's now an antique, and I play it rarely (though a bit recently), but none of my nieces really play either.

    1. Thanks a lot, Mali. Yeah, life goes on around us and we do need to join the real world even when we're in pain, so we need to function somehow.

      Ah, I hope you'll find a way to relinquish your great-grandmother's antique piano, finding a place/someone who can treasure it. All the best with that!


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