Things Missing

By Kay Stoltz

I lost my necklace the other day. It wasn’t valuable, under $20, as I recall. Still, every time I wore it, I received compliments. Understated, the colors muted enough, and varied enough, it went with everything I own. Beads strung with a fishing line, monofilament, I guess you call it. Each round bead had a cage around it of straight cylinder beads, and between those were beads in a variety of other colors and shapes. It felt good around my neck, reaching almost to my waist. The necklace was unique, and I felt pretty, special, finished when I wore it. As any woman knows, those are items one treasures.

When I bought it, there was not another one in the store. A departure from the usual jewelry I wore, I loved the uniqueness of it. Weeks later, I returned to that store, and saw “my” necklace on display everywhere in the store. So much for unique, but I still love it.

I realized it wasn’t on my neck after I got home from play rehearsal. How could I lose something so noticeable? Frantically, I called the rehearsal hall, no one had seen it. I guess I can go back and see if the store still carries it. That’s not the same, though, is it?

I mourned its loss, and wondered how I could lose it. Then I thought about the absent-mindedness I’d noticed lately. I was forgetting things. Words escaped me, peoples’ names, places. Familiar things I should know. Was this something more?

We had the weekend off from rehearsals, and on Monday, I tried one last chance.

“Anyone turn in a necklace?” I started to go on to describe it, but the young man at the desk interrupted me.

“Was it long, and made of beads?”

“Yes! You found it?”

“Well, it is broken somewhat, but I picked up all the pieces I could find. Wait right there! I will get it.” And he took off on a run.

I followed him, or tried to. He was on a mission, and didn’t wait for me. When we connected, he had a necklace cradled in his hands. My necklace.

“I tried to find as many of the pieces as I could, see the bead, here? Broken, I’m afraid.”

He seemed responsible for it. He carefully put it in my hands, and took

off before I could ask any questions, or even properly thank him.

Here I sit at my desk, with the necklace laid out on a paper towel, just like it was made. The circle is still there, with one of the two fine lines broken. Missing some beads. Those he managed to recover I carefully arranged next to the necklace. I look at it, think what can I do with it, and straighten a piece here and there.   Mulling it over. Is it just a necklace, easily replaced? Maybe find a jewelry designer who knows how to work with beads? Buy another? It wouldn’t be the same, though, would it?

It sits there, almost whole. Is it a testament to my carelessness? The pride and self-centeredness I exhibited when I put it on? Or is it just a necklace? A thing easily enough replaced.

Oh, but I will miss it.