The bracelet wasn’t gold. It didn’t matter that much to her, but it was a symbol, wasn’t it? A metaphor. It’s not as if she’d had a green stripe on her wrist for the past year. It was a good fake.
Just like Trent. Or Rent. Or Kent. Real name probably Cent spelled with a C. Then you’d have to say Sent. Which is what she’d done. Sent him away—without the bracelet.
It was a pretty thing that never looked quite right on her thick wrist. She wasn’t heavy, but strong. That’s what her mother said, “You’re a strong woman.” So that fine, feminine bracelet looked out of place on her.
But she’d been flattered by the gift, by the thought that something so lovely, so delicate belonged on her body, and she’d blushed when he clasped it around her wrist, had cried when he kissed her hand, her cheek, her lips. It’s beautiful, she said. Thank you.
Her heart swelled even now to think of that lovely, tender moment. At least now she knew what lovely and tender felt like. It didn’t have to mean foolish, fool, stupid girl, what were you thinking? Those were her first thoughts when she handed it to the jeweler to be repaired, and he had said, “It’s not gold, you know.”
She hadn’t known, hadn’t known quite a lot. Charlatan—fraud—imposter—and a blush and tears again so she had to turn away from the jeweler. He was bent over his task, not looking at her, which gave her the moment she needed, a moment of grace, time to replace fool with tender. What might she see when she put on the bracelet now? What would she see for the rest of her life?
She chose lovely.
© 2011 Kathleen Coskran