"Hey, it's me. Um, I have to work overtime. Sorry. Enjoy your dinner."
I was humming while grocery shopping, until I got the call from David.
We’re married for six years. In the time he worked from a junior programmer to senior manager at a software company.
Things have been a little crazy for a while, as I also got busier with more cases at the law firm. We haven’t sat down for dinner for nearly a month. For two years we couldn’t get a vacation together, even for just a few days.
And this evening, when he finally said he could leave work a couple hours earlier, turned out to be just another lonely one.
I hauled the spaghettis, beef and wine into the trunk. Under the dim street light I saw a shimmer in the corner. After removing the boxes and blanket on top, I saw a dusty, worn necklace.
The dusty, worn necklace, I remember, was a gift from David when we were first in love.
It was a spring afternoon. We skipped classes and biked to a nearby lake. We sat on the grass. He opened a tiny box, and took out a necklace – a large lavender jade pendant with a Marcasite butterfly on top. I was so happy. Indeed I saw butterflies on that sunny, floral afternoon.
Later in the years I started to own prettier, fancier and more expensive jewelries. The necklace went nowhere and I started to forget about it.
It’s been six years, I murmured to myself. From a newbie to a lawyer, I worked the ladder up, having less and less time devoted to the two of us. We hired a housekeeper to make our apartment tidy. But these tiny, bright moments, like the inexpensive necklace that I used to cherish so much, went missing.
On that evening, I was determined to put the pieces back together. These were the sweetest memories we share and remind us of how much in love we were. We are, still.
I stopped at a boutique store. The girl inside was nice enough to pick an Angelina’s Palace jewelry organizer for me. It has a beautiful butterfly on the pinky leather. I carried it home in my hand, in brisk steps like a little girl.
The moon-shaped crystal pendant necklace he gave me on my birthday the second year we were together. The diamond ring he bought for the wedding. The green teardrop earrings we picked for a Christmas Eve. The colorful bangles I bought myself for our beach trip. The hair band I wore on his birthday to add a little sexy touch… All these beautiful memories, as I put the jewels into the case, came live to me.
Now that I have the case, I don’t ever want to let them go.
When I woke up the next morning, David was by my side, asleep. The sun beams through the window onto his beautiful brown hair. I touched it. He woke up. He saw the necklace I was wearing, and suddenly burst into laughter – this busy working man haven’t laughed like this for a long time.
“Jeez, can’t believe you’re wearing the necklace! You found it?”
“Yes,” I smiled.
“Now I know my taste back then. It looks a little… tacky!”
“Yes, I agree, hon. You had bad taste.”
I kissed his hair. “But I love you still.”