A Collection Of Pearls

In 1921, Eleanor's grandmother dies, leaving her grandchild the most precious belonging - her jewelry box. Inside there's many wonderful things... but just one grabs Eleanor's uttermost attention. A pearl necklace. It's the night of her eighteenth birthday and she's preparing for the ball so pulls out her best gown, slips on her finest heels and in tribute to her dead grandmother, adds the necklace. All of the secrets that kept the two apart are revealed... never again would she underestimate the power of an object.

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1. Chapter 1


The parcel which my grandmother's gift arrived in lay in front of me. Unlike others who have also received an honorary gift in her will, I wish to treasure the moment and ensure that my dear, loving grandmother is in my mind throughout the process...

My fingers caress the brown, paper packaging sending a slight tickle through them. She really is dead. Gone, forever. Now more tears well up behind my eyes, as the reality of it all finally hits me. Me and my grandmother were never close, well, not close enough. You could feel the heavy, thickness of the tension between us, the deadly mess that kept us apart. All opportunities for us to become true relatives, friends, had quickly slipped away through my fingers. There is no way that I am ever going to encounter her again - not unless I receive a visit from the death angel too.

But, this parcel... it means something. It's a sign that she truly did - does - love me. Some would find just one simple gift too little to mean something so huge... but some have no gratitude. Some have no sight.

Most of all some have no feeling.

Beside the packaging lay a crisp, white envelope. On the front of it wrote Eleanor in rounded, neat handwriting. My eyes dart between the letter and the parcel, deciding which would make more sense to open first. Surprisingly, my senses guide me towards the letter. I pick it up, feeling my grandmother’s presence as I do so. It's light and fragile, no different to herself. I kiss the section of the envelope where it's sealed together before carefully prising it open with the wooden opener, separating the two pieces of paper. Hundreds more rounded letters lay before my eyes, and I decide to ensure I have full understanding to read the message she gave me aloud...

'Dear my treasured granddaughter, Eleanor,

Since you are reading this, I believe that my time must have came, and I must have been taken into the safe hands of God, understanding that now it must be a better place for me to stay. I do so hope that you understand this also, along with the rest of your dearly great family. If the people that made my life as wonderful as it was did not believe in the thankfulness of my death, then nothing but guilt would crawl over me and for sure I'd be sent to Hell.

But I know you Eleanor, and I trust with all my heart that you understand the great in this and will carry my wish onto the rest of the family, making certain that they do realize this too.

Therefore I find that this gift is most fitted for you, and no one but you. If you haven't opened the package then open it now.'

My hands dart towards the brown parcel and carefully I unseal it pulling out a rectangular shaped box wrapped in tissue paper. As I unravel it slowly, I find short bursts of light shooting up at me, trying to bounce against my face. When all I am left with is the gift, I feel faint and that none of the events today have actually taken place. It cannot be true... my Grandmother must have loved me majorly, but surely could not grant me with the claiming of her jewellery box.

I continued reading, to hear her explanation on why I came across it,

'In my eyes, Eleanor, you are the same as me. It seems that my entire personality has been passed onto you, in conclusion you will go on to live the life of me. You may not believe me when I say this box shall help you greatly, but that is absolutely fine, as I know that you shall one day in the future. This very box, and it's contents shall help you to understand.

All my love,

Your Grandmother, Nora'

After reading I grew faint, but continued with the process by placing the letter back into the envelope folded as neatly as achievable. I was fine in trusting the fact that one day the jewellery box shall help me, as my Grandmother loved it so much, but I found great difficulty in trusting that I am in fact similar to her. If it was so true, why were we not friends?

I shake it off my mind, remembering I am here to respect my Grandmother and what she has to say to me, so continue by taking in what rests before me.

Despite living with her for the whole of my Grandmother's life, the box surprisingly appears shiny, and has little rust. For decoration, on it is carved detailed floral patterns, each side mirroring the other. The corners are curved in soft, round waves and have metal circles placed on top, following the line from the top of the foot, to the bottom of the lid. The rim of the lid has large spheres implanted into bed pressed against each other, every individual hugged with a 'U'. Wrapped around the keyhole is what appears to be a crystal, shaped as a slightly deformed heart. It's the most beautiful aspect on the entire container, and is outlined with further crystals, but much smaller and round.

Attached to a silver rope, hanging from hook next to the opening, I pick up the the key and insert it into the keyhole twisting it so that the lid lifts up. When it does, excitement sends my body alert as hundreds of different pieces of jewellery take over my sight. Many pieces rest in the box, from ruby earrings, to quartz bracelets, but lying under a mass of silver rests a collection of pearls. My hand reaches inside the miniature pile and fishes it out - draped over my palm is a beautiful pearl necklace, white, shining pearl beads reflecting light from all angles.

Within seconds I develop strong adoration towards the piece and long to wear it, but understand that I'd cause damage the moment I did.

If my Grandmother felt this way when she saw it, perhaps we weren't as different as I previously considered.

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