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.


2. Chapter 2

I float over to my dressing table, placing the jewellery box down in the center where it belongs - in the spotlight - and unlock a draw beneath, to keep the letter safe and sound. I take myself out of my bedroom, and downstairs so I could visit the rest of my family in the sitting room. There we could discuss what we'd each been left with. I find extreme difficulty in picturing a gift better than mine, not even my mother's.

That doesn't mean it isn't possible though.

It seems that I am the last to arrive, with my parents and four other siblings already gathered there huddled around the coffee table. Unlike me, they don't appear too emotional over the situation, in fact they seem the same as ever.

'Good morning father, mother, Lucy, Ruth, William, Florence', I say from the doorway, then make my way over to an empty armchair brushing straightening my skirt as I do so, 'How are you all?'

My mother turns and speaks, 'We are very good indeed, Eleanor. So,' she smiles and half shrugs her shoulders, 'What were you given from Grandmother today?'

As soon as she began to speak I was grinning, understanding that at least one of the females in my family would be jealous. Of course it wasn't very modest of me to say such a thing, and I was sure that my Grandmother indeed wouldn't be quite so impressed, but nobody could stop happiness, 'She gave me her jewellery box, and all of it's contents. Grandmother said it would help me'.

'How lucky!' My father calls from the other side of the room, 'How about you wear something for the eighteenth birthday this Saturday? I'm sure you'd look marvelous!' Silently, I laugh as he speaks then suddenly  remember the pearls and excitement runs through me. If I buy myself an outfit to go with the necklace, then I could wear it. If I'm careful, everything will be amazing, and I can treasure to pearls for the rest of my days. Surely this was something that my Grandmother spoke of in the letter... This was the the type of thing she meant.

'Yes! That would be truly amazing...' I walk over towards him before speaking, 'Father, may I please request purchasing a new garment for the occasion?'

'Why not?' He booms, 'It is your birthday - I wouldn't expect less!' And for the first time I feel excited. Life was turning into something spectacular, something actually worth living. Even if all that meant was having a necklace and a new dress to wear, it felt good.

A servant knocks before walking in, 'Would you care for some tea, Miss Eleanor?' He asks.

I nod, 'Please', and he pours me a cup.

Once the servant leaves I walk over to the bay window round the back of the room where it's peaceful and light. In addition the view to our garden is something amazing. I look down at my tea and take a sip. It's roasting the entire inside of my mouth, burning my tongue, cooking the roof, and potentially melting my teeth. As it goes down my throat I feel nothing but pain I cannot cure. It runs past my heart and every other organ bringing each one agony for a split second.

Somehow, it feels like a punishment for something I did - something wrong. What it is though, I have little knowledge on. How can I learn from what I did then?




I study myself in the mirror once more, taking in the beauty of the dress I'm going to wear. It's a deep sea blue colour sending me off into daydreams whenever I look at it. The colour matches my eyes well which is the exact reason why I bought the floating miracle in the first place, as never before had I laid eyes upon something that's complimented and fitted me quite so well. Overall, it's quite simple and plain - just a sheet of blue silk wrapped around me, only millimeters away from my body. At the top is an additional piece of cloth hanging over my top body, ending just above my waist floating like waves. I spin and the dress swishes over my heels.

It's perfect, but not perfect enough.

I reach out for my dressing table, and sit on the small white stool in front. The gleaming, silver box sits patiently on the corner for me to open it, so therefore I do. And therefore I see the beautiful rolling, white necklace before my eyes.

My hair is loose and down, so I brush it to one side then pick up the piece of jewellery. I clip it at the front - beneath my chin - then swivel it round to the front. I actually feel pretty. I feel transformed into another being by just one object, and it's made me happier than ever. At the door, there's a soft knock, so I summon whoever it is to come in. My father's head appears at the door, I smile as he closes it behind and opens his arms for a hug. I accept, 'Eighteen tomorrow... times gone so fast', he says. I shake my head.

'Eighteen's still very young!' I pull back, a grab his hands, 'Anyway, do you like my dress?' On the spot, I twirl to show off the clothing.

'Beautiful Eleanor!' My father laughs, 'You're all ready for tomorrow now!'

I stop and look down at my bare feet, noticing I need something to go there. Something beautiful and fitting... a pair of glistening heels, 'Not quite...'

'What?' He shouts 'Surely you're joking Eleanor!'

I'm lost for words at his sudden mood change, 'I was just wandering...' Suddenly everything changed.


'You're a spoilt brat! That's what YOU are!' My father clawed at my wrist sending blood trickling along the smooth skin. 'The PERFECT Nora...' He spat at my face as I leant back. I wasn't going to cry... not yet. I'd seem weaker - more of a target.

'I'm sorry!' I hissed, thinking he'd back off. Instead my face flew to the side at the effect of his hand, and my body dropped to the ground as made contact with his foot and my lower leg.

'Don't you DARE!' His foot slammed against my stomach, and I feared I'd broken my rib-cage. 'Don't you DARE speak back to ME!' I decided to stay silent, then I couldn't say anything to upset him further. I didn't know why he got so angry so easily... and I didn't know why I put up with it.

He finished it off with five kicks to my back, treating my spine like a bed to jump on.


I stare at my father, wondering how the flash back happened... I felt like the girl - my Grandmother, Nora. How did it happen? How could I see the past of someone who's dead? And even if she was alive...

'Wandering what?' Me father spat at me, and I remember our argument. Was it a sign? Showing something that could potentially happen to me? My father was angry, and suddenly my Grandmother's memory popped up of her father beating her.

I decide to take the potential advice and keep my father calm, 'I'm so sorry, father! Please forgive me!' I clasp my hands together in a pleading manner, hoping it'll work, I stare into his eyes which soon soften, 'Yes, I'm spoilt - I'll try to become more grateful, have gratitude!'

'I'm sorry too, Eleanor. Just ask for less in the future.' He turns around and walks out. Disgustingly, I feel fear. Fear for my father, fear for the flashback I encountered. Instantly my eyes flash down to the pearls... Is this how they help me?

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