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Forgotten Treasures - Inside The Box

Category: Short Stories | Posted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:41 am

The inside of the box was lined with gold colored, satin material and it seemed to give off a faint, iridescent glow as Jenny lifted the lid. Instead of a pirate's treasure, however, she found that the box was filled with cheap, costume jewelry. It was sectioned out very neatly, with two rows of rings, a long skinny area for necklaces and three compartments that were filled with all kinds of ear rings and broaches.

She started with the ear rings, pulling each one out individually. They were all large and colorful with gaudy, fake stones. While going through them Jenny noticed that the lid of the jewelry box had a two inch wide piece of material stretched all the way across the bottom of it. There was elastic sewed into the top of the material that allowed it to stretch out so that items could be dropped inside the pocket for safe keeping. She pulled the pocket open and peeked inside. At first she didn't see anything, but then she saw something that looked like a small piece of trash. She reached her hand inside the pocket and pulled it out.

What she pulled out ended up being a small hospital armband that was only about three inches long. There was a small, metal clasp attached to one end of it and the other end had been cut, obviously done when it was removed. Sitting inside the plastic, see through band was a yellowed piece of paper. Jenny looked at the paper and read the words that were typed on it out loud, "Baby Daniels, 3-29-69, Dr. Malone, NURSERY".

On the back side of the band were the words Clay Memorial Hospital. Jenny held the small baby armband in her fingers, slowly turning it over and over while reading the words out loud each time she turned it. She calculated the years in her head and voiced what she had been able to put together, "So, Mrs. Daniels gave birth to a baby forty four years ago at Clay Memorial Hospital that was delivered by Dr. Malone."

It seemed like a logical conclusion based on the facts that had been presented, but there were so many unanswered questions. Was the baby a boy or a girl? What was the mother's first name? Who was the dad? The old woman at the yard sale had said that her sister's kids went through everything and kept the things they wanted. Why wouldn't they want to keep the armband? Maybe they didn't see it? Maybe the baby died? With questions still forming in her mind, Jenny finished looking through the costume jewelry that was in the top of the box.

There were only a couple of necklaces and broaches, but they all had the same gaudy look. After quickly looking through them she started with the rings. There were about twelve of them and she examined each ring closely, silently chuckling at some of the large, colorful, plastic stones.

She finally came to one petite, gold ring that looked different than all the others. There was writing on each side of it and she picked it up to see if she could make out what it said. The ring was so small that she had to strain to read the writing on the sides, but eventually managed to make out the letters MHS on one side and then the numbers 67 on the other. It was a high school class ring. The dates fit together, Mrs. Daniels must have graduated high school in 1967, got married shortly afterwards and then had a baby in 1969. But this raised even more questions. How could someone be unfeeling enough to get rid of their mother's high school class ring? It just didn't make sense to Jenny. She put the ring back in its place and then reached to open up the first sliding drawer on the jewelry box.

The drawer slid out easily exposing the same beautiful, gold, satin material that was under the lid. Jenny saw a small clump of balled up silver chains right in the middle of the drawer and underneath the chains she could make out the back side of a light green envelope. The envelope excited her because she thought it might give her some more clues about the owner of the jewelry box. She quickly moved the ball of chains, picked up the envelope and then turned it over. Written in black ink across the front of the envelope was the name Sylvia. She smiled to herself as she put the first name on the card together with the last name on the baby bracelet, Sylvia Daniels.

Jenny opened up the envelope and pulled out the card. The edges were trimmed in gold and there was a large, red rose in the middle of it. Across the front were the words, "To the woman I love" in gold embossed lettering. She opened it up and saw, "Happy Birthday" in big letters and then hand written across the bottom were the two words, "Love, John". She was a little disappointed that there wasn't more in the card, but at least she could make a guess at the husband's name too.

She set the card aside, picked up the silver chains that were intertwined together and slowly began to pull them apart. When she was done there were really only two chains. One of them was about eighteen inches long and very thin. The other chain was a little thicker, but it was the locket on the end that really caught Jenny's attention. It was silver, round, about two inches high and had the inscription "Mom" on the front. Jenny found the little button to open it up and pulled the halves apart.

She was surprised to find that each side of the locket had a picture of a child. On the left was a girl of about five, holding a small, white, stuffed bunny rabbit. She was wearing a pretty, pink dress and she had black curly hair that was held together with a pink bow. On the right was the picture of a boy about the same age. He was holding a red ball and was wearing a little black suit. His hair had been cut close to his head and he had a big toothy grin on his face. Jenny smiled at the pictures and then found herself wondering why anyone would want to get rid of something as precious as a mother's locket.

She slowly put the chains aside and pulled open the last drawer in the jewelry box. To her dismay, it was completely empty. She reached her hand up inside of it just to make sure, but there was nothing to be found.

Jenny sat down in one of the kitchen chairs and thought about what she had found out by looking through the jewelry box. What she knew was that Sylvia graduated from high school in 1967 and married a man named John Daniels. They had two children and at least one of them was born at Clay Memorial hospital in 1969.

Try as she might, Jenny just couldn't make herself believe that Sylvia's children would want to get rid of the things that were inside the jewelry box. How could they be so heartless or uncaring? She wanted to know more about Sylvia and John Daniels. She wanted to know why the kids didn't want the silver locket. Jenny knew that she wasn't going to rest until she got to the bottom of it and there was only one way to find the answers that she was looking for; she would have to go back and visit the old woman who had given her the jewelry box.

Last edited: Sun Jun 08, 2014 2:58 am

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eileen wrote on Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:41 pm:

I hope the old woman is going to help Jenny out and tell her some of the history of the family.

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