She ran her fingertip along the jade stone in the ring she wore. It had been her mother's. Her father had bought it for her while stationed in the military. Her mother hadn't been one to wear real flashy things, but there wasn't a day Kylie could recall her mother not wearing the ring.
There'd been a bracelet to go with it once upon a time. Kylie had gotten a hold of it, though, and broken it. She was young and didn't remember it very well. Except the beads scattering all over the floor. She'd laughed gleefully.
Her mother hadn't laughed. Neither had her father. The set went back to before they were married.
She patted her front pocket where the very beads in question were. She wasn't sure why her mother never got the bracelet restrung. She and her sister were grown up so the chances of the same type of accident happening were pretty slim.
That would change, though. As soon as she could put the money together, Kylie would get it restrung and she could carry a piece of her parents with her forever.
That was all she needed. Sure, she would have liked to have some other things, but there was only so much she could hold on to.
Somewhere in the distance, she heard a dog barking and she wiped the tears making tracks on her cheeks. Her entire family had been gone for over a week now, but she'd never felt alone until this moment. She hadn't known any other home than this one. This house. This town.
She took out the little satin pouch the beads had been tucked away in for years. Soon, someone else would be standing on this yard, looking at this house, and it would be theirs. She wasn't sure how she felt about that, but she wouldn't have lived here even if she could anyway.
She wasn't exactly sure whether she was ready or what it was she was supposed to be ready for. A new family, a new house, a new life? She just knew that the smooth jade would keep her grounded, allow her to remember her mother and the promises made to her as a child. It wasn't a diamond ring and it would definitely never turn brass.
She turned to face the sheriff who was waiting for her by his car. He'd gotten out with her to begin with, but seemed to realize she'd wanted to be alone while the last of the things familiar to her were taken away. Wanted was perhaps the wrong word. Needed. She'd needed to do it alone.
"Yeah," she said, taking a deep breath before walking toward his car. "I'm ready."
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com