“I take out the notebook from my bag and write ‘you look beautiful!’. I tear out the page, and stick it on the mirror.”
It’s Saturday morning and I wake up to the smell of blueberry pancakes from the kitchen. I yawn, and get out of bed and head towards the bathroom. I look at myself in the mirror, see my eye bags, and sigh. I wash my face and greet my mother with a “good morning” and a hug.
“Can I have two pancakes? I’m really hungry.” I ask as I pour myself a cup of milk.
“Yeah. I have to run some errands; I’ll be back soon.”
I stack the pancakes and pour over some syrup. Once I finish, I look around to see if there are any fruits on the counter. I don’t see any. Guess I have to go get some later.
As soon as my mother leaves, I call my best friend, Lily.
“Hey Lily. What are you doing today?”
“Nothing much. Why?
“We should go shopping.”
“Sure! Does an hour sound okay?”
“Yeah. See you.”
I quickly get dressed and place a few dollars in my pocket, along with my grandmother’s purple crystal. I grab my coat on the way out and lock the door behind me. I breathe in the crisp morning air and walk down the street to the corner store. When I enter, the bell rings above my head. I pick up two apples, a few pears, and a bag of grapes. I take them to the cashier, pay for them, receive my change, and place the coins in my pocket. I say “thanks” and go to the back, where the bathroom is. I get out my small notebook from my pocket and tear out a page from it, seeing that it’s the last. I put the empty notebook back in my pocket, not entirely sure why. I write, “do more of what makes you happy.” on the slip of paper, and leave it on the side of the sink, hoping that someone will see it later in the day, and smile. I leave the bathroom and make my way out of the store, hearing the bell ring once again. When I check my phone, I see that I received a text from Lily 3 minutes ago. I open it and read:
“i’m running late. hav some things i need 2 do.”
I text back, saying,
“no prob. c u.”
I go home and pack a small bag with my wallet, another small notebook, and a pack of gum. I catch up on Pretty Little Liars while I wait. I hear the doorbell buzz and I let Lily in.
“We need to see what the new clothing store sells,” I start. “I’m looking for a dress.”
“Okay, I need a skirt anyways since it’s getting warmer out. It’s not far, right?” she questions.
“No. Walking distance.”
We go out, and on our way to Topshop, Lily nods towards a sign that says “FREE SAMPLES – TAKE ONE!” and a basket of little soap samples in front of Sabon.
“Can we stop and see?” she motioned.
I take one that has a pretty blue-green color, only to see Lily stuffing her bag with a handful.
“Lily! What are you doing?!” I whisper, as I look around to see if anyone saw.
“Jeez, no one else’s taking them.” Lily rolls her eyes.
We continue our short walk to Topshop, and once we get there, we start our hunt of finding clothes we want. After an hour of rummaging around the sale rack, Lily pulls out a black, pleated skirt and I find a pastel blue, flowy dress.
“Aha!” Lily and I yell in unison. We turn to each other and giggle.
“Let’s go try these on.” I take Lily’s hand and pull her towards the changing room. I go in first, and as soon as I put on the dress, I feel like it’s summer. It fits nicely, and when I checked the price tag, I couldn’t believe my eyes. $20!! Something like this would usually cost me much more. I take out the notebook from my bag and write “you look beautiful!”. I tear out the page, and stick it on the mirror. I change back into my regular clothes, and send a signal to Lily that it was her turn. A few minutes later, she comes out, looking unsure.
“What’s wrong? Did you not like it?” I ask, pointing at the skirt.
“Oh, no. I’m not going to get it.” Lily replies. “It’s just that.. nevermind.”
“Just that what?”
“Nothing. Forget it.”
I pay for my dress, and as soon as we get outside, Lily exclaims,
“I have to go. I forgot about this thing I need to do today. I’m really sorry. I’ll see you on Monday.”
She ran off before I could reply. Confused, I turn back and head home.
The next afternoon, I emptied out my bag from the day before and realized that my grandmother’s crystal was gone. I searched everywhere – my bedroom, my closet, my bathroom – but it was no where to be found.
Frustrated, I texted Lily.
L, i can’t find this crystal. its purple, have u seen it?
I get a reply quickly:
I respond happily.
I continued my search as I waited for Lily to come. My face lights up when I hear the doorbell buzz. I let Lily in, and she starts looking in the living room. Where could it be? I thought. I’m pretty sure I took it with me when I went to the store and shopping. Maybe it fell out of my pocket.
I look at my grandmother’s picture and frown, angry at myself. I couldn’t lose the crystal – it’s one of the few things I have in memory of my grandmother before she died last year. I was in school; a regular Tuesday afternoon. I get called down to the office and see my mother sobbing, and that’s when I found out that my grandmother had died. The small crystal was given to me from her on my 12th birthday two years ago.
I move to the entrance to see if I might of dropped it there. Nope. I check my coat pocket, and feel something heavy. I pull the object out to reveal the sparkling crystal.
“Oh! There it is! Li-” I stop. This isn’t my coat pocket. It’s Lily’s. I walk over to the living room, crystal in hand, where Lily is busy searching under the couch.
“Hey. Any luck?” I ask calmly. Lily pops her head out, and shakes her head.
“No, sorry.” She immediately sees the crystal in my hand, and her eyes widen. She continues shakily, “Y-you found it!”
“Yeah, in your coat pocket. Why would you take it?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She avoids my eyes.
“Lily, do you know how important this is to me?”
“It’s a stupid crystal. Calm down.”
“It’s not stupid. It’s my grandmother’s.” Tears well up in my eyes. I see Lily’s face soften.
“Juliette, I’m sorry. I really am. I didn’t know it was her’s.”
“What were you going to do with it?”
“Um, I was going to take it to the jeweler’s and have it smoothed and carved so I could give it to my mom on her birthday.”
“But you knew it was mine. Is that why you needed to go suddenly yesterday?”
“Yeah. I found it in the changing room. But I didn’t know the crystal was special. My mom just lost her job, and-”
“Wait, what? She loved her job! How come you didn’t tell me?” I interrupt.
“I know. I haven’t told anyone. And her favorite color is that shade of purple. I wanted to save up my money to get it done, so I could give it to her.”
“Hold on.” I take out my phone and dial my mother’s number. After two rings, I get a faint “hello?”. I explain my situation, and receive silence.
“Mom? What should I do?”
“Honey, that crystal is very special, but it’s your decision. Do what you think is right.”
I turn around and see Lily on the couch. I look down at the crystal and say,
“Lily, I want you to have it. But please don’t carve it or anything.”
She stands up and hugs me.
“But I think you should go… I need some time alone.” I added.
“Yeah, of course. Thank you though. For this.” Lily lifted the crystal.
As soon as the door closes behind her, I fall back on the couch and sigh.
That night, I get a text from Lily before bed.
“J, me and my mom wanted 2 say thnx again. ily”
I respond with,
“ofc! hope everything turns out well <3”
But half of me still wished I had kept the crystal. I fall asleep hoping I made the right choice.