Diamond Earrings

by Carmen Mason

“Hello, Rachel? “

“Yes? Oh, hi Mrs. McConnell…oh I know, it’s about the saucer… you saw my note I hope…”

“Yes, that’s no problem Rachel, it was a silly old plate …”

“Oh no, it was so pretty and…”

“Rachel, I’m calling about something completely different…”

“I’ll surely find a matching one this weekend. My sister lives right near one of those great ‘seconds’ places that has every dish and glass pattern…”


Desiree quickly lowered her voice. “Please forgive me for that. It’s just that I really think I’m getting the big A. Terry calls it ‘Oldtimers,’ and I think it’s happening to me. I’m more and more forgetful these days. Anyway, do you recall I had these earrings, half moons of gold and diamonds, and I usually put them with my gold chain in the Chinese box – are you still there, Rachel?”

“Yes, yes, I’m listening. I remember, sure I remember.”

“Well, last night I came home and was rushing out again with Terry to one of those auto convention dinners and I couldn’t find them.”

“You mean the Chinese box in your bedroom or the big one in the dining room with all the silver napkin rings?”

“No, the bedroom one where I always keep them. So anyway, I wondered if you could just remember I’m calling about them now so when you come next week you’ll look around and see if maybe I put them somewhere crazy. I swear I think I’m losing it. Today I left the car running after I locked it and went into Costco’s for over an hour! Luckily I keep that spare key in my wallet. You know how I’ve told you to do the same thing?”

“Yes, Mrs. O’Connell. Well, I didn’t see them yesterday any place at all, and I really did a heavy duty ‘cause I realized I missed a couple of carpets in the guest room the week before! And I felt so bad about breaking that saucer…”

“Rachel, let’s concentrate on the earrings. Maybe you found them and put them somewhere I’m not used to putting them – just for safe-keeping?”

“Me? Without telling you in the note along with the saucer?”

“Perhaps you just forgot, Rachel? Oh Rachel, they’re my most precious earrings. I love them. I’d be crazy without them. I really wish you’d think about it and look extra-carefully next Thursday…”

“But how could I forget such a thing? I mean, gold and diamond earrings?”

“I know, I know, but they mean so much to me, Rachel. Terry gave them to me on our twentieth.”

“That’s not the point I’m making, Mrs.O’Connell.  The point I’m making is that that’s not something someone so easily forgets.”

“But if you did – just look Rachel, okay? Is that too much to ask?”

“Did you look in all your pockets? When did you last wear them? Did you take them with you to the Caribbean last month?”

“I never travel with them. Terry puts them in the safe when we go away.”

“So maybe that’s exactly where they are then.”

“It’s the first place I had him look, Rachel!”

“What about that big plush purple robe, Mrs. O’Connell? Heaven knows you love that robe!”


“Please Rachel, I’m being nice, I’m being straight with you. I’m giving you a chance to…”

“A chance? To what, Mrs. O’Connell? You’re giving me a chance to what?”

“TO TELL ME WHERE MY DIAMOND EARRINGS ARE OR TO JUST PUT THEM BACK WHEN YOU GET HERE NEXT WEEK!” Then came the long pause that can never erase the harmful blow, the words, the letter stamped and sent. “Oh God Rachel, I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry. Please, please for…”

“It’s okay, Mrs.”

“Oh please, please, please, this wasn’t my plan. I was just going to…”

“Give me the chance to return them back and make it all right, Mrs.?”

“Yes, no… yes! I just wanted things to be okay again with no more questions asked. I…”

“I understand. I understand. Now you just go back and check every nook and cranny in that house of yours, bend down and check under all the furniture and through every drawer and box and between every book and don’t forget the basement and check the laundry basket although I know it’s empty but you never know, and then I want you to comb through all the sheets and towels and all your drawers and if you don’t mind awfully, ma’am, could you put things back just the way I arranged them, neat and tidy, and if you should find those glittering earrings in all their splendor, please don’t call me to let me know. I want this to be the one big mystery in this life of mine I’ll never have to learn the answer to or have to solve.

“Do you get me, do you hear me, Mrs.? And when I send you that sorry saucer which I do believe you don’t give a hang about, please, please, no simpering phone calls, thank you card, , no pleas from your sorry neck of the woods. Okay Mrs.? You got it? Good!  Now, you just go and have a nice day. Oh, wait, just one more thing – you know yesterday I forgot my pay underneath the Chinese box in your bedroom, but then I remembered it just as I got to the bus stop and funny, I went back through all that rain to get it, something I’d never do ‘cause it’s always going to be there with the next week’s cleaning.

“Isn’t life funny, Mrs.? Doesn’t life have its twists and turns? Now, now, you just stop all that sniffling and gushing, you hear me? Bye bye now. You’ll be just fine. Trust me.”


I have been writing prose and poetry all my life. They are sighs of joy, cries for help, testaments of love or loss, refuge and epiphany. They surprise, console and astound me. Just like friends and strangers do.