A Treasure to Remember

Leanne is a Temple University journalism student with a passion for writing and poetry. In her free time, you'll either find her jamming to music while working out at the gym or playing with he ... [+]

Image of Short Story
She touched the little box inside her pocket and smiled. Fastening the buttons on her trench coat, she confidently strutted through the bustling streets of New York. Beams of sunshine guided her feet to the horizon where the twin towers once stood. As she stepped onto the memorial grounds, she felt a wave of emotions crash over her like a tsunami. Snapshots of the tragedy flashed through her memory one by one like pages in a storybook. Rich clouds of smoke engulfing the scene, fluorescent flames bursting into the sky, lifeless bodies plummeting towards the ground, and screaming sirens amplifying the sound of panic and chaos. Thousands of tinmen crowded the catastrophe unfolding before their eyes. Every heart was shattered in a million pieces and thrown into the pile of burning debris in front of them. The ringing of the telephone on that quiet still morning resonated in her mind. Her eyes reminded her of the sparkle of her beloved necklace she held as the officer twisted her stomach over the phone. Her heart reminded her of the prayers she recited, knelt over the altar of her church, squeezing her hands together around her necklace. Her mind reminded her of the apprehension she felt as he went off on his first day of work as a firefighter. Her stomach reminded her how sick and uneasy she felt the first time she watched the love of her life walk into a blazing inferno with only heavy clothes to shield him. Her spirit reminded her of the security her husband had offered, handing her a shimmering cross necklace and telling her that even without him, she would never be alone. Thoughts and memories overflowed her entire being. Tears pooled at the corners of her eyes, trickling down her rosy cheeks one by one like snowflakes. The words “husband” and “dead” flickered in front of her eyes like broken billboard signs.
She started to feel faint and continued to walk through the memorial grounds. She ran her fragile fingers across her husband’s name carved into the plaque where thousands of other names surrounded it. Digging her hands into her pockets, she felt the tiny box once again fall into the palm of her hand. She gripped it tightly and headed for her husband’s grave a few blocks down the street.
She knelt down, her knees making imprints in the cold damp earth beneath her. There was a large patch of dirt in front of the tombstone adorned with red, pink, and yellow flowers. Using her hands, she cleared a tiny hole beside a few of the flowers. She reached into her pocket and pulled out the tiny box. The sun glistened off its lid tinged with silver. She carefully held the box in her hands as she opened it to reveal a lavish diamond necklace, delicately crafted to resemble the shape of a cross. A tear fell her from eyes onto the treasure, and she quickly shut the lid to trap it inside. She cupped her hands around the box and held it up to her aching heart. Looking into the sky, she prayed a simple prayer.
“Father, please take care of my dear love.” With those words, she rested the box in the hole and tossed some dirt on top of it. “Never will I forget you,” she whispered into the ground. And at that moment, the sun crept behind the clouds.