The Bracelet by Jada Dean

“I hate him!” I scream, “I hate everything about him!” 

“I know you do. You have a right to,” Kate says calmly, “You should know by now that I hate when men cheat. I’m so sorry that happened to you, Eve.” I open my hand and looked at the crumpled receipt. It glares back at me. 

“Five hundred dollars,” I state to myself. Oliver, my long-term boyfriend, spent five hundred dollars and didn’t even tell me. I saw the receipt in his wallet when we were hanging out earlier. I took it to satiate my curiosity. Who knew it would lead to me finding out he’s been spending money behind my back? Worst of all, it was during when he told me he was working overtime. I huff. “Overtime, my ass.”

“Listen, girl, I got to go, but please don’t castrate him while I’m gone,” she says. 

“No promises,” I state, “See you.”

“See you,” she says. I stare at the receipt. 

“I can’t believe he’s cheating on me,” I say to myself, defeated. All this time together. Years of a relationship down the drain. All these talks of getting married and having kids. It’s all over. Why did he have to ruin everything? What gives him the right to hurt me like this? Anger boils in my stomach. Something glimmers and catches my eye. The bracelet he gave me out of love is dangling from my wrist. It feels cold. I take off the bracelet, my eyes searing into the mocking emeralds that once brought me comfort. It feels like everything reminds me of him. “Augghh!” I throw the bracelet on the hardwood floor as I yell, “I wish he was dead!” 

My legs buckle and I crumple to the floor. I hug myself. My mind is swarming with anger, sadness, and confusion. Tears cling to my face as I look at the abused bracelet laying on the floor. I move over to the bracelet and look at it. One of the three emeralds that once decorated the silver bracelet has fallen out. I sigh. 

Suddenly, my phone starts vibrating in my pocket. I slide it out and look at the name. Oliver’s mom is calling me? I answered the phone. “Evelynn? Evelynn! Oliver just collapsed!” she cried, “His dad is on the phone with the police right now.” My stomach sinks. 

“Is he breathing? Moving?” I ask. 

“He’s so still,” there was a pause. “He’s not breathing!” I hear a clunk and his mother’s voice becomes distant. She must have put the phone down. “I’m doing CPR!” she yells to her husband. My hand grips my phone as tears return to my eyes and slowly trickle down my cheeks. As much as I hated him a few minutes ago, the last thing I wanted was for him to… die… My eyes travel to the bracelet. I gulp as I realize the emerald that fell out has now disappeared. 

Commotion in my phone brings me back to what’s happening. There was a foreign voice talking, a paramedic. They were talking inaudibly. I can’t make out anything. Suddenly, there was silence. “Hello? What’s happening” I ask into the phone, my eyes never leaving the bracelet. Someone started to cry. 

“Evelynn…” his mom finally speaks into the phone, “I’m so sorry. He’s dead.” I breathe in a shaggy breath. 

“Dead?” my head is stuck on that word.  

After that moment, things seemed to move at such great speed. Before I knew it, I was at his funeral. They decided on  a closed casket. I’m thankful for that. I couldn’t imagine seeing him again after what I’ve done. In my confusion and fear, I decided to keep the bracelet on me. I haven’t taken the bracelet off since what happened. I need to make sure no one else touches it before I find out what it is. 

I stare at the casket. Blue flowers were set up around the room. Everyone seemed to be in a conversation, but the level didn’t go beyond a whisper. Are funerals always so quiet? I feel a movement near me. A woman sits next to me, about my age, maybe a bit older. “Hello, do you happen to be Evelynn Fornes?” Her perfume is sweet, like icing on a cake. 

“That’s me, who are you?” I ask. 

“Let me first say, I’m so sorry for your loss. My name is Racheal. Before his passing, Oliver Young came to T’s Jewellers and bought an emerald ring with the intent of proposing to his girlfriend. After some time, he shared that his girlfriend’s name is Evelynn. He was going to propose to you, dear,” she explains. She then handed me a small wooden box. Something in my head clicked. I grabbed her hand. 

“How much was this ring?” I ask fervently. 

“Ah… if my memory is correct, I believe it was around four hundred and fifty dollars. In total, after tax and a warranty, it was about five hundred,” she says. 

I sit back in my chair. The cold, wooden back of the chair chilled my spine. Is this real? Did this actually happen? I looked at the wooden box. “Thank you,” I say, not looking at her. She nods to me and then leaves. There was no reason to get angry. There was no reason to be upset. There’s no reason he should be dead right now. 

I stand up and head to the bathroom, just a room away from the funeral. My head is filled with questions. I stand in the silent bathroom, thinking. I have decided. I’m going to try to use the bracelet again. I’m going to get him back. I’ll forget ever knowing about the ring and slip it into his bag sometime. He’ll propose. We’ll get married. We’ll die together. 

I take the bracelet off once again. This time, I glare at the emeralds. They took away my boyfriend and now, they’re going to give him back. I think back to what happened when he died. I threw the bracelet while wishing he was dead. So, throwing it? 

I throw the bracelet back onto the bathroom floor. “I wish Oliver Young was alive!” I yell. The bracelet hits the ground hard. I stare at it. Just then, I remember the disappearing emerald. Hm, maybe an emerald needs to be taken out? I open up my purse and find tweezers. I grab the bracelet. I close the toilet and sit on the lid, working to get an emerald free. 

Just as one finally seems like it’s about to pop out, I take the tweezers and remove the gem from it’s socket as I say “I wish Oliver Young was alive!” The emerald stares at me in the palm of my hand. A minute goes by. The emerald was suddenly gone. “Ah!” I say in surprise. I did it. He’ll be alive once more. How will he get out of the casket? It should be locked. I suddenly hear commotion from outside the bathroom. I put the bracelet back on and leave the bathroom. They’re getting ready for the burial. 

Maybe the emerald didn’t work? Maybe his body couldn’t handle coming back? I ask myself questions as I follow everyone to his burial site. I don’t know how he’s going to get out if he’s even alive. We stop at an empty grave. His casket was set next to it, ready to receive the final farewell wishes from close family. His mother approaches the casket. “I… I would like to see my son one more time,” she says. Someone in black moves behind her. We hear whispers back and forth. After a minute, she’s handed a key. She opens the casket. 

“My boy,” I hear her say. I hear mumbling, like she’s talking only to Oliver. She bends down into the casket, out of my view. My heart sinks. He’s really dead, isn’t he? The emeralds can’t bring back the dead, I suppose. Suddenly, Oliver’s mother screams. “He’s alive!” she yells. People start to crowd around her, some silent, others are talking. I follow and get in a position to see what’s happening. “He’s breathing!”

I can see her start to shake him as someone says they’re calling an ambulance. He doesn’t respond. He’s breathing, but he’s not moving? Is he unconscious? In his mother’s desperation, she, with the help of others, picks up his unresponsive body out of the casket. They try to wake him again. That’s when I hear a voice. 

“You asked for him to be alive, yes?” a woman’s voice calls to me. 

“Yes,” I respond. 

“And so, he’s alive. Why are you not happy?” she asks. I look at my bracelet. 

“He’s not responding to people touching him. It’s like he’s asleep,” I say. 

“That’s right. He’s asleep. Forever,” she says, maliciously. 

“What do you mean?” I ask my bracelet. I feel cold. 

“I believe you humans call it a… coma? Comatose?” she says. She chuckles. “You might’ve wished for him to be alive, but you said nothing about him being conscious,” she mocks. 

I don’t have any words. I can’t seem to speak. Again, I’m the reason he’s in pain. I’m the reason he’s not hugging his mother right now. Anger takes over my senses. I take off my heels and run as best of my ability back into the funeral building and into the bathroom. I rip off the bracelet and throw it on the concrete bathroom floor. “I wish this cursed bracelet never existed!” My vision goes white. I’m sitting at a desk in a classroom. From the looks of it, it’s an English class. I look around me. I see him. Oliver. This was… where we first met. The girl sitting in front of him turns around and holds his hand. I had to catch my breath. What sick alternative universe is this? They share a kiss. I look away. Why is this happening? I think back to when we first met. It was in Mrs. Kennedy’s English class, senior year. I remember always sitting next to him and one day I struck up a conversation. Why weren’t we together, then? The only difference between this universe and the old one should just be the bracelet. The bracelet. The same bracelet that I commented on and started the first real conversation between us. That goddamn bracelet.

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