She always kept the object safe and close to her. Mama made her repeat the promise over and over again during those last
days. "I will never show it to a living soul. I will never show it to a living soul."
She cried about Mama less now, not as much as she had before. She was missing Mama now as she did each night when she removed her scuffed shoes. She then carefully peeled the
gray sock off her foot, and waited for the familiar object to fall out. Nothing happened. Panicked, she quickly turned
her sock inside-out. It was gone.
Mama, how could it have happened? I wore it in a sock every day. I never told anybody just like you told me. Where could it have gone?
Sadly, after searching her bedroom high and low, she finished dressing and joined her siblings and her father at the breakfast table.
Cindy and Tom were the 14 year old twins. She looked up to Cindy. She would never take the place of her beloved Mama, but she was here and Mama wasn't. Tom was OK but he was more interested in basketball then he was in a little sister.
Then there was tow headed 6 year old Bobbie, who looked just like their father, and curly headed Susie, almost 2, Mama had never gotten out of bed after Susie was born.
And then there was her. She was just past her 11th birthday. She knew she looked like Mama, and she knew she was Mama's favorite. She never said so, but Betty just knew, and when she couldn't get up since she was so sick Betty went into her after breakfast and stayed with her until time for school.
After school she couldn't wait to get to Mama's bed side to tell her what went on in school that day, and after supper she sat quietly at the card table in the corner of Mama's bedroom and did her homework. She was a good student because she knew it would make Mama proud .
After breakfast, the silence broken only when her father corrected one of the siblings, Betty excused herself, brushed her teeth, put on her coat, picked up her school books, opened the front door quietly and slipped out and was on her way to school, still thinking about the object missing from her sock.
When she got to school, instead of joining her friends on the playground, she headed for her classroom, found her desk and sat down. She pulled out her spelling book and pretended to study. She really didn't need to study spelling. She was good at it already, but it was the first class and that book was as good as any.
Then her thoughts began to intrude. I wish I had somebody to talk to about the missing object, but I promised Mama I wouldn't tell anybody. Suddenly the tears came. But the harder she tried to stop them, the harder they fell.
Suddenly Miss Wade, her teacher, stood beside her desk. 'Betty, can I help? What are you crying about
Not stopping to think of the promise she had made to her Mama, only glad to hear a friendly voice, she told Miss Wade everything, even about the promise
After Betty got finished Miss Wade said gently "Dry your tears, Betty, and come up to my desk. I have something to show you."
When they arrived at the teacher's desk Miss Wade reached into one of the drawers and pulled out her purse "Is this what you lost?" as she handed her a silver ring with a single small diamond set into it.
Oh yes, Miss Wade,that's it, but how?"
"Your mother and I have been friends for years.. That ring belonged to her mother, your grandmother, and your mama always wanted you to have it, but was afraid your father would give it to Cindy or, worse, would sell it.
"But how did I lose it?"
""Do you remember when Jackie brought his fishbowl to school for show and tell and spilled some water on your shoe? You took your shoe off and I heard something fall on the floor. Since your mama told me about the ring and where you kept it, I pretty much knew who it belonged to.
"Do me a favor, Miss Wada.
"Anything I can.
"Keep the ring for me until I get old enough to wear it with pride."
Freda Douglas is a published author. Her first book "Cherish the Past", still available on Amazon.com, was published in 2004. Her second book "Winds of Change"
is now available at your local book store by using this ISBN # 978-1-60145-367-9
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