The Pearl Of My Eye
By Shermaya Paul
After finding her grandmother’s pearl necklace, Roman’s life seems to turn upside down. Given the chance to fix everything, will she make it in just the nick of time, or remain stuck forever?
No one had been to Grandma’s country house for ten years. We all seemed to move on from her death—from time to time we reminisced about the memories we had made with her, but it seemed like she was forgotten. So as I walked through the creaky corridors of her country home, all of the memories began to flood back into my mind. Lessons on how to plant seeds correctly, running through the sprinklers, picking fresh peaches from the trees. I slowly opened the screen door that led into Grandma’s garden. I walked down the dirt path, dried leaves crunching under my feet. I went through the forest of vegetables and fruit trees, gliding my fingers across the leaves that stuck out. There were bell peppers, heads of lettuce, and tomatoes in every color. But something hanging on the tomato stakes caught my eye.
I moved closer to the bed of tomatoes, reaching into the leaves. My hand guided me toward a necklace, sitting on one of the stalks. I lifted the necklace, inspecting it closely. There were three rows of what looked like pearls, creating one pearl necklace. Grandma rarely ever wore jewelry; the only thing I remember her wearing was her wedding ring. Everything Grandma ever owned was passed down, so where did this necklace come from? I stuffed the necklace into my pocket, locked up the house, and started to drive back into the city.
After I brought those pearls into my house, I noticed something odd. I couldn’t seem to escape them. While I was washing my dishes I found a singular pearl sitting in my sink. I thought it was weird but I just shrugged it off and threw it away. While watching TV I saw an ad for pearl necklaces in a similar style as the one I had found at Grandma’s house. I even found pearls in my washing machine after doing laundry. My friends would come over and show me pearls they’d found in the bathroom sink or in cabinets, but when I checked the necklace, all of the pearls were still there.
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I’d been on edge ever since I found the necklace. Something about it just didn’t seem right, like it didn’t want to be left with me. One night, before I went to bed, I was turning off the last light in my kitchen when I heard the sound of something spilling in my room. Startled, I made my way into my bedroom and turned on my light. There were pearls scattered across the hardwood floor. It seemed like the pearls came from my bedside table, where I kept the necklace. So I walked over to the table and opened the drawer, but the necklace was just how I left it—not a pearl was missing. That night I couldn’t even be bothered to clean up the pearls; I just slept on my couch.
Pearls continuously showed up throughout my home until I decided to get rid of the necklace. I decided that the best way to get rid of the necklace was to pawn it—and I got three hundred fifty dollars for it. I told my brother, August, about the necklace and all of the odd things I was experiencing. He simply shrugged it off and said that I was just seeing things, “…Pearls would’ve been missing, don’t you think?”
I decided to take my brother’s advice and just move on. I bought a new pair of shoes, a new lamp, and a new bedside table with the money. Weeks passed. I eventually lost the shoes, the lamp wouldn’t turn on no matter what I tried, and the bedside table fell apart, its handle falling straight off as I pulled it.
I was tired of everything, so I saved up enough money to buy back the pearls. I remember passing by the pawn shop daily to see if the pearls were still there. They were sitting in the display case every time, but I worried that when I’d pass there one day, the necklace wouldn’t be there anymore. I entered the small shop and the bell on the door chimed happily, notifying those inside that there was a new customer. There was a woman with a bag from the pawn shop standing at one of the display cases, peering inside. I walked up to the register where the owner sat.
“Hey Olly, remember that pearl necklace I gave you a couple of weeks ago?”
He frowned, looking up before responding, “Yeah, I just sold them. Sorry, kid.”
“To who?” I asked.
Olly pointed to the woman with the pawn shop bag opening up the door to leave. The sunlight hit the bag and I could see the pearls sitting at the bottom. The bells on the door chimed again as it closed shut. Leaning on one of the display cases, I rested my head in my hand. I took deep breaths, trying to take in what had just happened and what would be in store for me.
Throughout the weeks before writing this story, I felt I had no inspiration at all. Usually, daily inspiration drives what I write. So for this story, I started out with some word association. I used interesting words and phrases around me that I wanted to include in my story such as garden, pearl, plants, old houses, and secrets. Then I connected these words, seeing how they could fit into a cohesive story that I would be proud of. I figured out who my main character was, what she’d experience and how that related to the plot.
Shermaya Paul is a sophomore who lives in Brooklyn. She was the valedictorian of her middle school and the winner of the Congressional App Challenge. She is also an alumni of the UN Junior Ambassador program. She is a talented artist and she likes to write.