A Reverie Through Stone | Deepanshi Matai

They cremated you three years ago, without your wedding ring. It’s tradition, they claimed, a widow never departs with her jewelry. i am now left with strings of silver and rings of gold, all encrusted with different gemstones that you believed held magic, that i never bothered learning the meanings of. Maybe i’ll make a list.

My Mother’s Jewels

  1. necklace of diamonds and rubies: a gift from father on your tenth anniversary. the rubies are the same colour as your sheets the day they found you. once upon a time, the diamonds reflected light the same way your eyes did, radiant and powerful. now, the reflection seems harsh and bitter.
  1. jade ring: your birthstone. it brings to its wearer harmony and keeps away harm. you stopped wearing it when i left. you always said i made you stronger and kept you safe but i think that was a lie. maybe you shouldn’t have stopped wearing this ring just because i was far away. your safety wouldn’t have withered.
  1. plain gold earrings: you never wore any others. i have a pair that looks exactly like yours. i never wear any others. sometimes when i hold these, it feels like you’re still here, standing behind me and waiting for me to turn around. i’m left gasping for your embrace. i haven’t felt it in so long.
  1. amethyst studs: signifies memory. i wish you’d worn these. i’d be haunted by visions of your hands kneading dough, the sound of your voice echoing down the hall when dinner was ready, the feeling of your lips against my forehead when you thought i was asleep. it would be torture, but a mercy compared to the ghost of your resentment towards me that follows me around every waking minute. where did we go wrong?
  1. wedding ring: a band of gold and three small, circular diamonds. you told me you’d give it to my future husband when he asked for my hand in marriage. i’m sorry for not being able to give you that chance, but the ring is well-cared for now. it looks so much more beautiful adorning my wife’s hand than it would have mine. i regret not asking for your forgiveness. i regret not giving you mine.

Deepanshi Matai is a high school senior and part-time book reviewer currently based in India. They write fiction to avoid reading and read fiction to avoid writing. In their spare time, they can be found baking.