~the following is part of “Prompted Prose,” a series of posts from the prompts I’m working with during my Spring 2016 online writing course
Their leaving was confirmation: something must be wrong with me.
But that’s not what you’re thinking when you step into the pawnshop with your little cache of gold, and a diamond ring. You’re hoping to get fair compensation. Cash for the past, even though you know that your twenty-year old self is never going to get a fair deal from the man in plaid, behind the counter.
You don’t know the worth of what you’ve got. Where would you look to find out? You’ll just take what he offers, knowing he will tip it in his favor. You figure on this, accepting that it’s all a part of the let-go.
You spread your treasures on his counter. A thin gold chain you never wear. One silver ring with a rosy stone, from where, you don’t remember. You slide your big-ticket items to the center. A gold coin your father set into a ring. A design that’s big and bulky, masculine, and too large for your size 4 finger. Not at all your style. You always thought the gift had been your stepmother’s idea, anyway. Hefty with precious metal, it feels like a dare to let it go.
The pawnbroker is poker faced, as he fondles the gold, then moves on to the diamond ring. You don’t know its quality. You just know your first love offered it on one knee, on an ordinary evening, as you sat on the corner of his bed. You were only sixteen. How could he have known there would be more? More world, more ideas…more women.
You walk with a few hundred bucks. Stash the cash in the top shelf of your closet. You tuck your fears of your pending solo, road trip further back behind your Kelty tent. And buried danger-deep in some far chamber of your beating heart, is that notion of an inherent flaw, forever keeping Love leaving. It lives at whisper-depth, the most insidious place. Hiding just enough to haunt, but not daring to own up.