I never wanted to lose the necklace. I adored it too much. The shine of the little silver bird that hung from the chain, the sparkle of the tiny gem that was the bird’s eyes.
It was all that I had left of her, Willow Jones Eladonna.
She would call me her little nightingale and hang the same chain on my neck when I asked. I remember how she would come home exhausted from her job as a maid but still managed to keep her posture and smile as she tutored me. Yet if you stared long enough into her eyes, dug through all of that kindness and love, you would see the pain, the loss and exhaustion, and the shards of a heart that had broken long ago.
I would stay awake at night and wonder how she could still smile and act as if nothing bad had ever happened. Together we were only a simple family of two, a mother and daughter. My father had passed away long before I could even talk.
I had only mentioned him once, as she tucked me in and kissed my forehead. “What was Father like?”
She winced as if stung by my words. “He was a good man and deserved a more honorable reputation, now off to sleep my little nightingale.”
I regretted asking her right away, but as she closed the bedroom door she had managed to regain her smile and posture as she whispered softly, her voice a ghost.
“Sleep well Ivellia, little nightingale.”
We didn’t speak of the events the next morning but the damage had been done, Mother grew more and more distant for the past few years, she wasn’t as engaged in home-schooling me. Until one day, she didn’t come out of her room. I knocked softly and pushed the door as it creaked open.
There she was, still as a stone in her bed with a note in her hands. I gently took the sheet of paper and almost fell to the ground. How… Why… No, no this must be a nightmare.
I love you Ivellia, my dear nightingale. Don’t hope for a miracle, go and make one.
My time has come but you can stay strong. I know you can.
The world was becoming blurry, and soon I realized it was because of the tears that were forming.
How could somebody so strong and kind… Be… Gone?
I collapsed and started crying into my arms, trying to muffle the spasms like I would when I was younger and had a nightmare. Crying as quietly as I could so I wouldn’t wake Mother from her rest and go back to sleep. After what seemed like hours, the spasms stopped and I noticed a small box on the table next to her bed. I held it gently as I opened it. There was the necklace with another note:
Happy Birthday My Dear Ivellia! You’re eleven now and I trust you can take care of this with enough responsibility as I have. Fly and be as free like anybody your age would be.
I stood there in shock, realizing it was my birthday today. I had forgotten, but Mother must have remembered before she… I bite my lip as the tears build up again. But it seemed that they went away after a while. I pull up Mother’s covers until it covered her completely as a stabbing pain charged through my heart. I straightened my posture and gave my best attempt to smile through the new cracks of my soul.
Like Mother would have.