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Disappointment. Embarrassment. Fear. Those would be the words that I used to describe the feelings I had about the necklace. It was beautiful, don’t get me wrong, absolutely astonishing. But it was all wrong. I couldn’t wear that thing. No way. My friends would ask questions or make fun of me. God, don’t even mention how that would make me feel. It had taken two years to get over Andy. I couldn’t.

I couldn’t wear that necklace and be reminded of him all over again. I couldn’t walk down the street knowing what was around my neck. But I had to, right? I felt like I had to. If I didn’t wear the necklace, what would she think? Her opinion meant everything, right?

Chad’s mother was a needle in a haystack and I don’t mean that in a good way, unfortunately. She believed that “retail therapy” was the answer to all of life’s tough problems. Her closet was bigger than my whole apartment. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, or maybe not. Nonetheless, gifts were obviously her love language.

She spent the weekends, no weeks, at the mall: the outlet mall, the regular mall, the shopping center on Brandy St, down at the shops on 5th. You name it, she was probably there that week. It’s sad really. I guess when your husband has a lot of money and you have a lot of time, that’s what you do. You shop. You might not drink a lot or party or take meds but shopping is your drug, it’s your vice.

You’re addicted to the thrill of making a purchase and bringing a lot of new presents home. You think that material wealth makes you happy. One thing I loved about Chad was that he was so far from his mother. I think growing up in West Beverly Hills with everything he could ever want, left him feeling empty. I was lucky, most would be spoiled, but not Chad. He realized all the gadgets and gizmos in the world would not make him happy. He needed more out of life. He needed adventure. I met Chad hiking in the Himalayas and the rest, history.

He was the reason I was finally able to move on and get over Andy. Andy was my first true love. He was just like me, we even kind of looked alike. Creepy to me now, but not then. Andy and I did everything together: went to the parks, watched movies, took random walks through random neighborhoods. He was my best friend but I realized looking back, he had always been more like a brother to me.

Call it the “X-Factor,” but something was missing. We never fought or had any major disagreements, but life was just basic. It was kind of boring, now that I think about it. I felt like I was just going through the motions, emotionless but peaceful. It was so easy with Andy but maybe I didn’t need easy. Maybe I needed adventure, passion, chemistry, suspense...maybe I always had.

With Chad, it was always a wonder. He was spontaneous and open to wild, new adventures. He didn’t like staying in the same city for too long and he was extremely curious about life. He was very driven and motivated, and life with him was never dull. I never had to worry that we would just become “two ships passing in the night.” He was my best friend too but he was also my crazy lover.

************************************************************

Christmas. It’s supposed to be the greatest time of year right? That’s what I thought too. That is until two days ago when Chad’s eccentric, shopaholic mother gave me the necklace. It was nearly identical. But how could she know? She had no way of knowing that that necklace highly resembled the one Andy had given to me, as a promise of our love. I had broken his heart.

The necklace he gave me was expensive (for him) and it symbolized a promise that he saw me as his forever girl. I loved Andy too, and I wanted to marry him. I wanted to spend forever with him. But he was my “Jacob” and I needed “Edward.” Kristen Stewart taught me that. The love I had for Andy was deep and strong but it just wasn’t romantic or exciting enough for me. I needed mystery.

I needed reckless, passionate sacrifice. I needed Chad. It was the most difficult decision I had ever made to break Andy’s heart. I wore that necklace around for nearly two years after our breakup. I questioned my choice constantly and wanted to take him back daily. But I just knew, I just knew it wasn’t right. I wasn’t head-over-heels in love and I didn’t think I’d ever get there.

I was finally able to see clearly and realize that I had done the right thing when I met Chad. Were we alike in every way, like Andy and I were? No. Definitely not. But that made it interesting, challenging at times even, but so worth it. We were alike in the ways that mattered though. We both craved to live life to the fullest and see the world. We both were fueled with passion and childlike wonder.

I wanted to marry Chad. I felt like I knew that from the moment we met. It was kind of like love-at-first-sight, you could say. The way we met was a perfect picture of our relationship, always going higher, even if the climb is sometimes cold and tiring. We had taken many trips together and yes, sometimes we argued, but I wanted a man who could challenge me anyway and would let me do the same for him.

At the end of the day, Chad made my life more interesting and I felt more alive when I was around him, for better or worse. But now felt like worse. Here I was, sitting in my room, staring down at a breathtaking necklace that had Andy written all over it. The bad news was that Chad’s mother lived just down the street and would make random, impromptu stops by at any given moment, frequently. 

She also had been trying to spend more time with me, as she saw Chad and I’s relationship was getting quite serious. Her idea of hanging out was nonetheless than going out on a shopping trip. I always wore necklaces too. I loved jewelry (what girl doesn’t?) but especially necklaces. She was very observant and quite often commented on the necklaces that I was wearing.

Therefore, I was stuck. I couldn’t tell her I didn’t like the necklace. It was gorgeous but it brought back way too many painful memories that had taken way too long to get over. His mother was not the sympathetic, empathetic, emotional type. She wouldn’t get it anyway and would probably say something like, “Oh, nonsense, there is nothing that a few diamonds and a few more pairs of heels can’t fix.”

And she would notice. She would obviously notice that I wasn’t wearing it and take it way too personal since clothing and accessories were everything to her. She would get dramatic and overreact and knowing how over-the-top she can be, probably try and tell Chad he should break-up with me because I don’t “appreciate his mother.” Yes, I can see it now, total chaos.

But if I sucked it up and wore the necklace...no I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. My friends would give me a hard time and not realize it really was giving me a hard time. I didn’t want to be reminded of Andy. I wanted to forget about him completely and give Chad my full, undivided attention. He deserved that, anyone would.

What the heck was I supposed to do? I could pretend like I lost it. No...no. That wouldn’t help the situation, considering god knows how much she spent on that thing. She would be furious or probably enact some insurance policy she took out on it to have it replaced with another one! Hmmm…think Sophie think. What do you do? What?

What do you do when you are given the worst possible gift on earth, and on top of that, you feel like you are obligated to show it off to the world, like you don’t really have a choice? Not to mention, it’s right there, shiny and be-dazzling in everyone’s faces, impossible to miss. But it brings you great humiliation and pain. What then? Is there even an answer? Is there even a way out of this?

I decided to just go to bed and hope that maybe I would have a dream that would give me the answer or at least, have a clear head to figure it out in the morning. But not tonight. I was done, for one evening, pondering the greater thoughts of life. But I guess it really wasn’t about what I thought after all, but rather, how I felt.

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