Hitori’s birthday is next week, and she hasn’t told anyone about it or gotten all excited either.
And I know why. I’m her best friend after all! I’m James. James Tang. Most people call me, Mustang. Get it. Mus-Tang, my last name. It’s kinda stupid, but funny.
Anyway, I know why she’s upset. Last year, she got a very special birthday present. It was a necklace that her family had given her, and one day as they were walking in the pouring rain, the necklace got loose and fell. She didn’t notice until she got home though, but by then it was too late.
Even worse, her dad… I can’t even say it.
For her birthday though, I plan to get it back for her. It was the most important thing to her and when she lost it she was devastated, even more so after… what happened. The necklace she had was a silver chain with a ice blue circle with silver and gold sparkles.
I tried searching stores for it and could find nothing, so either someone picked it up or it’s in a pawn shop, which is actually a pretty common store since we live in a small town.
I looked in one pawn shop then another, until the third and last one still had no necklace. I asked the person at the counter if they had ever seen anyone walk out with one, but he was just hired and said to come to the back and he could see the records. So I went to the back with him and he closed the blinds on the door.
He opened a wooden desk drawer and pulled out a picture of a necklace. Hitori’s necklace. “This the necklace?”
“Yes, that’s the one! Where’s it at!”
“Uh, it happens to be an ancient Aztec Necklace, and I… sold it.” Why am I not surprised a person at a pawn shop would be the one to sell the necklace. Just like the movies. But I wasn’t going to let that stop me! After all, this was important. Maybe not even just to her, but her mom too. I mean… it happened so soon after.
“Um…” A devilish smirk came across his face. “If you pay me fifty bucks, I’ll give you a map to find it.” Why a map, but whatever, I don’t care. I gave him fifty dollars and he gave me a map on regular computer paper.
I followed it all Saturday, and I finally reached the place, and I double and triple checked, but the house was abandoned, and one I’ve never seen before.
I slowly opened the slightly off-the-hinges-door. I walked in and stepped on the gray carpet.
And fell through the floor and ACCIDENTALLY said something I wasn’t supposed to.
I looked around the dusty place coughing up my lungs, when I saw a tunnel. And as any dumb middle schooler would do, I walked through it. I ran into a few cobwebs and finally came into a room which was more like a dome.
That’s when I found the necklace. It’s was on a pedestal in the back of the dome on a necklace stand.
I walked up to it with no problem, still thinking about Hitori’s reaction when I give it to her. I take it from it’s stand, dusting it off.
The dome starts rumbling and the dome was somehow made of this rock and they start falling.
Adrenaline was rushing through me to get out of there! What the heck!?
A part of the rock gets me on the shoulder and my shin, but I was able to get out of there in time with the necklace. I looked at it and realized how long it had been since I’d seen her wear it.
She’d be so happy!
I was going to walk straight home, as it is a very small town, but I decided to thank the guy for helping me get the necklace. Not only that but ask why I almost died from falling rocks. Even though there weren’t that many. I walked through the door, and the bell jingled.
“Hello how can I help you-, wait! You were the one who wanted to find the necklace! How id you get out of there, you should’ve-” Okay this guy is sketchy and i do not trust him. Why should I? I’m lucky i didn’t get injured worse in there!
“I should’ve what?”
“Well, I honestly didn’t expect you to live. No one who’s gone in there has. Except for me. So tell me, why did you need the necklace in the first place?” He seriously thought I was going to answer him.
He basically tried to get me killed.
“Look, I just want to know, why you sent me in there when I could’ve died one, two, what your problem is?!” Boy was I mad.
“Chill. I just wanted fifty bucks and to see if you were going to be the next one to hold magic. Also I don’t have a problem. I was just the last one to have the magic until someone took it from me.”
“Why was it taken?” Am I seriously believing this?
“I- well I think it was because the necklace thought was using it poorly. Anyway, when you put it on, you will have the power to protect people. The Aztecs tried to hide it, but someone found it, and it ended up in this pawn shop. Then of course left to hide itself from me, but whatever. Just be careful.” He said the last part through clenched teeth and I could tell he didn’t mean it.
Was he jealous? Maybe, maybe not.
“But what if this was supposed to be a gift for someone. Can I still give it to them? Would it mess something up?”
“Oh they can wear it, and it wouldn’t do anything to it or you, but once you put it on it doesn’t come off unless it wants to. I’ve only seen one other person try to do that with it. He actually found it here, and it somehow ended back up here and that’s when I tried it on and it wasn’t long before it left me, but he wanted to give it to his daughter for his birthday. Never saw that guy again.” And on that note he went back into his office.
Wait, could that “guy” have been… Hitori’s dad!?
“What do you want now!” He shouted through his office door.
“What was his name?” I heard drawers open in slam.
“Here are his files and you can keep it for all I care, I have a copy.” And there it was.
Kokoro Aiko. Hitori’s dad.
I ran out of there and took the file with me, ran into the house into my bedroom and stared at the necklace.
Delete Created with Sketch.
I remember the day they got the news. He was in the car leaving work. He passed the Walmart and smelled smoke. He got out of the car and saw it on fire.
He rushed in and helped so many people… but never came out. They never even found his body.
I remember. I was at Hitori’s house when her mom answered the phone. It was Hitori, her mom, my mom and dad, and me. When she told us we were all in shock.
Hitori ran up to her room and I heard her sobbing. I ran up to her room-by myself which I was not allowed to do but given the situation-and sat beside her on her bed. She cried on my shoulder for a while, and I wasn’t sure what to do or how to respond.
I mean her dad has always intimidated me for some reason, but he was an amazing guy. The worst part is, this was three days after she lost her necklace.
Delete Created with Sketch.
I just sat there staring at the necklace when I saw something in it. It was a blob, but human shaped? It’s just my imagination I thought.
I just thought it was so weird that her dad and I got it from the same place and gave it to her both on her birthday and he… ya… three days after she loses it. I don’t think it’s a coincidence.
Put it on…
What? Did I imagine that?
Put it on…
That guy is just getting to my head about it being magic.
You will save him…
What? Her dad? Stop. Don’t trick yourself into believing something that won’t come true. I actually started to get teary eyed thinking about it. And I don’t cry. It wont hurt if I put it on right?
Just stop James! Stop tricking yourself. Just go to bed and give it to her a week from now.
All day at school, Monday through Wednesday, I was thinking about it and trying to cheer Hitori up. She looked so sad and bags were under her eyes. I don’t think she was getting sleep and tomorrow was her birthday!
Her mom didn’t have a huge party. It was just Hitori, Layla-one of her close friends- and me.
Hitori was actually having a good time. But I kept hearing voices saying, Put it on. Put it on. Put it on…
It was in my pocket and I finally ran to the bathroom and was just so annoyed.
I heard my mom knock on the door and say they were about to open presents and I said I would be out in a bit, but I had to understand what was happening.
I quickly put it on and closed my eyes, when I opened them I still expected to be standing in the bathroom looking ridiculous in the mirror, but I was in a space. Or what looked like it. I was in a place where everything was purple, blue and had stars all around.
That’s when I saw him.
“Mr. Aiko!” I ran toward him!
“James!” He smiled.
“H-how did you get in here?”
“See, this happened to be magic from the Aztecs and, well, lets just say that I’m not totally sure how it works. I’m not even sure I can leave this necklace, but I do know one thing. I need you to take care of my daughter. I want you to tell Hitori and my wife I love them. And thank you James. You’re a good kid.”
“Mr. Aiko! I can’t leave you in here and you know that! I need to take you with me!” Bile was getting stuck in my throat making it hard to talk and my eyes were welling with tears.
“Just close your eyes for ten second and you will appear in the other world and, just take care of them. Okay?” He said, a tear running down his cheek. I ran up to him and gave him a hug and I grabbed onto his arm hoping that when I woke up-if I ever did, cause I wasn’t sure about any of this- he would be in the bathroom with me.
I opened my eyes and there I was standing in front of the mirror with the necklace on.
“Hello? Mustang?” It was Layla this time. I couldn’t help the sadness and anger inside at the same time. I wasn’t mad at anyone in particular. I was just mad at how the world worked and sad for Mr. Aiko, Hitori, and her mom. They all had to live through this and their dad was all alone in a stranded sky with no one.
I banged my fist on the counter.
“James!” I heard her through the door again. I ripped the necklace off and slid down the back of the door.
“HOLD ON!” Tears spilled from my eyes. I missed Mr. Aiko and his family being happy.
I finally got hold of my self and felt so stupid. I walked out of the bathroom and they looked confused.
“Sorry, um, I thought I broke something I didn’t luckily. Sorry.” Hitori looked at me concerned and it seemed as if they waited for me. Might as well give her the necklace, and then she’d basically be with her dad. Not that I can tell them that. No one would believe me!
I took out the necklace and almost everyone’s jaw dropped. And Hitori covered her mouth.
“I-I… how?” She laughed and looked so happy, yet she was crying. I guess it was a mixture. I mean it’s good, but no doubt it reminded her of her dad. She slowly walked to me and I handed it to her. She just looked at it for a minute. Then there was a knock at the door and she gripped the necklace in her hand harder as if she was worried the person at the door was going to steal it.
That’s when I noticed it was glowing. Hitori’s mom went to the door and I pointed to her necklace and she looked at it then at me strangely.
Then it started to dissolve…
Hitori was about to freak out when her mother shrieked from the doorway. That’s when I saw him. Kokoro Aiko.
“DADDY!” There was just a giant group hug of the family in the doorway and I think Hitori was the happiest i have ever seen her in her life!
They came in and Hitori looked at me with the happiest look on her face. She walked over to me and didn’t say anything.
“Sorry your necklace is gone.” I said.
“Are you kidding!? Forget it! You brought my dad back! That’s the best thing I could’ve ever gotten!” She wrapped her arms around my shoulders and kissed me on the lips.
Gotta admit, she’s a good kisser. It was one of the best moments of my life!
“Dad told me you got him out a necklace, so there’s some explaining to do.” And we did. We all sat in her living room and explained everything and that’s when Layla asked, “So, what exactly got you out? And how did it get you trapped, and where is it now? I’m so confused.”
Mr. Aiko smiled and said, “It’s magic.” Then he looked at me and winked.
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Loved the magic of this story!