I sighed heavily, sitting down on a bench near the jewelry counter. As I sat there, I clutched my bags filled with Bella’s costume. An elderly woman scuttled from behind the counter and sat down next to me. “You look troubled, son,” she said. “Everything okay?”
“I’m fine,” I replied. “Just thinking.”
“Girl trouble?” she snickered.
“No. Actually, for the first time, I’m in love and I couldn’t be happier,” I said, smiling crookedly. “It’s just the relationship is very new and we’re learning stuff about each other as a couple. Additionally, we were great friends prior to getting together as a couple and I’m still coming to grips with that, too.”
“My husband and I were friends, too,” she said softly, idly rubbing her wedding band. “Unfortunately, Richard died two years ago from a massive stroke. We were married for over fifty years and I was so lucky to be married to my best friend.”
“I’m sorry for your loss,” I frowned.
“Thank you, sweetie,” she said, giving me a sad smile while she patted my hand. “It took me a great deal of time to pull myself together but my granddaughter, the manager here at the store, suggested I work a few hours a week to meet people and keep my mind sharp. I fell in love with the jewelry counter because I adore my sparkles.” She wiggled her arthritic fingers that were filled with rings. “Maybe your girl would like some sparkle?”
“What did you have in mind? What’s your name?” I asked.
“Oh,” she laughed, pulling her nametag from her pocket. “Shelly. Shelly Cope.”
“Edward Masen,” I said, holding out my hand. I smoothly kissed her knuckles, earning a girlish titter from Shelly.
“Okay, you smooth talker,” Shelly snickered. “Let’s find your girl some sparkle. Though, she found a gem in you, Edward.”
“She’s my treasure, Shelly,” I said wistfully as we walked to the jewelry counter.
“Hmmm,” she mumbled thoughtfully. “I know just the thing. Come!” She moved as quickly as she could to the opposite end of the counter. “This just came in last week and it’s been very popular.” She opened a folder and placed diamond bracelet onto it. It was white gold with an infinity pattern, twisting delicately on the folder. “The diamonds are very good. A lot of sparkle. And you know what? Diamonds are forever.”
“They are,” I laughed lightly. “How much?”
“$4,695,” she answered, wrinkling her nose. “It’s expensive…”