Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Actions Speak Louder than Words" (without using the actual phrase). (02/21/08)
TITLE: Something Old, Something Blue
By Ida Arbo
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“Calm down honey,” he said soothingly.
“Don’t tell me to calm down. You didn’t see her face. She trusted me.” Nancy dropped to her knees in exhaustion and covered her face with her hands. Frank tried to comfort his wife as she sobbed uncontrollably. After a few minutes Nancy stood up and tried to pull herself together. “She’s my best friend and I made her a promise.”
“You were twelve years old. She probably doesn’t even remember it.”
“You weren’t there, Frank. Tina took that promise very serious. She returned my music box on our wedding day, and if I don’t return her gift she will never speak to me again.”
Nancy could still remember the day vividly, as if it happened only yesterday. “You will always be my best friend Nancy,” Tina promised. “And you will always be mine,” Nancy said.
“Let’s give each other something to hold on to, and then return it on our wedding day,” Tina suggested. “It has to be something you really love, so we can prove our trust for each other. We’ll meet back here in one hour,” Tina said standing under the oak tree they had just finished carving Tina + Nancy = Best Friends Forever.
An hour later, Nancy hesitantly handed Tina her most prized possession, her music box. “I wind it every night before I go to bed, and I listen to the melody until I fall asleep,” Nancy said sadly. “It will remind me of our promise as I listen every night,” Tina said reassuringly.
With eyes closed, and arms outstretched, Nancy eagerly waited for Tina’s gift.
“I won’t give it to you unless you promise not to lose it. It is very important to me, and you have to remember to give it back on the day I get married.”
“I promise Tina, now hand it over,” Nancy said excitedly.
Placed in Nancy’s hand was a necklace made out of macaroni and yarn. The macaroni had been dyed blue.
“This is what I love most,“ Tina said tearfully.
Nancy was speechless for a moment but pretended to love it. “I’ll wear it all the time,” Nancy said enthusiastically, trying to hide her disappointment. “No, don’t. Just hang it by your bed and remember me every night as you fall asleep. It is very fragile and I don’t want it to get broken.”
Tina sounded sincere and Nancy didn’t want to hurt her feelings, thinking she had hand made it just for her.
“Frank she’s getting married in three days and I have to find that necklace. What am I going to do?” Nancy said desperately.
“I think you’re overreacting. It was just a macaroni necklace. Buy her a new necklace, the kind with a locket. Place a picture of you both at twelve-years old inside. She will love it.” Frank suggested.
“You’re right. She probably only gave me that necklace because she couldn’t afford anything else. That’s exactly what I will do,” Nancy said with a new sense of hope.
Tina’s wedding day arrived. Nancy walked into the room and saw Tina in her wedding dress. “You look so beautiful,” Nancy said. “Do you have it?” Tina said with a serious longing. “I have something even better,” Nancy said with a smile and handed Tina the gold locket. Nancy was saddened by her reaction. “I thought you’d love it. It has our pictures in it.”
“Nancy,” Tina began tenderly, “I never told you why that necklace was so important to me. My mom made that for me when I was six years old. We didn’t have any money and she wanted to give me a wedding gift. She asked me to promise to wear it on my wedding day as something old and something blue. She said as I wore it she would be with me. It was the last thing she gave me. She died of cancer 2 months later.”
“I am so sorry, Tina,” Nancy said feeling awful. “If I had known how important it was to you I would have taken better care of it.”
“You gave me your word Nancy, I thought that was enough,” she said wiping her tears.
“Nancy, I promised you would be my best friend forever,” placing the locket around her neck, she reaffirmed her words.
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