That Time of The Year

Titi couldn’t find her ruby necklace; she emptied her jewellery boxes and all her bags. Her late husband gave her the necklace on their wedding night, now she only ever wore it on the anniversary of his death.


She walked over to her daughter’s room door and knocked. No response. She knocked again, and again.


“What is it?” Tina asked after opening the door on the ninth knock.


Titi flinched as loud music erupted out of the room.


“Could you turn the music down? I can’t hear myself think.” Titi requested.


Tina took her phone out of her pocket and turned the music off.


“So what do you want?”  She asked with a face that showed how disinterested she was.


“I can’t find my ruby necklace, have you seen it?” Titi queried.


“I haven’t seen any necklace. Is that all?” Tina replied


“Are you sure? Because I’ve looked everywhere, and it couldn’t have walked out of my room on its own.” Titi continued.


“Are you asking if I stole it?” Tina asked 


“No my dear, just that you might have forgotten to return it, like that time with my Gucci bag.” Titi replied.


“I did not take your stuff! Leave me alone!” Tina shouted before slamming her door.


Tina was not always filled with angst, but after her father died the sweet young girl gradually got replaced by the grumpy rude teenager. Titi had not figured out how to get across to her, and it wasn’t for lack of trying.


The next day was the anniversary of her husband’s death. After dropping Tina off at school Titi returned home to begin her anniversary tradition. She watched videos of their wedding and let tears roll down her cheeks as she smiled. She read the messages he had sent her on her old Nokia phone and played the voice messages he had sent her. She danced to their favourite songs and sang the lyrics as loud as her lungs and tears would allow. Everything she had on had been gifts from her husband. She touched her neckline where are ruby necklace would have been, that was her favourite.


Around midday Titi received a call from the principal of her daughter’s school. She was to come in to see the principal about an urgent matter. Tina had been caught with some marijuana and was going to get expelled, but after some apologies and a nice donation to the school her punishment was reduced to a two week suspension.


The ride home was silent, Titi did not turn on the radio and neither of them spoke a word.


“I’m sorry.” Tina said as they walked in their house. “I know you’re mad at me. I didn’t know what I was thinking, I just…..I just…” she was breaking into tears. Titi walked over to her and hugged her dearly.


“I know you are my dear. And you’re right, I am mad, but it’s okay. I know it won’t happen again.” Titi said while consoling her.


“Yes it won’t mom. I’m so sorry.”


Later that day Tina walked into her mom’s room with the ruby necklace.


“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to keep it; I just wanted to take some pictures with it.” Tina apologised.


“I know. Come here.” Titi beckoned.


Tina curled up in bed with her mother as they watched old family videos. Tina started to cry.


“I miss him so much.” She said.


“I know. Me too.” Titi replied as a lonely tear ran down her cheek.