Not So Much
by Marian Allen
“I know that.” Louisa took the ring back and turned it in the light, admiring the play of bright and dark in the filigree carved into the metal. She put it on the third finger of her left hand.
“Not even a diamond. Not even a chip. Are you quite sure it’s an engagement ring? Are you quite sure the young man understands your relationship the same way you do?”
Louisa was accustomed to her father’s ways, and had grown – more-or-less – inured to them.
“I’m quite sure, Father. He’s middle-class, but he isn’t stupid.”
“Perhaps he’s both. He probably thinks 18-karat gold is non plus ultra. He’s probably more familiar with jewelry from cereal boxes.”
Inevitably, her father drew a chain from beneath his shirt, pulled it over his head, and held the pendant in his hand for her to see. It was a heart with a diamond set in one of the lobes and the word Pure in script across it.
“This is a copy of the first piece of jewelry I ever designed.”
“It’s made of 24-karat gold. 24-karat. Pure. Unalloyed.”
“I know what pure means.”
“Does your young man?” He tossed the heart on the table.
“He does.” She picked up a marble whatnot and brought it down on the pendant.
She lifted the whatnot. The heart was misshapen, some of the lettering obliterated, the diamond off-kilter.
“That’s why real people don’t have much to do with pure gold,” Louisa said. “Adding another metal makes gold stronger. This family could use a little stiffening in its spine.”
“I’ll have to have that repaired again!”
“Have them mix some nickle in with it this time. It’ll last longer.”
It was a good exit line, and she took advantage of it.
It was also good advice, but do you think her father took advantage of it?
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Write about purity.