Imitation

paor of dead flowers leaning on each other
His guilt always took the form of diamonds.

This was how she knew when he had been with another woman. The next morning there would be a sparkling apology waiting next to her coffee cup. 

I prefer words.

There was a vast collection now, a fortune in fact, lining the velvet boxes stacked in her custom designed closet next to the designer purses and dresses.

She never, ever wore the jewelry. To do so would be to acknowledge, to give permission to, his infidelity… something she swore she would never do.

So day after day, week after week, year after year, she waited while her hatred grew. She had no family, no children, no skills, no education… no independent finances. Thus, she endured his touch, biding her time. The trophy wife who was no longer a trophy.

Finally, the day came. 

Heart pounding, she loaded all of his guilt up into two large suitcases and took them downtown to a jeweler for appraisal.

It made her nervous carrying that much “money” in public. She glanced around furtively as she lifted the suitcases out of the trunk of her sports car and during the short trek across the parking lot, sighing in relief as she stepped through the door.

The young woman at the counter stared at her suspiciously when she explained what she needed. 

You are still pretty. Just wait. The 40’s will come for you, too, and then you will understand…

Anticipating a life of luxury from the proceeds, she fidgeted anxiously as she waited.

The gray haired man in the back had deep creases in his face. He sat hunched over a workbench, examining each piece carefully in turn while squinting through his jeweler’s loupe. Sometimes he would glance up at her before picking up another item. 

When he had examined each one, he bundled everything back into the suitcases almost carelessly and brought them back out to her.

She felt a horror and dread rise up from within, even before he spoke. He held pity in his eyes, as if he understood why she was really there but knew some other terrible secret.

He waited a moment, then spoke.

“Those are not real diamonds at all….”

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106 thoughts on “Imitation

  1. AAAAAGH as soon as I read the ‘she never wore them’ something in here clicked for me. I *knew* what was going to happen and I just DREADED the whole ending, all the while BEGGING for it to turn out differently for her! 😦

    Super, super, nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. there was a woman we used to hang out with who had something like this happen to her literally…, her ex had given her a massive diamond ring..(not sure if it was her wedding ring or a gift)..but after they got divorced she went to cash in the big rock only to discover it was cubic zirconia. come to think of it…She herself reminds me of cubic zirconia.. beautiful on the surface but 110% fake… Great writing Victo.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. great story and it hit home. I remember my ex ( a&&hole) giving me diamond earrings as a gift for Christmas. When I opened the box, he had fake huge ones tand underneath were the “real ones” tiny but has the added ring of diamonds around the stud. I thought they look dull. Well sure enough, they turned out to be industrial diamonds, which is quartz…. but they are pretty earrings from a distance.. Seems his “hairdresser” sold them to him…. hairdresser??? I should have known….
    I did get a bigger diamond ring that was real for all the crap I put up with him. I had it remade along with all the other jewels he gave me. Hey, I got something from the jerk!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your illustrations are always so appropriate, but the thistle stumps me. Is it an “imitation” sunflower?

    Actually, the title gave away the ending, but there was still enough hope in the presentation to make us read all the way to the end. I would ask you 1,000 questions about why she was “trophy wife” if she believed she had a right to expect faithfulness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They are dead and dried up, entwined around each other. That was why I picked the photo. 🙂
      I find we judge women more harshly than men and the fact that she was a “trophy wife” automatically makes people dislike her even though her whole story isn’t presented here. Maybe she loved him when she started out? Maybe she came from a past of poverty and abuse where the only thing she had going for her was her good looks…. they became her survival mechanism. Maybe she didn’t even expect fidelity from him. Maybe all she wanted was respect? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well first I now want to know what she does from there…

    Second, the first part of this story, the guilt jewelry was my sisters story for years. Having said that she was also not the most faithful of people.

    Liked by 1 person

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