The Jewel Case

Now she stood there. Alone in her apartment. She had just arrived at home, straight from work.It was eerily quiet in the big old house. Only through the air gap of the tilted window she could hear a few black birds singing in the trees. The wind was playing with the curtain as it does with little waves on a lake, and the glass of the window reflected the soft red of the setting sun.

Her memory trailed back to how the apartment had looked a few weeks ago when she had arrived here. An ice cold chill ran down her spine when she remembered the dark, cold colours, the dirty windows and the dust bunnies everywhere, that apparently wanted to occupy this apartment.

Now many things were different. The walls were painted in a friendly white, and she had hung up her favourite paintings, paintings she herself had drawn. On the windows the curtains fluttered merrily, driven by the breeze. They were glossed in various shades of yellow. Next to the windows now were a nice seating area and a cuddly, soft carpet. An orange floor vase featuring a large bouquet of golden ears of wheat submerged the room in a natural ambience.

She wanted to spend some downtime this evening, as she was incredibly exhausted from work and only wanted to sit down and rest. But the silence in her apartment echoed way too loudly in her ears. A film! That would be the solution! Regretfully she then noticed that the box with the DVD's hadn't been unpacked, yet.

„Alright then. “, she thought and settled in front of the TV - with the box. She took her time. She lifted one DVD after another out of the tall, narrow box, read the film titles and remembered different scenes. Some of them made her heart grow heavy, others made her smile. For a while she pondered about which movie she ought to watch. But she decided to first unpack the whole box. Why had she just been using this stupid, much too small box of the old DVD player for packing the DVDs? It wasn't possible to see what one was grabbing. While her hands explored this dark storage of films, she touched something cool, metallic.

She gently pulled the item out, which manifested as a little treasure in her thoughts, even before she knew what it was. Amazement flitted over her face as she laid her eyes on the jewel case. She had almost forgotten it.

Gently her fingers glide over the figure of the exotic lady adorned with peacock feathers. Her fingers traced the shape of the two peacocks, who enthroned themselves above the lady's head like a crown. She fingered every tiniest aspect, every curve, and every indent, all of which had been artfully incorporated in the jewel case's lid.

Suddenly she seemed to be standing in the middle of the big square again. The air smelled rain filled. She noticed the bustling noises of the flea market around her. It was as if her hand was holding the man's hand again who once had given her the jewel case.His warm, soft hand covered her's, she felt safe and so secure with him. She remembered the small market stalls with their old rummage, the smell of attics and basements. She dreamed herself onto the side of this man, who still seemed to be holding her hand tightly in his. Together they strolled through this accumulation of old, unnecessary and even antique stuff, occasional furniture, books, pictures, household appliances, records and much more.

He was with her all the time and held her hand. His calm, sonorous voice was unique. His speaking generated a vibration in her, and her pulse beat in harmony with the melody of his words. He haggled about the old art print of a Renoir for her and achieved such a low price that it seemed like a present.

This was already a prize of good luck, but the true treasure of this flea market was still waiting for them.

With her companion by her side and her hand in his, which bared so much closeness and so much affection, she roamed along. She stood in a maze of old stuff. This loveless on the earthy ground piled stall seemed to feature nothing of value worth it to be bought.

Then her look fell on the little green-blue jewel case on the ground. It was heavy and cool. The green-blue color underlined the cold aspect, yet, the figure on the cover radiated a warm intimacy. She had to have this jewel case!

The seller asked an impossible price for this gem, and he seemed hard to haggle with. He only reduced the price minimally, so her ownership of this wonderful artwork shifted into the far distance. Sadly she opened the jewel case, touched the fine, black velvet inside and thought that it was probably made for real treasures. She desired to keep in it what she loved most. She almost wanted to put the jewel case back and walk on, as it didn't help to covet something that she couldn't afford, when just in this moment the hand which had held her's all this time, let go of her. Without uttering a word, he gave the smoking seller the money and gave her the jewel case.

Silently she promised herself to put anything that bonded her and this man into this case, everything that held them together, all that made them strong together.

As like the jewel case, he was also a gift to her. He was so special, so unique. Their relation-ship so deep and full, full of feelings, full of affection, full of honesty. She felt so good and at home in the arms of this man.

A cool evening breeze dragged her away from these thoughts. While she had been dreaming it had turned dark. She thought about how long it had been since she had seen this man and embraced him. How long it had been that she had felt so comfortable, accepted and safe.

Still contemplating that beautiful time, she opened the jewel case. It was empty.



German original by Ute Wünsche- Keller

translation by Brigitte Jansen and Defer Rains