The Arrangement – Part II

… continued…

“Do you know a lot about them?”

“A lot about them?” he repeated.

“I mean, do you know where they come from, a bit about their history?”

“Oh well, to tell you the truth, that’s hard to keep track of.  So many people come in and sell their jewellery.  Some tell me tories about them, some don’t.  I’m not in the antique business, so I really don’t pay much attention to the history.  I’m just a salesman.”

Regardless of his lack of knowledge, I still felt this was a story worth pursuing.  I would just have to do some extensive research and find someone who knows more about the issue.  As I looked down at the old jewellery, one particular ring caught my attention.

“May I see that ring for a moment?”

“Which one is that, ma’am?”

“The one with the emerald and two square diamonds on either side.”

“Oh yes, beautiful ring,” the older man said as he lifted it from the tray and handed it to me.  I held it carefully then tried it on.  It fit perfectly on my middle finger.

“How much is this?” I inquired.

“Two hundred and fifty dollars.”

“I that all?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

I contemplated my expenses for a while, my bank statement running quickly through my head.  ‘What the hell’, I thought.  I hadn’t spoiled myself in some time.

“Okay, I’ll buy it.  Do you take cheques?”

“With two pieces of ID,” he advised.

“That’s no problem.  Who do I make it out to?”

The elder man spelled out the name of the store as I wrote it out carefully.

“Don’t bother with a bag.  I’ll wear it now,” I said.

The man handed me my bill and I left the store.

Wouldn’t you know it.  Here I was out on an assignment which was to make me money and I end up spending it.  No time for regrets though.

I went over to the reference library next and toyed around with the reference computers, searching for material on antique jewellery.  The place was packed with yuppies and would-be yuppies studying.  Toronto was full of them anywhere you went.  The generation who worships money and opulence.  Or was it rather decadence.  The two were too difficult for e to distinguish among this group.  But I was not to criticize, no matter how strong my sentiments against their needs were.  After all, even my own circle of friends fell into the same category.  They could never understand my persistence in following a career for the sheer love for it as opposed to the financial rewards it could reap.  They could never understand why I refused to dress within the Yuppie standards.  It was so simple.  I wanted to be an individual in a world where uniqueness was becoming extinct.

I travelled through the rows of books, picking the ones whose numbers matched those on my little reference sheet.  Soon after I was sitting behind a stack of books, open to various pages, as I jotted down pertinent information for my story.

Suddenly my hands began to shake uncontrollably, as my head felt as though sparks were igniting within it.  The pages of the books began to flip on their own.  I stared in amazement.  I peered around the room to check if anyone was taking notice of this strange phenomenon.  No one seemed to be distracted whatsoever.  A tingling sensation ran through my body as if the sparks were travelling downward, finally escaping through my toes.  The motion ceased, my hands were still.  I looked around again.  Still nothing.

I must have been hallucinating, I thought.  Perhaps I hadn’t been eating properly, or hadn’t been getting enough sleep, or both.  I wasn’t sure.  But I decided it was time to put away the books and head home for some rest.

It was only when I rose to my feet that I felt a thousand eyes staring at me.  My eyes travelled the length of the room.  It had not only been felt, it was true.  All eyes were upon me.  I looked down at my body, trying to locate the area of interest.  ‘It can’t be’, I thought.  My clothes were different.  But that wasn’t all.  So was my body.

… to be continued


(copyrighted 1987)

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