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After Ten Years
“Welcome to MaClear's Jewels. One moment, if you please; if you need any help, don’t be afraid to ask.” The store owner, Linia MaClear shouted after hearing the doorbell of the small Hole-In-The-Wall shop. She had been reading The Book Thief behind the counter before the customer had entered, waiting for the small, monthly, delivery truck to arrive, but immediately jumped up to her feet and placed her book on the small red chair she had been sitting on after she finished reading the page she had been on.
Her eyes searched the room, expecting to see a man looking curiously at the rings, but saw no one. “Hello? Is anyone there?” Her voice shook.
No answer. Linia began walking out from behind the rib-high counter, with her eyes stretching widely across her face.
“Hello?” She proceeded towards the glass push-open door, opened it, and stuck her head out, turning it left and right, before pulling herself back in the jewelry store and closing the door behind her.
“Hmm. That was weird,” Linia shrugged, flipping her dark brown hair out of her eyes even though it immediately fell back. “Maybe they changed their minds about coming?”
She turned around, and skipped out of her skin as a tall woman with straightened blonde hair sweeping her face jumped out in front of her, “Boo!”
Linia jolted backwards and screeched.
“Where is my stupid money!” Linia rummaged through her sister’s room, throwing things out of the way. She was just getting ready to leave for college, and was trying to find all of her belongings before she left. Her luggages were already out in the front of the house, and her friends were waiting for her, so she didn’t have much time.
She couldn’t remember the last time that she had seen cash last in her wallet for more than three days without disappearing. “Why can’t Mary just leave my stuff alone!” Linia shouted and groaned with frustration, hoping that someone would hear her.
Finally, after about ten minutes of digging through drawers, she found seventy crinkled dollars in cash sitting under a stack of old textbooks from several years before.
“Here it is!” she exclaimed, not exactly with relief and happiness, but with sadness.
Linia’s heart had churned a moment before. Why can’t Mary just control herself? She shook her head. She is not much younger than me, and just because she has Autism, Mom and Dad spoil her. That is why. She gets bad grades in school, yet she gets a new laptop because ‘it will help her improve her grades’.
Linia snapped out of her thoughts when someone shouted from the doorway, “Lin! What are you doing in my room?”
She turned around to see Mary standing in front of her with a red face, strongly contrasting her pale, blonde hair.
Linia held up the money in front of her face and raised her eyebrows, “I’m leaving. That’s exactly what I am doing, since you are so curious.”
Mary threw her pale arms up in the air and grabbed Linia’s arm. “No! Give me back me money,” she continued to yell.
“Let go of my arm,” Linia commanded and glared before her sister loosened her grip, which allowed Linia to pull free. She chuckled, “Ha! Your money? I am so happy that I won’t have to see you for a long time. Is there anything else you have stolen from me that you might want to tell me about?”
“Where are you going?” She asked in her soft voice.
“College of course! Duh!”
“Please, can I have the money, Lin?” Tears began welling Mary’s eyes.
“Of course not,” Linia rolled her eyes and began walking towards the door.
But, she found herself unable to move forward when Mary grabbed her arm again began screaming, “No!”
Linia’s eyes widened and she whacked her free arm at her sister. “Let go Mary!” She hit her again on the shoulder and Mary yelped, immediately releasing the arm.
Taking advantage of the opportunity, Linia sprinted for the door and out the house to safety of her friends’ car. She knew, or rather hoped, that Mary wouldn’t follow her out of the house, still yelling.
“Come on!” Linia shouted to her two friends, Kristy and Brittany, who were waiting patiently in the small green Contour. “Help me get my stuff in the car and let’s get out of here.”
The two girls got out, complaining about how hot it was outside, and helped her heave and throw the two luggages and three bags of stuff that Linia would need during her time in college.
Linia slammed the green trunk close, and they all jumped into the car, desperate for air-conditioning. Brittany began backing out of the driveway and within several seconds, they were driving down the road, away from the house, but Linia wasn’t paying attention. She had her sorrowful eyes fixed behind them on the house and on Mary running out into the road.
The woman smiled, revealing gold fillings in her teeth, “Hi Lin. Long time no see, eh?”
Linia didn’t say anything, but her eyes spoke for her, which were being stretched widely in all directions across her face.
The woman smirked as if she were speaking to a child, “What’s wrong? You look like you saw a ghost.”
“Mary...wha..” Linia stammered, “How did you find me?”
Mary’s mouth widened as she cackled, ostentatiously showing her teeth again, “Not that hard actually. I haven’t been trying very hard for that long, considering I just got back from a small town in California....Why, you’re not excited to see your little sister, whom as I recall....you haven’t seen for what...ten years?”
“If you are going to bother me, you might as well leave because I am busy right now.”
Mary shifted her weight to her left leg, “Sure. You are just as I remember...selfish.”
A cackle escaped Linia’s lips, “Oh yah...you’re the one to talk. Take a look at your clothes!”
Mary was wearing a golden silk shirt, sparkling silver pants, and a large, decorated purse, looking like a snotty rockstar to Linia. Jumbo diamond jewelry lined her pale arms, fingers and neck. Mary’s mouth edged upwards after she looked down at herself and shrieked, “I know. Aren’t they beautiful? I bought them in France.”
Linia rolled her eyes, “Yeah. I’m just wondering how much they cost,” trying to hide her interest. She walked towards the door and flipped the ‘open’ sign, so no one would walk into the store and listen in on their conversation.
Mary shrugged, “About a hundred and fifty bucks. Not that much actually.”
Linia’s eyebrows raised as she glared at her sister, “You’re joking, right? Might I ask how on earth can you afford one outfit for that much.” She paused and then jumped slightly with realization and pointed at her sister, “You stole it didn’t you!”
Mary smirked sassily, “And why might I tell you that?”
A loud, yet nervous, cackle escaped Linia’s lips, “I wish mom were here to see you. She would be so.....disappointed....ugg.” She stopped herself with a soft scream deep in her throat.
“Yeah, well, Mom’s not here right now, is she?”
“No, but why don’t I just call the police on you, so then you can wait for Mom to come bail you...”
Words stopped flowing from Linia’s mouth when Mary glided toward her, pointed in her face, and whispered forcefully, “I swear, if you tell anyone, or even talk to Mom about me, I. Will. Kill. You! I am not going to spend any more time in imprisonment because of my problems.”
Linia’s face paled with fear, and she backed down, terrified of her sister.
Mary continued, “Capish? No. One. I will find you again if you tell someone,” and turned to exit the little shop.
Linia’s eyes stared thoughtlessly as her sister stomped away, wondering if they would ever see each other again. She sighed with frustration when she heard the delivery truck approaching and began inching toward the door after her sister.
It seemed like moments passed while Linia worked her way to the door, thinking about how her curiosity for her sister’s life had finally ended in the way she had expected.
She jumped out of her trance when a threatening shriek carved through the streets. There was no mistaking that someone was hurt, so Linia sped up her pace to a sprint into the streets.
Immediately seeing a cloud of eyes glaring at a delivery truck, which was covering scattered piles of diamonds, sparkles, and golden silk in the middle of the road.
“Mary!” a second yell carried through the air.
This time from Linia’s lips.