I still don’t understand how I lost the bracelet; it was my favorite piece of jewelry, given to me by my father when I turned twelve years old. I had been to the beach earlier that day, and a couple of my girlfriends had gone with me to work on our tans. It was an awesome day, the high was just over 80 degrees, and the wind was a light one that blew offshore all day, keeping the waves down. I remember several times checking to make sure the bracelet was in its place on my right wrist. I loved that bracelet; it had a little gold heart hanging from a single hoop on what was otherwise an ordinary chain. If you looked closely at the heart, it had my name engraved on it: Alexandra. How the engraver got all that on a gold heart that small, I’ll never know.
I walked up and down the beach, looking for that bracelet. I could even see my friends wandering up and down the beach, and from time to time they would call out for me, and I would wave back to them, and they’d keep on looking around where they were standing. They did a great job helping me; I could not believe how much ground the two of them covered as they helped look for me. But in the end, as I sat in the back seat of Carly’s car, the two of them rode home in silence. They must have really felt bad for me, because they didn’t even say a word. They stopped and went inside with me at my house, and they spoke with mom while I went to my room and cried. I knew that Dad was going to be upset when he found out I had been careless with what he gave me.
It may not seem right that a nineteen year old would be so upset about losing a bracelet, but that just tore me up. I can’t explain just how important that bracelet was to me.
I know that it’s somewhere in the sand, down there on the beach. I was right, Dad was upset. It took three days, but when he finally let go about it, he tore the kitchen apart. There were flying dishes, dents kicked into the refrigerator, the works. I thought I was attached to that thing, but Dad really went a little overboard.
More than once over the next couple of weeks I even caught Dad going down to the beach with my two friends, looking for that bracelet. Why he never went with me, I don’t know, maybe he just didn’t want to let on how much that bracelet meant to him.
I heard Mom and Dad talking about the bracelet late one night, and I heard Mom tell him to give up already, that finding the bracelet wasn’t all that important.
It was a couple of days after that, when we found the bracelet. The phone rang, and my Dad answered it. He was upset when he hung up the phone, and on the way out the door he was back on his cell phone calling mom and telling her to meet him at the beach.
When we got to the beach, a young teenager was there, talking with a deputy. I thought Dad had gone overboard, but I realized he must have even called the police over the whole thing, too. The deputy spotted us walking towards him, and he strode up to meet us. The conversation was short:
“You said we’d find a bracelet with a heart on it, right?”
“Yes, that’s right,” Dad replied.
“We haven’t moved it from where it was found,” said the Deputy.
“You haven’t moved anything yet?” Dad asked.
“No sir. The kid called in what he found as soon as he found it. He didn’t even move, he just pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and called us.”
I couldn’t understand all the fuss over a bracelet. I walked with Dad and the deputy over to where the kid was still standing. I just wanted my bracelet back. No way was I leaving this beach without it.
There, on the backside of a sand dune, less than sixty feet from a road that ran up and down the beach, I saw my bracelet. It was on the right wrist of an arm, sticking up out of the sand. The detective was there, and he looked up as we approached.
“Can you do this, sir?” the detective asked.
“Yes sir, I can.” Dad replied.
As Dad and I looked on, the Detective began to brush away the sand from the face of the body in the sand. The face was familiar, as my Dad hit his knees and went to pieces. It wasn’t the bracelet Dad had been looking so hard for. It was me.