Everytime I pass the crystal ashtray on top of my "french" fireplace in my room, I see them there. They've sat inside the ashtray since October...and I have always found them a rather suspect presence. I wondered about them, they made me uncomfortable...Walking into my room I would glance over and quietly ponder their presence. Walking out the door and scooping up my keys I would feel somewhat unsettled seeing them, just sitting there. Sometimes I would stare at them, musing over their possible significance...

You see, it was in early October when my mom came to visit me with my dad. They stayed here in my tiny apartment on that, now infamous, inflatable camping mattress from my childhood that they had brought over with them. They helped me fight off the loneliness and homesickness currently in my life...and I tried my hand at making their third trip to Paris worthwhile and interesting. Never mind the fact that it resulted in me gaining a temporary insecurity/inferiority complex...(I'd only been living here for 2.5 months) I wanted them to have the time of their lives and try and provide them with the supposed insiders knowledge that I "should" have had at the time.

Well, my mom wore this beautifully simplistic necklace with tiny pearls and a few colored beads and stones gracefully hung among them. It was exactly her style, then,...subtle, simple, quiet (if a necklace can be described as such) and yet an eye-catching piece of jewelry. I remember, after only a couple days into my parents' roughly 10-day stay in France, something happened. I am not quite sure what was the trigger, I'm sure a weakening string or another such random, but whatever happened, I wasn't there to see it. I had stepped out of the room while my parents were in there talking and fixing things up and only stepped in--when it broke. The pearls and beads scattered all over the floor, some of them she caught with her hands before they dropped out bouncing over her fingers, but others she had to chase around the carpet as they rolled about. Slightly dismayed but not at all seemingly upset, she finally gathered them all up and placed them in the ashtray without a second thought. To deal with later.

When she left, she forgot them there.

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