The locket I wore around my neck every day for a year.
The locket that holds a very tiny, very blurry, very dark picture of a very tiny girl.
The locket whose clasp was broken by a two-year-old who constantly asked to look at the picture of the sister she would never know.
The locket I glued shut so I could continue to have its comfort close to me.
The locket that brought her heart close to mine.
The locket I only pull out of its place once a year.
I tore that space apart looking for it. It's not there. It's not anywhere. It's not in a drawer or in my nightstand or in the bathroom or hidden between two scarves. I know Eve plays in my jewelry and scarves frequently, and I’m sure she played with it one day, not knowing what it means to me. I’m sure it’s shoved in a dark corner somewhere or casually thrown into the trash. The trash. I can’t think about that.
It’s gone. And I can’t wear it close to my heart today.
The heart-shaped locket that seals two hearts together.
I should be planning carpools to junior high.
Whose room would she share—Lily’s or Eve’s?
I should be setting a table for seven each night, not six.
Would she love Harry Potter and Percy Jackson like Micah?
I should be making a birthday cake.
What would her favorite dinner request be for tonight?
I should be planning a party—one of those big junior high things with pizza and swimming and giggling. So much giggling at thirteen.
Who would she invite?
I should be refereeing shared bathroom time.
Whose pants are these—yours or Lily’s?
I should be driving to dance or tumbling or soccer or volleyball.
What if . . .
I should be . . .
But I’m not.
Instead, I weather September 10th mostly alone, and this year I will do it without her and without my locket. Alone with my what-ifs and my should-have-beens. I know I will see her again, one day. One beautiful, perfect day.
Will she know me?
Will I recognize her?
This daughter of my heart.