I wish someone had told me what really happens when you break a family heirloom. See, the other week I was at my great grandmother’s house remembering my childhood and the adventures I had in her house. Such a big beautiful house she has! Although some might say the feeling of it is sepulchral and vapid, which might be true, I think it’s great because it adds to the mysterious feeling of the house.
But anyway, back to the heirloom. It was a beautiful plate made of ivory porcelain and it had glass roses decorating the edge. In the center it had a small bouquet of daisies, roses and lilies, surrounded with a gold circle. I loved this plate. Every time I went over to Great-Grandma Grace’s house, I always made a beeline to that plate, just to look at it and wonder what it’d been through.
Mom always said that when Great-Grandma Grace dies, one of us kids would get the plate. But in order to get it, there was certain precepts. We couldn’t be fractious, we must be obedient and not scathing but salutary.
One day when I was still of young age, I went through my normal “ritual” of going to Great-Grandma Grace’s and seeing the plate but that day, I really just wanted to have that plate. I thought the only way to get it was to just take it- to filch it. So I did. Because I was still rather young, I was quite clumsy and unwieldy.
I quickly made sure no one was in a 30 foot radius of being able to see or hear anything. The coast was clear so I went for the gold (or, in this case, the plate) and shoved it under my jacket. I ran out the front door shouting a good-bye to my Great-Grandma Grace. (Later on, she thought this to be odd- I normally stayed for a while. I wasn’t one who was transient.)
I arrived home with the plate and ran to my room. I put the prized plate on my desk, near the window. It was the most beautiful thing I’d seen. The sunlight came through behind the plate making it glow and the glass roses projected rainbows onto my walls. I sat there for what seemed hours just staring at it. My brother came in my room without knocking on my door which scared me. I turned to see him and tapped the plate so that it would lay flat- but it didn’t. Instead, it fell off of my desk and onto my hardwood floor. It landed in pieces and as soon as my brother saw it break, he ran down the stairs, blazon with the news that I had broken Great Grandma Grace’s plate.
I crumpled to the floor in embarrassment, sadness and shame. Right away, I knew what I had done was wrong and I wished I hadn’t done it. I picked up a broken piece of the plate and held it up to the light. The sunlight came through the ivory back and glistened.
That was the day I learned the axiomatic truth behind stealing- just don’t do it.
I had to write this for a school assignment and thought it was pretty good so I decided to post it on here. Written 12-30-07 11:11 pm.
BY THE WAY
This is fiction. I have an Aunt Grace but no Great-Grandma Grace. The name was a recommendation from a friend. There is no plate in my family as an heirloom (that I know of?) and if there is, I doubt it’s like the one described in this story.