Secrets of the Brooch

The river was flowing fast. The thaw of the last snow made it run high and swift. As I threw the brooch in, I felt a little like the old woman from the movie, Titanic. And now memories of the brooch and its secret override all other thoughts …


With the love of her life now gone, she wondered how her desires could ever be fulfilled. She found solace in the arms of her beautiful mountains and in the heart of her dense and luscious woodlands. Her desires for peace and harmony were filled. She could walk this earth knowing that her spirit soared with the eagles and touched the rich soil like the rocks.

Laughter helped her to get through her lonely days and she laughed often. However she could not replace the one thing that was missing. She tried to ignore the feeling of loss that ate at her but it consumed her at times when she was alone. So she kept herself busy and made sure that she always had people around her. She did not want to face that loneliness or sit alone in that space and feel the sadness creep back in again.

She flirted … a lot. She made friends easily. But she held people within a safe distance, especially men. When she was confronted with actually having to make a commitment she did so carefully. She went out on dates. When they were not just once and done, she would only see the same man two or three times then suddenly have excuses why she could not go out again. She even told little white lies about being involved with someone and apologized for not being “honest” about it to get out of forming any kind of lasting relationship.

One day an email from a mysterious stranger arrived. Although a bit flattered, she was also not impressed. He simply stated that he had read her profile on a website and when he saw her picture … “Ouch! He had fallen off his chair trying to look down her blouse!”

He meant it as a compliment. She was amused and thanked him for noticing and nothing more. Next day another email arrived stating that he was afraid he may have given the wrong impression and he thought she was not only beautiful but he was captivated by her words and her inner beauty. Again she thanked him for his kind words but told him that she was sure that a few lines on a profile could not tell the whole story and perhaps he did not yet know her well enough to know what she looked like on the inside. End of response.

Two days passed and he did not reply back but on the next day, he wrote to her again. This time what he wrote was as sweet as any poetry. He told her about himself in very personal terms. He wrote about his dreams, his upbringing and he misfortunes. He held nothing back. His life was now an open book to her. He explained how he felt about her “story” and thought she must be a writer or an artist of some kind. Her words revealed much more to him than what was written on that page because he said, he read between the lines and straight into her soul. He was a very rich man and he was very married.

He was married but he wanted to meet her. Over the next few months they communicated by email and called each other on the phone. She was very understanding and did not want to interfere with his loveless marriage which he assured her he would never leave. But he lived a life that she only dreamed about. He had traveled the world. He told her stories about his experiences with the many cultures and customs he encountered. He kept her enthralled for hours. What she knew of him now excited her. He was an honorable man and an intelligent man and a man full of kindness with much love to give. He made it clear that he wanted her in every way a man could want a woman.

She was excited by him but felt her heart was safe because he was not available to her. He explained to her that he knew he was only playing second string anyway until the real love of life found her. He wanted her to travel with him, to be his companion on business and pleasure trips when he went abroad. She told him that she could not be bought but secretly she longed to go and prepared her passport.

The months passed and she found herself eagerly waiting for their daily correspondence. He called her from work during business meetings when they took a break to tell her about the wheeling and dealing that he was undertaking. “Go get ‘em, Tiger” she would tell him, just as proudly as any wife!

He loved the way she took an interest in everything he did. One day she received a text message which read, “We have to meet. You are now on my agenda.” Later that day when she spoke to him on the phone he told her that he had inadvertently put her name on the meeting agenda instead of the client! When he was questioned about it by a staff member he merely said that she was a very high priority so he thought it best he took care of this “affair” personally.

The sweet scent of Christmas lingered in her mind as she got ready to meet him. Only a few more weeks and the holiday would be upon them. He managed to get away for a few days explaining to his wife that he was looking at real estate for his company and this was prime time to acquire it. There was no time to lose.

She thought she might be nervous but she was not. The arrangement was to meet at a very secluded and very expensive Inn known for its charm and exquisite taste. As she pulled in and saw it for the first time, the magnificence of it took her breath away. It was every thing he said it would be and more. She started to feel a bit like Cinderella going to the ball!

And there he was … standing in the doorway of the private cottage looking more handsome than his pictures had revealed. Leaning on the door frame with one hand outstretched and the other behind his back, she knew immediately she could be taken in by his charm. When she was within his grasp he pulled her into him and kissed her first on the cheek. The gesture made her giggle a bit which seemed to make him determined to show her, he was not kidding.

He looked deeply into her eyes until she stopped smiling then he gave her the kiss of a lifetime … so gentle yet so passionate, toying with her mouth and tongue; pulling back when she felt his tongue searching and not completely allowing the kiss to deepen and then deepen again only to stop and move position again and start the tease over again.

The art of the kiss seemed to last forever. Her entire body responded with tingles everywhere. She felt the urge to move against him closer and harder, sliding her body over him until the kiss came to a climax. With her eyes still closed she savored the moment as he stood there silently looking at her. She knew he was quite pleased with himself and she wondered how his wife could possibly withhold her affections from him. But it did not matter because for the next few days, he was hers and hers alone. She was not going to miss a minute of it. He had held a bouquet of wild flowers behind his back. How in the world did he get wild flowers in the midst of December?

Music from inside flowed softly out onto the balcony as she looked out over the landscape. She felt a bit melancholy on their last day together but the music entered her and she started to sway to the sweet and graceful melody. Her movements kept her warm as she moved her hips slowly to the music. He watched her from the bedroom as she turned and twisted gracefully, her curves silhouetted by the sheer gown that hugged her body. She heard him whisper as he came out onto the balcony with her shawl. “Beautiful” was all he said as he wrapped the shawl around her sliding his hands along the curvatures of her frame.

“This is going to be hard for me,” he told her. “When I go back and leave you here, I will be expected to get things ready for the holidays. I will be kept busy putting up the family tree when all I really want to do is shop for a tree with you … and help you trim your tree and take that sparkle in your eye and let it be the star that sits atop our tree.” She looked at him intently watching as a tear rolled down one cheek. It was too much, she had to look away or she would burst into tears herself.

He reached inside his pocket and pulled out a small box gift wrapped in shiny paper with a red velvet bow on top. “Merry Christmas … I want you to have this.” She looked at the gift and shook her head. “No, I cannot accept it. You promised … you promised you would not buy me anything.”

He was rich, he could have afford to buy her diamonds and rubies and all kinds of gems! He would constantly tell her how he saw something that he knew she would just love and wanted to get it for her. But she knew money was easy for him and an expensive gift would not mean the same thing to him as it would to her. She did not want her heart to be influenced by his generosity but rather by his own heart. So she made him promise not to buy gifts for her.

“Let me explain,” he said as he placed the box in the palm of her hand.

A few days ago they had gone to a few antique shops together. He had stayed behind in one shop as she proceeded ahead. He asked if she remembered and she said she did. Well, there was a beautiful piece there that he just could not stop looking at. He told her that he imagined her wearing this article. A thing of beauty, he said, only enhanced by a beauty that far out shines it. “Please open your gift,” he begged her.

Inside the box was a brooch, an antique brooch. He was right it was very beautiful. “It belonged to a young woman. It was a gift from her husband. She wore it all the time.”

The owner of the antique store had given him the history of the pin. It had originally belonged to the husband’s mother who had died giving birth to him. His own father had told him how much she loved it and gave it to their son as a reminder of his mother’s love. Now his own wife was about to become a mother and he had given it to her. But … the man continued the story …but … his own wife died just after giving birth to their own child and the man could no longer bear to look at it and felt the brooch had been cursed. The merchant was told only to sell it to someone who he knew would not have children and the curse would then be broken.

“So, sweetheart, you must accept this gift and break the curse.” She smiled then kissed him on the cheek. “Will you put it on me?” she asked.


A few weeks ago, she found the brooch in a drawer when looking for a pin for her shawl for work. It has been over a year since she last heard from him. But the memory of this man and this brooch are fresh. But like the previous owners before her, she cannot look at the brooch without sadness. It was a gift of love which broke everyone who touched it. A thing of beauty … but the secret is that the beauty cannot be shared without destroying those who loved it.


The secret of the brooch belongs now to the river that flows swiftly to the sea.


Secrets of the Brooch

Judi Taylor

Stowe, United States

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Artist's Description

Secret lives revealed … the life of the brooch and the secret lives of its owners.

I would love comments on this one … what are your thoughts?

Artwork Comments

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