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He could feel the turmoil of strange emotions rage through his body. He quickly regretted this ill- fated and brazen endeavor. Failure was inevitable. But rather than succumbing to the prospect of this proclamation ending in a dismal manner, he was completely determined to continue this hazardous voyage on which he had embarked.


Slowly he walked, towards the table in the corner of the cafeteria. It was as if his whole life had slowly developed for the sole purpose of culminating in this fatal day.  He could feel the elevated heart rate, and he was astonished that none of the other students sitting in the room were alarmed by the boisterous cacophony of loud noises arising from his pounding heart.  He closed in on the table with an intrepid look on his face.  He felt a surging flux of confidence to which he was indeed, a complete and utter stranger.


Approximately ten yards from the table he tightened his already firm grip on a tiny, unpretentious box. He carefully opened it, and gazed upon its contents. Hidden in this box, there was nothing but an elegant golden necklace. Three words were engraved continually around this necklace: Live, love, hope. Inside a small locker there was also a heart- shaped diamond of modest size, shimmering with the opalescence perpetrated by the stars hidden in a far-away galaxy millions upon millions of miles away.


Five short footsteps and he was over by her table. She was just sitting there, with her pulchritudinous, golden hair flowing gently along her gracious neck. Bernadette. Unfortunately, she was surrounded by a group of chatting girls. How was one supposed to administer the courage required to achieve success in the horrendous act that was offering a girl ones heart under such circumstances?  He was no good at these situations as girls used to chide his brusque and insular nature. Tittering should have been forbidden by law, he thought, while panting as if he had just ran a mile. Notwithstanding the giggling girls, he took a deep breath and said:

- Bernadette, I need to talk to you.


More twittering from the clowder.

- Sure, what’s up, Glen? Her voice implied surprise, but she did not seem put off, like girls tended to do in his presence.


She joined him as he left the cafeteria and aimed for the school yard. The entered the empty school yard without speaking a word. Stillness and emptiness laid an impermeable carpet of isolation. All noise from the rest of the world was locket out. For all intents and purposes, they were now the only habitants in a world where all life had been wiped out.                      

- Will you be my girlfriend, Bernadette?


This was madness! He would be a laughingstock. He would forever be remembered as the weirdo who in a moment of insanity, actually thought Bernadette would be his girlfriend. He had almost decided to walk away in a hurry in an attempt to minimalize the humiliation. As he turned, he heard her sweet calming voice:

- Yes.

- Yes, what? I said.

- Yes, I would like to be your girlfriend, she replied both frowning and smiling a little.                              


The world entered a spin. He could feel blood rush to his head and adrenalin being pumped into his brain. It was unbelievable! Bernadette was his girlfriend! On the street outside the school yard, he could see the magnificent, but simple, green leaves sprout all over the frail, withered branches on the old, infirm trees. He brushed away her hair, and put the necklace around her neck. He was definitely on cloud nine!




More than two years had passed since that beautiful day. He was at his best friend, Robert Hanssen’s. The two best friends who had known each other since pre- school, yes, even since before either one could talk. Outside, the autumn was ravaging, snapping trees like twigs. The wind howled, and cadaverous leaves plummeted helplessly to the ground. Had he known which horrors he would face, he would

- Look, I have to tell you something, Robert said, hesitating slightly.

- OK, what is it then, Glen said.


He couldn’t really determine the look on Robert’s face, but one thing was for sure, he did not want to make eye-contact.

- You see, there’s something I have been wanting to…


At that very moment, a sharp sound came from Glen’s phone, and they both looked at it.

- Hang on, I just got a text from my mom, saying my grandpa is at the emergency room, Glen said, with a weak, quivering voice.

- Oh my god, what happened, Robert cried.

- It says here he had a heart-attack. I have to go to the hospital right now! But what was it that you were going to tell me, Robert.

- Oh, it was nothing, Robert said. He had a grim look on his face as Glen was about to close the door on his way out.


Just as he was closing the door behind him, a bright, flickering glimmer caught his watery eye, and his eyes became fixed on an object on the floor below Robert’s bed. A necklace. It was a necklace of great simplicity, but it was a beautiful piece of jewelry. Three words were engraved continually around this necklace: Live, love, hope. Inside a small locker there was a heart-shaped diamond of modest size, shimmering with the opalescence perpetrated by the stars hidden in a far-away galaxy millions upon millions of miles away.

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