The missing jewelry didn’t stay lost for long, for I found Delilah’s trophy the very next day. Opening my hand to reveal the size six sparkling beauty, I realized I had found her missing ring. But since she had broken the engagement from Stan, it really wasn’t her ring any longer.
Its hiding place had been underneath the deep plush sofa cushion, where I now sat. The sparkle was begging me to try it on because it needed to be admired. Resisting the temptation to wear Stan’s token of love for my half-sister, I closed my fingers then slipped my hand into the invisible pocket of my taffeta dress. I was dressed and ready to be driven to the club to share a late supper with friends.
Hearing the light clack, clack and tap of high heels, I watched from the corner of the parlor where I was sitting, to see Delilah swish her way to the bottle of liquor, a bar of sorts. Pouring herself a small shot of bourbon she took a second glass and repeated the process. She walked over to the sofa and set the glass intended for me, on the coffee table.
Sitting down opposite me, her deep green dinner frock allowed the frills of an icy pink tulle slip to show as she crossed her legs. She had a habit of swinging her foot back and forth, allowing her to catch glimpses of the expensive heels she wore. Drawing out a fresh cigarette, she lit it and inhaled deeply.
“I suppose you know that Stan is angry about my not returning his ring.” She continued, ” As if I would keep it after what he accused me of doing.” Angrily, Delilah exhaled a stream of smoke and smashed out the partially smoked tobacco. She stood up, downed her drink and headed for the front door. Turning she demanded to know, “Are you riding with me Connie, or shall I instruct the driver to return for you?” Her green eyes were slightly shut and her long mascara lashes veiled their full meaning.
Standing and mocking her, I threw back my drink. The strong bourbon burned its way down to my stomach, providing me with courage. I looked at her and decided, “Send the driver back for I have something to do first.”
She looked me over suspiciously then walked out the front door. So spoilt was she that she left the door ajar, knowing I would walk through the foyer to secure it, which I did.
My fingers touched the ring, and smiling to myself I decided to place it into the wall safe. Entering the parlor once more, I turned out the overhead light and from the light in the hallway I could still feel the smoke about me. One lone tear rolled down my cheek. A tear I wouldn’t allow my half-sister to witness. Why hadn’t Stan chosen me? Why were men always drawn to the allure Delilah wore like a garment, I wondered.
Walking into the butler’s pantry I removed the false glass rack to expose the vault. Rotating the combination lock the proper number of turns I opened the door, and taking the ring I placed it into the envelope which was sitting on top of the family bible. Closing the safe and spinning the lock, I replaced the shelf and turned to go.
When I walked out the front door the driver had returned and I locked the entrance then stepped into the limousine. Sitting down on the black leather bench the driver leaned in to drape a light rug over my legs, closed the door and then we drove away toward the club.
Wondering if Stan would show up tonight, I laid my head back and within minutes I fell into a deep sleep.