Several days had passed by without word from Westin as Celeste did her daily routine chores, and after fighting the freezing temps outside she closed herself up in the heated garage to go through the trunks of antiques. The telephone rings many times, but she doesn’t pick up the phone while she carries onward with her dirty task. She drags out a heavy cedar chest with a carving of two turtle doves kissing and quickly dusted off the top. “Papa,” she slides her hand across the wood in loving reference to her grandfather’s wood craft, and opens up the heavy lid. A beautiful hand knitted table cloth laid in perfect condition hiding the rest of the contents in the trunk when Celeste pulled it out and opened up the fabulous cover to display it’s beauty. “Grandmother,” she whispers out and set the blanket aside. Her eyes immediately rose in awe staring at a black and white picture of her mother when she was a little girl. “Mama,” she choked out and picked up the picture to view. She let her tears fall to see the little beauty her mother was before she grew up. Carefully she kissed the face of her missing mother, and gently placed the photo on the side. She reached for a jewelry box with one turtle dove and opens the container. The music box chimed out its timeless tune as she touched the white paper and pulled it free to read. Her mouth opened wide in shock to see hundred dollar bills neatly stacked and hiding underneath the white piece of paper. Slowly the girl recovers and begins to unfold the letter of long ago.
To whom ever finds me! This money I have saved for many years with Henry’s help. Whoever finds this money has the privilege to enjoy it. Maybe travel the United States, go where I never was able to go. I was saving this money to travel back to Scotland one day with my love of my life Henry. There is over sixty thousand dollars neatly piled into this lovely box Henry made me as a gift when he asked me to marry him. The only thing I ask from you whoever finds me is take a trip to California. Spend the day on one of the beaches, bask and play in the sun, and watch a sunset only for me! You will find a shell that my mother found on the beach of Santa Barbara when I was a little girl. Please return it back to the sea it came from. XOXOX Clarisse
Celeste tips the box upside down and lets the money flutter to the floor while catching the little sea shell in her lap before it dropped and shattered on the concrete floor. “Well I be a monkey’s uncle,” she lisped out in awe staring at the bills littering the floor and gives the pretty sea shell her attention. The cowgirl never really had a desire to use money since she lived off the land, an after her grandfather’s passing she needed no money to spend since the man left her a large amount of money and the home she lives in. In a soft tone she gives her grandmother a seal the deal statement, “I promise grandmother I will return your shell back to Santa Barbara.” For over an hour she sits staring and talking to her mother’s picture with tears in her eyes. In over five years Celeste thinks about her father and what might have happened to her family if her father had a different career. She looks out the garage window and notes the evening is passing, and picks up the hundred dollar bills to neatly stack them back into the box. Thoughts of taking a California trip filled her mind with hope as she closes the cedar chest with her mother’s picture inside. She slides the trunk back where it came from and covered it back up with the same dirty sheet. Her tummy growls with hunger as she shuts the garage door and heads to the kitchen to make her a light dinner. In her dark house sitting by the fire with Damn dog sleeping beside her on the bear rug, Celeste drank herself into a stupor while reliving her lonely childhood, and when she finished her last glass of whiskey she stumbled into the bathroom and took a long soaking bath to ward off the chilly night air.