Just One Touch

I am sitting in a chair next to Momma’s bed. I am watching her get ready for a party.

She opens the beautiful jewelry box on her nightstand.

It is the size of a shoebox. It is wooden. It has colorful stones on top. They are red, green, yellow, and blue. To me, the box looks magical. It looks like it has special powers.

“Now, you know you must never touch this box, right?” Momma says. I feel like she knows exactly what I am thinking.

I just want to touch it. I just want to open it.

I just want to try on all the jewelry inside and dance around the room!

“Yes, Momma,” I say. “I know.”

What do I know? I know Momma has always told me not to touch the box. She has said it since I was a little girl.

“You are not old enough to wear my jewelry,” Momma says.

I am almost eleven years old! What is the big deal?

I know that when Momma puts on the rings and bracelets from the box, she looks different. She seems to glow.

There is one necklace with a yellow stone like a tiger’s eye. When Momma puts this on, she seems to float instead of walk. Her feet do not seem to touch the ground. She moves lightly and gracefully. She moves without effort.

Momma kisses me goodnight. She leaves for the party. I run to the window to wave to her, but she is already gone.

Tonight I am very curious.

Just one touch.

I sit on the edge of Momma’s bed. I place my hand on the nightstand. I pause. I think.

My hand moves up and rests on the jewelry box. The box quickly flips open by itself! Jewels fly into the air. They dance around my head. I feel strange. I fall down to the floor.

I wake up in a place I have never seen before.