I used four prompts – the three for this challenge and one from the previous.

A Broken Ring, A Broken Friendship

I had been following Clara on her way home for who knew how long. I had to talk to her. The forest was thick and full of trees that reached up toward the brilliant, blue sky hidden to us by their leaves. A handsome red cardinal hopped from branch to branch and occasional chirped a cheery tune. As happy as the world seemed, I didn’t join in its joy.

Clutched in my hand was a beautiful amethyst ring – with the amethyst gem completely out of it. I opened by tight fist just a little to peek at it, and once again it broke my heart. What on earth would Clara say? Could she ever forgive me? What if she was so angry, she stopped being my friend?

The amethyst ring had meant everything to her. It was her mother’s, but she trusted me with unwavering faith and let me borrow it for one night – the night I needed a spark of confidence most.

By now, Clara was getting suspicious. I wasn’t exactly being as silent as an Indian. She stopped when I stepped on a cluster of fallen leaves, splashed with deep autumn colors of gold and red. Though beautiful, its rustling noise gave me away instantly. Clara whipped around, auburn braids flying behind her. Her sweet smile had disappeared completely from her usually cheery face.

“Lizzie, I know you’ve been following me,” She began in a curious voice. “But you’ve been avoiding me at school, too. Why are you hiding behind me now? What did you do?”

Her accusations pierced my very heart. I knew I had to tell the absolute truth, but how could I? It was just as senseless as saying that homeless person I had seen weeks ago was the mayor’s identical twin. But it had to be done, and I couldn’t avoid it, no matter how hard it would be.

But was our friendship a higher price to pay than I had been prepared for? Unsure of how to proceed, I avoided her pressing eyes that seemed to pierce into the very depths of my soul.

I forced myself to open my mouth and speak to my best friend. “Clara,” I began. “We’ve been friends for so long, I’ve forgotten which one of us is the bad influence. I know you’re going to be mad at me, but I hope that you will come to forgive me in time and that you’ll continue to be my friend – my best friend.” I swallowed hard before continuing as the late October wind whipped at my shoulder-length brown hair.

“Clara, I broke-“

“My amethyst ring!” Clara screeched in rage. My green eyes stung with unshed tears as I opened my sweaty fist. I held my palm out to her guiltily but with a transparent heart.

“It was an accident,” I told her, but my voice broke when I saw her icy blue eyes stab mine. A tear rolled down her cheek but she swiped it away with one hand and snatched the broken ring out of mine with the other.

“I never should have trusted you with it!” She yelled at me. “Clara, don’t be angry,” I begged. I couldn’t lose our friendship now. Not when I needed it most. There was so much going on at school and at home and with my family… I needed Clara. She was my only true, earthly friend. I couldn’t lose her. But I understood exactly how she felt.

“I understand,” I whispered. “If you don’t want to be my friend anymore.”