One Of Them

When I saw the shiny object half hidden in the sand I was as excited as a teenager could be. I casually picked it up. Dusting it off revealed a lovely silver bracelet with a rather odd inscription on the inside, along with the initials MRP.

Many years past, but the bracelet held onto the special place that I had given it in my jewelry box. I wore it for every special occasion so, of course, it was a part of my ensemble the first Thanksgiving that I spent with my boyfriend's family. Paul's father greeted us at the door.

"Welcome," he offered me his hand "I'm Joe."

"Fran. It's a pleasure to finally meet you, Sir." I was so nervous.

"Please, call me Joe."

"Joe," I repeated his name.

"Don't be nervous. We're all friends here." I gave him an awkward smile and was introduced to Paul's brother and sister, Leo and Jane.

"How long have you been dating?" asked Jane.

"Seven months."

"Eight months if you count the weeks that I spent stalking her before I got the courage to ask her out," clarified Paul.

"And you're just introducing us now?" asked Leo.

"You know how it is," answered Paul.

At the table Jane saw my bracelet.

"Your bangle looks just like ours," she commented.

"Yes, I noticed that too. We all have the same bracelet," I answered.

"Where did you get yours?" she asked.

"I found it on the beach when I was fifteen years old."

"At Cold Toe Beach?" asked Joe.

"Yes, how did you know?" Everyone was quiet.

"Is it initialed MRP?" Leo broke the silence.

"Yes." I didn't know what was happening.

"Margaret Rose Peterson," said Paul. "Mom was a jeweler. She made us all the same bracelet, but lost hers at Cold Toe Beach the year before she died."

My heart nearly stopped. "Why haven't I ever seen you wear it, Paul?"

"Because it makes me miss her even more."

"I'm so sorry." I didn't know what else to say. I removed it from my wrist and gave it to Joe. "This belongs in your family." He accepted it with a tear in his eye. "The inscription on the inside is very strange," I commented. Everyone laughed.

"Yeah, Mom had a great sense of humor and she loved Star Trek," explained Leo.

***

After Thanksgiving I felt very close to Paul's family. Months later he proposed and at our wedding Joe gave me a little present. When I opened it I cried like a baby. The bracelet had been polished. My initials replaced MRP but the inscription remained the same, "Resistance is futile." And the card simply read, "You're one of us now."

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