Photographs and Diamonds

Joseph picked up the silver-gilded frame and stared at the image. A nervous young man stood stiffly in an army dress uniform with his arm around the waist of his new wife, dressed elegantly in a simple, straight white satin dress and carrying a simple bouquet. The couple stood in front of the church doors as well-wishers broke into applause.

He remembered how giddy Helen was with excitement the day they decided to get married. Home on leave he asked her. The war prompted quick action on the field of battle and off it. A promise was a promise until the day you died. And that could be any day. It was a time when memory was long, a handshake communicated trust and steadfastness was an anchor in a marriage.

The young man aged into the weathered reflection staring into the photograph. Sixty years had passed since that day and with it a million memories.

Returning the photograph to the dresser Joseph straightened his tie and adjusted his cuffs. In the mirror a formal black suit replaced the dress uniform. Helen interrupted his reverie.

“It’s time for the party, dear and we are the guests of honour. Everyone is waiting for us. Happy anniversary, darling.”

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20 responses to “Photographs and Diamonds

  1. Not so much a story as a sketch. It is semi-biographical, prompted by the photographs of my grandparents.

  2. Strong moment here, thinking on how I will feel at that juncture in life. Ponderous Adam.

  3. I love this … nice how there was a time when a promise made was a promise kept. Thank you.

  4. Beautiful moment. And for some people, a promise made is still a promise kept.

  5. Clearly he’ll be the life of the party.

    To be serious, it’s cutting in its poignancy, Adam. One hopes the party will remind him of other things.

  6. Very nicely written. A sweet story.

  7. Until Helen interrupted him, I thought he was going to be attending his funeral – she he had have been, you would have created enough emotion in the scene for me to actually get teary eyed. As it was, I actually breathed a sigh of relief when she interrupted him. Beautiful story. I’d go as far as to say one of my favourite of yours!

  8. How lovely. For a moment there I thought he was getting ready for her funeral. We’ve been getting lots of gore on #FridayFlash. 😛

  9. So glad they’re celebrating an anniversary, and nothing sad. Constancy and commitment is something we don’t see enough of these days.

  10. Lovely idea and beautifully written. I felt the final line could have been better, though – not the final line, actually, but the penultimate two. It just wasn’t quite right – like you knew how you wanted to end it and so rushed the words out to get there. Also, I felt it should have done more – revealed something specific about their life together.

    Overall, a sweet and touching piece.

    • Thanks for the comments. It does have that rushed element to it and a bit of distance would have yielded a better conclusion.

  11. Yeah, grandparents rocked. I hope yours get to read this slice of life.

  12. You have such a beautiful tone to your words, Adam. I’m transported immediately every time I read your stories. Another great job this week.

  13. So much said in this short piece. Time reflected on and love appreciated. Wonderful!

  14. I particularly liked his reflections on time past AND the actual reflection of his old self in his young self. Nicely done.

  15. Nice segue with images from past to present. I too, thought the black suit would be a funeral suit, then Helen interrupted.

    Poignant.

  16. Deanna Schrayer

    Wonderful story Adam, simply wonderful! I love this sentence: “The young man aged into the weathered reflection staring into the photograph.” I read it three times just for the way it sounds.

    I too thought he was going to be attending her funeral, but I’m so glad I was wrong about that.

  17. Strong feelings and emotions in a short piece – very well written

  18. I also expected this to be leading to a funeral. I’m wondering if you intended to lead us that way or we brought in that expectation based on other pieces we’ve read.

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