The string of her mother’s necklace snapped as it fell to the carpet. Her neighbor watched and took a step back from it, a smile on his face as he dropped the red knife from his trembling hand.
She stood frozen and stunned, her hands shaking ever so slightly. She was never close to her mom but she regretted it once she saw what was hidden inside of the necklace. She wished she had spoken to her more when she still had the chance to.
Daisy Shaw was born in Little River in California. Her parents’ divorce when she was 3-years-old lead to a troubled childhood for Daisy.
Following the divorce, Daisy moved into into a studio apartment in Los Angeles with her mom. Her mom was only 29 at the time, and she was battling severe depression while struggling with substance abuse. Her conditions would sometimes cause her to do horrible things to Daisy.
Almost daily, Daisy would show up to school with burn marks on her arms. When teachers noticed, they immediately notified Child Protection Services who moved her into a foster home.
Daisy grew up and was far removed from the bubbly little girl she used to be. The only reminder she had of who she was before they came to get her was her mom’s antique locket. She thought she was the reason for her family’s tragedy, she would blame herself and it would only get worse.
Daisy despised her mother for ruining her chances of being happy as a child. She grew up watching other children have fun adventured with their parents. She saw happy families at fairs and she watched as other girls her age attended prom. She was reminded of all the opportunities she never got.
When she learned about her mother’s passing, she felt nothing. She loathed her mom for taking her childhood away from her. She got angrier and angrier every day, but she wouldn’t stay angry for much longer.
On Daisy’s twenty-seventh birthday, she met Klaus, a young author from London. He lived right next door to her and she could always smell his amazing cooking.
She found his fascinating. He always wore his leather jacket, so matter how hot it was outside. Daisy would always see him around, and she knew she liked him. But if she’d have known better, she would’ve kept her distance.
Because of her parents’ nasty divorce, Daisy had sworn off intimacy since she was young. But Klaus made her feel differently about it.
He always said that her necklace was fascinating. She informed him that she had been wearing it around her neck since she was only 3-years-old. She felt like she could speak to him about anything and everything. She felt like he really listened to her. It was amazing. But she didn’t know that he was burrowing into her head.
Daisy saw Klaus in her dreams that night. They had a connection unlike anything she had ever experienced before. She found herself wondering if her parents felt this way about each other too, when they first met.
In the morning, the two of them bumped into each other in the hallway. Klaus asked Daisy if he could take her out for a cup of tea which made Daisy laugh. “No one in the 21st-century drinks tea. How do you feel about coffee instead?” She responded.
The first date went so well that Daisy asked Klaus for another. The second date was even better than the first one. And every date after that was beyond perfect. She was having the best time with him.
Daisy was falling in love with him. He made her laugh every time he opened his mouth. When he was sad, she was sad. She remembered that she vowed to never be intimate with another person. She was in trouble.
That night, she thought about her feelings for Klaus. She had known him for a year at this point, but it felt like they had know each other for much longer.
She saw how hurt her mom was after the divorce and how it ruined both their lives. She was afraid that the same would happen to her. But how could she turn him down after the amazing times they had spent together.
Daisy help her mom’s necklace between her fingers when she noticed that it was heavier than usual. She hugged it to her chest, wishing she could speak to her mom. She was finally feeling the impact of her mother’s passing.
Even though it was late, Daisy decided to make her way to Klaus’ front door. She knocked on the door and whispered a quiet “We need to talk,” when he opened.
Daisy stepped into Klaus’ apartment. He had lit a few candles around the living room and set the table for two. “Sit,” he urged.
Daisy sat, and Klaus went in and out of the kitchen. A knife gleamed in one of his hands. On the other was a red velvet cupcake. “What’s this?” Daisy asked.
Klaus pointed at Daisy’s necklace. She trailed her finger against its warm metal. “Open it,” he said. “What?” asked Daisy. “It’s a locket. Lockets hold gifts, no?” Klaus answered.
He slid the knife down the cupcake, bringing it to Daisy. “I know it’s not your birthday, but I’ve had these candles lit for hours now, waiting for you to come,” Klaus said. He cut the necklace off Daisy’s neck.
The cake-stained knife tipped out of Klaus’ hand. It landed next to the opened necklace. Beside it was a sparkling ring. Klaus went on his knees, “I hid it in your necklace on our last date.”
His doe eyes gleamed beautifully in the candlelight. “Daisy Shaw, will you marry me?” he asked, his lips curling. Daisy’s jaw dropped.
Daisy stood frozen for minutes. She didn’t blink or take a breath. She’d come to tell Klaus she wanted to build a life with him. She’d fallen in love with him.
And here he was, on one knee. He was a step ahead in this dangerous game they were playing. “Will you marry me?” Klaus repeated, worry flashing across his face.
Daisy remembered her parents. Her past ruined her life. Would she let it wreck this happiness she’d found too?
She took a step forward, her heart pounding within her chest. Her knees felt weak, and she almost stumbled. “Klaus,” her voice was small. Tears covered her sight, “Yes. Yes, I will.”