Mathilde Loisel was a fine young woman, She was one of those pretty, charming young women who are born, as if by an error of Fate, into a petty official’s family.. She had no dowry, no hopes, not the slightest chance of being appreciated, understood, loved, and married by a rich and distinguished man; so she slipped into marriage with a minor civil servant at the Ministry of Education..
Yet she was not in love.
He could not give her what she wanted, he had no chance of giving her the lavish life she so wanted. She had to resign herself to being in a smaller home than her friends and not having the jewels she oh so wanted. So, when her husband had saved up so much money as to buy her a dress for the evening reception, she had nothing to go with it. It was a beautiful dress, but she knew it was not as nice as it would be if she had had that jewelry her husband could not provide.
Everyday when Mathilde Loise looked at herself in the mirror she saw someone who was deeply unhappy, she saw someone who felt no love for her husband. Her husband was a kind man, but he could not make her feel the happiness and give her the money that she was after for so long of her life.
When Mesuior Losiel threw out the idea that she should go to her friend Madame Forestier for help she agreed. She went to her friends to ask her to borrow a necklace to go with her new dress so that the other women at the party would not show her up more than she knew they already would.
So here she was standing in front of the doors that lead into her friend's home. She knocked twice. A charming butler opened the door and led her inside towards Madame Forestier’s chambers.
The home was beautiful and all that Mathilde had ever wanted, the way the arches came together at each doorway, the clicking sound that her best heels made as she walked down a marble corridor, and the paintings that lined the walls. The paintings might have been her favorite part, the way that her friends' ancestors held themselves with such pride, showing off their stature and grace, she wanted to look like that.
The butler announcing her arrival shook her out of her thoughts.
“Madame Forestier? Your acquaintance is waiting for you outside of your chambers.”
A muffled voice could be heard from behind the large doors that presumably led to where her friend was. There was a creaking and then the doors swung open to a smiling Jeanne.
“ Mathilde! Oh how I have missed you. What brings you here today?” Her friend ran out and grabbed her in a swinging hug.
Mathilda was speechless, looking at her friend she was entranced by her beauty, from her tight curly strawberry blonde locks to the slight red on her lips and the way her dress falls to the middle of her calves. She knew her friend didn't need any jewels to look that stunning at all times, she had always shone brighter than anyone else in the room.
When Mathilda had finally gathered herself together and had been released from her friends grip she relayed her tale. Jeanne listened closely nodding with the words being said, her curls bobbing slowly with every movement she made
. “I think I have something that you may like. It would look beautiful on you.” and with that her friend grabbed her wrist and led her through the doors towards the wardrobe.
It was a beautiful wooden carved thing, with a mirror on the inside door so you could see how you looked in each outfit. Mathilda stared at herself in the mirror, she looked plain. She looked out of place in such an extravagant home, no fancy pearls, no swishing baby pink dresses, no perfectly smooth skin. Mathilda herself had on a cream dress that came to her ankles, her brown hair up, pinned so none of it touched her shoulders, and she tried to hold herself with as much grace as her friend but failed to have the confidence that came with it.
“ Jeanne, how do you keep your home so beautiful and pristine?” She sighed and went to bring her hand up to her neck
Madame Forestier looked up from where she was crouched looking through a drawer for the jewelry she was looking for was “oh darling, after Charles died i knew that if i couldn't do anything to help him in his last moments i could at least try and keep his home in an orderly fashion and make sure that everything would look nice. I miss him very much but, in case someone ever comes back into my life I need to have a home that reflects how I want to be perceived.”
Mathilda turned to her friend, helped her up and pulled her into another hug,
“If you ever decide to marry again, i know you will find the perfect man. We are still young and beautiful. Any man would be lucky to have you.” She let go of Madame Forestier and crossed the room over to the bed to sit down. When Mathilda lifted herself up onto the bed she sat up straight and let her feet dangle off the side. Jeanne followed her over to the bed but got caught on the rug right before the bed, before Mathilda could even process what was about to happen she had been pinned to the bed by a flustered Madame Forestier
“Oh my goodness! I am so sorry darling my shoes must have caught on the rug. I didn't mean to fall on you. Oh dear! I am so very sorry.” She was rambling
Mathilda looked up, “no, its fine. You just tripped, you have nothing to be sorry about my dear friend.” She could feel the blood rushing to her head.
Jeanne scrambled up, very unladylike for her. “Hon? Are you okay, you look hot, do you feel well?”
“Oh no! Im very much fine.” The creak of the bed as she sat up ripped into the thick atmosphere around the women like a knife.
Madame Forester turned back to the dresser and pulled out a small jewelry box. “Well anyways, i think i found the perfect one for you. It would look lovely with your eyes.” she looked fondly at her friend
Mathilda gave a soft smile back, “could you help me try it on first.” lifting herself off of the bed and making her way over to the dresser where her friend had stood.
“Of course darling,” Jeanne took the lovely diamond necklace out of the jewelry box and unhooked it.
As Jeanne's cold hands made their way over to Mathilda’s bare neck. A shiver ran down her spine at the touch. At last the jewelry was clasped around her neck and the hands pulled away so Mathilda could look at the sparkly necklace that was placed around her
“It looks beautiful on you.”
It really did. When Mathilda looked in the mirror she saw the woman she wanted to be, diamonds around her neck and her friend smiling by her side. She felt more beautiful than she ever had before, she didn't think she was even as beautiful in her wedding dress when she married her husband. It was an ecstatic feeling.
She spun sound and grabbed Jeanne by the waist, “Oh they're lovely! They look better than i could have ever imagined them looking!”
Jeannes laughter was sweet, almost like a honey and as she looked at the smile on Mathilda’s face it only grew louder,
“Its is isn't it! Oh you are going to be the most beautiful woman at the party.” at those words Mathilda swung her friend around in a circle, just to make her shriek
“I only look beautiful when i'm with you, is that weird?” Eyes sparkling with affection she could again feel the blood creeping up into her cheeks.
“Oh not at all sweet, you make the world so much more extravagant for me.” as the two women pulled one another close she whispered, “i think of you as the most beautiful anyone has ever been. Jewels or not.”
“the jewels do help though.”Mathilda murmured as the corners of her mouth upturned just a little bit more.
The women looked at each other closer than ever before. They might have not noticed it when they were younger but there was something there. Mathilda had never felt more alive then she did with Jeanne, she had always noticed the sparkle in her eyes when she talked about the future, the way her cheeks tinted pink when they spoke about being old women together, and she had always noticed the loveliness that was in her voice.
“I want to-” the butler knocked on the doors of the room.
“Madame Forester, there is a man at the door asking to see you about the gardening.” The women let go of each other and looked away.
“Tell him i will be right down to see him,” her voice was slightly shaking at each word, almost like she was forcing them out of her mouth. Almost like she didn't want to go.
“At your service Madame, I will go and tell him.” the butler turned away as the door came to a close and the two women were again in silence.
“I'm so very sorry, take the necklace if you will.” Jeanne rushed around the room putting on her rings and heels. Before heading over to the door.
As her hand turned the handle and she was almost out the door Mathilda felt it was the right time to voice what she had been thinking quietly to herself.
“I think i may have fallen for you.” Jeanne did not turn back. She in the doorway as she quietly responded
“and i with you-”