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The Black Pearl Necklace

by Ken Jones

The following is excerpted from the book  . . .


Prologue

          April 1, 2009

“Ring --- ring.”      “Ring --- ring.”     “Ring --- ring.”     

Drew was curled up on the couch in my office where he had spent the night. I had fallen asleep in my big reading chair while we were talking about Joanne and what would come next in our lives. It was seven o’clock.

“Ring --- ring.”

I sat up as my son struggled over to the desk and answered the phone. As I was finally sitting in an upright position, “Jones residence.” After a pause, he held out the phone for me with a quizzical look. “It’s the manager of the Hilton Hotel in Auckland, New Zealand. He wants to talk with you.”

I blinked to clear my head and stepped over to the desk. “Hello, this is Ken Jones.” 

Drew mumbled something about “anyone calling so early in the morning” and went into the kitchen to make a pot of coffee. We had a late night and were both in an unsettled state of finality.  Joanne and I were married a few years after Drew’s mother passed away. Over the years, he and Joanne had come to love each other very much - and now she was also gone.   

Joanne had died at seven o’clock last night. By the time the hospice workers and the funeral home personnel left with her fragile little body, it was close to midnight. 

I didn’t want to go back into the bedroom to spend the rest of the night there and Drew seemed to prefer the couch in my office to the guest room downstairs. We just sat in my office and talked -small talk, stories about Joanne, and what life would be like now without her.   

“Yes, my wife and I were guests of the hotel recently. No, I don’t recall the exact dates but I’ll check on my desk calendar.  Okay, here it is - it was February 2nd. We were there for three nights.”

“Yes, we did file a missing item report. I recall going to the front desk where the clerk gave me a form to complete. I reported that a black pearl necklace was missing from our room as we prepared to check out. That was about eleven o’clock in the morning.”

“No, we did not find it later. What’s this all about?”

After listening for several minutes, I said, “Yes, please do - and thank you.”

After a short pause, I added, “Oh, by the way, when did you find them? I mean - what time were they returned?” 

I listened intently, “Yes, yes. Thank you very much.”

During the call, Drew came back into my office and had put a steaming hot cup of coffee on my desk. He had heard the last part of my side of the conversation, and when I put the phone down, I looked at Drew as he said, “What the hell was that all about?”

I didn’t reply immediately since my mind was racing. Then, after a quick calculation of the time difference between New Zealand and North Carolina, I said, “You are not going to believe what just happened.” 

He looked puzzled. I took the cup in both hands and after a taste of the orange flavored coffee we always kept on hand when we knew Drew was coming for a visit, “Well, let me tell you the amazing story of the black pearl necklace.” 

Click here to read excerpts about Joanne and Her Wigs.

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01 Apr 2018 Joanne Jones Book 2018

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