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Hello, I am Mathilde Loisel. My husband and I are not of much worth. My husband is just a clerk for the Ministry of Public Instruction and I have nothing, no dowry, no expectations, and no means of being known, understood, or loved. Oh, how I want these things so much. I dream of these ideas. I dream of being rich and having countless gowns and jewels, being surrounded servants, and having friends of the upmost importance.
So when my husband came to me with an invitation to the ministerial ball, such a prestigious event, I was upset. How could I go to such an event? I do not have the proper dress for such an event. I will not be mocked and embarrassed so I will not go. My husband asks me how much money would a dress like that cost. I thought of the correct number to give him without receiving a refusal and I came up with four hundred francs. I know he had it set aside for a gun but I knew that he could get a gun anytime and this was a onetime event for me. He obliged with the four hundred francs and I bought the most beautiful dress I could afford and oh how I loved it.
Time passed by and as the event grew closer I grew less excited about the ball. I realized that yes I had a dress but I had no jewelry. I would look poor for sure. So I decided I could not go without jewelry. My husband would have to understand that I do not wish to be ridiculed for my social status. My husband had ideas of things I could do and yet none were satisfactory. He then though thought of the idea to ask my friend Jeanne Foster. That thought filled me with hope. Mrs. Foster would have such elegant and expensive jewelry I would surely find an amazing piece.
Mrs. Foster allowed me to borrow something from her collection. So I raced to her home to find the perfect piece. She brought boxes and boxes of jewelry to me to look through. I looked and searched but I just could not find the right piece. She then pulled one more box out and I waited with such anticipation. When I opened the box I saw it, the most beautiful necklace my eyes have ever set upon. It was exquisite. I knew I could go, with this around my neck.
With the night finally upon us the joy within me had never been so fulfilled. I had never been overflowing with such happiness. I had no plans to letting such an unattainable occurrence go to waste. I danced all night. I danced with many different people. I had never felt so admired and special. In all the excitement I even lost track of my husband, but in a way tonight was my night.
I enjoyed the night so much that it was not until I had reached home and touched my neck that I had realized…. I lost it… I had lost the necklace. When I had lost the necklace I do not know. Was it at the party while dancing? Was it in the run down carriage we took home? I just could not think of where I could have lost it. My husband went out to search for the necklace. I stayed at home and worried about what we were to do f we could not find it. How could I tell Mrs. Foster. My husband came home with no necklace and my heart sank into my stomach. He told me to write to Mrs. Foster that I had broken the clasp and are getting it mended. With no luck of finding the necklace we began our search for a replacement. We searched and searched then finally came upon a necklace that appeared to be an exact replica of the one that I had lost. We had no choice but to buy the necklace, which cost us thirty-six thousand francs. My husband used the eighteen thousand francs his father had left him and we had to borrow the rest. I knew my life would never be the same and all due to me. When I had handed over the replaced necklace to Mrs. Foster she was upset I had not returned it sooner. She did not look in the box though. I was relieved I did not want her to know it was not the one which she had lent me.
For the next ten years my husband and I struggled to pay back the money we borrowed and make ends meat. It was along ten years and I feel like I had aged twenty years. I was walking down the road one day as I passed my friend I said her name and she looked at me as if she did not recognize me. I had to tell her who I was. I also had to tell her the truth of the necklace. As I finished the story I felt relief come over me like it was finally over and I could breathe again. Mrs. Foster stared at me for a second while her face was pale she then proceeded to tell me how the necklace was a fake and was maybe worth four hundred francs. A huge feeling of betrayal, hurt and anger encompassed me all my suffering the last ten years for nothing. As I began to tell her… She stopped me by saying you have been through so much and for nothing I wish I had opened the box and saw it and this would have never come upon us but since we cannot take these things back I will repay you the money you spent for the necklace. Tears burst out of my eyes……