Dear -,

You left me that garnet cross. Or maybe you didn't but I took it anyway. It glittered in my palm. I wore it to your funeral, hidden under my clothes, on an old (possibly) silver chain. One of the garnets fell out that night onto my wooden bedroom floor, bouncing off the boards. I caught it before it fell into a crack. There was a big gap in the garnets now, right in the centre. I squeezed the stone between my fingers. Atheists shouldn't wear crosses, I thought. I could put it back into your jewellery box, missing stone and all.

It nestled on the satin cloth, twinkling. Evil instrument of torture, that's what it stands for, I thought. But in my head it stood for you, just you. You believed in god. Fervently. You went to mass every day, and resented my parents for brining me up as a little heathen. Maybe you baptised me in the kitchen sink. Any water will do after all. I don't mind if you have. I'll never know, now, tho.

I wanted something, though, anything to cling to. The jewellery box with its beautiful contents peeped out at me annoyingly whenever I snuck into your room. I took it eventually. Hid it in the bottom drawer of my desk, under some magazines and a sheep's skull that I'm supposed to learn how to draw. It's still there, to my knowledge. I don't know why. I could get it out and get it fixed. My mum might even think it was sweet. I don't tho. You left me that cross and I just leave it there. Getting dusty and broken. You never wore it, anyway. It's got nothing to do with anything; I try to tell myself.

But it weighs on my brain, oddly. I don't want to wear a cross, I tell myself. It stands for everything I hate. But I do, somehow, I really do. There's a letter somewhere (but I think in that same drawer) that's written about you. For me, from someone whom I know you respected. It says you're in heaven. I think that's supposed to make me feel better. It says you'll be my guardian angel, too, and it made me cry when I read that. Thinking about it, and I can't think straight.

I don't believe in any of this. I can't, even if I wanted to. But you left me that cross, I'm sure of it. And one day I'll work up my nerve to wear it. For whatever reason. (And if I buy a long chain, no one will see anyway.)