Lindsey set aside that Sunday afternoon for the next home improvement project on her list: the bedroom closet. Nights were getting chilly and she had been feeling a cool breeze coming from that closet. Fifty years ago they put windows and vents in closets. The window didn’t open, but the vent brought in fresh air. On top of the vent was a shoe rack, so maybe that was their way to dry out their wet shoes. Lindsey decided to tear out the rack and vent and seal up the wall. After emptying the closet so her clothes and shoes wouldn’t be covered with drywall dust, she opened the box of solid but somewhat antique tools she had inherited from her mom. She loved the feel of the hand-made wooden handles of the screwdrivers.
Kneeling on the wooden closet floor, Lindsey removed the two screws holding the shoe rack in place. Once she removed it, the vent behind it fell out on the floor. Three inches away from the vent was a wire screen, almost flush with the outside of the house. When Lindsey saw how the screen was attached, she decided it would be easy to cut it. Then it wouldn’t get in the way of her exterior stucco patch. Leaning over, with ancient wire clippers in hand, Lindsey looked down and saw a white box lodged in the hollow space below the opening. It was eight or so inches long and thin enough to fit. There was something about the box which sent a chill down her spine. At first she didn’t want to touch it, but knew she couldn’t just bury it in pink insulation.
Taking a deep breath, Lindsey pried the box out with a screwdriver and opened it. The necklace inside of bright red beads fit the description Lindsey had just heard the day before when she spoke to Rosemary, one of Diedre’s friends who worked with her at the elementary school. Rosemary said Diedre had shown her the necklace in February before her death. When Diedre said it was a Valentine’s gift, Rosemary assumed it was from her husband. Yes, she thought it odd how Diedre took the necklace out of a gift box, wore it at work, and then put it back in the box before leaving work. Now Lindsey had a pretty good idea of where Diedre put the necklace when she got home.