O is for Olivia
Some people think superstitions are pure nonsense, but I say they give a person fair warning. If you choose to pay them no heed, then stand back because all hell is likely to break loose. I know in my heart if I’d taken that opal necklace and thrown it into the ocean the very second Charlie gave it to me, he’d still be alive today.
I suppose happiness can make you blind to reality. That’s what happened to me. I was so busy focusing on my blessings that I glossed right over the significance of our being in Miami for eleven days. Me—a woman who has lifelong knowledge of the tragedies hovering around the eleventh of anything. I still remember when I turned eleven. In that one year I had whooping cough, measles, mumps and the chicken pox. Then I was left back to spend another year in the sixth grade, which resulted in my being the tallest, gangliest girl in Miss Munroe’s class. Being called Wall-Tall-Westerly leaves its mark on you! It makes you have a keen eye for avoiding any sort of eleven. Why, I’d no more eat eleven jelly beans than take off flying, yet I wasn’t all that watchful of poor Charlie on the eleventh day of our Miami Beach honeymoon.
Letting down my guard as I did, I suppose I could say I deserve what I got. But the thing is it happened to Charlie, not me. I’d have been better off if it had happened to me. Being dead all over is far better than walking around with just a dead heart inside of you.