Jessica Arzola-Grissom :: Her Pretty Little Head ::


Southern Legitimacy My great-grandmother’s name was Cinderella and she settled in Nederland, TX. The family didn’t quite live up to the fairy-tale name and several people moved just south of Dallas. That’s when I entered the picture. My Mama is a Texas Cajun and my Daddy was Mexican American. Together, they created a feisty Texas gal who loving wearing pink cowgirl boots, says ya’ll, eats way too many biscuits, and would’ve been able to steal an orphan baby from Honduras had my Texas accent not given me away. I had my own rainbow baby a few years ago and write stories at night when the house is finally quiet.

Her Pretty Little Head

Before she was right, she was ridiculous. It’s hard to say when it started exactly, but she knew the moment it must end. It was the moment her soul felt the chill. Her fingers turned blue while her face paled. She’d been used to the feelings of red-hot anger, but this was different. This feeling left her shaken to the core. After it happened, she texted Cindy to let her know. 

The mantle displayed a clock with a hidden box containing a key. Aurora took the key to unlock the safe which contained all the normal things you’d find in one. The deed to their home, the marriage license, insurance policies, and passports were all safely locked inside in case of a fire or break-in. A few pieces of jewelry were stored inside a golden envelope. Today, it was time to find their home insurance policy. 

Aurora loved their little home, but the hailstorm caused some roof leakage and they decided to call the adjuster to view the damage. As she made the call, she thumbed through old pictures and the few important receipts. 

Her heart started racing when she saw the seal on the envelope was missing as was her tennis bracelet. Dumping out all the contents of the safe, she found a new envelope stuffed with cash. In a bit in a panic over her missing bracelet, she packed everything up carefully and finished the phone call with the insurance adjustor. 

Phillip arrived home later that evening and she asked him about the missing bracelet and the cash. He said he had no idea where the bracelet was and was so sorry she’d lost it. He also mentioned that he told her about the bonus money from work, but she must have forgotten about it. She looked up at him puzzled. Surely, she would have remembered him getting a cash bonus, but she was happy for his success at the company. He’d been steadily working his way up the ladder, and it was paying off. She resolved to do some further cleaning and find the bracelet.

Months passed and the bracelet never showed up. Other items were misplaced or never turned up. Every time Aurora asked Phillip, he either shrugged it off or acted like she was losing her mind. He gently took both of her hands and implored her to go to the doctor for some better sleep medicine and to make sure it wasn’t causing adverse side effects.  

The doctor’s visit went well and after lots of discussion, they decided to leave the medication as it was prescribed. Doctor Brown asked Aurora to start journaling every time she thought something went missing and maybe it would help her find things. He asked her how many times this type of thing happened, and she said it was about half a dozen. With a concerned look, he told her, “Make sure you keep your journal in a safe place. Don’t even tell Phillip where it is.” She was taken aback by his response, but then her eyes widened. 

“You don’t think?” she asked in shock. 

“I’m not going to presume anything. Let’s just try this experiment,” replied Dr. Brown. 

Surely not, she whispered to herself. 

That evening, Aurora spoke with Phillip about the doctor’s appointment, but she left out the part about journaling her day’s events. He smiled at her and said, “Well, I am glad you are okay. It’s all in your pretty, little head. Nothing to worry about!” He said it with the kindest eyes and tone.

That evening, she started journaling the day’s events. She wrote about her day and how sometimes her remote coding job was a bit monotonous, but it helped pay the bills. She wrote about the things that brought her joy like the wildflowers blooming along their property line. Occasionally, she wrote about the things that went missing. 

One afternoon, she discovered an app on their shared device. The app contained transactions showing cash for goods sold including the first transaction of her missing bracelet. She started logging into other apps and found secret accounts.  

Determined to not let this matter take over, she asked Phillip about it. He smiled and said, “I can’t believe this! Do you realize how silly you sound?”

She willed her expression to pleasantly at him and said, “Sleeping Beauty is now awake.” 

He was confused. 

When Phillip asked her where she was going, she replied, “I’m not sure what you’re talking about.” She smiled sweetly and walked out the door with her suitcase.