i held it at arms length. my best friend told me it wasn't going to bite, that i should try it on. i responded by dropping it disgustedly on my dresser and hiding it under an old gum wrapper. "But it's jewelry!" she protested. i didn't care. it was from him. that lying, cheating snake of a guy who had once told me i was the only one. that was before i discovered that he'd told her that too. i opened it, then jumped back like a viper was going to leap out of it. all i saw was the real snake, smiling out at me, and my own photo on the other side. i proceeded to lay it on a cinder block and smash it to pieces with a hammer when she left. the gold cover was crushed beyond recognition. then, i dropped it back in the box, stamped it return to sender, and practically threw it at the mailman. the very next day, he showed up on my doorstep. "can we talk?" he asked. he ducked as the cheap vase flew past him, barely missing his head. i slammed the door and shut all the curtains until he went away. as he skulked off the lawn, i grinned. "that's for breaking my heart."