Fool’s Gold – M. Rall

Matt stood confidently in the well air-conditioned jewelry shop of his local mall, anxiously awaiting the acknowledgement of one of the store’s salesmen.

“Why didn’t I just go to a pawn shop?” the young man mumbled to himself. “These fancy looking sales people are probably going to try and pull a fast one on me.”

Matt’s sturdy posture and focused eyes oozed confidence, but deep down he knew he was out of his element. He had never found himself casually awaiting service in a store as nice as the Kay Jewelers he was in that very day. The small, glass-walled shop consisted of three large glass display cases full of glistening rings, necklaces, and bracelets. Matt was annoyed by the glass walls. They opened out into the rest of the mall and he felt like everyone walking by was looking at him. Bright, almost angelic-looking fluorescent lights shone down on the store and reflected off the clean floor and glass casings.

The employees working at the store were dressed as if they were attending a fancy dinner party. Matt, on the other hand, couldn’t help but feel under-dressed in his ripped jeans, grime-stained white tank-top, and black Adidas sneakers. His long, slicked back brown hair and pale skin also seemed to shine under the florescent lights of the store.

“Maybe I should have showered beforehand,” Matt thought to himself, feeling out of place and wondering why no one had approached him to help. He understood that his rugged look might have been intimidating to some of the employees, but he knew they would be interested in his business. While he definitely looked out of place, Matt knew that the hefty wad of cash tucked into his wallet justified his presence. The wad of cash that Matt had only recently “earned” was just short of eight-thousand dollars.

As his appearance suggested, Matt was not the type of guy to be sporting expensive jewelry. But Matt knew that this visit to Kay Jewelers was not about making a fashion statement. Instead it was about making an investment. A friend who he had confided in about his new “financial situation” suggested that he invest some of his money in gold, since the value is supposedly “always rising.” Even though he didn’t know the first thing about expensive jewelry, or even what exactly a karat of gold was, Matt had decided to invest his money in a gold chain from that very establishment.

Finally, the young man was greeted by one of the stores employee’s with a friendly “How may I help you sir?”

Matt self-assuredly looked up and snapped, “It’s about time someone came to help me out,” as if he had shopped in that very store a thousand times before.

“I’m sorry sir, we are a little busy today, but I’m happy to help you now.”

Matt glanced around at the empty store before responding. “Yeah, sure man, thanks. I’m actually in the market for a new chain…a gold chain.”

“Well, I’m happy to help you with that today sir. What is your price range, if you don’t mind me asking?” responded the salesman.

Somewhat surprised by the question, Matt cautiously mumbled “Like three to five.”

The salesman’s eyes raised. “Three to five hundred sir?”

“No, thousand. Three to five thousand,” Matt said to the salesman’s surprise. He was obviously shocked that the young man was capable of paying such a price.

Normally Matt would have been mad about this, but he somewhat understood the salesman’s reaction. In fact, he was still shocked and amazed by this whole situation. He couldn’t believe that he was about to buy a ridiculously expensive piece of jewelry, or that he even had the money to afford it. He thought back to the previous night, and the events that led him to this very store…

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