Because lily could not be like the rest of her world, and feel safe and know that small mistakes could not cause total devastation, she was forced to become smarter and less trusting then the rest of her world. Lily was different, and she knew well that it would not change, and she could do nothing to make it better, or to forget it. Her safety would always be at risk, so as she held the silver bead necklace that was her life line in her hands, she couldn't help but to hold it with a loathing, but at the same time with a kind of motherly protection. Because if those beads were all gone, lily would be gone too, and she wouldn't come back.
Because she would be dead. It was the “gift” she was chosen to be given, though lily could hardly call it a gift. The other kids her age were given blessings, and she was the only one that was given a curse. They were unusual, after all, she was the only person she knew with a curse instead of a gift. The blessing giver was known, as told by his name, for giving blessings, not curses, but as he told lily many times, it was not his decision what was given to the newborn child he must bless or curse, it was predestined by some greater power no one understood. Lily understood this, but could help but feel angry at him as she watched her peers excel in what they did, while she stayed in the corner, fearing the possibilities of the next day. She would always think about her classmate aggie, who used her blessing of the ability to fix things to perfect all the buildings in her community, and derrick, who used his healing powers to rid the community of the plague so many years ago, and was still celebrated for it, because there had been no sickness since.
But lily could just sit and think about the life she was forced to live, only she had a life line, and the necklace of silver beads was a too literal form of it. The necklace was truly a lifeline, because if she pulled off or gave away any of the beads on her necklace, or if they came off of their on account, which they could and sometimes did, then lily would die.
When she was younger, she didn't realize the seriousness of her situation, and when she was about 5, lily forgot to tuck her necklace in side her jacket, like the leaders always told her to, and all the young children in her class were enchanted by the sparkly beads. A bold girl eventually came up to lily and asked if she could have a bead, and not truly understanding what those beads meant, lily pulled one off and handed it to the girl, then lily's necklace joined back together were it had broken from her pulling off the bead. The rest of lily's classmates ran forward, and they each asked for a bead, and enjoying all the attention she was getting, lily happily pulled off about 20 of those precious beads. Lily's necklace was noticeably shorter after this, so the teacher noticed, and explained to lily for a very long time that she must not pull off any beads, ever again, no matter what the circumstances. Lily didn't see the problem at the time, but everyone obeyed the leaders, and the teacher was a very important one, so she kept the rest off the beads on
the necklace. Towards the end of the day, lily had began to wish she still had the beads she had given out, because her necklace just felt different to her without them. But her classmates didn't seem to feel a real need of the pretty beads anymore, the grew bored of them, any as the students filed out of the school room to go to the sleeping area, many of the beads were left on the ground, or in the bottom of students desks. The beads seemed to have lost their grandeur when all the students had one, and all you could do was look at them.