Another story that came from a story prompt (it provided the locket, apartment and the theme of letting go). I like this one. I think it has a lot of scope for expansion as well.
Joe sat at his kitchen table. The apartment was completely silent, even the upstairs neighbours taking a break for once.
He was staring at the heart-shaped silver locket that lay in front of him on the table top. He was not touching it, just looking. But he knew that, if he opened it up, there would be two pictures, one on either side. One of the pictures was of him, a him now twenty-five years in the past. The other…
Well. He tried not to think about it too much.
He reached out and ran his finger along the fine chain looped on the table. It felt almost soft beneath his touch. He remembered so clearly, as if it were yesterday, standing awkwardly in the jewellery store, looking at all of the different choices, not knowing which one was the ‘right’ one. The jeweller, an older man with wrinkly skin and snow white hair had spoken quietly and withe patience. And this was what he had left the store with. This delicate heart, with pretty engraving on the front and space inside for the two photos. In had been nestled inside a small black box that he carried in his pants pocket for four days before he saw Mireille. Even then, it had taken him the whole evening to work up the courage to pull the box from his pocket, gently open it and push it across the coffee shop table towards her.
She had smiled so sweetly as she saw what it was. Immediately, she took it from the box and asked for his help in putting it on. Open it, he had said to her. And she did. Smiling again at the photos of the two of them, from the same picture actually. He had very carefully cut out the images of their respective faces and fit them into the locket.
She had worn that locket happily, almost every single day, for the next three years.
When he had gone to the hospital. After it happened. After they called him, anxious, demanding to know if he was the Joe listed as next of kin on the card in Mireille’s wallet. They had given him the locket in a paper envelope, along with her keys and the change that had been in her pocket.
All that had happened in that one brief moment. Even though he had not witnessed it himself, he had a vivid image — a mental film — in his mind of how it had gone. The screech of the car breaks, the thud as it made contact. The way Mireille must have crumpled to the ground.
Twenty-two years and he had carried the locket with him always. But now, he thought (and he had thought about it over and over and over again), it was time to let go.
He wondered what Mireille would have thought about him keeping it, her, with him, so close, for so long. They had loved each other so much. It seemed like a dream now, it could not have possibly been as much as he imagined.
He scooped the locket and chain up with his hand. Tonight, he would give it to his dear Mary. His little girl.