by jexmas on October 30, 2013

When my jewelry was stolen, I was incredulous. It was the first time I had been robbed and I lost my grandmother’s regards ring, so-called because each letter of the word “regards” is represented by a precious stone. They were small but they were still a ruby, emerald, garnet, amethyst, ruby, diamond and sapphire in a row, set in a simple gold band. It was the most precious and beautiful thing I owned. I had a couple of other gold pieces, too, but nothing as dear or as valuable as my regards ring.

I was 20 years old and living in a house in North Melbourne with Ian, a loved and trusted friend. He was gay at a time in Australia when it was really hard, so he kept it very quiet and, when he died of AIDS a few years later, even his mother did not know his true identity.

Ian brought a young man, Grayson Honeysett, into the house, telling me he was a long-lost friend who needed a place to stay for a week or so. After a month or so, it was very clear to me that Grayson was not simply passing through but was someone Ian cared about deeply, even though I was scared of Grayson.

When Ian was not home, Grayson would tell me stories about his life that were like scary ghost stories. He said someone tried to cut his throat his once. He saw his best friend’s sister decapitated in a car accident. One of his co-workers at the hospital where he said he worked tried to poison him. He surprised another co-worker in the morgue late at night in the act of necrophilia, who then tried to attack Grayson with a scalpel.

When I knew I was going to be home alone with Grayson, I hid all the kitchen knives, because I was sure he was going to cut my throat while I slept.

Eventually I gave Ian an ultimatum. Either Grayson left or I left. Ian confessed Grayson was not an old friend at all, but a sexy boy he had picked up in a local bar called the Weathercock. Ian gave Grayson his marching orders and, on the day he left, I came home from work to find all of my jewelry gone, too. I called the police and called the hospital where Grayson said he worked. They had no-one of that name there and the police found out he had at least three or four aliases. None of my jewelry was ever found and I lost my regards ring.

Now, when I look back, I marvel at my gullibility. Grayson Honeysett was not even a good stage name nor was he a very good actor in terms of keeping up the pretense of a long friendship with Ian. But he was good at scaring me and stealing from right under my nose. And, at the time, I was outraged he would steal from me.

I recently went to a bar for a drink with a friend of mine and, when the check came, I noticed they had not charged us for one of the drinks. I pointed it out the waitress and she was so grateful I was honest, she gave us the drink for free. She said most people would not do that. Most people would walk out having got away with cheating the bar out of a few dollars. In other words, most people would steal. And, in some way, I am still incredulous.


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