Getting ready for work the following morning, I went to select a watch from my bedside table. Only two were lined up there. The gold-detailed one from the previous day was nowhere to be seen, but I took my favourite watch and left. I perhaps thought the absence odd, but but didn't think too much about it. Maybe, I considered, the watch had fallen into the drawer or somewhere behind the table. Maybe I'd flung it somewhere during an overnight convulsion.
My favourite watch, that I wore that Tuesday, was usually reserved for casual occassions. A blatant rip-off of the 'Big Tic' design which brought fame to Fossil, my watch improved upon the original design, with bolder colours and shamelessly cartoonish circularity. On Tuesday evening, I left that watch on my bedside table too. When I woke up on Wednesday morning, I found it gone too, with only one watch remaining. That last watch has remained with me and did not suffer the fate of disappearance that the others did. A thorough search for the missing watches followed at the weekend of the disappearance, but when was that?
It was certainly well before June, 2015. On that date, I'd returned from the Terminator Genisys premiere in Sydney to find everything removed from my room and my parents painting. During the removal, they'd not found the watches fallen behind any of the furniture, with my mother commenting that she had expected to. I also took the opportunity to empty all of my drawers to find if the watch had perhaps been misplaced - maybe I remembered incorrectly.
In any event, I'd gone well over one year without the watches, and, I suspect, probably several years.
Then, on the morning after Halloween, I woke up and started to get ready for work. I went to my bedside table to put on the new watch I've bought - another one that attracts a lot of compliments, as well as surprise when I reveal that it had cost little more than four dollars - to find the fake-Fossil watch, exactly where it had disappeared from years earlier. Its battery was flat, and it appeared to have travelled - scuffs now appear on its band - but it was otherwise as I had left it, including the slightly off-centre numbers from when the batteries had been changed at Dandenong. I was thrilled to see it, even though I couldn't wear it immediately.
During the absence of my two watches, my mother sometimes commented 'I don't know how things can simply disappear,' which was something I had never really had a problem with. I'd used the example of the disappearance of my watches as evidence that things do in fact sometimes disppear without a trace while people were fretting the loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (which, I realise, took place in early 2014, when my watches had already gone.) Now that one has returned, she had changed her tune: 'How can something just appear like that?'
I had wondered if the pattern would continue in reverse - would the watch with the gold detail appear on Wednesday morning? - but so far only the one watch has appeared. I am happy about it. I have had the batteries replaced and am wearing it today for the first time. I continue to be satisfied with the explanation that sometimes things just disappear, but it is also nice to know that sometimes they come back.