The Ring – A Short Story

It was an emergency. She was going crazy with worry. She had only two more days. 48 hours. A lot was at stake here.

She had this annoying habit of removing all accessories and jewelry that adorned her ears, neck and arms, the moment she walked into her apartment from work – sometimes dropping them on the shoe cupboard, sometimes on the kitchen counter, pretty much anywhere and everywhere. The same habit had brought this emergency upon her.

She had lost her engagement ring.

On a glorious afternoon, a fortnight ago, her boyfriend of many years had finally popped the question. She still remembered the golden and rust coloured leaves of Autumn raining down on them, as she accepted his proposal. He had then slipped the most exquisite emerald ring on her finger; a
ring that had been passed down in his family, over many generations. He had told her about its significance and history, and about how he had asked his mother to take it from the bank locker, for this momentous occasion.

And, in 48 hours, she would have to meet his mother. She had met her before, but this was different. She had been invited to meet her future family.

She had not told her fiance about the missing ring, very confident that she would find it soon. But after nearly 36 hours of turning the entire house upside down, hope was draining – slowly and steadily. On this predatory hunt for her ring, she had come to know every nook and cranny in her house.

She dialled her fiance’s number. Hearing the love in his voice, courage nearly deserted her.

But she couldn’t take the pressure anymore and blurted out, “I have lost the engagement ring. Please don’t be me mad at me….”

There was a killing 10 second silence at the other end. Finally he said, “Tell me you are joking.”

10 seconds of silence from her end, which told him the truth.

“You know how valuable that ring is, and its significance, don’t you?” he said.

“Can we postpone the dinner at your mom’s? she asked.

His voice was curt, “No way. This is very important to my mom. You’d better find the ring, I have no other solution.”

There was a click at the other end as she stared at the silent phone.

Another round of searching, going crazy, trying to retrace her movements on the day the ring went missing…over and over again. No clue.

She had to come up with a convincing plan. An idea slowly took shape in her head. She would wear a pain-relief patch covering the fingers and wrist on one hand, feigning a muscle pull. That way she could always say she had left the ring at home.

She felt a lot calmer. Her fiance visited her that evening. He joined the search, though his eyes looked hurt.

She gently broached the pain-patch plan. He reluctantly agreed.

The family dinner was a huge success, as she was warmly welcomed into their midst.

At home, however, the ring remained elusive, and the strain was beginning to tell in many small ways.

After nearly three months, Lady Luck decided to visit her in the form of a Dryer Serviceman, who found the ring in the lint trap of the dryer. The dryer was used only when it rained. So, there it was, the shiny ring, bringer of relief and happiness.

Her birthday was coming up, and she decided to surprise her fiance by wearing the ring.

On her birthday, as they sat down to a candlelight dinner, she moved her hand this way and that, but he didn’t seem to notice.

Just after dessert, he asked her to close her eyes and stretch out her hand for his gift.

She heard a loud gasp. She smiled as she imagined his reaction on seeing the ring.

His voice sounded strange, “Why didn’t you tell me that you found it?”

She said, “Wanted to surprise you.”

He said, “Open your eyes.”

When she opened her eyes, she let out a loud gasp as she saw another emerald ring, identical to the first one.

“I had this made especially for you”, he said.

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