I walked over to Hubby reading at the dining room table, lunch plate shoved to one side, book resting on crumbs and a crumpled napkin. He looked up at me. “You OK?”
I leaned against his side, laid my arm across his back and my cheek on his head. He pressed closer. A low moan escaped me.
We had just spent an hour looking for my very beautiful wedding ring, a handcrafted original, like us. Together, we had bought this ring and Hubby’s, also an original, twelve years ago on our eighteenth. In celebration and affirmation of our doom: only death would part us now.
I found it at the bottom of my bag. It must have slid off my finger last night when I shoved my wallet in after paying the waiter.
That had never happened before, it slipping off my finger. What if, when we arrived at the restaurant, it had pulled off with my glove? And fallen to the floor? Without my noticing? I’d never have seen it again. How lucky it had fallen in my purse.
It was lucky too, that I found it there. It could have been marooned for years because I rarely change purses. That’s the down side of being orderly.
If something isn’t where it’s supposed to be, it’s lost, and so am I. Never more so than with this ring. I keep track of it with a vigilance that is a daily reminder that attachments are a joy, a risk and a nuisance.
After I wash and dry my hands, the ring still holds a little water, which chafes lightly, multiple times a day, every day. Lotion gunks up its sparkly beauty. I forgo applying some when I’m in a hurry. If I forget to replace the ring on my finger, I might also forget where I took it off.
Before sleep, I remove all my jewelry, always placing the ring on its little plate in its designated place. Not finding it there came as a body blow. How is it I didn’t notice it was missing when I stripped off my earrings and necklace?
It wasn’t in any of the logical, alternate places. I systematically tossed wastebaskets and the kitchen garbage. Searching, searching, I felt increasingly hopeless. “It’s somewhere in the house, don’t worry,” Hubby reassured me.
It’s only a ring, I reminded myself. It’s irreplaceable, my heart squeezed.
I turned on the hall light, and again pulled my wallet from my purse. Again unzipped the change pocket (where I stash the ring on the rare occasions I take it off outside the house), shook the change around in the light— No, not there— opened my bag to replace the wallet and the light hit the bottom just so. I looked down and there it was. Sitting on black leather, a sparkly golden O.
My chest released and opened and only then did I know how deeply grieved I’d been.
“I don’t like what I went through, thinking it was gone,” I breathed on Hubby’s hairline.
He slipped his arm around my waist, pulling me closer. “Sweetie, it’s only a ring.”
I held on to his solid warmth that much tighter, “I know.”
behind bare branches,
the night sky black velvet
pricked with white…