Seen on the Purple Line to the Loop at about 5:15 p.m., January 16th, 2012
The ring was more than obvious, its diamond gracefully extending from her finger, shining in the dingy, fluorescent light. Ever since he proposed, Pam had got into the habit of resting her left hand on top of her right so she could more easily see the physical representation of that sweet, awe-inspiring promise. It always made her heart swell and beat proudly against her lungs and stomach. But lately it made her heart ache, too.
Pam kept her left hand on top, but she closed her eyes, avoiding the glare. They were supposed to get married last summer, but he lost his job, and they couldn’t do much with her teacher’s salary. Her parents didn’t think he was good enough, and even some of her friends were starting to not-so-subtly insinuate that she could do better; it irritated her, but it was starting to get to him on a deeper level.
The other night, Pam was watching TV while he browsed Monster.com for jobs. In the middle of a cheap commercial for fast cash advances, he suddenly clapped his laptop shut, fell to his knees in front of her, and demanded the ring back. He couldn’t provide for her, he said. She said she didn’t care. It’s no good, he said. He tried to pry it off her finger, and she slapped him. The ring left a hot, red mark on his face. He was quiet. She kissed his cheek.
Pam opened her eyes and stared at the pristine stone, so precisely cut, and she thought perhaps it was an inept symbol for something so messy. Or maybe not. Diamonds are beautiful, dazzling, and worth a great deal; but they are hard, and sharp, and they can cut.
Hello all. I've been doing so many things! Swing dancing like a nut. Went ice skating the other day and didn't fall down. Writing group tonight. Busy, busy, busy. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.
I actually think diamonds are ugly...