I wake in the middle of the night to someone pawing my arms. Scrunching my face, I bat my hands, searching for the culprit in the dark.
You, my Magician, fumble beneath the sheets.
“What are you doing?” I blink and squint in the shadows.
Ignoring the nettles in my voice, you grasp my cold hand in your warm fingers. “Will you marry me?”
The bite of metal knocks against my knuckle and spins at the base of the third finger of my left hand. “It’s too big,” I say, struggling to sit.
“Will you marry me?” you ask again. You curl my fingers into a fist, so the too-big-ring does not slide off into the bed.
“Yes, of course.” I have been begging you for months to propose to me. “But put this away so I won’t lose it.” I tuck the ring into your palm. “I need to take it to a jeweler to be sized.”
In the morning, when I wake in the watery light of our two-bedroom apartment, I find the white box on the dresser and flip open the lid. The solitaire winks at me. I cover my mouth with both hands and gasp. Prickles of delight travel from the bottom of my feet to the crown of my head. I squeal, “You bought the big one!” Two weekends ago, we window shopped at the mall, and you asked me to try on rings “just for fun.” I thought I was a fool, choosing the larger of the two tiny diamond rings in the display case, a perfect solitaire in yellow gold. The salesclerk, asking about our budget, suggested the smaller, imperfect stone. I cringed, taking off the ring with disgust. “That black dot looks exactly like the wart on the bottom of my left foot that the doctor just froze off.”
But you didn’t buy the black-dot-diamond. You bought the perfect stone, which costs more than six months of your income.No one has spent that much money on me.
Reprinted with permission from Gross Productions. You can find out more about Angela and her writing here.