With This Ring

Entry by: writerKVJPHTEYXR

13th April 2018
When Helen saw the ring she knew straight away it was for him, though he'd never worn one before. Maybe it would get in the way. She worried - briefly - but bought it anyway. They had a special ceremony at home before the wedding. Wine. Candles in the candelabra he'd fished out of a skip for her in their final year of music college.

It was a joke. At the time it was a joke. "With this ring..." Amazingly, it fitted perfectly. Patrick had beautiful hands. Agile fingers, always warm, alive. Well, they were his livelihood. Those hands were what had attracted her to him. Cupped round a cigarette as he lit it for her in the flapping wind. Lightly holding the stem of the glass as he poured the wine, twirling it as he held it out for her to take. Stroking her. And of course on the piano.

She made him close his eyes. She loved him then. "With this ring..." His eyes, laughing, then suddenly solemn, brimming. He kissed her. They stood for a long time. "It's a magic ring... when you twist it, I'll be with you - even when you're on the other side of the world." He twisted it, and Helen tickled the back of his neck, bringing up goosebumps.

Turning round, he wound his hands in her hair. "What else can it do?"

"Oh... it'll keep watch over you. Punish you if you hurt me!" He kissed her hard, scraping her with his bristles.

"Like this?!"

After the separation she kept the candelabra and he kept the ring. But moved it to the other hand. She'd become weepy and vindictive. they both should have seen it coming. With the amount of travelling he had to do and his career had really taken off even more than they'd anticipated. Only, she had wailed that he shouldn't have lied to her. He hated to cause pain. Of course he had to lie. What else could he do? But she couldn't forgive him. Sometimes she phoned him. Sometimes they still slept together.

Back in town tonight, he was looking at her through a long beer. She asked "How is it with - Simona?" and smiled her pained smile. Heavy with misery. "Let's not talk about her tonight" said Patrick, raising his glass.

Being with Helen made him feel lighter by contrast. Still young, still agile, buoyant and carefree. The glow from the golden beer bubbles seemed to light up the black slippery streets as they left the pub. "Not that way... this way... there it is." A radiant yellow skip floating on the dark tide of the November night. "Oh Patrick" she said, a little wearily... "are you still into this?" But Patrick was already in. A muffled exclamation, rummaging.

Patrick appeared at the lip crouching, turning, hooked his fingers under and swung with one easy motion up and over. Hung suddenly suspended by his right hand for a frozen moment. Till something softly gave. "Ack!" he had said, and landed roughly on knees and elbows mooing like a cow. "MMMmmmmmnnnnggg.... NNnnnngggg."

In the hospital they'd sedated him. Simona was going to come, but Helen would stay till then. Patrick shouldn't be alone. While she was waiting, the finger arrived. They'd sent one of the ambulance guys to look for it. It seemed as if she was expected to identify it. She had to bite the inside of her cheek not to smile. They couldn't fix it back on, they explained. It was too messy.

The finger was on a piece of cotton wool. The ring was there too. "Must of got caught on the metal rim" said the ambulance man, grimy from the skip. "Dead unlucky. He'll be OK though."