I'm at a jewelry store to get my watch repaired. It’s a cheap watch.
The jeweler is a white-haired man with a grandaddy face. He’s staring at my watch, squinting.
“It’s Italian,” I tell him. “El Timexo.”
He says the thing needs a new battery-o.
There is a kid browsing the glass cases behind me. He’s young, skinny built. He’s wearing a neon-orange reflective vest, work boots.
He asks the girl at the counter if he can see a ring. She unlocks the case.
He looks at it, frowns, then hands it back.
He asks, “Should ALL engagement rings have diamonds?”
She tells the kid that there’s no constitutional mandate, but that it’s strongly recommended by the American Jeweler's Association.
He asks about payment plans. She shows him a flyer and tells him about financing options.
The kid asks to see a cheaper ring.
He looks hard at it. “You sure this is the right size? It looks so big.”
“Yep. That’s a six.”
“If it’s too
big, can I bring it back?”
“We can resize it.”
He takes a few heavy breaths. He sighs. He says, “I just hope she says yes. I mean, I think she will. But what if she doesn’t?”
The woman smiles. She holds up her left hand for him, showing him a small ring. Then, she tells the story that goes with it.
She was at a swimming pool. Her boyfriend showed up unannounced. He climbed the high-dive. He screamed his proposal from the top of the world.
She hollered, “Yes!”
So, he attempted a backflip. He slipped. He skinned his backside and hit his head on the springboard. He had to visit the…