If I Can’t Keep the Star Sapphire Ring Then No One Can
by Sharon Kurtzman
And that’s why he would have called me, thief.
The Atlantic licked my toes as I stood on the beach, jar in hand. The jar contained a ring along with a photo of us.
Once a pinky ring on his sausage-thick finger, he had slipped it onto my pointer ages ago. “This means we’re betrothed,” he had said.
I had answered with a giggle much like a teenager wore a newly bestowed promise ring. I had always been mesmerized by the winking blue stone even though the jewelry was originally a gift he’d received from his wife. No reason for jealousy, the wife had been dead for fourteen years and he and I have been companions since my move to Boca Gardens. Eight years.
A mere six days ago, he was stolen from me by a heart attack as the two of us strolled the aisles at Costco, him losing his grip on a cart stocked with containers of fish sticks, orange soda and Moon pies—his favorites. I missed him so much that my body ached as if I’d come down with the flu.
And that’s why he would have called me, heartbroken.
His daughter had always been pleasant to me, but then there she was in his kitchen packing up his forks and spoons, word search books and bottles of unused tartar sauce. “Dora, do you know where my father kept his sapphire ring? I want it and it’s nowhere to be found.” The question dribbled like acid from her lips.
I handed her a few cans of orange soda and told her that he had lost it years ago. She cut a look my way, but I pretended not to see.
And that’s why he would have called me, liar.
Now, poised at surf’s edge, I deposited the jar on the crest of a thin frothy wave as warmth bloomed in my chest. Seagulls snickered overhead as the ocean swept the container out on an undulating vast blue blanket where it could float for eternity.
And that’s why he would have called me, soul mate.
Sharon Kurtzman’s work has appeared in print and online at All Things Girl, moonShine Review, Scruffy Dog Review, Airplane Reading, Still Crazy, Charlotte Writers Club Anthology, Better After 50, RiverLit, 1000 Words, the Raleigh News and Observer, the May 2013 edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Writers, Main Street Rag’s February 2014 anthology, Voices from the Porch, and is forthcoming in Crack the Spine. She has been a top fifty screenwriting finalist in HBO/Miramax’s Project Greenlight competition, a short story semi-finalist in the William Faulkner-Wisdom writing competition, a finalist in the North Carolina State University short fiction contest, and the Summer 2013 fiction scholarship recipient at the Wildacres Writing Workshop. A graduate of the Television, Radio and Film Writing program of the S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Kurtzman resides in North Carolina.