When I got engaged I loved my ring so much.
When my marriage ended my ex didn’t ask for the ring back and I didn’t offer it.
I still wear it as a reminder of all the hard things I’ve done in the last decade.
“That’s a beautiful ring,” the cashier at the mall says as I slide a blouse across the counter.
I glance down at my right hand out of habit: five diamonds arranged in the shape of a flower set in white gold. It’s the most expensive piece of jewelry I own — the kind that gets passed down to a granddaughter or great-granddaughter on a special day, adorning fingers and jewelry boxes long after my name has faded to memory.
The cashier hands me my receipt. I mentally steel myself for the question I know is coming: “Where did you get it?”
It was my engagement ring
A decade ago, I sat across a restaurant table from the man I loved. Platters of sushi stretched between us, delicate slices of salmon and mango curling artistically around the rice. I couldn’t stop peeking at the new ring glittering on my finger. My future husband caught me looking and smiled. I’d never liked the idea of an over-the-top surprise proposal, which sounded more like an ambush than a romantic encounter. We’d simply talked and decided we were ready for the next step. I’d chosen the engagement ring; if I was going to wear it for the rest of my life, I wanted to decide what it looked like. Instead of a typical unwieldy solitaire that would forever get caught on sweaters, I’d fallen in love with a white gold five-diamond flower design. The ring symbolized our relationship: