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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Desire (01/17/05)

TITLE: The Engagement Ring
By toronto49 Aird


Through vision blurred by tears I watched the entire scene unfold before me. Standing motionless, he transfixed his being upon the train that carried her away. On and on it traveled eventually to be swallowed by the darkness. The unbearable moment was accented by the moaning sound of the trainís whistle which seemed to be the signal for him to slowly turn and distance himself from that life changing moment. Each step reflected the sadness and heavy weight of a broken heart hidden deep within.

Suddenly he stopped, looked down, and opened his clenched left hand. Contained within that black velvet box was the symbol of his love, desire, and commitment for the one who had made another choice. With Herculean effort, he deliberately moved the jewelry box towards him. Taking in a deep breath he paused, reached over and opened up the case once more to reveal the precious symbol of his unrequited love. In the darkness of that moment there was no brightness save for the occasional glistening of a beautifully simple and simply beautiful ring that was meant to be a promise of two lives becoming one.

Wondering how much more my tortured young friend could bear he soon reached over and closed the lid to obscure the beauty of that jewel. The loud closing noise from the tension of the encasing made me blink and I came out of my hypnotic state as when the hypnotist snaps their fingers sounding the return to reality.

I was riveted as he turned once again and walked towards the very spot where he had touched her, kissed her, promised her, bade her farewell, and tenderly let her go. Bringing his left hand forward he placed the engagement ring upon the ledge that overlooked their encounter. Then, stepping back he longingly looked about him, turned, and walked away.

I watched as he distanced himself from that sacred spot and reflected upon my moments of intrusion that so dramatically played before my eyes. However, I surmised that I was more than a bystander. I had unwittingly become an integral part of two lives and had been engulfed in their drama. I was deeply moved. Emerging out of the shadows towards the engagement ring I mused that this encounter between the three of us had changed us all. It then suddenly dawned on me that I had vastly experienced the sacredness of humanity. That the intense love and devotion of one person for another was epitomized in that ring placed upon the sacrificial altar. That engagement ring was truly a symbol of love, but it was also a symbol of sacrifice, pain, and disappointment.

Intimately acquainted with the story of this ring I reached reverently for the black case and cradled it in my hand. I searched my heart for the best way to honor this ring and its story that unfolded here at Grand Central Station. This place where thousands of lives come and go each day totally unaware of each otherís countless stories of love, disappointments, joys, desires, and heartaches. All of these experiences of humanity that bind us together as one.

Walking into the lost and found, I pondered on the appropriateness of this place for the ringís resting place. Reasoning that most lives are in a state of lost and found, this ring and the lives that it entangled should find its rest here. Walking up to the counter, the attendant asked how he could help me. I simply responded that I had found this engagement ring and that I wanted those that had lost it to find it once again.

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This article has been read 796 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joyce Poet01/24/05
I am moved to tears. I don't know if I'm just a sap, or if it takes knowing the loss of a sacred tie that tears my heart up to read this. Well done. No... much more than well done.
Dave Wagner01/24/05
I like what you attempted here, and you've mostly succeeded, I think. The piece could be trimmed of unnecessary words - to the tune of about 10% - and it would benefit. If I may keep in theme, this piece is a diamond in the rough. The strong sentiments carry the piece over the rough spots fairly easily, but a little more polish would do wonders for this.

Thanks for submitting it. It is in the right category.
Kathy Cartee01/28/05

Good entry and I like the hope given at the end.

Deborah Anderson01/28/05
I felt like I was watching one of those old black and white movies on television. Great job. God bless you.
David Ian01/29/05
Absolutely equisite in what was said, and not said as well. I was a little fuzzy in the role of the narrator in the actual drama itself -- but I have some guesses, perhaps that could be clearer. Overall, however, the description of events past and present were well depicted and seamless. The ending and its symbolism I think is marvelous, and could stand for a little less justification in narration, and letting it speak for itself the volumes that it does. This is truly a wonderful piece.