Lost Wax

Lost, that’s how I started life. Lost wax, that is. Liquefied and poured into a mold that my molten presence melted away. I’m a gold wedding band, circa 1974, a hippie design with flowers around my circumference.Shortly after my creation, I was placed in a black velvet box and shipped to a department store, where, at the jewelry counter my lid was opened and I discovered that Montgomery Ward had purchased me. An ignoble beginning.

With many other rings I sat there for months, hardly noticed until a young girl, barely twenty, asked to see me. She rolled me between her thumb and index finger, then turned over my price tag. $97.

She buys me on a time-payment plan called Layaway. Every week she comes back and puts down another ten dollars. She looks thinner each week. I think she’s skipping meals to scrape together the money.

Nine weeks later, I’m paid in full and now reside in her lingerie drawer, hanging out with her bras and panties. I spend three months there. They were good months. The girl would often take me out, hold me up to the light, and polish me with her T-shirt, which allowed me a glimpse of her navel.

She brought me to a jeweler, who took fine tools to my insides; I think they were called engravers. He gouged away parts of me until I now carried a word around with me. The word—Forever.

One day she got all dressed up and took me to a wedding—a wedding in which I had a starring role. She repeated a vow and slipped me onto the third finger, left hand of a fresh-faced boy with red hair and blue eyes, eyes with tears in them.

The boy gave a ring to the girl, though I only saw it in passing. It had a standing rose with a diamond in the center. One-fifth of a carat, I’d say. Big spender.

About six years after the girl put me on the boy’s finger, the boy went to the beach and began talking to another boy. That’s when the red-headed boy slipped me off his finger and hid me in the sand under his towel. Then the two boys start to kiss. When they leave together, I am forgotten.

Next thing I know a strange instrument above me is pinging and a stranger is digging me from the sand. He takes me to a pawnshop. I spend a month there until one day I hear a familiar voice. It’s the girl. She picks me up, then squeals with delight.

“I can’t believe I found it,” she says to the clerk. “My husband lost this at the beach and I’ve been searching for weeks to find one like it. But, this is the same one. This is his ring. See, inside it says Forever.”

So, for the second time the girl buys me, polishes me with her T-shirt and gives me to the boy.

But forever only lasts for six more months.