Shiny

Sprawled across the bed last night, lamplight shining warmly on my book, my hair in a loose knot sealed with a scrunchie, I saw something moving in the corner of my eye, and turned to follow it.

At first I thought I was seeing a reflection of the neighbor’s backyard light. It’s one of those tall arcing boat-dock lights and glimpsed through wind-blown trees often reminds me of a lamppost one might find in Narnia (or the back of a wardrobe), but their light was off.

I raised my hand, noticed the glittery fleck moving in tandem and had to laugh. I was seeing light reflected from my diamond rings, the larger engagement one, and the smaller wedding band with it’s platinum inset, sheaves of wheat on the sides, and microscopic diamond chips.

I laughed because these rings – both of them – are tiny, and in truth the diamond in the engagement ring is flawed. I know this because my grandmother told me the story of it often. How my grandfather bought it for all of $75, how she loved the way it would sparkle.

When I used to visit her in the nursing home, after she’d passed it down to me, she would hold out her hand for mine, and move our clasped fingers into the light. “See it shine,” she’d say, with a soft smile on her face and memories dancing in her eyes.

I knew, in those moments, that she was living fifty years in the past when love was new and her body and mind worked in tandem with each other instead of against.

Last night, after my moment of realization, I closed my eyes and imagined her voice, a little shaky, but still very much alive, saying, “Look at it sparkle. See it shine.”

And for just a fraction of a second, I smelled her powder and perfume.

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Shiny by Melissa Bartell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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