She cast her eyes away from the train window she was looking out, and instead placed her eyes on her hands. They were clenched together in her lap, right across her printed dress.
She twisted the ring on her pointer finger. It was rusty now. Its once silver band now looked like a light red. The fake jewel in the middle looked back at her. It was dull, and lifeless. It was a simple piece of jewelry, nowhere near lavish.
He gave it to her last May. She remembered walking through the city with him, hand in hand, when they spotted a booth that sold costume jewelry. The lady at the booth waved them over, and she pointed out several rings.
“It’s like real diamond,” she said with a heavy accent.
He smiled at her, “Pick one out, sweetie.”
She glanced down at her ring again, and wished she could go back to that day. They had been fighting the whole week, and things were uncomfortably tense. Perhaps the lack of communication was a problem. Maybe she was too moody towards him. It wasn’t her fault, she was just upset about her pay not being raised.
Whatever the cause of the fights were, she didn’t like the effect. Why couldn’t they work out these small problems? She hated feeling unhappy with her relationship. She hated feeling unhappy with herself.
The train conductor startled her thoughts by asking, “Where ya goin’ ma’am?”
She looked down at her hand again, rubbing the jewel to make it shine a little more. She remembered how happy she was that day he bought the ring for her. She jumped up into his arms, kissing his face.
“I love it! It’s so simple, but I love it,” she had said.
She handed her train pass to the conductor. As he punched her pass and handed it back to her, she realized to herself, it’s the little things in life that remind me he will love me no matter what.
Despite their rough week, he loved her still. She was sure of it.
The conductor walked away, and she realized that the ring was simple, but it was a gift from him, so she should cherish it in every way possible. She also realized she never answered the conductor’s question.
But it didn’t matter where she was going. It only mattered who she was going to.