The Friendship Ring

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I refuse to be called an inanimate object. That's how someone referred to me one time. An inanimate object. Like I was some kind of a common noun.

I happen to be a 14 carat gold friendship ring. I have two people holding hands in the center; with very detailed, ornate designs surrounding the rest of the ring. I have had numerous people stop outside the jewelry store window at the mall where I am located, and comment on my beauty.

Old and young alike admire me. I have had couples in their 80's tell tales of how I remind them of their youth. Teenage girls have giggled, hoping some future boyfriend would buy me for them to wear.

I've been in this same window, though, for two years. I was crafted by a jeweler in Italy. I probably would have been purchased by now, but I come with a very hefty price tag. People come in and inquire about me, but after being told the price, they will eventually walk away.

I was almost purchased five months ago. A man in his twenties came in with his girlfriend. He was dressed very nicely and I could tell he could afford me. His girlfriend, Tina, fell immediately in love with me. She tried me on, but I was a little too large for her finger. Mr. Winchester, the jeweler, assured her that I could be resized to fit her finger. I was happy that I was finally going to end up on the hand of a deserving admirer.

Richard, the guy's name, paid for me and he was told to pick me up in a week. Tina looked lovingly at me one last time before they exited the store.

The next day Mr. Winchester was to prepare me for my new home on Tina's finger. I know her name was Tina, because I was to be inscribed: To Tina-with love-Richard. I waited anxiously in the safe all night for my inscription.

But in the morning, Mr. Winchester shook his head as he put me back in the window display. Richard's credit card had been rejected; and after several attempts to contact him at home, it was decided that he was not going to purchase me.

So I have remained in the window, watching anxiously as strolling shoppers stop and admire me. However, none have come in and inquired about me since that day.

Hold on. A young boy, probably about sixteen years old, has stopped and he is looking at me. No. He walked on. Wait. He's coming back! He's looking at me again. Look at the look in his eyes. This boy is in love! It's probably his first girlfriend. I've seen that look many times as couples look in the window holding hands.

You can usually tell the ones who are experiencing their first love. There is an innocence about them. They don't have the hurt behind their eyes of past lovers who have left scars on their hearts. New lovers have a twinkle in their eye and a glimmer of hope.

He's really admiring me. This boy is in love. He's wanting a special gift to give to someone. Next week is Valentine's Day, and he wants to show her just how much she means to him.

Yes! He's walking in. He's talking to the owner of the shop. The owner has told him my price and he looks so dejected. But wait. They are walking to the showcase and taking me out.

The boy's touch is so gentle. I can just imagine this is how he treats the girl he loves. He probably takes her in his arms and tells her he loves her. He wants a gift to show her how much she means to him.

I notice tears in his eyes as he hands me back. The owner places me in the case and I am once again returned to the window. Before leaving, the boy stands outside and looks at me. A tear falls down his face as he walks away.

The mall opens the next morning with the hustle and bustle of happy shoppers. It must be the weekend, because the aisles are filled with mothers with their small children. They approach the window and smear it with their finger prints as they stand on their tiptoes to see inside. After they leave, the owner has to come outside and wipe their stains off . He wants to be sure that his jewelry is displayed properly.

I can't believe it! The boy has returned! This time he is with an older woman, perhaps his mother. No, she seems older. It is probably his grandmother. He stops before the window and points me out to her.

I can hear her tell him how beautiful I am. He excitedly grabs her hand and leads her up to the jeweler. They talk a minute, then he comes over and gets me from the window case.

I am now handed to the elderly woman. She knows jewelry, because her fingers are adorned with numerous rings. Many contain diamonds, and I feel inferior because I am just a simple gold ring.

But she tells the boy, she calls Jake, just how beautiful I am. She also says that Robin will like me very much. Robin. That must be her name. They both agree that I would be the perfect gift.

He begs his grandmother to help him purchase me. I laugh when he starts promising her a list of things he will do. Poor Jake. He will be mowing her yard, trimming shrubs, cleaning windows and tidying her basement for years to come. He must love this girl very much to sacrifice himself to such arduous tasks.

After agreeing to his terms, he grabs her and gives her a huge hug. I look on as she smiles at him and brushes back his hair, and then kisses him gently on the forehead. She loves her grandson so much. I think she would have bought the ring even had he not offered his services as payment. She knows he is deeply in love, and it makes her happy.

They tell the jeweler that they will purchase me! I am elated, even more so than the young boy who now holds me in his hand. He slips me on his finger, and then tells Mr. Winchester that I am the right fit.

The boy is asked if he would like an inscription. It surprises me when Mr. Winchester tells him that it is free of charge. I guess the old man remembers what it is like to be young and in love.

Robin and Jake 4ever

I wish I could share the tears that wells up in the boy's eyes when he rubs inside me where he wants the inscription. Robin and Jake 4ever. Robin will love it. It's simple, but it shows the depth of love that Jake feels for her.

After gently running his finger around me for the last time, I am handed to Mr. Winchester and placed in a small gift box. Hours later, the jeweler takes me out and delicately inscribes me. Once done, he looks admiringly at his handiwork. I can feel his remembrances of a young love. He knows what Jake is experiencing and smiles to himself as he places me back inside the small silver box and places a blue ribbon on top.

Jake and his grandmother return days later to pick me up. Jake is excited. He keeps talking about how much Robin will like me. I can sense that he is anxious, because he knows that this is a big step in their relationship. He is showing her just how much he cares for her. I will represent the love they will forever share. Every time she looks at me, she will be reminded of his love for her.

Jake has taken me home and placed me inside a drawer in his bedroom. I am awaiting anxiously for the moment when I will be unwrapped and I look into the eyes of the girl who has stolen Jake's heart.

They've entered the room. I can sense Jake's nervousness as he picks me up. This is the moment I've waited for. He hands me to Robin. Inside the box I can't see, but I know that she is kissing him. I can feel her heart beating rapidly. She too is overwhelmed with love.

I can feel the ribbon being removed and the top is opening. Robin has tears running down the side of HIS face. He gingerly takes me out and inspects me. He reads the inscription and falls into the arms of Jake, planting kisses on his cheek.

Jake takes me and places me on Robin's finger. I hear him whisper, "Happy Valentine's Day, Robin. "I love you so much."

Robin kisses him gently and says, "It's so beautiful. I'll never take it off."

Now I know I'm not an inanimate object. If I were, then I wouldn't be feeling their passionate emotions flowing through me as they hold hands, look deeply into one another's eyes and vow their undying love.

My destiny has been sealed - on the hand of a young boy who is loved by another.