Tuesday, August 1, 2017

[Short Story - Wholesome] The Secret in the Ring

I still remember the day we exchanged rings. I asked Michelle if there was any reason why mine was thicker than hers, but yet lighter at the same time. She laughed it off, said that I was thinking too much, and threatened to leave me for her pet Maltese if I continued to pester her with stupid questions.

I responded by pulling her into my arms, locked her lips in mine, and shouted the loudest 'Yes' in my life. And that was it. The ring followed me ever since, for fifty straight years, right until the day Michelle passed away.

Looking at how the ring broke into two, I finally understood. Why my ring felt lighter than hers, even though it was supposed to be made of solid gold. It was hollow inside, with a note hidden in it.

"My love, if you're reading this, then I must be dead," the note read, in a handwriting that was painfully familiar. It was amazing how Michelle managed to fit a piece of paper into a place so tiny, but that was Michelle for me. Always slipping surprises into places that you would least expect. Lunch boxes, freshly ironed clothes pockets, even in my toothpaste tube.

"Just wanted you to know that marrying you was the best decision in my life, I love you," the note ended. Oh Michelle, even in death you're still able to surprise me. I put down the note on the table, my chest suddenly feeling heavy. The house never felt quieter, lonelier.

I never knew how much I would miss the sound of her voice nagging me to eat breakfast, the sight of her sitting in her favourite chair, the smell of her favourite shampoo. All I was left with were the memories with her. A bittersweet reminder of what I no longer have.

I picked up the note, wanting to read the message again. As the note hovered over the window, I noticed writings on the other page of the paper. I flipped the note to see another sentence written on the other side. "But if you happen to find this note a little too early, then oops! Still love you! <3 p="">
The date was signed on 14 September 1965. The date of our wedding. Michelle had written the note on our wedding date, not knowing when I would find it. I chuckled at the message. It was one of the many small little pranks she would play. "Looks like I found this just when you intended," I muttered, looking at the urn beside me.

I folded the small note, and placed it in a box together with the gifts that she has given me over the years.

The note in the ring was not the only note Michelle left me. Over the course of the next few months, I kept finding other notes around the house, hidden in places that Michelle knew I would not approach when she was alive. In the washing machine, the cabinet where she kept her sewing kit, the drawer filled with our bills.

The notes were more elaborate than the one in my ring, detailing experiences that we once shared. "Remember how you swore never to touch the washing machine after the mini flood you created?" read the note she had placed in the detergent box. It was like she had prepared for this her whole life.

I kept all of the notes in her box, labeling the place where I found them carefully. When it is my turn to leave, I will bring Michelle's box with me, together with all the notes, so that when I see her again, we can laugh and talk about all of them, just like how we have always done.

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Original prompt: It has been a year since your spouse mysteriously died. You are fidgeting with your wedding ring when a compartment opens and a note falls out. It starts, "My Love. If you are reading this, I must be dead...

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