The gem on her ring was a dazzling diamond of incomparable size, cut, and clarity. Gerda held her hand up to examine her engagement ring and was mesmerized by its beauty. Her fiancé had purchased the stunning ring from the Snow Queen’s jewelry store on 5th Avenue. It was a strangely named store, but there was quite a buzz about the place. Anyone who was anyone shopped there. Gerda had been quite surprised when H.C. had popped the question unexpectedly at the theater’s gala. Before she could respond to his proposal, H.C. had slid the ring on her finger. It was quite the rock, and had literally blown her words away. H.C. had taken her silence for acquiescence, and their people had swarmed to admire the ring and congratulate her.
It was funny, because Gerda had never thought of getting hitched with H.C. He reminded her a little too much of her father who was stuffy and opinionated. This didn’t sit well with her because she had many of the same qualities. Up until the night of the gala, Gerda had been secretly pining for the stud who was tending the roses on her rooftop garden. Kai. Just the sound of his name had sent frissons of excitement running up her spine. Gerda had always found some excuse to be on the roof while Kai tended the garden. On a hot day, Kai would sometimes strip off his shirt and it was a very entertaining show. Gerda had prayed for an extended heat wave.
Now that the ring was on Gerda’s finger, her vision of her future had changed and been distorted by the shiny piece of glass. Since the gala, she made every effort to avoid Kai. Today, he had knocked on her apartment door to tell her about a nest of bees that had made a hive on a rooftop air conditioner. “You need to see this,” Kai had warned, and Gerda had reluctantly followed him up to the roof. As she followed him up the stairs, she couldn’t help but notice his cute but. A quick glance at her diamond ring helped to banish the thoughts that were racing in her head.
Nothing prepared Gerda for the sight of the bees that were swarming on the rooftop. She waved her hand to ward off the bees and was stung on her ring finger. It was shockingly painful. Her finger was starting to swell up, and her attempts to remove the ring from her throbbing finger were unsuccessful. Kai quickly closed the gap between them and took her hand gently in his. He took her ring finger into his mouth and slowly and deliberately sucked the ring off. With a careless toss, he threw the ring into a clay garden pot. All the months that Gerda had been checking out Kai, he had been scoping her out as well. “You grow beautiful roses,” Gerda sighed.
“It’s all in the touch,” he said, and he proceeded to show her.

Submitted by:

Laura Fagot