He stood with her in a little hallway. They both wore a sheen of sweat and he said something about marrying her.
"Are you serious?" she said.
He knew he was and asked, "Will you marry me?"
She said yes.
A little boy looked on, unaware. They had pizza after, unpacking a house in the summer sun.
They found a great many places that made them blush. Big jewels and tags that said numbers. Big numbers of promises unspoken.
In a gallery, she found a prize. A ring, a cluster, a dream of things to come. He loved it and her and her smile in the warm yellow glow of the display.
The ring was late, the artist a flake. Weeks of craftsmanship and calls, but he put the ring on her finger.
Months after, pressure and time. They thought of what was needed. Places, people, plans, things to be scheduled. She had worries and asked for reprieve.
"Someday," she said, over the counter in a little apartment. Tears in her eyes, worried about what he would say. He worried, loved, would wait for her.
A new year and a big family and not many spied the ring. Not many saw. They "ooo'd" and "aah'd" at fireworks but not the ring. They were family of many, of forgetful.
He did not notice. He forgot.
Months after and more pressure. Time and pain. He was quiet, unloving. The ring sat alone. It sat by itself, a finger bare.
"Some day," she said.
They tried and they loved.
But time moved. More trying, attempting, failing. He struggled. She struggled. He proposed again, a backing off. He promised to give the ring again.
Of course, he would wait.
Then she woke him, opened a door after saying she was afraid to open a door. She held his hand and said nothing. They said nothing, no more, but tears.
He held the ring, crafted with care, given with love, promised with hope, returned in time.
The ring fell into an envelope with a dull weight, waiting, unused, used, no more waiting.
Here it is, moving forward.