"Ring, here's my wedding ring, where’s yours?"
As I flashed my left hand in front of him I thought.
At least he didn't say, where’s my ring?
Then he did.
"Where's my ring?"
"I was in a rush. Just forgot to wear it."
He got excited. I learned he was still making secret payments for it. He accused me of implying he should buy another. I immediately left without a word. It was another week of his calling, apologizing and my forgiving.
We met for lunch at the Lyons restaurant he preferred, I wearing “his” ring.
Sitting across from one another in the rear booth he always chose, both of us taciturn, I took off the ring. Breaking the silence I said.
"Here, you can have it back. I didn’t know it was unpaid for. I don't care if we meet again."
"No, no! Please, put it back on. I can't sleep worrying about you. I want you to love me not hate me. I want us to be happy. What can I do to make you happy with me?"
"Stop being a bore, stop putting others down and stop being a cheapskate."
He ordered cheese cake dessert as if to proclaim he was no longer a cheapskate. Our conversation was strained but I held the upper hand by not caring if we met again. As we left he asked.
"Can we meet at the Mall tomorrow?"
"I'm time stressed. We can have a quick lunch at noon."
Instead of lunch he insisted on shopping and asked if I would be upset if he purchased earrings for me as if saying he was submitting to my dominance, a new experience for both of us. I replied.
“Don’t think you can "buy me."
“No, no, I’m just trying to change. I do listen to what you say.”
At the jewelry store I eased up and selected a modest priced gold pair and told him to buy a pair for his wife. He selected a pair of simple gold stud pearl earrings but I intervened and selected a pair with large dangling pearls to match the ring he gave her. They were more expensive than the pair I selected.
He had the clerk ring up the credit
charge with the price of both on the wife's pair only. I wondered if she was so
"safe" to not question the price for her earrings. Later he said his
wife was ecstatic again after he told her they cost so much because of the
quality. I felt sorry for her, someone who I’d never met, while cheating with
her husband. There was a twinge of guilt over my husband too.
I didn’t wear Enrico’s earrings.