It just vanished. I had all sorts of imaginations -- and definitely more than a handful of not-so-very-nice suspicions. Four long years went by and every once in awhile I thought about it, looked for it, wondered about it, went over my suspicions about its disappearance.
Yesterday, during the last part of our snowstorm frenzy, I went upstairs with a mission in mind: to finally sort through and rearrange my dresser drawers. I pulled out the first drawer and began removing things. There in a corner, under sachets, and an assortment of underclothing, sat a very tarnished brown bit of something.
When I reached in and picked it up and turned it over in the winter light, my heart leapt and fell at the same time -- elated to have it back, but shamed by my wondering over the worst of people during its missing years.
I can now piece together what happened: I might've laid the ring on my dresser and it might've fallen into that open drawer and eventually was pushed back into a dark corner where it lay, along with my deep suspicions, tarnishing to a dingy brown over all those years.
What a wonderful Valentine's gift today, the gift of something loved and long lost, returned. But even more importantly, was the gift of realizing how completely wrong my creative imagination, gone badly wrong, could lead me.
And so, while I used that silver cloth to bring back the sterling silver's gleam, I tried to do the same with my thoughts about those people. I brought back the shine of all those tarnished thoughts about people I held on to for far too long.