Monday, 3 December 2012

A Twist in Tradition

JournalWord: Rings swinging loosely on a chain.


The cold steadily penetrates the warmth of their clothes the further north they travel, passing through town after town as the sun swims a lazy path through the graying clouds. Sana pulls on her jacket and Adrick beams, feeling all too proud of himself for insisting she buy it. At one point, they pause at a rest stop and plant down on a bench, leaning, tiredly, into each other. Attempts at a conversation hunkers stubbornly in the air, and each and every one falls to silence because all they really desire after a day of walking is a moment to just sit. Adrick’s feet pulse in the similar sporadic pattern as a migraine, and he’s sure Sana’s own pair don’t feel a whole lot better. 

He begins to calculate exactly when and who he can conjure up a map from when an elderly man wanders into his range of vision, obstructing his view of potentials. When he says “wanders into his range of vision”, he really implies “stops two inches in front of him and stares into his face”. 

“…What?” Adrick asks, annoyed. Adrick leans away from the man who emanates copious amounts of incense and a lack of laundry soap. 

“Would you be interested in a bag of goods?” the man chirps, hefting a raggedy sack off his shoulder and plopping it on the bench between Adrick and Sana with a faulty orchestra of jangles and clanks. “It’s handmade jeweler y  I’m also selling, for a limited time only, homemade bleach: the best this side of the country, I assure you.”

Sana laughs, not unkindly, but Adrick doesn't feel amused in the least and scowls. “Come on, what are you trying to pull? Get out of here.”

“Why, I’m but a humble travelling salesman,” the elderly man answers, half on a gasp, and scoots the bag more toward the visibly appeasable of the two. “Wouldn't you like some beautiful jewelry, young lady? You’ll dazzle the young men with a stunning necklace.”

“The only one she’ll be dazzling-”

“Sure, I’ll take it,” Sana relents, cutting off Adrick with a smile as she hands over whatever change she has left. The man snatches the coins from her palm, thanks her for her patronage and vanishes out of the rest stop as quickly as he had come. 

The sudden departure leaves Adrick more than a little confused and disoriented. “What was that all about?”

“He was just trying to earn a buck,” Sana replies with a shrug. She digs through the contents of the bag and chuckles. “Yeah, these definitely look handmade.”

“Why would you give up the money?” he interjects, “We don’t exactly have much as it is.”

“Oh, Adrick, you stole it anyway.” She shuffles through a handful of cheap jewelry  picking out a ring set and an old necklace in dire need of cleaning. “Haven’t you heard the taboo? You can never keep what is not yours.”

Adrick folds his arms and prepares to brood but can’t help himself when he watches Sana slip something sparkly onto her hand. “What are you doing?” he hisses.

“The ring fits,” she says, admiring the undoubtedly fake golden band on her finger. She pulls the ring’s twin out of the nest of bracelets and necklaces, and regards it between her forefinger and thumb. “I think it’s a set.”

Adrick plucks the ring from her appraising eyes, and his heart jerks against it’s cage of cardiac muscle. If it fits, they would finally have something-even something as small as this-to validate their unorthodox engagement. He draws in an unnecessarily deep breath, heavy with anticipation, only to cough when he forgets to exhale. 

“Does it fit?” Sana asks quietly, and by the tone of her voice, he can tell she feels the same tumultuous emotions he does. 

He slides the ring over the tip of his left ring finger but it struggles against his knuckle. Sana frowns and Adrick produces an unsatisfied rumble in his throat. “No, not even close.”

“You can always wear it on your pinky,” she offers.

“No, it’s not the same,” he cuts in, bitterly. The disheartened drop of his mood overtakes him unexpectedly in a childish fit for his pathetic hope in a waste of money. He was going to buy her a proper ring and hire a respectable priest, instead, he has gifted her with a cheap ring and a homeless man. His skin feels like it’s steaming from the flare of his shame, and although the demons in his gut pound mercilessly for a riot, he can’t help but think about the symbolism of her actions. He curses his artistic ambiance for giving in to Sana’s disappointment.

“We can put them on chains,” she tries again, pulling apart two faux-gold chains from the pile and attempting to untangle them from their interlocking embrace.

“ Isn't that more of a ‘best friends forever’ thing?” Adrick counters, not at all fond of the idea.

“I think so.” Her laugh is completely unwarranted. “Actually, I had a ‘best friend’ necklace with my old best friend when I was a kid, but we had two halves of a silver ladybug, and these are obviously two wedding bands. I don’t think the connotations are the same, Adrick.”

After a bit of coaxing on Sana’s part and a drawl of complaining from Adrick, the two march away from the stop with matching necklaces. Adrick is embarrassed, and feels, in his opinion, emasculated, however, despite all the trouble, he can’t stop himself from stealing a couple glances at Sana’s neck, where the old, slightly dilapidated ring swings loosely on it’s chain. He has long since tucked his own necklace beneath the collar of his shirt, but every so often he will tug the chain to make sure the band hasn't fallen off.


Just a punch of sweetness to counter yesterday's spiciness :P
Be good,
Mera ;)


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