The captain’s ring : A story by Supriya Bansal

 It was good while it lasted”, Maya smiled as she ran her eyes over the ring, her farewell present from the captain.     For her, he had been just another extra-marital fling,  someone to put color on her otherwise lackluster existence, but it must have meant more to him for he had got her this ring — the most stunning piece she had ever seen – cognac-colored solitaire with tiny diamond accents at the fringes.       She looked at the ring long and hard. The gleaming diamond made her reflect on all the moments spent with her inamorata. He was the only one who had realized her true worth for never in her married life of ten years, had her husband got her something as exquisite. She should have treated the captain better for he clearly deserved more.     when you really love someone, you give, expecting nothing in return”, echoed in her head, the captain of course had given her more than anybody ever had. Was he her true love, had she let her true love slip away, the only time she had found it? She was filled with an abject sense of remorse and despair; the opulent and swanky ring had finally cleared the ignorant mist in her heart.     But the captain was gone, leaving the flawless ring as the symbolic expression of his pure and unconditional love. She was determined to find a way to adorn the ring every single day in memory of her beloved captain, his plenary love. That was when a plan occurred to her. “True love always finds its way!! “, she thought brightly.  The plot required her to take a walk on the beach with her husband, where she had to pretend to find that lavish ring in the sand, then in accordance with the age-old -saying of finders – keepers, she would keep the ring. Anyways her husband never worried about the jewelry pieces she wore as long as the money spent on them was not his.   She decided to take an evening stroll along the beach before putting her plan in action. The scheme was a little far-fetched but still plausible. She was heading home after the walk with thoughts of her darling captain dancing in her head when she stopped in her tracks. Everything stood still.     That was her ring! Her exquisite cognac colored diamond! Undoubtedly hers! but wait, what was it doing in the street -side vendor’s mat, next to the beach, and there were so many others like it.   She leaned in closer, “what are these rings Bhaiya, are they real?” words poured out of her, in a stutter.   “Real?”, the vendor let out a guffaw. “As real as these rocks.”, he said pointing towards the pebbles lying by the road.  Shell shocked and gob smacked, she held on the parapet to prevent herself from falling. Once again, the ring had made her reevaluate her worth!