I’d seen it in a jewelry store that I’d had no business browsing through. A laborer couldn’t hope to have enough cash or credit to buy 99% of what was on display, and even the clerks tended to smirk when I passed them by in my holed jeans and cut off denim jacket. But I returned to that spot every few days for a month or more, as something had caught my eye, and I needed to keep reminding myself that a unique woman deserved a unique gift, no matter the cost.
She gasped once
she’d gently unwrapped it at my direction; a birdcage of blown glass, a
small ring atop with which to hang it, and inside, a ruby red bird of
exquisite miniature detail. It had cost me a small fortune, but I never
would answer when she begged me to tell her its price as that was not
the point. To me it was individual beauty for beauty, a return to her
what she’d gifted me with for the years we’d been together.
year later as she was moving out after having told me we were old news,
she tossed the cage into a box alongside her other knickknacks in
preparation for the journey to her next green grassland. Of course it
near pulverized upon landing, and the ruby red bird was set free. I was
devastated; but even then I recognized a perfect example of poetic
justice, as unjust as it seemed.