He knew she'd always wanted a ring. She wasn't a necklace kind of girl, a which-one-to-wear-today girlfriend. She wanted something for everyday wear. It was winter, the land at rest, so he couldn't just walk next door and offer Mike his strong arms. Couldn't just spend a week in the hot sun stacking bales of green energy seven high. "There's always work in the shop," Dad had said, but for him, the shop manufactured tedium and he dreaded the monotony.
She was worth it though, and a week or two later found him in the little jewelry shop in town, awkwardly craning to see the underside of all the little white price tags in the case on the end. He finally settled on a simple band of rubies. Nothing flashy or juvenile. He hoped she'd like it.
The night of the party, he hid the box in the glove compartment, hid his nerves behind a young man's kiss. She was smiling, fragrant, glowing. More sparkle than he could handle. He closed her car door and slid behind the driver's seat, wondering if he'd made the right choice. How could something so brilliant be content with his solid simplicity? How would he hold up to everyday wear?