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The Ring

A tragic love story

by Tony Radford

It was early fall when he hit the mall – a year past Y2K,
at a jewelry store on the second floor – was a final bill to pay.

He’d bought the ring that he planned to bring to his love – a big surprise,
some wine, a rose, romantic prose – then a question would arise.

They’d set the stage at an early age – on the playground after class
where he won her hand with a plastic band and a diamond made of glass.

Again he’d be on bended knee – just like his last appeal,
the way he did when they were kids – but now the ring was real.

A plan he’d spark at a local park – under blue Manhattan sky,
she’d have no clue what he planned to do – just lunch with her favorite guy.

As he left the mall – a frantic call, “I’m in trouble, please come quick!
There’s fire and ash from a massive crash – the smoke is really thick!”

A second blast while pleas were cast – then silence stoked his fear,
he called her phone – but a busy tone was all that met his ear.

When he made it through to Tower Two there was havoc on the ground,
panic, screams and rescue teams – debris was raining down.

A scene from Hell – he reached the well with a thousand stairs to tread,
he coughed and choked from heat and smoke – but still he forged ahead.

He wasn’t fazed by fires that blazed or the opposite stampede,
he was mission-bound, she must be found – he’d die or he’d succeed.

A deserted floor – he reached the door where her office used to be
and despite his doubt that she made it out – he hoped she’d gotten free.

The door was blocked, but it wasn’t locked – so he kicked it off the frame,
with a runner’s stride, he rushed inside and began to yell her name.

The room’s décor was about the floor and beams from up above
had fallen down and formed a mound and beneath it all – his love.

Like Superman – with just his hands, he tossed them one by one,
a man possessed – he wouldn’t rest until the job was done.

His task revealed a piece of steel that weighed a ton or more,
with all the sway, had given way and pinned her to the floor.

He did his best to clear the rest – then tried to pull her free,
but her pain inside intensified – so he had to let her be.

He propped her head with the coat he shed and by her side he lay,
she loved so much to feel his touch – her pain would fade away.

She felt repose as he held her close and he – devoid of strife,
would much prefer he die with her than live a separate life.

And with that thought, the ring he brought – he held where she could see,
“Please be my wife – I’ll pledge my life for all eternity!”

Tired and weak – she tried speak, but words were not required,
she had a glow that let him know – their bond, she too desired.

As lovers kissed through teary mist – she did her very best
to fight the pain and reach the chain that lay upon her chest.

She pulled it free to let him see – it held a tiny band,
the plastic toy a little boy once placed upon her hand.

He sat and gazed – was so amazed she’d kept it all this time,
from ages-past – that jewel of glass he’d purchased for a dime.

He never knew she moved it to a spot right near her heart
and kept it there – a secret prayer they’d never be apart.

Words not told since eight years old would bring a fact to light,
that solitaire would not compare – it could never shine as bright.

While lying there, a happy pair would plan their wedding date,
but then depart when all went dark – the time
10:28.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than storiesspace.com with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

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