Hidden Rings

Fiction short story carnival

Do they meet after 10 years?

Reuben and Sarah were best friends since they were 5 years old. They were neighbours, classmates and went to the school in the same bus. When they grew up and wanted to explore sex, they slept together. It was the most natural thing to do. So, it was only natural that when they turned 21 years old, their parents talked to them about marriage.

“But I don’t want to get married. I want to get out of this hell hole and explore the world. I want to do something great and not tied down with a wife and kids.” Reuben told Sarah.

Sarah nodded. “I have never known any other boy except you, Reuben. Even I don’t want to be tied down to the person with whom I have grown up. I want to meet other boys, flirt with them, break their hearts, cry in love and then may be settle down with a fine young man.”

“So, it’s decided. We are not getting married.” Sarah agreed.

Three months later, Reuben was flying out of India. The morning before Reuben was leaving, he called Sarah to meet him at their usual haunt – on the beach behind the rock. Reuben showed Sarah two gold rings with their names engraved.

“Sarah, no one knows us better than each other. We also complement each other well. Let’s meet here 10 years from today. If by that time, we are both unengaged and want to get married to each other, we will dig up these rings. However, even if one of us is unwilling, we will leave the matter unspoken and meet again after 10 years.”

They dug up a hole under the giant rock and hid the rings. The two friends hugged each other for a long time.

Ten years later, they met at the beach behind the same rock.

Reuben was a photojournalist and was traveling from one country to another and scaling one mountain after another. He was living his dream. Sarah was a homing bird. In all these years, she didn’t leave Goa even for a day. However, her husband had left her recently.

Reuben hugged a distraught Sarah. The rings stayed there, forgotten under the sand.

The sands of time continued to fall. Ten years later, Sarah reached the venue earlier. She dug up the rings and hid them in her pockets. She was looking forward to meeting Reuben and had been counting months, weeks and days.

At 41, he was a good-looking man. Save for a few grey hair at the temples, age had more or less left him untouched. He had also become hugely popular. His heart-wrenching photo-story of the Soviet-Afghan war had earned him many accolades.

“How are you, Sarah?” Reuben asked, his concern genuine which made Sarah feel warm to her bones.

“Better now after having seen you. You are going places, mister!” Sarah teased him.

“You don’t have any idea, Sarah. It’s the most exciting time of my life. My work’s getting appreciated from all corners of the world. Every week I am in a new country. Girls are literally throwing themselves at my feet.”

“So, what are the plans for the future?” Sarah asked. She wasn’t so confident anymore.

“The same as usual. Visit more places, capture more images and tell more stories.” Reuben was too much concentrated on himself to see Sarah’s smile falter and her eyes welled up.

“Sarah, you should marry again. Let bygones be bygones. You deserve to be happy,” were Reuben’s last words before he left.

Sarah put the rings back in their rightful place and left the beach all alone. Thankfully, no one could see her crying in the dark.

It was 1st May. Thirty years ago, they had made the promise to meet each other at the rock, behind the beach. They had not broken their promise once. Today was no exception.

“Sarah, I have come back for good.”

Reuben was amazed at the way Sarah looked. Her face was calm, her actions unhurried and her eyes looked as if they had found inner peace.

“I don’t want to live out of a suitcase anymore. Even after 30 years, I couldn’t build a place I can call home. I have seen the greed and pettiness in men who have more wealth than they need. I have also seen the hunger and misery in kids of war-ravaged countries. I am tired of travelling the world. I have realised that Goa is indeed the best.”

Sarah smiled.

“Sarah, here are our rings, let’s get married. It’s time we lived happy together.” Reuben was holding the gold rings with their names.

“I am afraid that’s not possible, Reuben.”

Reuben was surprised. He knew Sarah was not married. She was not wearing a ring.

“Why?”

“I am leaving the pleasures of the mortal world and embracing the Faith.”

The rings never saw the light of the day again.

*************************************************************************************

I am participating in the Write Tribe Festival of Words – June 2018

Write Tribe Festival, Short Fiction, Flash fiction

Write Tribe Writing Festival

About Anshu Bhojnagarwala

Fiction Addict. Agatha Christie Fan.
This entry was posted in Short Stories and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to Hidden Rings

  1. nessville says:

    Wow. What an incredible journey for Rueben and Sarah. And I loved the twist at the end.

  2. Mayuri6 says:

    How selfish of him, to agree to wed when he was ageing and had seen and done it all. The end was an unexpected surprise. Well written!

    • mammaspeaks says:

      Thank you so much Mayuri! The thing is they both were selfish! Reuben wanted to explore the world and Sarah didn’t want to get tied down to him. Later on, they both realised their love but at the wrong time.

  3. Aesha says:

    Good one Anshu. As always the end surprised me.

  4. shiviphoenix says:

    Beautifully written

  5. Such a warm yet heart wrenching story. Some love storied are destined to never be.

  6. Akshata Ram says:

    This is one of the most beautiful stories I read today Anshu.. Loved the concept of buried rings and how the story turns as time progresses. The end was befitting.. very well done

  7. Geethica says:

    Aww…..It always happens that the other gender has different dreams and perspective towards life. And by the time they both realise the time elapses. Very well written.

  8. Shilpa Nairy says:

    Lovely story Anshu. I love your story telling way.

  9. Suzy says:

    One never knows what missed opportunities may have brought, but of course, destiny has a mind of its own.

  10. Balaka says:

    The best thing about Reuben is that he used to come back after every 10 years.. marriage is not the only destination for a relationship…the bonding and longing is what matters. Good story Anshu

  11. Burried rings – the way you have connected it to the climax of the story is amazing . Loved it Anshu.

  12. Meena says:

    She could not have been waiting for him eternally. She had to find peace too. Good story

  13. syncwithdeep says:

    Wow anshu.. You never fail to surprise me. The title is captivating and what a lovely tale..

  14. Varad says:

    Some love stories are just that… stories. I hope they both take solace in the memory of their puppy love. Very good narration, Anshu. Well done.

  15. हर इश्क की तकदीर में मंज़िल नही होती फिर भी हर इश्क़ इश्क़ होता है
    Loved it.

  16. Ah! Beautifully written. The prompts so well incorporated, that they became characters too. Loved it

  17. i love the twist in the end, well narrated story!

  18. Shilpa Garg says:

    How our priorities change with time. This is one engrossing read, Vartika. Enjoyed reading it!

  19. Good for him! You specialize in fantastic endings, don’t you?

  20. Girish says:

    Enjoyed reading it, bit sorry for reuben

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